It’s that lovely time of the week when we get to hear from one of the TNWC Real Brides. Today, Myfanwy is sharing details of the homemade elderflower champagne that her and her Mr-to-be Tom have been brewing up for their wedding. She’s also done a great ‘how to’ guide for these pretty origami flowers she’s been making from old book pages.
It’s been a busy few weeks finalising the bid decisions for the wedding, the catering, the dress, the DJ! These are things we wanted to get done over the winter before our shop re-opens at Easter.
So now the major details are pretty much done this leaves plenty of time for us to make and prepare the little handmade details that we feel are important to us. We’ve made a list (got to love a list!) of tasks to do each month.
Making elderflower champagne
February’s list included starting off the elderflower champagne and making origami paper flowers. We have decided to have a drinks reception when we arrive the tipi’s for people to help themselves. We thought of having some bottles of local beer, the inevitable Pimms and really wanted something else a little bit different. Our friends had made some elderflower champagne a couple of years ago and we’d rally enjoyed it. It’s lucky we looked into making it so early on, we hadn’t realised that once bottled it needs to stand for 3-4 months!
Equipment was really easy to get hold of in fact Dorset Homebrew sell and elderflower champagne making kit with a recipe and all the equipment you need to get started on you first brew. Or of course the River Cottage recipe is really easy to get hold of online – we plan on trying this one when elderflower is in bloom.
Due to the time of year we couldn’t get hold of fresh elderflowers so we’ve used dried, this is so we could get gong on the process in case we find ourselves too busy once the shop is open and run out of time to make it using fresh elderflowers.
This is the recipe we’ve used using our elderflower kit:
30g of dried elderflowers
1lb of sultanas
1.5lb of granulated sugar
1tsp of citric acid
1tsp peptic enzyme
1 vitamin B yeast nutrient tablet
1 packet of champagne yeast
We started by making a sugar syrup with 1 pint of water, bring this to the boil.
Put the elderflowers, citric acid, pinch of tannin powder, chopped sultanas into the fermentation bucket and pour the hot syrup over. Stir and leave for one hour.
In about an hour add 6 pints of cold water and stir in a crushed vitamin B tablet, the pectic enzyme and the champagne yeast. Cover and stir daily for 3 days.
After 3 days, strain the liquid into a demijohn, fit an airlock and leave to ferment until it had lost all it’s sweetness (this is basically until the airlock stops bubbling or bubbles less than one a minute).
Then siphon the champagne from one demijohn to a 2nd demijohn so that all the yeast is left in the first demijohn. Stir in 30g of sugar (dissolved in a little hot water) and top up to the neck of the demijohn with cold water, stirring well. This extra sugar is to give it the fizz!
Elderflower champagne brewing in the demijohns…
Then siphon the liquid into champagne bottles. The kit we bought came with plastic champagne corks and cages but no bottles. So my tip is to phone a local hotel that hosts a lot of wedding and ask for some empty champagne bottles. Ours was more than happy to let us have some as they have to pay to recycle the bottles. Soaking off the labels can take some time though!
Leave 3 inches from the top of the bottle so it can build pressure and not blow the corks! Store upright and the yeast deposit will stay in the punt of the bottle when the champagne is poured 2-3 months later. So hope fully in two months or so ours will be ready!
Elderflower champagne bottled…
Origami paper flowers
These are something I saw in a magazine some time ago. I made some for our shop from an old book and they went down a storm! So it seemed a great choice to want to make some as table decorations for the wedding, jut little bits to scatter here and there.
Well it sounds like a great idea when your making five but when you decide to make 100 and each flower is five petals that’s five hundred squares of paper you’ll need to fold. But I must say of an evening watching tv you soon get through them!
So to begin pick your paper, I’ve chosen vintage looking books because I like the effect and glimpses of text. The size of square doesn’t matter to much but I’ve found a 9cm square works well. you need to cut five of these to make one flower.
How to Make Origami Paper Flowers
Step 1: Cut 5 squares of paper.
Step 2: Fold the paper in half.
Steps 3 + 4: Fold both corners up to the middle point.
Steps 5, 6 + 7: Next, fold into two diamond shapes.
Steps 8 + 9: Fold the top of the diamonds back down.
Steps 10 + 11: Next, fold the diamond in half.
Steps 12 + 13: Glue the edges together, you should now have a cone shaped petal. Repeat these steps until you have 5 petals.
Steps 14, 15+ 16 : Now, glue the petals together – it’s best to use a glue gun as this dries quickly.
Step 17: Finished! Just another 99 to go….
It certainly sounds like Myfanwy’s got a lot of work cut out for herself with 99 origami paper flowers to make! But what a great tutorial on how to make them for anyone wanting to create something similar.
Coming up on Thursday is going to be sharing details of her plans for an afternoon tea for their homemade, child-friendly wedding. Don’t forget, you can real the full series so far by clicking on TNWC Real Brides.
Images: (1) Illustration by Izzy Burton; (2 – 21) Brides own pictures