Elderflower Champagne First Timer

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Horners

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Morning All

Normally brew beer but blessed with all of the equipment and my spouse's enthusiasm to try something with elderflowers embarked on 12L of elderflower champagne about 8 days ago. Its fermenting at about 20C in one of my s/s FVs.

Plan to take a gravity reading later but my question is once it is completely fermented out what are the next steps? The end game is to prime with carbonation drops in 660ml swing-top bottles.

It clearly needs filtering - is it best to do that into a second FV and then leave to settle out?

What about oxygen - do I have to be as careful about splashing as I would with ale?

Will a cold crash bring anything to the party?

What about fining with gelatine?

Any thoughts gratefully received.
 

Shirley Bassett

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My brewing system isnt anywhere near as complex as yours, but it gets decent results from a simple set up.

I ferment 15 litres of EC in a plastic 25 litre FV. When the gravity gets to 1030 I pour the entire contents from one vessel to another.

The second vessel has a piece of Starsan soaked muslin cloth loosely clipped inside by clothes pegs. This acts as a filter to remove the elderflower debris. Don’t stretch the muslin tight across the vessel, as the poured liquid will bounce off and go everywhere.

I then put the vessel lid on and continue fermentation to dry.

I then leave it to settle out, and then siphon to another vessel and batch prime at 15g/litre. I bottle it in 500ml or 1 litre plastic mixer bottles. I wouldn’t put it in glass bottles at that level of priming.
 

Horners

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My brewing system isnt anywhere near as complex as yours, but it gets decent results from a simple set up.

I ferment 15 litres of EC in a plastic 25 litre FV. When the gravity gets to 1030 I pour the entire contents from one vessel to another.

The second vessel has a piece of Starsan soaked muslin cloth loosely clipped inside by clothes pegs. This acts as a filter to remove the elderflower debris. Don’t stretch the muslin tight across the vessel, as the poured liquid will bounce off and go everywhere.

I then put the vessel lid on and continue fermentation to dry.

I then leave it to settle out, and then siphon to another vessel and batch prime at 15g/litre. I bottle it in 500ml or 1 litre plastic mixer bottles. I wouldn’t put it in glass bottles at that level of priming.
Thanks as luck would have it, its at 1.030 (albeit slightly surprised its not further along) so I'll get it transferred into a fresh FV
 

shweeney

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another EC first timer here, again I more normally do beer or cider.

Mines been in the bucket for 12 days, I filtered out the flowers on Sunday. But I'm surprised at how slowly it's moving, it's only at 1.040 now - using the same yeast I fermented out a 10% imperial stout in 2 weeks. For the first few days the EC was fizzing quite loudly, but it seems to have nearly stalled despite pitching more yeast a couple of days ago. How long should it take, do I need to stir it regularly (something you would generally try to avoid with beer)?
 

Horners

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another EC first timer here, again I more normally do beer or cider.

Mines been in the bucket for 12 days, I filtered out the flowers on Sunday. But I'm surprised at how slowly it's moving, it's only at 1.040 now - using the same yeast I fermented out a 10% imperial stout in 2 weeks. For the first few days the EC was fizzing quite loudly, but it seems to have nearly stalled despite pitching more yeast a couple of days ago. How long should it take, do I need to stir it regularly (something you would generally try to avoid with beer)?
Mine has been a very similar experience - I filtered and pitched a second sachet and turned heat up.

Mine is quite fizzy straight out of FV and I now think that I was getting false readings due to bubbles sticking to hydrometer - I have left a sample in the trial jar and now its calmed down the gravity reading much lower albeit still a way to go - I'm on day 11 now and I thought that it just basically being a sugar syrup it would plough through it but then Ive only ever done beer....


Worth taking another reading and making sure all the bubbles knocked off the bottom.
 

MARKF3625

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Hi,
I've made some elderflower champagne this year, put it in prosecco bottles and added carbination drops, once it had settled I popped the crown cap off one bottle jyst see how things are progressing , even chilled it the night before ready for Disgorging , christ it was lively, lost about a glass as it kept foaming over.

