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Elderflower Champagne not sparkling - OK to use carbonation drops?

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FlatFenBrew

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I made some elderflower champagne and primed the bottles 6 weeks ago.
Opened a bottle yesterday and hardly any fizz. I was thinking of opening them up and adding carbonation drops.
Is this a sensible solution please?
 

An Ankoù

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Yes and no. I add a teaspoon of sugar ie 4 g to a 75 cl bottle and it carbs up just nicely. Perhaps you might wait a few weeks longer to see if they get fizzier and, if not, put another half teaspoon of sugar in each. The "no" bit was about wasting your well-earned on carbonation drops. They're nothing other than sugar, they don't carbonate any better than table sugar, but cost many times the price.
 

Richard.

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I made some elderflower champagne and primed the bottles 6 weeks ago.
Opened a bottle yesterday and hardly any fizz. I was thinking of opening them up and adding carbonation drops.
Is this a sensible solution please?
Hi FlatFen,

Gosh do I need a bit more info on your method to get to a priming stage. Can you give your full recipe? To directly answer your question "carbonation drops" are a standard dose of sugar - nothing more or less, so probably won't make any difference.

A recipe I approximately followed this year "How to make elderflower wine" I published at Elderflower and prosecco | What is elderflower? | Renegade blog

Just opened a bottle (200ml crown capped and riddled the yeast into the cap) - plenty of fizz, clear and pale straw colour, great flavour. I did a quick SG - 0.997 or there abouts, but tasted sweeter! Beautiful. Very reminiscent to the wine on the fore mentioned website.
 

Mr_S_Jerusalem

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Hi FlatFen,

Gosh do I need a bit more info on your method to get to a priming stage. Can you give your full recipe? To directly answer your question "carbonation drops" are a standard dose of sugar - nothing more or less, so probably won't make any difference.

A recipe I approximately followed this year "How to make elderflower wine" I published at Elderflower and prosecco | What is elderflower? | Renegade blog

Just opened a bottle (200ml crown capped and riddled the yeast into the cap) - plenty of fizz, clear and pale straw colour, great flavour. I did a quick SG - 0.997 or there abouts, but tasted sweeter! Beautiful. Very reminiscent to the wine on the fore mentioned website.
Please excuse my ignorance, but what does ‘riddled’ mean?
 

parpot

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I made some elderflower champagne and primed the bottles 6 weeks ago.
Opened a bottle yesterday and hardly any fizz. I was thinking of opening them up and adding carbonation drops.
Is this a sensible solution please?
I seem to have the same problem this year, very little fizz although I used the same recipe for the last three years with no problem. I have opened the screw top bottles, drop in a tea spoon of brewing sugar and resealed and given the bottle a really good shake. I did try ordinary sugar but the liquid immediately frothed up beyond control, where Brewing Sugar gave me enough time to get the bottles resealed. I then placed the bottles back in my brewing fridge at around 25 degrees for three days all clear and carb up really well. Hope this helps?
 

Richard.

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Hi Mr S,

Riddling is settling sediment to the bottom. With "in-bottle fermentation" you usually ferment them in the bottle on their sides. The dead yeast falls to the bottom side of the glass. Then you up-end them on their "points" with the bottle top down and change the angle frequently to stop the sediment collecting on the shoulders.

When all the sediment is in the cap you can then "disgorge" to let out the sediment and only a bit of the bubbles.
 

Mr_S_Jerusalem

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Hi Mr S,

Riddling is settling sediment to the bottom. With "in-bottle fermentation" you usually ferment them in the bottle on their sides. The dead yeast falls to the bottom side of the glass. Then you up-end them on their "points" with the bottle top down and change the angle frequently to stop the sediment collecting on the shoulders.

When all the sediment is in the cap you can then "disgorge" to let out the sediment and only a bit of the bubbles.
How do you stop the rest of the liquid coming out when you open the cap if the bottle is upside down?
 

Richard.

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I seem to have the same problem this year, very little fizz although I used the same recipe for the last three years with no problem. I have opened the screw top bottles, drop in a tea spoon of brewing sugar and resealed and given the bottle a really good shake. I did try ordinary sugar but the liquid immediately frothed up beyond control, where Brewing Sugar gave me enough time to get the bottles resealed. I then placed the bottles back in my brewing fridge at around 25 degrees for three days all clear and carb up really well. Hope this helps?
Hi Parpot,

Adding sugar this way assumes - the yeast is happy - with the amount of alcohol, the pressure, the amount of nutrition, the amount of oxygen it got along the way. Also, that the yeast hasn't died or gone into hibernation at the end of the primary fermentation.

Can you tell me more about your method - compared with the one on the Renegade and Longton web site as above.
 

Richard.

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How do you stop the rest of the liquid coming out when you open the cap if the bottle is upside down?
Two options.

1) simply quickly turn it back the right way up and flick off the cap as the gas bubble gets to the top and before the yeast has a chance to move much.

2) - more commonly - freeze the neck, then turn up the right way and flick off the cap. the ice lump and the yeast come out cleanly (more or less).

So either way - turn it up the right way first!
 

parpot

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Hi Parpot,

Adding sugar this way assumes - the yeast is happy - with the amount of alcohol, the pressure, the amount of nutrition, the amount of oxygen it got along the way. Also, that the yeast hasn't died or gone into hibernation at the end of the primary fermentation.

Can you tell me more about your method - compared with the one on the Renegade and Longton web site as above.
Yes its as I stated. Within three days the bottles are clear and the plastic bottles re-carbed. So I guess the shaking wakes up the yeast and it carries on working, I can only say what has happed to me!
 
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