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About this recipe: I enjoy making natural wines from fruit in the garden or hedgerow, using the wild yeasts present on the fruit. This wine is ideal for making from late May to early June, when rhubarb is at its best and elderflower is in bloom. The elderflower gives delicate fragrance to the wine and the root ginger adds complexity to the flavour. No sulphites or preservatives of any kind such as Camden tablets or sorbate are added to any of my wines.
SWEET WINES: Not a good idea to add more sugar to get a sweet wine....the sugar will keep fermenting up to around 15% alcohol and you will end up with a strong sweet sherry-like wine which is not everyone's favourite. You could add chemicals like sulphites(= Camden tablets) to kill off the yeasts, and then add some sugar. The big winemakers often add extra sweet grape juice after filtering out the yeasts with specialised equipment. I suggest you add a teaspoon or two of non-fermenting sweetener to the bottles, like glycerol-type syrups. You can buy them on the internet. SPARKLING WINES: When bottling from the demijohn, use swing-top bottles, which are available in homebrew shops empty, or with beer included in supermarkets for a cheaper price(no brainer!). Add half to 3/4 of a teaspoon of white sugar and a few dried active yeast granules(on the tip of a teaspoon) to each bottle....seal the bottles, shake well and leave to ferment for a month to develop the sparkling fizz and to clear. Chill the wines before serving. You will need to pour out carefully, leaving about 1cm in the bottom of the bottle to avoid the sediment clouding the wine.