3gallonswater(filtered or spring. If the water has chlorine in it, that can kill yeast. Letting chlorinated water sit out for a day will blow off most, however.)
A handful of dried lemon peel,or the zest of 6 lemons
Juice of 2 to 6 lemons(to taste)
1 1/2poundsof elderflowers,destemmed, about 2 paper grocery bags full
Saison yeast,or other ale yeast
Priming sugar(see above)
Boil the water and stir in the dry malt extracts. When they dissolve, add the lemon zest. Boil for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and chill the mixture quickly. You can put the pot in an ice water bath, or you can us a wort chiller to cool it quickly. Or, you can boil 1 1/2 gallons of water, mix in the extract and lemons, then add another 1 1/2 gallons of cool water; this trick works well.
If you definitely don't want any wild yeasts from your elderflowers to get in the game, add all your flowers the second you turn off the heat and before you start cooling the water. The heat will kill the yeasts. Your tradeoff is less elderflower aroma. I normally add a big handful of flowers after I turn off the heat, then the rest as it is cooling.
Add the juice of 2 lemons, then taste the mixture, which will be very sweet. Add more lemon juice to taste. You want it a bit tart, as this will balance the beer when it's done. An acidic liquid also inhibits the growth of bad bacteria, like E. coli. Move the mixture into your primary fermenter, usually a clean bucket or stoneware crock.
Once the temperature of the mixture is down to about 75°F, add the yeast. If using liquid yeast, just let the yeast come to room temperature and pitch it into your fermenter. Stir well and cover your fermenter with the bucket lid, or a cloth, or the airlock if using a glass carboy. Let the beer ferment at room temperature -- anywhere from 65°F to 85°F with saison or wine yeast -- for at least a week. I prefer 2 weeks. Look at the activity each day. You'll get some dramatic fizzing going on for a few days, then things will settle down to a slow and steady fizz. Once that happens, normally a week, make sure the fermenter is less open to air. If you have a bucket, put the lid on and use an airlock. With stoneware, you don't have that option.
After a week or two, strain the beer to a secondary fermenter. You can do this in a few ways. The best way is to siphon it off to a glass carboy. You can pour the beer through a fine-meshed strainer into a carboy fitted with a funnel, but this opens up the beer to a lot of air. If you are using wine yeast, this is less of a problem because the liquid will have more alcohol, which is resistant to more microbes than is beer. Put the airlock on the carboy and let this sit until the activity stops completely, at least a week. This would be a good time to take out that hydrometer and test your beer. If the specific gravity reads 1.015 or lower, you can bottle it. If not, let things lie another week or three.
When you are ready to bottle, make sure your bottles are sanitized and primed with the appropriate amount of sugar. Siphon your elderflower beer/wine/mead into the bottles, leaving about an inch to 1 1/2 inches of headspace. Cap and put your bottles away for 2 weeks before opening. You now have elderflower champagne.
Elderflower Champagne https://honest-food.net/elderflower-champagne-recipe/ June 13, 2016