Elderberry wine

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Craig57

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Good morning all,
Is there anyone here who has made Elderberry wine either from a kit or 'natural'. If so could you please let me know the process as ive only ever made the supermarket turbo wine and wine from wine kits.
Tried taking a look online but i can only find Elderflower which ive been told isnt the same thing.
Any help would be appreicated.
Thanks
Craig
 

johncrobinson

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I will dig you out a few recipes and reply later.

You are correct its not the same as Elder-flower, or supermarket juice wine or wine kits either.
The difference is it requires a long long time to make.
Its not the fermentation that takes a long time,Its the maturing.
Young elderberry wine can taste like battery acid when young
A year or two maturing smooths out the harshness.

A well made and mature elderberry wine can taste a bit like port.

My late father used to make it not me.
He had so much wine, The elderberry wine demijohns could be stashed away to mature without them being missed.
 

hill1649

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Good morning all,
Is there anyone here who has made Elderberry wine either from a kit or 'natural'. If so could you please let me know the process as ive only ever made the supermarket turbo wine and wine from wine kits.
Tried taking a look online but i can only find Elderflower which ive been told isnt the same thing.
Any help would be appreicated.
Thanks
Craig
Hi Craig, Here's my basic recipe for 3 gallons:
  • 750g Dried Elderberry
  • 750mls Red Grape Concentrate
  • 3 kilo sugar
  • Citric Acid
  • Water
  • Yeast - Bordeaux
  • Nutrient
  • Pectolase
Boil 4l water, add 1kilo sugar, add to 250ml concentrate in bucket. Add 250g Elderberries. Leave to cool then add 5ml each of citric acid, yeast nutrient, tannin, pectolase. Pitch yeast (Bourgovin RC 212).

Leave one week - stirring every day. Strain into demijohn and leave to ferment out. Bottle. I personally prefer to rack to a demijohn once the initial fermentation is completed, I then leave for at least a year and then bottle and store. I am currently drinking Elderberry wine that has been maturing for 2 years. Makes a strong, port like wine.
 

Craig57

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Hi Craig, Here's my basic recipe for 3 gallons:
  • 750g Dried Elderberry
  • 750mls Red Grape Concentrate
  • 3 kilo sugar
  • Citric Acid
  • Water
  • Yeast - Bordeaux
  • Nutrient
  • Pectolase
Boil 4l water, add 1kilo sugar, add to 250ml concentrate in bucket. Add 250g Elderberries. Leave to cool then add 5ml each of citric acid, yeast nutrient, tannin, pectolase. Pitch yeast (Bourgovin RC 212).

Leave one week - stirring every day. Strain into demijohn and leave to ferment out. Bottle. I personally prefer to rack to a demijohn once the initial fermentation is completed, I then leave for at least a year and then bottle and store. I am currently drinking Elderberry wine that has been maturing for 2 years. Makes a strong, port like wine.
Thanks for that recipe. I'm assuming divide your recipe by 3 for 1 demi John? Also will 4litrs and 250ml with everything else for into 1 demi?
Thanks
Craig
 

hill1649

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Thanks for that recipe. I'm assuming divide your recipe by 3 for 1 demi John? Also will 4litrs and 250ml with everything else for into 1 demi?
Thanks
Craig
Yep, divide by 3 for 1 demijohn. And yes - 4l of water, 250mls of grape concentrate (red) (or you can use 250g of chopped raisons instead) and 250g of Elderberries. once cool add add 5ml each of citric acid (or juice of one lemon), yeast nutrient, tannin (or 2 teabags) and pectolase. Personally, I put it all in a plastic bucket for the first week whilst steeping and stirring, after the week - strain, decant and siphon into the demijohn. Once the initial strong fermentation is over, I'd top up the demijohn to the bottom of the neck using a sugar water solution made up of 340g of sugar in 1 litre of water. Although it's dated I swear by CJJ Berry's First steps in winemaking - straightforward and easy to follow recipes.
 

hill1649

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Yep, divide by 3 for 1 demijohn. And yes - 4l of water, 250mls of grape concentrate (red) (or you can use 250g of chopped raisons instead) and 250g of Elderberries. once cool add add 5ml each of citric acid (or juice of one lemon), yeast nutrient, tannin (or 2 teabags) and pectolase. Personally, I put it all in a plastic bucket for the first week whilst steeping and stirring, after the week - strain, decant and siphon into the demijohn. Once the initial strong fermentation is over, I'd top up the demijohn to the bottom of the neck using a sugar water solution made up of 340g of sugar in 1 litre of water. Although it's dated I swear by CJJ Berry's First steps in winemaking - straightforward and easy to follow recipes.
Just to add - you don't need to use a Bordeaux yeast, any wine yeast will do!
 

