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Old 06-15-2011, 08:03 PM   #1
frydogbrews
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ok, so i looked through the site and only found one reference to making mead with elderberry flowers, and he didn't have many replies.
i have a big batch of elderberries in my back property and while i will let most of them fruit out (to make the berries into beer and cider and mead!) i would like to clip some of the flowers and make a mead with them.
has anyone done this?
would i just steep them in hot water for 30 minutes to extract the fragrance then add this to the secondary once fermentation is complete?
i have one batch of mead i was thinking about bottling soon, could i just plop this elderberry water into that, let it sit a few weeks, then bottle?
any help is much appreciated.

 
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:31 PM   #2
calicojack
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i can't speak to the actual flowers, but i did a batch using dried elderberries; i added them directly to the mixture. at the time i didn't have any brew bags or buckets, so i put them in the gallon carboy i was using. let it sit for almost 5 months before i racked to the secondary where it sat for almost 3 more months. it had a very distinct flavor.... which was like by all my "test dummies"

 
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:07 PM   #3
2ndGenBrewer
 
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That post you saw probabaly was mine... LOL. Since then I went ahead and brewed a methegyn using elderflower. It taste great, but it is hard to describe it... it taste like elderflower. One thing I was able to gleen online was to be careful how much you use. I used 1 oz dried flowers for a 1 gallon batch and that made a strong batch. Otherwise, yea you just need to steep it in hot water like tea and then discard the flowers after wards. I put the tea in primary, and Saaz hops in secondary. The Sazz came through light and the elderflower is the primary flavor.

Hope this helps a bit.

 
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:33 AM   #4
calicojack
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i used 4ozs in a gallon. the flavor was very strong. Would i be wrong that 20oz in a 5 gallon batch would be an adequate amount?

 
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:55 AM   #5
2ndGenBrewer
 
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It sounds like you are using fresh flowers so 20 oz. should work well for you. The only issue I ran into is some people don't like the taste so a very strong flavored mead might turn other off. Of course if your drinking it and like the taste... who cares? lol.

Good luck with it. You'll have to let us know how it goes.

 
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:46 PM   #6
frydogbrews
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yeah, i will be using fresh flowers. thanks for the input everybody.

when i steep the flowers, do you think i'll get any significant amount of fermentable sugars? i didn't figure i would get hardly any, just trying to think about how long i should let it sit in the secondary before bottling because it's been sitting there now for 4 months or so and this is a 8.5% batch, so it's ready to bottle.

i'll get back with you in a few months for an update on the flavor.

 
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:24 PM   #7
MedsenFey
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When I make floral batches, I don't usually steep in water. Usually I will take the flowers and put them in a nylon bag and let them sit in the mead itself (in secondary). The alcohol is excellent for extracting the aromas/flavors. I find the important thing is to not keep them in so long that the vegetal and bitter character takes over. For me leaving them in a couple of days is usually enough. If I want more elderflower character, I just add some more for another couple of days until I get it where I like it. This way there is not dilution.

The flowers don't really add any significant amount of sugar.

Medsen

 
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Old 06-16-2011, 02:18 PM   #8
dinnerstick
 
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hi i have never made a mead but am currently making an elderflower wine, and have made elderflower cordials and syrups etc. for the wine i forked the flowers (ahem) off the stems, tossed with some sugar and let sit a few hours, the sugar drew out a fair bit of liquid and the whole thing smelled amazing, then added to the water and other wine ingredients and 1 lemon, fermented with the flowers in for 2 days and strained through nylon mesh while fermentation was still active. used about 20 flower heads for a 5 liter batch, and at first racking the flavor balance seemed about right. for cordial i boil sugar and water, pour over whole flower heads and 1-2 squeezed lemons + peel, leave six hours and strain; 20 flower heads for 1 to 1.5 liters. hope this is of use!

 
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