Elderflower options

Discussions of interest about making wine, cider and other fermented beverages

Elderflower options

Postby tonyhibbett » Fri May 06, 2016 14:54

In London the buds are forming, although early signs suggest a poor harvest. I have a range of recipes, ranging from just flowers, lemon juice and sugar upwards. There's an Acton & Duncan one for Graves which caught my eye. For 4.5 gallons it stipulates 9 kilos of peaches, currently at a cost of £27! This would involve stoning, skinning and pulping over 100 peaches. It also required peeling, chopping and boiling 2 kilos of bananas, a kilo of raisins, 1.5 litres of white grape juice concentrate, 15 g of tartaric and malic acid, 2 kilos of sugar and 1.5 litres of elderflowers! The peaches would produce about 6 litres of pulp. In theory 12 litres of Tesco grape and peach (£12) would supply all the peach and grape ingredients, but reading the label, the figures don't add up. The peach pulp is stated as 45% but the peaches used is 2.3. At best this would produce 200 ml of pulp, not 450. Nonetheless I have used this stuff before at 2 litres per gallon and the result was good, so I will give this a try.
User avatar
tonyhibbett
Brewer
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 18:05

Re: Elderflower options

Postby krazypara3165 » Thu May 12, 2016 11:28

Wow, sounds like it could be a cracking drink!

Kegged:
Simecoe APA (HBF Donation)

Bottled:
Galaxy Pale Ale, Woodfordes Wherry, Bella Brew Pale Ale, Strawberry and vanilla Pale Ale, Mixed fruits cider, Elderflower and grapefruit fizz.

Maturing:
Rhubarb Wine, WOW rose', Elderberry wine, Mixed berries wine, Elderflower and grapefruit wine, Elderberry wine.

Next Up:
German Pilsner, Guinness Clone, Chateau De Roi selection kit, Strawberry and lime cider.
User avatar
krazypara3165
The Weakest Drink
 
Posts: 2478
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 22:46
Location: Warrington, Cheshire

Re: Elderflower options

Postby zgoda » Fri May 13, 2016 07:26

Elderflower tincture for me. Get a litre of pure 95% alcohol, put elderflowers into 0.7 to 0.8 litre water with sugar for a week then add alcohol. After couple of weeks decant, add more sugar to taste, put in bottles and forget until winter. Drink responsibly on cold nights.

I know one can buy 95% pure alcohol in Polish supermarkets in Ireland, should be available in UK as well.
User avatar
zgoda
Brewer
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:33
Location: Warsaw, Poland

Re: Elderflower options

Postby tonyhibbett » Wed May 18, 2016 13:16

So much for that plan. Tesco no longer sell the grape and peach. However, I have a recipe for white burgundy which is grape, orange, honey and elderflower. I've done this before with excellent results. The first flush of flowers are out, but not enough to harvest yet.
User avatar
tonyhibbett
Brewer
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 18:05

Re: Elderflower options

Postby Crastney » Fri May 20, 2016 11:29

is that 95% really 95% ABV?

Global average carbon emissions - one ton per person per year.
Current emissions in UK – 9 tons per person per year!
Eight million tons of plastic dumped into the oceans. Every year!
User avatar
Crastney
Brewer
 
Posts: 477
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 18:29
Location: Sydenham, london

Re: Elderflower options

Postby tonyhibbett » Sun May 22, 2016 11:20

There were enough flowers for the 2 litres required for 5 gallons. I simmered 500 g of peeled and sliced bananas for 30 minutes and poured the hot liquor onto the flowers. Then soaked a kilo of sultanas in hot water before running them through the electric mincer and added them, along with a 900 g can of Youngs definitive white grape juice compound, 5 litres of orange juice and 3 kilos of sugar, topped up to 5 gallons with hot water and when cooled to 30 c added yeast, nutrient and pectolase. SG 1090, pH 3.4. There will be a lot of pulp to strain, but I now have a wire basket which fits neatly just inside a 5 gallon bin, which, lined with a sheet of muslin, should make this very easy.
User avatar
tonyhibbett
Brewer
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 18:05

Re: Elderflower options

Postby PhatFil » Sun May 22, 2016 19:43

Crastney wrote:is that 95% really 95% ABV?

virtually a-zero ethanol - rectified spirits, 'spiritus' is a Polish staple ;)
User avatar
PhatFil
Brewer
 
Posts: 1043
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:52

Re: Elderflower options

Postby zgoda » Tue May 24, 2016 05:24

Crastney wrote:is that 95% really 95% ABV?

