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[Review] Muntons Elderflower Wine Kit

Started by Will_D, February 03, 2014, 01:06:55 PM

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Thanks to LordEoin and Homebrewwest i have a wine kit to review.

The initial description is a cut and paste from LE (updated to reflect the differences):

Muntons Elderflower Wine:

The description says:

Muntons Elderflower country wine - wine kit:

A classic range of wine kits formulated from quality European grape concentrate, with varieties to suit all tastes.
This kit requires only sugar and water to make 6 bottles of fine wine.
The wine will be ready to drink in about 3 to 4 weeks and will improve on keeping.
Makes 6 bottles, full instructions under cap. Winemaking equipment not included. Store in a cool dry place


Can contents: Concentrated grape juice (contains preservative(sulphur dioxide)), glucose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup, maltodextrin, acidity regulators (citric acid, trisodium citrate)
Wine yeast(dried yeast), yeast nutrient and fining preparation (yeast nutrients, sodium bentonite), Wine finings(water, mallic acid, chitosan(derived from crab and shrimp shells) preservative(sodium metabisulphite)),wine stbiliser(presertaive(sodium metabisulphite)),
Elderflowers (dried elderflowers)

All these sachets are contained under the big white lid, and marked:
Sachet A - wine yeast 5.5g
Sachet B - nutrafine 9.6g,
Unlabelled sachet - Wine stabiliser 2g, [Referred to as Sachet C in instruction]
Unlabelled Sachet (large) Elderflower 8g, [Referred to as Falvouring Sachet D in instructions]
Sachet E - wine finings 15g

The instructions are also hidden in the lid:

Note about the lid.
The lids are a pain to get off when cold, if you don't want to break finger nails then use a spoon handle to lever off the cap!

Muntons 900g Country Wine kit Instructions - makes 6 bottles

Muntons country wine kits are a one gallon wine kit range, made with quality European grape juice concentrates and concentrated real fruits, available in a variety of popular flavours.

For best results please follow these simple step:

In addition to this wine kit you will require the following items:
1. sterilising/cleaning agent
2. 16oz(450g)white granulated white sugar
3. Demijohn or suitable 4.5liter(onegallon) jar
4. bung and airlock
5. length of siphon tube
6. Funnel
7. Six wine bottles with corks, plastic stoppers or screw cap
8. wine labels and plastic shrinkable capsules

it is essential that all equipment used is both clean and sterile. We recommend that you use a good steriliser/cleaner such as 'Bruclens' according to the manufacturer's instructions

1. Empty the contents of the can into a sterilised demijohn, add 1.8 liters(3pints) of cold water using a little of the water to rinse out the can.

2. Dissolve 450g (16oz) of granulated white sugar in 0.6 liters(1 pint) of boiling water, stir to dissolve, add to demijohn using a funnel.

3. Pour the contents of the wine yeast(A) and nutrafine(B) sachets and shake the demijohn gently to disperse the ingredients.Seal with bung and airlock (half fill the airlock with cold water), then transfer the demijohn to a constantly warm place 25C(77F).(do not allow the wine to go below 20C and above 30C). Within 12 hours fermentation will commence. If you have difficulty in maintaining a constant temperature, you will need to purchase a suitable heating device from your local homebrew retailer.

4. On day thre, remove the bung and airlock and top up to 4.5 liters (1 gallon) with cooled boiled water - this is about 1.25cm above the demijohn shoulder Refit the bung and airlock and allow fermentation to carry on until completion. Fermentation is finished when bubbles have stopped passing through the airlock and wine begins to clear - this usually takes about 7 days. (a constant SG reading of less than 1.006 over two consecutive days will confirm that fermentation is complete).

5. At the end of the fermentation, empty the contents of the flavouring sachet(D) to the demijohn, then gently shake and leave for 24 hours. After this time empty the wine stabiliser(C) sachet into a clean cup, add two tablespoons of cold water and mix to dissolve. Then add this to the wine. Rinse out the cup with a little wine from the demijohn. Pour the contents of the wine finings(E) sachet into the demijohn and gently swirl. Over the next 24 hours regularly shake the jar gently to remove the unwanted carbon dioxide gas formed during fermentation.

