I have made elderflower "champagne" a few times using a traditional method without added yeast, simply relying on the natural yeasts on the flowers.
Similar to sourdough, the results may vary a bit depending on the "yeast lottery" one is playing and yes, sometimes a batch fails. This is usually noticeable after a day or three, I only bottle it up after the smell, taste and fizz tell me that everything is well on the way to the ripe drink. This is what I did with my latest batch this morning.
Now, elderflower season is still in full swing, the weather just right and I'm pondering a second batch. Usually, I'd be cleaning and boiling my fermentation jar before every use, but while bottling, I noticed a generous amount of sediment, which looks like a mix of yeasts and pollen to me.
The sourdough baker in me immediately started wondering:
Would just refilling the jar with fresh water, flowers sugar and citric acid be a good idea? Would the sediment act like a sourdough starter? Or would I commit the cardinal sin of working with a "dirty jar" instead, setting me up for failure?
Note that the yeasty-alcoholic-fermenty smell of this batch was particularly nice and that I closed the fermenting jar immediately after pouring out the raw champagne, keeping contamination at a minimum.