95 or 96%. For tinctures you use 60-65% so often people don't bother and buy diluted "tincture base" that is 70% but this is false economy.
User avatar
zgoda
Brewer
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:33
Location: Warsaw, Poland

Re: Elderflower options

Postby tonyhibbett » Tue May 24, 2016 12:23

Meanwhile straining the must was a bit of a challenge. The wire basket was helpful, but 2 layers of muslin trapped so much fine pulp (much of it from the orange juice) that it quickly clogged, so had to be done in batches. The volume is now 21 litres, pH 3.4, sg 1070 and the flavour is great, with the orange juice making a better contribution than lemons.
User avatar
tonyhibbett
Brewer
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 18:05

Re: Elderflower options

Postby tonyhibbett » Sun May 29, 2016 12:49

Acidity has dropped (pH 3.6) and required 25 g of tartaric acid to return to pH 3.4. This means that half of the citric acid supplied by the orange juice (50 g) has been consumed.
User avatar
tonyhibbett
Brewer
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 18:05

Re: Elderflower options

Postby tonyhibbett » Tue May 31, 2016 11:47

The acidity has fallen further, which means 70% of the citric acid has been consumed. No wonder some purely flower based recipes include a tablespoon of the stuff. I forgot to add tannin. It loses potency over time, so best before dates are important. I added just enough so that it could just about be detected on the palate. In combination with the tartaric acid, it really improves the flavour.
User avatar
tonyhibbett
Brewer
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 18:05

Re: Elderflower options

Postby tonyhibbett » Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:58

Another drop in acidity. Probably all of the citric acid has been consumed. SG down to 998 and starting to clear. Racked, leaving almost a litre of orange coloured yeast sediment. There is a slight bitterness which I have masked with glycerine at 25 ml per gallon. It will also ensure that the sparkling wine will end up as brut, rather than extra brut.The elderflower taste is much reduced while the orange is more prominent in both taste and colour. The pH is currently 3.6 and titration indicates just 3 ppt (tartaric), which is very low, especially for sparkling wine. About 40 g of tartaric acid must be added to 20 litres to bring this up to 5 ppt. That's on top of the 25 g I've already added!
User avatar
tonyhibbett
Brewer
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 18:05

Re: Elderflower options

Postby tonyhibbett » Fri Jun 03, 2016 15:36

It actually needed 50 g of acid (30 tartaric and 20 malic) to restore the pH to the original 3.4. After 2 doses of Clear It finings the wine is still rather opaque and orange, for which I blame the orange juice. I may have to resort to filtration or possibly milk to remove some colour.
User avatar
tonyhibbett
Brewer
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 18:05

Re: Elderflower options

Postby tonyhibbett » Tue Jun 07, 2016 13:29

The wine is now perfectly clear but still fermenting slightly, so perfect for racking, adding sugar and a little yeast sediment and putting into champagne bottles
User avatar
tonyhibbett
Brewer
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 18:05

Re: Elderflower options

Postby tonyhibbett » Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:21

I now have 12 bottles, each with 11 g of sugar and some active yeast slurry. I also have a 'pilot' screw cap bottle to check the fermentation. The only true gauge is the slight stretching of the wires on the champagne bottles. Although the wine fizzed when the sugar was added, this is no proof of fermentation. 2 demijohns of clear wine remain. They both have an sg of 1.000 but their acidity is different, one at pH 3.2 and the other 3.3. The first is too sharp, so I added 50 g of sugar but this did not improve it. The other one is perfectly balanced. There is little elderflower flavour but the aroma is very good.
User avatar
tonyhibbett
Brewer
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 18:05

Re: Elderflower options

Postby tonyhibbett » Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:53

There is some pressure in the pilot bottle but not a lot. However fermentation at this stage is bound to be slow, due to the high alcohol content. It would have been wiser to start with an og of 1070, rather than 1090 as 12% abv is too close to the alcohol tolerance of the yeast I used. Meanwhile I have filled 6 bottles of the still version, 2 of which will be required for topping up after disgorging the yeast sediment this time next year.
User avatar
tonyhibbett
Brewer
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 18:05

Re: Elderflower options

Postby tonyhibbett » Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:53

Now that's all been put to bed and elderflowers are past their best on account of loads of rain, I was going to order a Winebuddy kit to maintain stock, but decided to use 2 kg of sultanas, 6 litres of apple juice and 3.5 kilos of sugar to make 5 gallon batch, using the active yeast sediment from the last brew. I have oak chips and finings, so this will work out at 35p per bottle, half the cost of the Winebuddy and using significantly more fruit.
User avatar
tonyhibbett
Brewer
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 18:05

