Monthly Archives: June 2015

Elderflower – Sambucus nigra

DescriptionShrub/small tree. Up to about 3m high. Umbrella shaped flower sprays. Purple/black berries.
UsesFlowers in cordials, champagne, beer aroma, desserts. Berries as any other berry - wines, addition to dark beers.
HabitatHedgerow, roadsides.
SeasonFlowers Late May-early July. Berries August/September.
DistributionAll over UK except northern Scotland.

Anybody put off by the word ‘foraging’ and all the dangers should relax a little. Elder is one of the easiest plants to identify and a walk¬†around the block of most cities should turn up a few plants, identifiable by their sprays of white flower bunches.

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Jim’s Elderflower Champagne Recipe

Jim's Elderflower Champagne Recipe
Print Recipe
Bright, fresh, heady floral elderflowers go into this champagne. Whatever you do, wait for the fermentation to finish before bottling!
Servings Prep Time
16 litres 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 litres 30 minutes
Jim's Elderflower Champagne Recipe
Print Recipe
Bright, fresh, heady floral elderflowers go into this champagne. Whatever you do, wait for the fermentation to finish before bottling!
Servings Prep Time
16 litres 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 litres 30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: litres
Instructions
  1. Sterilise the FV and all implements.
  2. Dissolve dextrose/sugar in 1l warm water - heat and stir till dissolved.
  3. Add everything apart from the yeast and the honey water to your sterile fermenting vessel (FV).
    elderflower champagne brewing homebrew
  4. Rehydrate the yeast in 100ml lukewarm water.
  5. After 30 minutes, check the temperature of the bucket. If room temp, then pitch in and stir.
  6. Measure OG with a hydrometer. Should be around 1.055.
  7. Wait 2 weeks until bottling.
  8. Syphon to another sterile vessel.
  9. Measure final gravity - should be around 1.004 (7% ABV). If it's around 1.010 then don't bottle yet!
  10. Add the 100ml honey water (for your bubbles!).
  11. Bottle in brown glass bottles or soft drink bottles - keep in a cool dark place.
  12. Drink after 2 weeks.
Recipe Notes

Conclusion - amazing. Slightly cloudy, very well carbonated! Fresh aroma and taste. And not too dry.

Tasted after 2 weeks in bottle. Ready to enjoy! A good improvement on last year.
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