Red Elderberry

Discussion in 'Wine & Cider Discussions' started by YeastLord, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. Sep 6, 2017 #1

    YeastLord

    YeastLord

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    I'd never seen these till we moved to Aberdeenshire but we have quite a few very striking trees round about in the hedgerows.

    Has anyone here tried them for winemaking? I've read that the red variety is the most toxic elder but the fruit is edible - notably used historically by Native Americans. Looks the sort of tree that should be out at Christmas!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Sep 6, 2017 #2

    Tau

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  3. Sep 6, 2017 #3

    tonyhibbett

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    This could be red elder (sambucus racemosa) as opposed to the common elder (sambucus nigra). I don't know if the fruit is edible. I'd be wary. I showed my grandson elderberries and he went in search of more, coming back with what looked like them. I asked him to show me the plant, which had similar red stems but was in fact hemlock! The berries are not poisonous but the stems are.
     
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  4. Sep 6, 2017 #4

    YeastLord

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    Good advice and an interesting article thanks very much. I'm proceeding with caution.
     
  5. Sep 6, 2017 #5

    YeastLord

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    Thanks for the reply. I will be wary. Can't find any reference yet to wine making with them apart from just generally in passing that elderberries may be made into 2ine.

    Of course if they're not generally made into wine there could be a reason for that...:smile:
     
  6. Sep 7, 2017 #6

    tonyhibbett

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    If birds are eating them, they are ripe and probably safe for humans. Being red berries, rather than black, the wine would be pink rather than red.
     
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  7. Sep 7, 2017 #7

    HLA91

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    When sorting elderberries I've picked I scrape teh berries off with my fingers and drop them into a bowl of sulphited water. If they float they're no good, if they sink then crack on. Works 95% of the time, a few un-ripe ones do sink occasionally.
     
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  8. Sep 10, 2017 #8

    Tau

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    Saying about the birds eating them, I've been watching the blackbirds feat on pheasant berries in the garden and was wondering if they where edible as I have masses of them and they're all around the local area.

    Found this http://fergustheforager.co.uk/recipes-articles/himalayan-honeysuckle/
    So they can be eaten, to the touch they seem waxy and greasy so not sure they could be used for wine. Anyone got any experience with pheasant berries?
     
  9. Sep 13, 2017 #9

    tonyhibbett

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    Never encountered them, even in the Himalayas. Birds will eat all kinds of berries which, although not poisonous, may not make a good wine. You would probably need at least a kilo of them.
     

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