Elderflower Ale Suggestions?

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Edison

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Sounds interesting, not brewed this style but would be interested how it comes out. There’s not may elderberry beer recipes out there, one other suggestion I’ve seen is elderberry saison, not brewed that either. From what I hear, elderberries need to be cooked before eating to remove toxins and the skins have lots of tannins in them!
 

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Keg finally kicked the weekend, was a lovely beer and ended up really very clear. I may increase the elderflowers by 50% and add a little more light crystal next time, but don't want to brew a bath bomb! Elderflowers were definitely present but not in the same way as the sweet perfume from the fresh flower. Maybe I'll try to dry hop half the batch with flowers soaked overnight in a Campden solution.
Will definitely re-brew this recipe next year and try to save (co2 purge, vac pack and freeze) some flowers for a second batch. They appear and then fade so quickly.
 

MagnusTS

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Maybe I'll try to dry hop half the batch with flowers soaked overnight in a Campden solution.
I think I did similar you. Last year's elderflower ale was a little too subtle, so this year I made an elderflower tea to add the the FV about a week into fermentation. I just poured boiling water over a muslin bag of fresh elderflowers, mixed it up, waited for it to cool, and dumped it bag and all in the FV. Worked really well. Maybe too well. Definitely not subtle this year!
 

Edison

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What quantities did you go for this year? I used 50g (most stems removed) in the last 5 mins of the boil. I could definitely taste them quite clearly, but weren’t necessarily obvious as elderflower as they lacked to bright, sweet fragrance of the flower. It was more of a light herbal, almost powdery taste/aroma.
I noticed a huge difference in my latest raspberry beer from my first attempt many years ago where I did a low temperature pasteurise compared to this version‘s overnight campden treatment with no cooking. I was wondering how this would translate to elderflower...?
 

MagnusTS

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What quantities did you go for this year? I used 50g (most stems removed) in the last 5 mins of the boil. I could definitely taste them quite clearly, but weren’t necessarily obvious as elderflower as they lacked to bright, sweet fragrance of the flower. It was more of a light herbal, almost powdery taste/aroma.
I noticed a huge difference in my latest raspberry beer from my first attempt many years ago where I did a low temperature pasteurise compared to this version‘s overnight campden treatment with no cooking. I was wondering how this would translate to elderflower...?
I did and 8L brew, and I used 25g dried elderflower left over from last year for the last 15mins of the boil. Then to make the elderflower tea I used about 10-12 fresh elderflower heads stripped the flowers from the stalks and got about 1/3L of fresh flowers.

Photo attached. I didn't actually measure volume of flowers, just stopped when I got fed up of stripping, and it looked like a decent amount.

IMG_5298.jpg


I must have picked about 15 flower heads, and sniffed them before stripping them. Some were nice and fragrant, others more grassy and not as elderflower - probably not quite ripe - so I discarded the grassy smelling ones. I got totally bored of stripping flowers from stalks. Don't think I could be bothered doing more than 1/3L. Anyway, it turned out very nice and fragrant in the beer.

Interesting about your raspberry beer. I'm doing a raspberry hefeweizen next. Do you mean the overnight campden gives better flavour? What's your method? Do you mush the raspberries up? Sieve them into the FV, or dump everything in?
 

Edison

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Not tasted the final results yet, but there was plenty of fresh raspberry flavour that was missing first time around.
 

thehorse

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Have any of you elderflower enthusiasts considered priming with an elderflower cordial to boost the flavour? I’ve got some but am unsure how much to use. It says it’s 4.6g of sugar when diluted 1 to 10 with water.
 

Edison

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No, not tried it myself. I’m guessing it’s a safe bet though. The extra sugar will get fermented out, but you could try adding small measured amounts to a trial sample and scale it up when you’re happy. Or you could use neat cordial to prime the bottles as long as there’s no preservatives in it which could kill the yeast.
 

Wynne

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I have tried batch priming with IKEA elderflower cordial a couple of times. It didn’t really taste of elderflower as the sugar content of the cordial required for priming means the elderflower flavour was greatly diluted by the volume of beer. To be worthwhile I think the cordial would need to be added in sufficient quantity at the end of the boil to produce a batch quantity of diluted cordial. If I try it again, I’ll split the batch into two fermenters and add cordial to one using the other as a control.
 

MagnusTS

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Was wondering about using some of this for elderflower flavour without all the hassle of stripping flowers from stalks. It got good reviews. Anybody tried Uncle Roy's ?

Screen Shot 2020-07-24 at 13.12.49.png
 

clyne

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Had the first glass of the elderflower ale recipe which @Edison shared previously. Only difference was I upped the elderflower to about 100-120g as wanted something quite flowery. It is an absolute belter!! The smell is floral and you can tell straight away it’s elderflower but it’s there on the palate too, but not too much either. The head on it is amazing too - lovely tight creamy head. My wife said it reminded her of caffreys (one of our all time favourite drinks when we used to be pubbing in the 90’s - never seem to see it for sale any more). Anyway - would highly recommend the recipe and I’ll be brewing this one again next year for sure!!
 

Edison

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Glad it worked out well for you. I’ll definitely be brewing this again next year, think I’ll try upping the elderflower a bit too. Cheers!
 

proost

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The elderflower tempted to do more than just champagne this year. I’m following an early 70s book by CJJ Berry for elderflower ale. using a safele US05 I bought last year. Against my expectations I have to say it is ferenting well, smells wonderful and should finish off at just a smidgeon over 5%abv. Always willing to try something new.
It bit late, but how did it turn out?
 

Dearnley

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I know it might be a bit early but I’ve been considering whether to make a beer with elderflower as well - wondered how these turned out?
Not entirely successful, but not a complete failure. It tasted like alcoholic elderflower infused sparkling water and was completely clear - not my cup of tea, but refreshing. My youngest son declared it to be deceptive in that it didn't taste alcoholic at all, but was around 6% abv.
 

An Ankoù

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Hadn't seen this thread before.
I've made elderberry beer with great success. I'm not an advocate of freshly picked flowers as the flavour can varyt from tree to tree and from place to place. I prefer to buy the dried flowers, which are consistent. Cordial, too, contains too little flavour.
My base beer is my bog standard summer lightning, but instead of dry hopping, I chuck a packet (100g) of elderflowers in and leave it for another week before bottling. I think I'd contain them in a very large hop bag this time. The last time I made it, it was a five gallon back so it would have been before decimalisation..
 

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