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Old 07-04-2010, 10:52 PM   #1
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Default Elderflower champagne dry and bitter?

Made a batch of Elderflower champagne using the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe.

Trouble is, after a week in the bottles its taste is very dry and bitter, with next to no sweetness, but smells stunning.

Its still producing A LOT of gas, and im having to vent the screw top bottles twice a day!

Is there any way to resolve the sweetness issue?

Makes about 6 litres

* 4 litres hot water
* 700g sugar
* Juice and zest of four lemons
* 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
* About 15 elderflower heads, in full bloom
* A pinch of dried yeast (you may not need this)

1. Put the hot water and sugar into a large container (a spotlessly clean bucket is good) and stir until the sugar dissolves, then top up with cold water so you have 6 litres of liquid in total.

2. Add the lemon juice and zest, the vinegar and the flower heads and stir gently.

3. Cover with clean muslin and leave to ferment in a cool, airy place for a couple of days. Take a look at the brew at this point, and if it’s not becoming a little foamy and obviously beginning to ferment, add a pinch of yeast.

4. Leave the mixture to ferment, again covered with muslin, for a further four days. Strain the liquid through a sieve lined with muslin and decant into sterilised strong glass bottles with champagne stoppers (available from home-brewing suppliers) or Grolsch-style stoppers, or sterilized screw-top plastic bottles (a good deal of pressure can build up inside as the fermenting brew produces carbon dioxide, so strong bottles and seals are essential).

5. Seal and leave to ferment in the bottles for at least a week before serving, chilled. The champagne should keep in the bottles for several months. Store in a cool, dry place.

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Old 07-10-2010, 02:47 AM   #2
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My guess is you bottled it too early. It's going to remain dry but it will get better. Give it a few months.
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