Champagne...How to make it?

Discussion in 'Wine & Cider Discussions' started by Tapo90, Apr 28, 2011.

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  1. Apr 28, 2011 #1

    Tapo90

    Tapo90

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    Hey fellow brewers, just been discussing my current brew with a friend who I am trying to get interested in home brew.
    He proposed to me why don't I make a Champagne, I told him I don't know how to.

    Does anybody know how to make a Champagne and/or have any good recipes for it, it would be greatly appreciated. :cheers:
     
  2. Apr 28, 2011 #2

    artyb

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  3. Apr 28, 2011 #3

    snail59

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    To make Champagne first you will need to MOVE to France.................. :lol: :lol:
     
  4. Apr 28, 2011 #4

    dennisking

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    Not Champagne but when my Dad was alive he had 2 pear trees. Each autumn I would raid the trees and using Champagne yeast make a bloody decent sparkling wine. Not Champagne but after a few didn't care.
     
  5. Apr 29, 2011 #5

    Tapo90

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    So using a good Champagne yeast, and some good Elderflower, I could get a Champagne-ish drink?
     
  6. Apr 29, 2011 #6

    Moley

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    Just checked my notes and the Elderflower Shampagne recipe I used last time was:

    30 heads Elderflowers
    2kg Sugar
    Zest & Juice of 5 lemons
    1 litre White Grape Juice
    Water to 3 gallons
    GP Yeast & Nutrient

    Pour boiling sugar syrup over flower heads & lemons, add grape juice, top up with cold water, add yeast & nutrient.

    That gave me an OG of 1.070, fermented out to 0.992, primed with 50ml apple juice per bottle.

    I will be making a larger batch this year but increasing the grape juice.

    There's an excellent guide to sparkling wines >>here<<

    If bottling in glass you MUST use proper Champagne/Cava/Sekt bottles, or you can use plastic pop bottles with screwtops.
     
  7. May 1, 2011 #7

    tazuk

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    mmmm ill give that a go :cheers:
     
  8. May 3, 2011 #8

    unclepumble

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    The only way to make champagne is to buy a great big chock off vinyard and possibly also a chateau in the champagne region of france.


    If you want to make a sparkling wine in the style of champagne, you will need grapes grown on a very chalky soil.


    up
     
  9. May 3, 2011 #9

    BarnsleyBrewer

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    How do you get rid of the yeast in the bottle, boss at work makes it and sez he cannot buy the fancy tops anymore that purged out the yeast.
     
  10. May 3, 2011 #10

    unclepumble

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    Turn upside down so the yeast drops into the neck and freeze the neck of the bottle only, then once the neck is frozen take out cork let the pressure push out the yeast, then re cork. I tried it once with elderflower champ it was very difficult to do.
     
  11. May 3, 2011 #11

    Moley

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    I use the hollow plastic stoppers (wired in) and with the bottles inverted the sediment will collect inside the stopper.

    You will probably mess up the first few times, but with practice it's possible to remove the wires and pop the stopper with the bottle still inverted over the sink, turning the bottle the right way up with minimal losses.

    Cornelius kegs are much easier though :thumb:
     
  12. May 7, 2011 #12

    Eorling

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    Is the carbonation process the same as cider or beer? By priming the bottles? It's definately something I'd like to have a go at.
     
  13. May 8, 2011 #13

    Moley

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    Yes, ferment out and wait until it has mostly cleared, then bottle and prime like a beer or cider.
     
  14. May 8, 2011 #14

    BigYin

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    A keg with 19 litres of 'champagne'? :shock:

    That sounds like the basis for a right good party :lol: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers:
     
  15. May 8, 2011 #15

    Moley

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    No, my WOWs etc. are only made in 15 litre batches ;)

    A keg with 15 litres of WOW Mousseux demi-sec :drunk:

    At the moment I only have two taps down the cellar, but one is always beer and the other is fizzy wine.
     