The Furnace Green Brewer

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Crush the dried elderberry s, I made a gallon last year and had the last glass yesterday, I will be making a gallon this week. I use CJJ Berry's wine making books, the recipe looks much the same.

cheers

Peter
 

johncrobinson

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I was going to dig out some old CJJ Berry recipes
When I could find the books
Other members have beaten me to it. These should do you fine.
 

Nicks90

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I've made elderberry wine for the past 4 years and by far my favourite is to 'cut it' 50/50 with blackberries.
100% elderberry is a serious wine, as others have said almost port like and takes an age to mature.

Mixed with blackberry you get a decent wine in 1 year. And it is really very decent.
 

Tanglefoot

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+1 for blackberry/elderberry mix

Made 3 gallons last autumn, drank a gallon young and rest is still maturing in demi John's.
Lovely rich, velvety berry lusciousness, fermented out dry it's perfect for me.
IMG_2020-11-19-19-24-59-371.jpg
 

Anglezarke

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I make this every year from dried elderberries. Stripping the berries off stalks is tedious and takes ages while dried berries are inexpensive. Plus you can get a second run off them which produces a lighter wine. This you can either drink or add to the main batch which as previous posters have stated is rather heavy.
1kg dried berries makes 4 gallons and costs about £20 or less on ebay. I use 1kg sugar per gallon and add 2 litres of Asda red grape juice (for a 4 gallon batch), also citric acid and nutrient. Works for me. Also try dried blueberry. A 20oz bag makes 3 gallons and produces a lighter wine and cost about £12.
 

Bungling Brewer

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For many years, I made this from fresh elderberries. Mr Berry suggests 3 lbs berries and 3 1/2 lbs of sugar per gallon but I use 3lbs. I've frequently had to leave it fermenting for months and never artificially stopped the fermentation but, as already mentioned, it must be stored for a long time to develop its potential. I recently found some at the back of the garage that was over 20 years old. When carefully decanted to avoid the sediment, it was absolutely delicious and would have compared favorably to a mid-priced claret. To make five gallons, it would take me the best part of a day to collect and strip the berries which would be frozen over the winter and the wine made in the spring. This avoided the ferment getting 'stuck' on a cold day over the winter which happened to me a couple of times. In spite of the magic powders and folk law regarding restarting a fermentation, I was never successful in the resurrection game.

Perhaps when I have a little more time, I'll have another go. It's worth it although it might be my children who get to drink it. Of course it needs good corks if you are going to lay it down for years. The ones I used were from a French supermarket where grades of cork were sold by the number of years they were intended to last - I always bought the best as it wasn't worth cutting corners when I'd invested so much time.

When I made the last batch, I'd found a large bush which was over the wall from a field with a couple of ponies in it. After 'pooh picking', the owner tipped all the product over the wall and round the elderberry bush - wonderful fruit.
 

beergut100

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I made some from dried eldeberries last year, to CJJ Berry's recipe (more or less). I think I used a bit less sugar and more berries than he stated and also added some red grape concentrate.
 

Craig57

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I make this every year from dried elderberries. Stripping the berries off stalks is tedious and takes ages while dried berries are inexpensive. Plus you can get a second run off them which produces a lighter wine. This you can either drink or add to the main batch which as previous posters have stated is rather heavy.
1kg dried berries makes 4 gallons and costs about £20 or less on ebay. I use 1kg sugar per gallon and add 2 litres of Asda red grape juice (for a 4 gallon batch), also citric acid and nutrient. Works for me. Also try dried blueberry. A 20oz bag makes 3 gallons and produces a lighter wine and cost about £12.
Many thanks for your advice.
I have 4x 25 litre buckets for my other wine and 2x demi John's. I'm assuming the 2 demis will equate to 2 gallons? That's the max I can do at present.
 

Nicks90

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Yes, most demijohn are 1 gallon.

Tip for fresh elderberries.... Use a fork!
Holdbthe stem of the branch of berries and working from the stem to fruit scrape the fork. 3 or 4 strokes will have all the berries off with minimal stems. It take less than 10 minutes to do a kilo this way. Straight in to a washing up bowl full of cold water. Nasty berries, bugs and stalks will float to the top and just skim them off.
 

johncrobinson

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The only warning i would give about following Berry's recipes and others from the same period is that they can be very heavy on the sugar.
Some seem to be printing mistakes,But generally the "taste" back then was for much sweeter wines than today.
 

Wynott

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I'd second that - I have now made quite a few from Berry's 'Beginner' book and they have mostly turned out well. Early on in (my copy of) the book he advises starting with 1kg sugar and adding more as you go along, and that is working for me. I made an early mistake of following a recipe for Parsley wine and put in 4lb sugar - made a very, very, sweet wine which I passed off as Dessert Wine (the flavour was good though).

I also had a go at Elderberry & Runner Bean, and was pleasantly surprised at the 'smoothing out' of the elderberry. Not that it's drinkable yet, but promising.
Good luck!
 
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