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Elderberry wine - success!

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kelper

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I've just sampled my first elderberry wine. 250g of dried elderberries, two litres of Welch's purple grape juice and 1kg caster sugar. It went from 1.106 to 0.992. could that be 15%?

It's dark red, plummy and rich. I've already got the next one fermenting, only this time I'm using Tesco Forest Fruit juice which has apples, grapes, strawberries, blackberries and blackcurrants. OG was 1.106. Maybe I will use less sugar next time!
 

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Ajhutch

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Looks excellent. Did you rehydrate the elderberries or just leave them dry? How long did you ferment with the berries?
 

kelper

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I boiled the berries in water for twenty minutes then strained through a muslin bag which I squeezed hard. Then the berries were discarded. I will make two more lots using different fruit juices, maybe pineapple next time. I used pectolase and citric acid but no tea bags as the elderberries should provide that (I think).
 

Ajhutch

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I think I’ll put some dried elderberries on my next order yeh. I’ve not made much wine but always interested to try something new!
 

kelper

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Mr_S_Jerusalem

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That sounds excellent. Where did you buy the Welch’s purple grape juice?
 

Mr_S_Jerusalem

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Ah I have only seen there other version in ours, maybe I am looking in the wrong place
 

kelper

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Try online shopping - that will tell you if they do stock it. Then cancel your shop.
 

Rodj

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I've only ever used fresh (or home-frozen) elderberries. Is there any disadvantage to using dried ones? They are certainly more convenient, but does the drying process lose anything (except water)?
Also, I sort my fresh berries very carefully to ensure there are no green ones and no bit of stalk, as there are so many warnings about mild toxicity and inferior wine from green berries and stalky bits. I have a general distrust of the ability of mass-production techniques to use the amount of care and attention to detail that an individual would use. Can you tell with dried berries that they are just fully ripe berries with no unwanted bits?
 

kelper

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If I could find fresh berries locally I would use them. The dried berries were very well graded and I did not see any stalks. They go a long way. I don't see any disadvantage apart from cost.
 

johncrobinson

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I allways make my elderberry high alcohol and keep it.It makes a good "port" after a while.
MUST get round to a sparkling elderFLOWER next year.
The plants grow like weeds round where i live
 

johncrobinson

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Re Kelper I see you give your location as Highlands,Same as me Im in Muir of Ord (dont laugh)
and there are thousands of the plants also cherries around the village.
Growing like weeds i tell ya,So thats where you will find em. If the "Muir" isint to far for you.
 

johncrobinson

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Re rodj:> I have never heard of any toxicity issues,However the stalks are very high in tannin and bitter.I use a table fork to remove the berries,Still very messy though.
Amazingly the stains wash from the skin and clothes no bother.
I often blend Elderberrys with blackberry and rosehip. (all ripe at about the same time.)
The nicest wine i have EVER made was a gallons worth made with a selection of the local cherry strains. Just juice NO added water,It tasted like a very fine Bordeaux allmost from the moment it cleared,Igave most of it away.!!
I did not make any this year despite a good juicy crop due to all the rain as i thought i was moving.
Re:> kelper that IS a bit far to walk.
NB> I allways low temp pasteurise the berrys rather than use sulphite,Ferment on pulp.Normal yeast is ec1118.
 

Rodj

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Ye gods kelper! That means it's very wet where you live. Not surprised there are no elder bushes, probably cod and saithe, though. Might you mean N by NE, maybe somewhere near Dunnet?
 
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Rodj

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Hi johncrobinson. I've made black-and-elder and it's really good. With a bit of care it can be made petillant, which is lovely. I've only ever used rosehips once - made some rosehip wine a couple of years ago, and following instructions it has been put away, not to be touched until 2021 at the earliest. What proportions of rosehips do you use, or is it a "however much I've got" sort of job?
 

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