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Make your own champagne in 5 easy steps!

Glittering Shards: Make your own champagne in 5 easy steps!

Glittering Shards

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Make your own champagne in 5 easy steps!

Now, I wasn't planning on making champagne this weekend - I didn't even know the possibility was available to me. Yet, I kid you not, I now have a huge vat of champagne brewing in my kitchen,  thanks to a serendipitous chat with a good friend at the school gates on Friday afternoon.
"Come to the woods with us to pick elderflowers" she said. (Lets be clear, by woods, we are talking about a very precious group of 'urban' trees near our home). Just for the fun of the outdoors we went. It was a beautiful, sun-soaked day after all. But, by the end of the morning, the freeganist, nature-loving maker in me was enrolled in the whole escapade.
And so it was that my Saturday evening was spent  duly counting out how many heads of elderflowers we had collected so that I could calculate exactly how much champagne I could make (24 litres to be precise) before embarking on the task of brewing. Want to give it a go? Here's champagne making in 5 easy steps:

1. Collect elderflowers (when the flowers are open, not little bobbles - the smell was the giveaway)

2. Put elderflowers, chopped lemon and juice, sugar and white wine vinegar in a bucket with water.
Ok....yes, there's a little more to it and I followed this recipe by the ever-wonderful UK pioneer of self-sufficiency, Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall from River Cottage)
3. Wait a few days for it to ferment.

4. Bottle it (be careful what you use as bottles have been known to explode!) and leave for another week.

5. Drink and be happy.

So, champagne party at mine in 2 weeks..?

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