Wilkinson's Elderflower wine (6 bottle) Review

Discussion in 'Member Reviews - Wine & Cider Kits.' started by SloeBrewer, Dec 21, 2012.

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  1. Dec 21, 2012 #1

    SloeBrewer

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    This was my first ever attempt at making wine and I found it pretty simple. The kit comes in a single can, with a plastic lid, inside of which is a cardboard doughnut, underneath which are the instructions and the various packets which you need to add to the wine.

    The can contains 900g of 44% Italian grape juice concentrate, so you need to add 450g of sugar and water. The instructions recommend brewing sugar, so this is what I used. The kit comes with yeast and nutrient and it recommends keeping the DJ at 20-25 C. This took off like a rocket, which is probably why the instructions tell you to only fill halfway. After three days, you top up to 4.5 litres.

    It took about 10 days for fermentation to stop, after which you chuck in the supplied Elderflowers and give it a gentle shake to try and mix them up. I found that they were determined to sit on top of the wine, so kept giving the DJ a good shake every time I went past, being careful not to introduce any oxygen. After 24 hours you add the wine stabiliser and finings and de-gas for the next 24 hours.

    The instructions say to leave to clear for 10 days and bottle straight from the DJ, but I decided to rack to a clean DJ, top up (about 500ml) and then allow to clear. Before topping up the wine was incredibly sharp and I was worried that it wouldn't be drinkable. However, after 2 weeks maturing in the DJ, I gave it a quick sample and decided it was drinkable, so bottled it.

    I managed to get almost 6 bottles out in the end, although I may have added a bit too much water at the topping up stage, as my wife reckons it's got no alcohol in it :lol:

    I didn't take SG and FG readings, so no idea what the ABV is, it's supposed to be around 12%, but reckon mine's more like 9%. However, this has turned out to be a very nice, dry and acidic wine, with a pleasant Elderflower bouquet. In fact, the wife likes it so much, she's badgering me to put another one on straight away and has decided to give away half the bottles as Christmas presents (just as well I've got plenty of beer to drink!).

    Considering the kit only cost 8 and you can probably get 5 1/2 bottles out of it without too much trouble, this is actually rather good value. It would probably benefit from maturing for a few months, but patience is somewhat lacking in this household!
     
  2. Dec 21, 2012 #2

    Abiruth

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    Thanks for this. I've had the same kit sitting on the shelf for a while but keep putting it off, worried it would be a bit "sharpe". I might have to crack on with it now.

    :drink:
     
  3. Dec 21, 2012 #3

    SloeBrewer

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    I think if you do it properly, without topping up, it will be pretty sharp - when I racked it, it was like drinking lemon juice! However, let it mature and maybe back-sweeten before bottling and it should be ok.
     
  4. Apr 21, 2013 #4

    chojo

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    I bottled this kit a week ago and at the time thought it was quite drinkable, tried it again last night and thoroughly enjoyed it in fact i finished the whole bottle before i knew it! Having a drop of the elderberry kit tonight and so far so good.
     
  5. Apr 21, 2013 #5

    bobsbeer

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    Instead of a kit wine make an easy wine with 1 WGJ, 1 Apple juice and add dried elderflowers. You can get dried elderflowers from HB shops.
     
  6. Jul 13, 2013 #6

    MandiNKel

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    I bought this kit in wilko sale don't normally do kits so this was my first along with the wilko black cherry.
    On bottling got a gob full like you do and was pleasantly surprised was very nice indeed, unlike the black cherry which is not that cracking.
     
  7. Aug 11, 2013 #7

    Captain Stable

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    This was the first kit I did too, and I bottled it the other day.
    Didn't do a SG reading because at the time I didn't have a trial jar.

    The instructions say to set it going and top up after 3 days, which I did (it was then I took the reading which I've recorded as 1.02 and I suspect is wrong, because I was still getting confused with the lines on the Hydrometer.)
    I checked it after a further 7 days (so 10 days into the process) and it was 0.992 (I was more confident with the readings now, having read up on how to read it). Two days later it was still 0.992, and I (based on advice from the WOW thread) decided to leave it a further four more days (so 16 days in total) to let the yeasties live.
    I added the flavouring, shook it around a bit, and left it a further 2 days before adding the stabilizer and finings.
    It cleared very fast, so i racked it a few days later into a new DJ and left it a little longer before bottling
    Now, we like sweet wine, so I added quite a lot of dissolved sugar in. The last readng I took, it was at 1.014 which wifey says it fine for her.
    Managed to get 5 and a half bottles from it. The 1/2 bottle did have a few dregs and stuff in it - which I expected, so we drank that one last night.