Re: Elderflower options

Postby tonyhibbett » Thu Jun 16, 2016 13:26

After 2 days I strained the pulp. Once again, straining was a bit of a chore, taking 3 batches to complete. However, doing it at this stage avoids having to deal with a lot of fine pulp, which cannot be strained, later on. It also means I can now add the oak chips, about 20 g.
User avatar
tonyhibbett
Brewer
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 18:05

Re: Elderflower options

Postby 4011 » Sun Jun 19, 2016 18:12

Hi guys thinking of making a elderflower coralial it's asking for citric acid do I need this ..cheers

Trying to keep it simple.... :thumb:
User avatar
4011
Brewer
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2014 23:11
Location: forest of dean

Re: Elderflower options

Postby tonyhibbett » Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:36

Yes, or lemon juice.
User avatar
tonyhibbett
Brewer
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 18:05

Re: Elderflower options

Postby tonyhibbett » Sun Jul 03, 2016 08:39

After fining, the sg was 992 (very dry) and the pH 3.7 (low acidity). I added 30 g of tartaric acid, resulting in pH 3.5. This also corrected the acid imbalance caused by the malic acid in the apple juice. As a final flourish I added my elderflower concentrate, which gave it bouquet and a hint of elderflower flavour. However, it seems that elderflower acquires a slight bitterness after long storage.
User avatar
tonyhibbett
Brewer
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 18:05

Re: Elderflower options

Postby tonyhibbett » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:10

I had a look at the original pilot bottle of sparkling elderflower and found that the sediment had almost vanished. I had a later bottle and noticed that the sediment was much reduced. I think that this is due to autolysis, whereby the yeast metabolises with the wine over a period of time.
User avatar
tonyhibbett
Brewer
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 18:05

Re: Elderflower options

Postby tonyhibbett » Tue Jul 19, 2016 09:56

I chilled the bottle upright in the fridge then carefully unscrewed the cap. There was a healthy fizz but the foam did not overflow. There was plenty of sparkle and the flavour was excellent with none of the bitterness of last year's batch. Only the last glassful was slightly cloudy, but the flavour was unaffected. It seems that screwtop wine bottles are perfectly ok primed with 11g of sugar, but I wouldn't trust them laid on their sides for fear of leakage.
It would seem that using orange juice instead of lemons gives a better result. I placed a wine rack on its side and inserted the inverted champagne bottles. To my surprise, the yeast sediment quickly settled into the hollow stoppers without clouding the wine. This is supposed to take weeks of gently persuading it to move down the bottle. They are now ready for disgorging. I conclude that the champagne method of production is a bit of a waste of time, effort and expense. True, you end up with a very presentable bottle of sediment-free sparkling wine, disgorging the sediment results in the loss of some wine whereas leaving the sediment in leaves you the choice of discarding a glass of slightly cloudy wine or drinking it.
User avatar
tonyhibbett
Brewer
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 18:05

Re: Elderflower options

Postby tonyhibbett » Sat Jul 23, 2016 09:57

As the ambient temperature is currently 22.5, even at night, I thought it wise to chill the champagne bottles to reduce pressure before disgorging. I placed 2 of the inverted bottles in the fridge on their sides and left them overnight. In the morning I found a small amount of sediment had crept along the neck. However this came out when disgorged. I had a bottle of the still wine ready for topping up and found that it was slightly sparkling. This was probably due to a malolactic fermentation as there was no sugar present and there was a very small amount of slightly crystalline sediment. I checked the other bottles and found a small amount of mould on the caps, indicating leaking due to pressure, so I set them upright to prevent further leakage. Out of interest I tried disgorging an unchilled bottle and lost rather more of the wine as a result. The malolactic fermentation must have also taken place in the primed bottles, producing a higher pressure than intended. This could have been prevented by adding sulphite before bottling.
User avatar
tonyhibbett
Brewer
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 18:05

Re: Elderflower options

Postby tonyhibbett » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:46

This batch is far more lively than my previous one, resulting in more waste. I now need 2 bottles of the 'still' version to top up 9 bottles. I'm considering using a pipe freezing kit on the necks.
Last time I used just 9 g of sugar for priming rather than 11. I'll stick to that next time.
User avatar
tonyhibbett
Brewer
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 18:05

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest