The Brewing Shed

Elderflowers take the strain

Elderflower wine fermenting in demijohn

After a week of fermenting in a bucket our elderflowers have given up their flavour and the juice is ready to be transferred into a demijohn. This is a simple, if sugar-sticky process, which runs something like this…

1. Keep it clean
It’s vital that every piece of apparatus used is thoroughly sterilised first. Sterilising powder is widely available – follow the instructions on the packet. And when it comes to choosing your implements, plastic and glass are better than metal.

2. Take the strain
You’ll need to separate the juice from the spent bits of flower and fruit. Muslin cloth is the standard strainer which we use to line a sieve over a large bowl. Pour the liquid into the cloth, gather it up at the edges and squeeze.

3. Fill the jar
The strained juice then needs to be transferred to the demijohn. You can pour it in directly from a jug or deploy a funnel to reduce spillage.

4. Top up
There’s a good chance that your recipe will leave you slightly short of a full demijohn. No matter. Simply top up the jar with pre-boiled (and cooled) water.

5. Fit an airlock
An airlock is a natty contraption that allows gas to escape, through trapped water, while keeping airborne nasties at bay. Use more of that boiled water to half fill the airlock and fit the bung tightly.

6. Wait…
Find a warm perch for your jar and wait. Over time it will start to clear, with muck settling at the bottom. Fermentation takes, on average, three months and when complete it’ll be time to syphon off the liquid into another demijohn (a process called racking), then waiting some more until it’s all clear and ready for bottling. Probably another two or three months for this wine.


  • Just wondered where the beginning of the elderflower recipe is to make this wine ? Iv just come across some elderflower but it’s raining so not picked any yet
    Ps got your rhubarb wine on the go , looking very good, so thanks for such easy recipes .

    • Hi Alison. Pleased to hear you’re up and running with some rhubarb wine – it’s one of my favourites.
      We took down the original elderflower wine recipe because we made a few tweaks to it for our book (it’s now even better!). Seeing as you’ve asked, and it’s elderflower season, I’ll email you a sneak preview of the recipe.
      If you’ve got the wine making bug then I can also recommend combining elderflower and rhubarb, they make a superb combination.
      Enjoy the recipe and be sure to post a comment letting us know how you get on.

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