6. Move the demijohn to a cool place and leave to clear(not in direct sunlight). This should take about a week. When the wine is perfectly clear, siphon it into sterilised bottles taking care not to disturb the sediment and seal with corks, plastic stoppers or screw caps.

7. Your wine is now ready to drink, but will improve considerably if left to mature. If you decide to store your wine, lay the bottles on their side in a wine rack as this will prevent spoilage of the wine caused by shrinking corks. Do not store bottled wine in direct sunlight. Plastic shrinkable caps and labels can be applied to give a truly professional finish

Special note for elderflower wine:
The elderflower wine kit contains a sachet of real elderflowers and you may you may find that some of these may be siphoned into the bottle. TO avoid this you can either strain these through a sterilised plastic tea-strainer when siphoning or better still invest in a wine filtering kit which will not only remove the elderflowers but will polish the wine.
Remember: The Nationals are just round the corner - time to get brewing


February 03, 2014, 01:21:45 PM #1 Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 02:12:26 PM by Will_D
Now lets start making it:

So the tin appears to have snowdrops on the label!

Under the lid are all the scahets and instructions:

So as per instructions weigh out 450 gms of sugar:

Then we need to add 600 ml of boiling water to disolve it BUT we alreday have the sugar in our measure. Just zero the scales and weigh in 600 gms of water and stir to disolve!

Measure out the 1.8 L of cold water, add the contents of the tin and the sugar water.

Check the temp and its 24C just right to pitch. So give the Demi-John a good swirl, add Sachet B (Nutrifine), swirl again. Then add sachet A the wine yeast. Note that I like to not swirl after adding the yeast as it picks up oxygen quicker that way. So this is where we are at:

Don't forget to label it, write down the date started.

Ok so why don't the images appear? Coz you need to add .jpg to the name!!
Remember: The Nationals are just round the corner - time to get brewing


An Update:

After 4 days topped up to 4.5 L (7th Feb)

Still working away nicely, yeast is starting to drop ( after 9 days )

As usual the instructions depend on a particular temperature being held around 25C. Now most new wine makers won't be able to achieve that. Mine is at about 20 to 21C. They say don't go below 20 and not above 30. Any way the wine is ready for the next steps when the bubbler stops and the gravity is constant over a couple of days.

We wait and watch
Remember: The Nationals are just round the corner - time to get brewing


So after another 12 days (3 weeks about) wine is starting to clear naturally:

So now back to the instructions:

"5. At the end of the fermentation, empty the contents of the flavouring sachet(D) to the demijohn, then gently shake and leave for 24 hours. "

This is where I would disagree with this kit's instructions:

Most other fruit wine kits have a sacchet of liquid flavour and colour and so this step is reasonable.
  However this kit has reall dried Elderflowers and 24 hours may not be long enough!

If I was doing a dry EF wine the dried flowers would go in at the start and be removed at the finning stages.

Anyway I am following the kit so have added the flowers:

I will leave it for 24 hours then let my nose tell me if its infused.

May well leave them like this for a week
Remember: The Nationals are just round the corner - time to get brewing



They'll probably sink once they've soaked up more liquid


Quote from: CH on February 24, 2014, 06:29:40 PM
Floaters! aren't they supposed to sink?
Qn: Whats the density of a dried Elderflower?

A1: > 1.000 
A2: < 1.000
A3: = 1.000

Answers on the back of a fiver please
Remember: The Nationals are just round the corner - time to get brewing


nice review and the dried flowers will sink. I am making a wow style elderflower wine from dried flowers and made a tea out of the dried leaves and they all sinked to the bottom..

have to find some time to put up a diary where I make it from scratch with some pictures.. But I want to know the outcome of this one :)
If you can make soup then you will also be able to make a decent beer!