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Most of us enjoy a few glasses of wine on a regular basis, but have you ever tried flower wines? Oh — don't know where to buy them? Just make flower wine yourself! I found myself making wine and really enjoy seeing the whole process, from flower to wine. You can use many different flowers, including rose petals, hawthorn flowers, dandelion, and gorse flower. Here, we'll teach you how to make an elder flower wine from scratch.
1. Gather Your Winey Stuff
Look around for elder trees locally, or simply wait for them to flower if you have trees in your backyard or already know where to find trees. Start gathering the necessary ingredients and supplies to make elder flower wine. For 15 liters (three gallons) of elder flower wine, you will need the following ingredients:
- Lots and lots of sugar — 3.9 kilos or 9 pounds, to be precise. Don't worry; almost all of this will be converted into alcohol later on.
- Rind and juice from three lemons.
- Three teaspoons of wine yeast.
- Three teaspoons of yeast nutrient.
- One and a half cups of cold black tea. (The finished stuff: you actually make a pot of very strong tea and then measure it out.)
- You'll need 14 liters of boiled water too, but that just comes from the tap.
Besides that, you'll some equipment:
- A big saucepan — five liters at least.
- A fermentation bucket. You can use any bucket which is suitable for food. For this wine, the bucket will need to hold 15 liters or more. You cover the bucket with a tea towel, so you don't need a lid.
- A tea towel or cheesecloth, or a very fine sieve.
- A 15 liter (three gallon) demijohn. That's a glass bottle. You can also use a plastic bottle if you prefer but that's not so nice. You'll also need to buy an appropriately-sized cork with a bunghole. That is a hole to which you will attach the airlock.
- An airlock. This ensures the carbon dioxide created during the fermentation process can leave your bottle, while keeping oxygen out.
- A siphoning tube. This is to transfer the liquid from the fermentation bucket to the demijohn, and later to smaller bottles.
- Sterilization equipment: sulfur powder and citric acid. You need this because bacteria can really mess up the process.
- Enough wine bottles. You can use swing top bottles or otherwise you'll need a wine bottle corker.
- A bottle brush to clean the inside of used wine bottles.