Follow up to the previous recent post about champagne brewing experiment.
I’ve started to get quite into this:
– First 6 litres of elderflower champagne needed a little help from some ‘super wine yeast’ to start bubbling and then was transferred into bottles a few days ago (it had been jus over a week). It created 7 litres worth which was a bit wierd but I think I must have mis measured! There was a little spare too and I tried it straight away and then after about an hour in the freezer to cool it. Very nice, very sugary though. Slight bubble feeling but not much. Pretty much like traditional lemonade/elderflower type drink. We followed common blog advice and used plastic screw top fizzy drink bottles – if they explode then at least you don’t have shattered glass to deal wiht and they should bulge before exploding anyway… They have been placed in the wine cellar (a dark dank unused cellar under the house…)
– Second small batch (just cos I had an elderflower mini tree in the garden plus a spare 2 litre pimms jug…) … has been cooking away and now bottled last night. This had a better less sugary taste and maybe a little more sparkle and slight sense of wine-ness about it.
– By the time that had gone on I was getting v excited about it all, so bought some cheap buckets and started a double batch of elderflower champagne (thinking that 7l+2l won’t go that far if it turns out to be nice – and ultimatley it’d be nice to have a load for the wedding and elderflowers will start to die now….) This is now bubbling nicely too and expected to be bottled at the weekend.
– AND I wanted to get some nettle beer tried out – so this was started on sunday night. IT was a TOTAL FAFF! The young nettle heads I picked seemed to pretty much all have some kind of aphid bugs firmly attached to them so I had to wash each leave scraping it with a toothbrush. I’m not good at boring menial monotomous tasks… Then we had to boil up 12l of water (which was q a lot of pans/kettles) and infuse the nettles for an hour (very smelly). Then find a way of straining and then heating it back up (we could only manage an 8l preserving pan as the largest capacity heatable container!!!) to mix the sugar etc. Anyway, that has now been brewing nicely and is due to now be bottled as it can be ready to drink in just a week.. Will try one this Sunday/Monday but aiming for this batch to be for Birthday and/or Wedding.
– AND wanted to get started or otherwise at least be prepared for LAGER for the wedding – so bought a kit (German style lager from Wilko’s £9.99 – typical 4.5% abv) and am aiming for this to kick off as soon as the nettle beer has vacated the brewing tub. This takes about a week in the warm before you have to transfer to a barrel (which I have) or bottles and keep cool (celler ideal then) to make the crisp lager flavour….
So to top off the excitement, I bought a cool bottle-cap attaching device today. Will be extra handy for those times when you start a beer but leave some (EG the large cobra bottles) and you always want to re-seal ideally…. Like it.
More Pictures to follow soon.