Anyways, I've left it for a couple more weeks, now when Disgorging, getting a nice pop, frozen yeast plug shoots out, I just clean it up, top up wine with the fermented out elderflower wine I had left over and plastic cork it with a cage, now have nice clear bubbly.
It have done a taste test, it has I high alcohol content ( can tell you exactly as I forgot to take a reading once I added the sugar, but it's got a kick), only down side the flavour is not as strong as I was expecting, used 50g of dried to 10 litres, but its OK for first attempt.

So in conclusion, use proper prosecco/champagne bottles, with either 29mm crown caps or plastic cork and cages, I maybe double up on the dried elderflower in future, I recommend carbination drops, and home Disgorging is really easy using crushed ice and a jug, give it a go.

Cheers
Mark
 

Horners

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Hi,
I've made some elderflower champagne this year, put it in prosecco bottles and added carbination drops, once it had settled I popped the crown cap off one bottle jyst see how things are progressing , even chilled it the night before ready for Disgorging , christ it was lively, lost about a glass as it kept foaming over.

Anyways, I've left it for a couple more weeks, now when Disgorging, getting a nice pop, frozen yeast plug shoots out, I just clean it up, top up wine with the fermented out elderflower wine I had left over and plastic cork it with a cage, now have nice clear bubbly.
It have done a taste test, it has I high alcohol content ( can tell you exactly as I forgot to take a reading once I added the sugar, but it's got a kick), only down side the flavour is not as strong as I was expecting, used 50g of dried to 10 litres, but its OK for first attempt.

So in conclusion, use proper prosecco/champagne bottles, with either 29mm crown caps or plastic cork and cages, I maybe double up on the dried elderflower in future, I recommend carbination drops, and home Disgorging is really easy using crushed ice and a jug, give it a go.

Cheers
Mark

Been putting off bottling mine as its just so bloody hot in the brewcave. Has been in cold crash for nearly a week now. I'm hopeful it fermented out - got down to 996. Going to use two coopers carbonation drops (purely as I have them and they are not going to get used) in 660ml brown swing top lager bottles. Having weighed the carbonation drops (not very consistent BTW which seems to partly defeat the object) I reckon should give me a max of 4 volumes of CO2. Bottles seem pretty thick.
 

MARKF3625

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Could always vary the amount, I put 1 drop in 5 of the bottles and 1½ in the other 3, they all seem to have enough fizz, also topped off with the still wine to try prevent too much fizz loss, I even put an extra drop in one bottle after Disgorging, just to see if will sweeten up any.
 

johncrobinson

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I USED TO have access to loads of empty champagne bottles,With emphasis on the past tense.

You really do need bottles like this to go into the carbonation side of winemaking.

Champers bottles can withstand upwards of 100psi,PROVIDED they are NOT scratched or damaged in any way.

I used to "sparkle " white wine kits.I am still amazed at just how close I could come to the "real" thing.
My friends used to love it.
 

MARKF3625

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Lol, bet they was soon after, I've no idea what to try next, I've had thoughts of doing either parma violet champagne (tried parma violet gin once, and must admit it went down a treat, usually a beer or lager drinker but must say I'm impressed by some of the flavoured gins, always with lemonade though) , or maybe a crushed mint and lime(like the Robinsons cordial) , there's not much if any information on the Web about either, so if do it will a case of winging it and see how it turns out, must remember to takes notes this time
 

MARKF3625

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Well, I gave a bottle to a work buddy to try, and very positive feedback, nice and dry plenty of bubbles, I might try sweetening the next lot a bit for my taste , but it seems you can really go wrong, I used lalvin ec1118 yeast and just let it ferment out in the bottle, might consider a different yeast so it leaves it sweeter and not so much alcohol content.
Good luck
oops posted twice
 

MARKF3625

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Well, I gave a bottle to a work buddy to try, and very positive feedback, nice and dry plenty of bubbles, I might try sweetening the next lot a bit for my taste , but it seems you can really go wrong, I used lalvin ec1118 yeast and just let it ferment out in the bottle, might consider a different yeast so it leaves it sweeter and not so much alcohol content.
Good luck
 
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