This blog is a record of the wine that I make and drink. Each flavour made and each bottle drunk will appear here. You may come to the conclusion that, on the whole, I should be drinking less.

Sunday 30 June 2013

Rhubarb & Elderflower 2013 - The Making Of ...

Like everything else this year, elderflowers are late to bloom. It is 24th June and they are only just coming out now. Our rhubarb is starting to look a little old, so a couple of weeks ago I pulled several stalks from our two main patches - though mostly from Shirley's plant. These were weighed (3lbs 2oz), cut into pieces and shoved in the freezer. I removed them this morning and picked elderflowers on my way home from work.
Elderly Rhubarb
My not-quite-four-mile walk has a section through woodland, and I cross Meanwood Beck then walk along a path adjoining a field. It is a delightful journey and partly (though only partly) the reason I don't catch the bus. And there are elder trees dotted all over.

On my walk to work
This evening I picked a few in the woodland and some along the patch, but I planned mostly to get them from the field. I knew the field had horses, in much the same way I knew it had buttercups. After climbing over the wall I noted the horses were all under one elder tree so I made my way to the other some distance away and started picking. There was a definite sound of trotting behind me and it was getting closer. I turned to find three surprisingly large horses running at me enthusiastically. I think they were hungry. Making 'Good Horse' noises and patting one particularly insistent one on the nose, I continued collecting elderflowers. Until I felt my backpack being nibbled. I made my apologies and withdrew.
A field with buttercups, elderflowers and horses
 At home, half an hour's stripping of flowers left me with half a pint, and I put these in the bucket with all the rhubarb, 3lbs sugar and 6½ pints of boiling water. I left it all over night and put in the yeast and a teaspoon each of pectolase and nutrient the following morning.

A mix of rhubarb and elderflower in its bucket
 I sieved out the fruit and flowers, putting the liquid into its demijohn on Friday night, 28th June, after having spent an evening drinking beer with Matthew. The wine is in a brown glass demijohn, in an effort to preserve its candy-floss pinkness.
A brown demijohn preserves the colour
If you want to see how this wine turned out, click here

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