    I tried my corker for the first ever time on the 5 bottles. The first was a total disaster! The cork got driven too far in and now lives in the bottom of the neck! Too far for my corkscrew to reach it!
    The others, I was a little more careful with and only drove the pin in so far.

    Wife had a friend around today and they cracked one of the bottles open. Friend now loves it and wants some, so I think I'll take the advice further up and use WGJ and Apple juice to make a 30 bottle batch...
     
  8. Aug 11, 2013 #8

    Captain Stable

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    Oh, and Bobsbeer, if I was going to increase the quantities to make a 30 bottle brew, I know I'd need 5l WGJ and 5l Apple juice - How much dried elderflowers would you recommend?

    I've seen once recipe that recommends about 15g for a 1 gallon, and another that suggests 50g for 1 gallon... Bit of a difference really. Or does it depend on the "strength" of the dried elderflower?
     
  9. Jan 6, 2014 #9

    Welsh_Wizard

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    I started this kit on Friday and I am a bit worried I've been sold a dud - the bubbles are a very sedate one or two maybe every 2 mins or so.

    It started off in the kitchen which is about 16-18 degrees constant and when it wasn't going off like a rocket by Sunday, I put it in the airing cupboard which is closer to 25 degrees.

    Still the same, very sedate.

    Hmmmmmm.... :doh:
     
  10. Jan 7, 2014 #10

    wino2012

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    It may just be that you fermenter is not air tight? Is it bubbling at all?
     
  11. Jan 8, 2014 #11

    Welsh_Wizard

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    Yeah its bubbling, but maybe every 30 seconds or so.

    I just tested the kit now and the current reading is 1.078. Its obviously doing something because the SG was literally off the scale and my hydro wouldn't record a gravity that high. That in itself I thought a bit weird too...

    I've just added 1litre of water in order to start the top up stage of the kit. I'll obviously keep it fermenting off the lees to try and get it down to sub 1.000 but i am thinking this is going to take many weeks !!
     
  12. Aug 17, 2014 #12

    penguinarmy

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    Ive just re-racked my batch after a week of clearing just to get rid of the elder flowers and build up from the DJ. on tasting it was very sharp with the gravity showing its very dry i added 350ml of WGJ and got the mrs to try and and she was impressed. im going to leave it to clear for another few days before bottling.

    For a cheap wine kit im impressed.
     
  13. Oct 14, 2014 #13

    Joeyriles

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    I have nearly finished this (racked into a fresh demi john and it has almost totally cleared.)

    Think I might need to rack it once more to get the majority of it off of the gunk at the bottom. I'm impressed with the flavour, though. Not too sharp and not too sweet.
     
  14. Feb 16, 2015 #14

    jamesw

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    Got this kit in the demijohn now, finally stopped bubbling after 2.5 weeks @18-20 celcius.
    Will bottle and let you know how it goes, im guessing it will improve with age.
     
  15. Sep 21, 2015 #15

    hafod

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    Hi all
    Just bought Elderflower 6 bottle Elderberry Winemaking Kit (Wilco sale!). I will be making this alongside my plum wine recipe courtesy the 'homebrewforum'. My question relates to the kit instructions which requires '450g of brewing sugar'. Can I use normal granulated sugar as a substitute? Many thanks in anticipation.
     
  16. Sep 22, 2015 #16

    Chippy_Tea

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    Yes, I use table sugar in all my wine.
     
  17. Oct 30, 2015 #17

    murphysmum

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    I too have one of the elderflower kits sitting on the shelf, that I really must start over the weekend. Quickie question first though! If I wanted to make Elderflower Champagne out of it, should I use Champagne yeast instead of the one provided and add sugar at the bottling stage? Thanks
     
  18. Jun 12, 2019 #18

    Wynott

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    Finally reached the stage where I can bottle this kit wine, started on 11th April....admittedly, not at 20-25deg as advised on the tin. Had to add finings twice (probably my fault), but it is now very clear. Flavour is quite strong, and although drinkable now, expect it to mature further in bottles. I would buy again, but ensure a warmer start for it (now I have a heating pad). Also considering using fresh elderflowers, if we actually get some sun while they are blooming!
     
  19. Jun 12, 2019 #19

    Wynott

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    ..error....started on March 19th! so a v slow ferment
     

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