Elderflower cordial advice

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JoseyJo
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Elderflower cordial advice

Post: #284713 JoseyJo
Mon Jun 29, 2015 4:49 pm

Hello,
A couple of questions about elderflower cordial.... I have made 3 batches this year - I used almost the same recipe but slightly different methods.

Recipe - 20ish heads, 2 litres water, 1kg sugar (750g in last batch), 2-3 lemons.

Anyway - the first batch was good - I made the sugar syrup but cooled it before pouring into the flowers, as I've had them scorch in the past. Left 48 hours then strained. All tasted good and disappeared very quickly!

Second batch - I made as the first but left for just over 36 hours (accidentally!) and then strained and bottled. All seemed good, but it has started fermenting in the fridge! I'm not sure whether it's because I left it longer out of the fridge and open to the air before bottling? Or because I didn't add hot water to start (and the first batch was luck that it didn't ferment). Now I don't know whether to add wine yeast, stick it in a demijohn and let it turn into wine (will it be ok?) or let it ferment and drink as champagne (again - will it be ok?), or something else..... any suggestions?

Third batch - I steeped the flowers and lemons for 48 hours before straining and adding sugar, then heating until just beginning to simmer - my idea being that perhaps that would kill any yeasts etc. But now that one is cool I'm not sure it tastes as nice as the other - has heating afterwards altered the flavour or perhaps just older elderflowers (or less sugar)...

Anyway - any tips from seasoned cordial makers would be welcome!

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Re: Elderflower cordial advice

Post: #284732 Green Aura
Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:16 am

Sorry, Josey, I have no idea. We don't drink cordial so I don't make any. I just thought I'd bump it up to see if anyone else can help.
Maggie

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JoseyJo
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Re: Elderflower cordial advice

Post: #284749 JoseyJo
Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:45 am

Thanks Green Aura.

I have decided the third cordial is fine - in fact my OH prefers it to the first lot, so maybe the difference is due to the sweetness.

The second lot is still fermenting away in my fridge... I keep releasing bits of CO2. I don't want to waste it, but not sure how it'll turn out. Because it was made to a cordial recipe it has a lot mre sugar and elderflowers in relation to water than the champagne recipes I've seen, so I suppose it'll either be way to sweet and syrupy, need diluting, or leaving to ferment out much more of the sugar....

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Re: Elderflower cordial advice

Post: #284750 Green Aura
Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:00 pm

Can't you make it into wine? More water, maybe a little yeast nutrient. My Dad used to make some splendid elderflower wine. :drunken:
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

ina
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Re: Elderflower cordial advice

Post: #284751 ina
Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:25 pm

It might turn into a dessert wine... More like a liqueur - could be nice, too.
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Re: Elderflower cordial advice

Post: #284752 diggernotdreamer
Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:55 pm

I collect old books on jams and country wines etc. I remembered I used this recipe a good few years ago and the results were a rather nice fizzy floral drink. 7 heads of elderflowers, 1 gallon cold water, 1 1/4lb sugar, 2 lemons, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar. Boil the water and pour over the sugar, when cold, put in the flowerheads, sliced lemons and the vinegar. Stand for 24 hours and then strain into bottles and cork, I used swing top bottles for this. So you may be able to just bottle up your fermenting one and get a fizzy champagne. We put ours into the shed and forgot all about it, we dug it out about 6 months later and drank some, and it was really good.

JoseyJo
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Re: Elderflower cordial advice

Post: #284753 JoseyJo
Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:02 pm

Yes, I think probably wine or champagne is the way to go..i wasn't sure whether just using the natural yeasts would be ok but sounds like it might be.... I like the idea of a sparkling wine but as there is so much sugar in it I wonder if it'll ferment for a while yet and burst any bottles I put it in now, so would a demijohn be a good idea? But then I might lose my fizz!! :dontknow:

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Re: Elderflower cordial advice

Post: #284754 ina
Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:55 am

I have vivid memories of a bottle of elderflower fizz that exploded in my kitchen.... I then quickly drank the contents of the remaining bottles. :)
Ina

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Re: Elderflower cordial advice

Post: #284759 diggernotdreamer
Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:49 pm

I don't see why you couldn't put it into plastic pop bottles and put them somewhere cool, as least if anything did explode, it would only blow the lid off and there wouldn't be any broken glass

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Re: Elderflower cordial advice

Post: #284760 ina
Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:46 pm

That was the one time I followed instructions, and used screw-top bottles - glass, of course, because in Germany we didn't have horrible plastic pop bottles... And of course, it happened at night, I woke up in terror, not knowing what the heck was going on!
Ina

I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)


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