Elderberry wine

Discussion in 'Wine & Cider Recipes' started by Elderflower., Jan 13, 2020.

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  1. Jan 13, 2020 #1

    Elderflower.

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    What are peoples best recipes for elderberry wine? I have just gotten last Autumns pickings out of the freezer in anticipation of a wet day tomorrow,so for me(as an outdoor worker) a day off and putting on my next ferment. I have 8lb of fruit that was very ripe when I picked it.Cheers.P.s drinking my Rhubarb of 2018 at the moment.:hat:
     
  2. Jan 13, 2020 #2

    An Ankoù

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    I make elderberry wine every year because I can't just let the berries go to waste. It drinks heavy and it's proper headache stuff the next morning. However, it's amazing for cooking- stick some in a Bolognese or in a Bourguignon and it really does the business. My recipe isn't sophisticated, just berries and sugar and yeast.
    Now rhubarb makes amazing wine. Just on its own it tastes like a dry German wine, but stick some elderflowers or orange peel in there and it picks up the flavour and gives so much back. My elderflower champagne is made of a gallon of rhubarb wine with dried elderflowers in secondary and the bottles primed with a teaspoonful of sugar. Not impressed with recipes that say you should put vinegar in with it.
    Just had my first decent crop of rhubarb last year and hoping for much more next spring and summer.
     
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  3. Jan 13, 2020 #3

    Elderflower.

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    Cheers! I do elderberry most years too,3lb sugar,open ferment for about 5 days and its good,but like you say headachey,and best kept a couple of years to take the edge off the tannin,Just curious for anyones alternative ideas. I like the idea of Rhubarb and elderflower though,around at the same time of year,I shall definitely try that next year.Last year I did elderflower and gooseberry,still maturing but I think its gonna be a goodie :) I have done a lot of Rhubarb over the years and the early stuff(May) is way superior.
     
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  4. Jan 13, 2020 #4

    An Ankoù

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    I always use dried elderflowers nowadays as the fresh ones can be a bit hit and miss. The gooseberry sounds great.
     
  5. Jan 13, 2020 #5

    MmmBeer

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    Interesting reading, I made elderberry wine the summer before last and it was rather harsh so I didn't bother making any last year. Still got 4 bottles in the garage, hopefully it will soften as time passes. I wish I had followed the recommendations I had read at the time and mixed the elderberries 50:50 with blackberries to give a more rounded wine.
     
  6. Jan 14, 2020 #6

    Elderflower.

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    Time makes wine.I have a 50/50 with blackberry upstairs too,it finished last May,I am leaving it until this May to sample. Elderberry is in my experience minimum a year to mature,and better the longer it is kept the harshness is from the tannin,but over time this softens to make a lovely deep rounded wine,so its worth doing and also allows a wine to keep for years. It is worth keeping it in a jar as long as possible before bottling, as it throws a sediment for a long time during maturation.As long as we put on new wines regularly and have space for all the demijohns then the wait is not an issue.I did an elderberry port years ago(port yeast,elderberries,blackberries,damsons,sloes,bananas),fed the yeast and stopped it by whacking in half a bottle of Brandy.It took 2 years to make and another 5 to drink,but it was well worth the effort!
     
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  7. Jan 14, 2020 #7

    hedgerowpete

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    never break the 2kg rule has to be the number one rule, any more than 1.5kg its just going to be red tanin juice fermented and a nightmare to drop the crystals out.

    for normal milk in tea red wine drinkers try to stay at 1.5kg of berries per gallon and use apple juice for half the water volume to help weaken the tanins. any fruit low in tanin is great to add with it to break the tanins out.

    if your use to tanin in black tea its a different story, i normally fine 2kg of berries, 3litres of apple juice and water works for me, most people find it to high in tanin to drink it though

    one of the best things with elderberries is it takes any amount of fruits with it.
    elderberries and black berries, raspberries as well as apples, we normally do a couple of gallon with every thing thrown in. hand fulls of frozen currants and raspberries, apples pears, every thing, do one run with all of it and a second run afterwards fermented on the must
     
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  8. Jan 14, 2020 #8

    johncrobinson

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    A few notes on this right up my street thead so far:>

    Forced ruhbarb matures and becomes drinkable quicker,You can make some nice clone German wines with this.

    When collecting Elderflowers only collect the ones that smell nice,Avoid the bushes that smell like cats p&^s.

    The tannin in elderberry is a bit of a problem,But it mellows with age.If you can keep it for a while the method sugested above for making eldeberry "port" is excellent.

    Goosberry the "hairy grape" makes execllent Wine.

    Loads of good ideas keep it coming guysathumb..
     
