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Elderflower champagne won't ferment!

(11 Posts)
OrmirianResurgam Fri 28-Jun-13 10:42:37

Used a River Cottage recipe. Followed it to the letter. No bubbling happening after 5 days. Added some dried yeast as suggested. Still nowt. Any tips please?

Trills Fri 28-Jun-13 13:05:37

This recipe?

I am trying that too.

It definitely smells like something is happening, although it's not actively bubbling.

OrmirianResurgam Fri 28-Jun-13 13:23:50

That's the one. It smells lovely! But it just sits there looking like pond water - not DOING anything.

What bottles are you planning on using? I have one grolsch type bottle and then was thnking of using screw top wine bottles.

Pantah630 Fri 28-Jun-13 14:26:59

I'm using this recipe as its the one my late FiL used and I wanted to recreate it for DH but I've used more elderflower heads, probably 10 small ones as it wasn't a sunny day when picked so not a lot of scent, and I've left it steeping much longer than 24hrs. It went in the bucket on Sunday evening and is still sat there quite happily since, will check for bubbling tonight and probably decant Sunday night.

I've read too many horror stories of glass bottles exploding so I'm going to try some in swing top bottles and some in plastic water bottles. The hard plastic, San pellagrano ones and maybe a thinner lemonade one. I won't fill to the top so they have room to expand the plastic.....hopefully.

Trills Fri 28-Jun-13 15:39:23

I am using lemonade bottles, because they were designed to hold something fizzy.

I have been warned that screwtop wine bottles were not designed to hold fizzy things...

OrmirianResurgam Sat 29-Jun-13 23:10:39

Finally bubbles!!!! grin

Have bottled it. Got a load of grolsch bottles from the pub. Sadly I discovered when I sterilized them in a hot oven that the white shoppers are not ceramic but plastic! Melted all over the place. But I think you can get replacement swing tops. Otherwise I'll have to use cut down corks. The recipe advises releasing the pressure periodically anyway.

Pantah630 Tue 02-Jul-13 11:29:05

Finally bottled ours last night. I used a couple of plastic lemonade/fizzy water bottles and a couple of swing top glass ones. Then had a sneaky drink of the small amount I couldn't fit in. Tastes lovely, hoping it will only get better.
Quick question for those that have made before, I let the pressure out of each bottle this morning as am concerned by the many accounts of glass bottles exploding, how often do I need to do this? Daily? Weekly? Never?

Trills Wed 03-Jul-13 08:20:58

We have bottled batch number one.

DP thinks it tastes nice. I thought I could taste the yeast. Not in an unpleasant way, just like when you get the end of the barrel of beer.

OrmirianResurgam Wed 03-Jul-13 10:05:18

pantha - don't know but I opened one of the fliptop bottles to see if it was fizzy and I lost almost the entire bottle onto the floor!!! So I am guessing it needs to be done quite a lot!!!! But how to do it without losing it all......

How do you tell when it's ready? And how do you know how alcoholic it is? I was hoping it would be weak enough that my kids could try some but I don';t know

Bramshott Wed 03-Jul-13 10:16:46

For future reference I think you just have to trust that it is. I've always bottled after a week or so, even if it doesn't look that bubbly, and it almost always works. The year I panicked and added the yeast we ended up with exploding bottles.

Just ordered my sugar to do this this weekend, although we are still enjoying last year's vintage too (have a couple of bottles left). I think it's reasonably alcoholic (or usually is by the time we get round to drinking it which is usually the following spring) - certainly DD1 loved the little glass she had, and keeps hassling for more, but I think it's probably not the best idea...

Pantah630 Wed 03-Jul-13 10:45:45

I didn't add the yeast and one bottle is definitely fizzing but the others look more like cordial, all let out a little whoosh as I released the pressure. We are looking forward to some warm summer days to drink it, I doubt it will make it to next year to develop the alcohol smile

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