In the last few weeks the elderberry trees in the area have started producing their flowers so me and Steph decided it would be a good time to go out and collect the flowers to make some wine with! In just one short walk near some farm land where we live we managed to pick nearly a full carrier bag full of the flower heads. We made sure we left plenty of flower heads on the trees as later on in the year we will probably try to make some elderberry wine as well! The recipe I'm following for elderflower wine can be found here. In the recipe it gives measurements for making either 1 gallon or 5, I am just going to make 1 on this occasion. Below is the list of ingredients copied direct from the website.
The quantities below are for 5 gallons, with the quantities for 1 gallon brews given in brackets.
- 110 heads of elderflowers (24 heads)
- 1kg of sultanas (200g)
- 75g of citric acid (15g)
- 375ml strong black tea (75ml)
- Wine yeast compound (or yeast nutrient and yeast) as per packet instructions
- 5.5kg granulated sugar (1.1kg)
- Stopper/stabiliser powder
The recipe says to use 24 heads that should be approx 1 pint of flowers when they are trimmed from their stalks. I didn't bother to count the heads and just measured out a pint of heads. With the amount of flower heads I had collected there was enough for the batch I'm making leaving 2 pints that I bagged up individually and have popped in the freezer for later.
After I had chopped up the sultanas and weighed out the sugar and citric acid I placed them all in a large bowl with the pint of elderflowers and the tea. I then poured 2 pints of boiling water over it all then covered with a tight covering of clingfilm and forgot about it until the next day.
The next day I added the yeast and yeast nutrient and another couple of pints of water, this time cold water. I then covered it up and left it for 4 days. Each day I opened it a small amount and gave it a small stir.
After 5 days in total I poured the mixture into a demijohn using a sterile washing cloth to filter the debris off, then topped the liquid up to a gallon with cold water. At this stage it had a very inviting smell developing. When I checked it later the airlock was bubbling away nicely. I will now leave it to clear and rack the wine a couple of times and it should be ready for Christmas (which is only 173 days away) but will taste best if left until next summer!