  16. May 8, 2011 #16

    hedgerow pete

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    ah bubbles, easy to make and very easy to drink

    ok so lets start with the basics, we need a reasonable wine wine.

    favoritys for me are rhubarb, aple, pear, orange juices bases.

    so lets do rhubarb, i dont do grapes far to over rated ha ha haha

    once we have made a basic wine we need to clear it, either by its self or with some other way when it hits around 1010. but dont kill the yeast

    i use old champange bottles colleted from a very large hotel in the centre of birmingham, one christmas party will supply 100 bottles easy or a birthday or weddings are cool to

    so when we pour the wine in to the clean bottles we also add to is some more sugar, i add approx 2 tea spoons per bottle and fill up with the wine, because we have not killed the yeast i dont add any more. i use metal 29mm beer caps on my bottles( beer caps are normaly 27mm) then the bottles are stood the right way up in a wooden box for two months, its wood incase we have a couple of bangers

    after two months the bottle are turned up side down to make the yeast fall to the neck, a couple of times a day the boxs are shaken or the bottles turn slightly, when the wine in the bottle has become clear its time to remove the sediment

    i do this with a chest freezer, the neck will freeze before the whole bottle does, i would normaly have two in there and change one every time you throw one out, it normaly takes 15 mins max to do that ,

    then lift it out and put another one in and go to the kitchen sink have at hand a narrow handled tea spoon and a beer cap opener and some plastic stoppers and wire cages.

    keeping the bottle neck down all the time crack the metal stopper off you will need to be quick here with the old fingers to make sure loses are kept to a minium. if you are lucky the slug will come out and then quickly invert the bottle right way up and ram the plastic cap in and get the wire cage on quick, the cold holds the co2 in suspention, its why the french dont like to drink cold champange as it kills the bubbles. with the new cap in place we are good to go. if you get a sticky one you will have to use the teaspood to dig the yeast slug out. if i loose any liquid we like to top up useing brandy as it helps to produce a better champange
     
  17. May 8, 2011 #17

    anthonyUK

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    I like your style Hedgerow Pete. You really aren't living up to your forum name judging by the quality of your 'Champagne style' production methods :thumb:
     
  18. May 8, 2011 #18

    hedgerow pete

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    the nick name came from my wife. when we first meet and started to go walking out, we always ended up near a hedgerow with me in the middle of it collecting fruit and such like to make into wine and food.

    there is very little i have not tried to ferment some times good and bad.

    the thing is daft as it sounds i dont bother making wines from grapes as its to expensive for me where as 20 gallons of elderberries or 40 gallon of apples is free.

    my old and first wine circle used to have a hand out for all the new brewers that used to list farmers orchards we could pick for free and little old ladies with there late husbands fruit trees that for a little tlc we could have most of the fruit of it. they were a great bunch to learn from. the one year when they were harvesting grains one of the blokes came in with an order book and you could order as much grain and in differant sorts for next to nothing, i think we were paying 50 pence per kilo for brewers barly straight from the combine harvester of the farm it was such a good networking club that had so much going for it.

    if you turned up with say nettle tops you could walk out with 10 differant recipes

    i dont try to emulate a grape wine as such but try to describe the ones i make as comparisment

    to me a rhubarb wine should taste like a rhubarb wine rather than it trying to be an exact copy of some thing else

    as for the shampoo, i did try onve to match a proper pressure but blew the used bottles to pieces so now i do 3/4 pressures in stead.
     
  19. May 31, 2011 #19

    metalmickey

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    can you cheat and use one of these...

    linky
     
  20. Jun 16, 2011 #20

    ianbray

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    i am currently making 2GAL of elderflower sparkling wine.... bought 2x 50g packs of dried elder flowers off e-bay as i am far too lazy to pick them :ugeek: add the zest and juice of 1 lemon and orange and 1 50g pack of flowers per gal... and half a cup of strong cold tea. 6pints of boiling water over the lot per GAL and once cooled, cover and leave for 4 days (stirring daily).. strain, filter and bring the juice to boil, in the mean time add to the bucket 3lb of sugar per GAL and pour boiling juice over to dissolve... once cooled, add 1 crushed campden tablet per GAL and stir in. 24hrs later add yeast... i am using 1g of "champagne yeast" per GAL.. mix daily and after 6 days place into DJ with airlock and ferment until near death of yeast... then pass through filter cloth and bottle in charged and correct bottles... and as above, use hollowed centre plastic corks and wire cages and freeze neck to remove yeast from cap...

    all but the bottles can be easily and cheaply bought on e-bay... i am currently at the fermentation in bucket stage... if all goes well i will make a further 10GAL and use over the festive periods :drink:

    good to drink after 6months but improves with age... tasted a 15year bottle... like nectar! DELICIOUS!!!

    ***further updates will be posted :cheers: ***
     

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