moon phases
moon phases
Elderflower Wine
(Sambucus racemosa)

Elderflowers can be a joy to collect, but picking the flower heads can be a lengthy process, it is best to cut the stem at the base of the bunch much like you would with grapes. Remember to always leave a few flower heads on each cluster for the wildlife, don't be greedy. If you are picking at night a torch may be needed to find your way to the shrub. Once at the bush the flower heads stand out like small glowing balls of light, remember your safety at night.

Below is a list of possible attributes and qualities of the Elder. These are not hard and fast rules and should only be used as a guide. The more experienced practitioner will have different ideas of attributes.

Table of Correspondence for Elder.
Animals: Insects, especially bees, flies and beetles, Birds especially thrush family.
Associated Plants: Honeysuckle, Fly Honeysuckle, Wayfaring Tree. (Not to be substituted)
Colour: Yellow, Green, Deep Crimson.
Element: Earth or Water
Goals/Rules: Healing, Health, Money, Riches, Protection, Psychic Awareness.
Planetary: Venus, Jupiter.
Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces
Time: Midday, Afternoon while the sun is shining Midnight, while the moon is full

A description of the wine
The colour of the wine is pale yellow, Elderflower wine should be light, crisp and dry, (though it is easy to make it over dry).
                        Ingredients needed to make 1 Gallon (5-6 bottles)

                        ½ a gallon of Elderflowers, Picked the florets from the stalks at home in the                                  comfort of a chair
                        2lb white sugar.
                        2 Lemons no pith or pips
                        ½ lb Raisins, Chopped
                        1 teaspoon of brewing yeast.
                        4 Litres Spring water

Making your wine
You have already collected your Elderflowers, your still spring water is catching a few rays in a sunny window you are now ready for the creative process. A more potent wine can be made if you create a ritual for making the wine. I will not share mine as this should be a personal challenge and personalised to your own needs.

  1. Place the Elderflowers in a bowl and rinse in the sink, this should help to get rid of any little bugs which have hitch hiked to your kitchen. Any in the bucket tip outside.
  2. Remove the individual florets from the stalks, this may take a while so find a comfy chair.
  3. Sterilise all your equipment including your fermentation vessel.
  4. Place the Elderflowers in a pan and add water, then bring to the boil, when boiling place a lid on them and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. After the Elderflowers have simmered gently leave to cool.
  6. In a clean sterilised glass place 1 teaspoon of yeast and 3 of sugar. To this add enough luke warm water from the kettle (not too hot) to half fill the glass, leave this to stand in a warm place for at least 15 minutes.
  7. Boil about four pints of your still water and pour this onto the fermentation vessel. (You may need to use the kettle if your saucepan isn't big enough).
  8. Add you sugar, raisins and lemons to the fermentation vessel and give it a good stir
  9. When the Elderflowers have cooled enough strain the liquid through a cloth into the fermentation vessel and give a good stir.
  10. Let this cool, Have a cup of tea or a glass of wine you made before.
  11. Pour the remaining still water into the fermentation vessel and add your yeast starter which you made earlier.
  12. Give everything a final stir and place the lid with the fitted air bung on.
  13. Place the Must in a warm place.
  14. Do the washing up.
  15. See basic wine making for further instructions
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