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  9. Jan 14, 2020 #9

    Nicks90

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    I do an elderberry wine every year, as i have a lovely large elder tree in my garden. Without trying to hard i can get 3kg off it in about an hour and that does 1 demijohn of elderberry wine and 2 demijohns of elderberry and blackberry wine( 30/70 mix of eb to bb)
    It absolutely HAS to be kept a year before drinking. Then its a really deep purple lush drop of wine.
    The elderberry and blackberry mix can be drunk sooner - maybe 6-9 months - and is also a fantastic glass in its own right, but not as complex as pure elderberry.

    yeast is really important in my experience. Started off using youngs multipurpose yeast and it was a bit rough, even after 12 months. Last lot has been gervin gv9 wine yeast i think, and that has made an incredible difference.
     
  10. Jan 14, 2020 #10

    Elderflower.

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    Cheers! I like the idea of the apple juice to counter the tannin.So opted for this,making 3 gallons;
    3.9kg elderberries in fermenter.
    Simmered 4lb black bananas in a gallon of water for 20 mins then dissolved 2kg sugar in the `tea`
    Poured this on,all the usual stirring.
    Then 3x 1 litre bottles lidl apple juice.I always use juices from the chiller cabinet as no preservatives in these.I checked it would ferment with a little starter bottle in any case to be on the safe side.
    Added a little more sugar in solution until SG 1095 then amylase and pectolase.
    Will add yeast tomorrow,sadly its got to be a general purpose(Nicks post above) as thats all I have in and no brew shops near me.
    Ever hopeful its going to be a goodie :) It was a bit of a struggle putting it on today as last nights bottle of Rhubarb seem to have wholly disapeared by this morning and left me feeling not quite with it today.I am sure it wasn`t me,I blame the wine elves....
     
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  11. Jan 14, 2020 #11

    An Ankoù

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    I'm shocked to find myself a lightweight on this thread. Haven't drunk wine by the pint since I was a lad. I wonder if I'm still up to it. Only one way to find out.
    acheers.
     
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  12. Jan 15, 2020 #12

    johncrobinson

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    Good point there Elderflower,Any supermarket juice MUST be free of preservatives (anything Sorbate)
     
  13. Jan 18, 2020 at 2:43 PM #13

    Elderflower.

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    Further to my above Elderberry wine post.I let it open ferment for 3 days before sieving it in DJ`s.
    I had 12lb of blackberries in the freezer waiting to be put on,so I I defrosted them,covered in boiling water,added sugar to 1095 and then used the sieved elderberry must to get the whole lot going! Should pick up a bit of tannin from the second use of these and the substantial existing yeast colony means it has gone off like a rocket!
    Thats 10 gallons of red on since xmas (Grape,Elder and Blackberry,all previously frozen),I am running out of shelf space.....
     
  14. Jan 18, 2020 at 4:56 PM #14

    kelper

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    Where do you live?
     
  15. Jan 19, 2020 at 8:20 AM #15

    tribalfather

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    boil the juice As in Rhibena wine recipe to take crud out and leave taste
     
  16. Jan 19, 2020 at 9:17 AM #16

    Elderflower.

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    Kelper,Gloucestershire!
     
  17. Jan 19, 2020 at 9:20 AM #17

    johncrobinson

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    In the case of sorbate boiling will do diddly squat.
    Also ribena has had the recipe changed from origional I do not consider it suitable for winemaking anymore,Except as a post fermentation flavouring.
    There is a thread on this site detailing what the new owners have done to ribena.In particular how they have reduced sugar by replacement with synthetics.
     
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  18. Jan 19, 2020 at 11:05 AM #18

    Elderflower.

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    Agree.I made both Ribena and Roses lime cordial wine,back in the 90`s and worked fine.A few years ago I tried again and neither worked. I assumed it was the change in preservatives,but the use of non fermentable sugars is a damn good point,I hadn`t thought of that. Always read the ingredients label is the lesson here!
     
  19. Jan 19, 2020 at 1:36 PM #19

    Chippy_Tea

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    Unfortunately boiling doesn't get rid of the preservatives and there are a few threads on the subject on the forum, i boiled ribena for 15 minutes when i first started wine making a few years ago and it stuck at .1000 after several weeks slowly fermenting and was sickly sweet, i binned it and moved onto 100% supermarket juice wines - http://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=49462
     
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  20. Jan 19, 2020 at 3:52 PM #20

    kelper

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    Some brands pay the supermarkets to put their fruit 'drinks' in the refrigerated section, even though they don't need to be refrigerated. I'm not on about the chilled section for takeaway lunches etc. It's just to make their products appear 'premium'. So, it's no guarantee that they don't contain preservatives.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020 at 4:30 PM

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