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Elderberry

Got a recipe for a nice black cherry burgundy? Got an opinion on a yeast that you just have to share? This is the place for you.

Postby a_friend_in_mead » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:52 pm

I collected some elderberries today. A pint jugs worth. All the recipes I can find in books or online seem to be from the 70's. They all suggest pouring boiling water over the elderberries.

For example
"Boil the water and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Put the berries in a nylon straining bag, tie it and place it in the first container."

Is this right? Could this be why elderberry wine has such a bad reputation? What else could you do such as camden or freezing?
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Postby Barry M » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:24 pm

Make jam or a cordial :) My wife made some the past two years. I'm not a huge fan, so was never tempted to make anything alcoholic from them.
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Postby Taf » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:44 pm

Put them into a batch of turbo cider. I've collected a good few, and along with blackberries, raspberries and sloes, that's what I'll be doing with them. I freeze all the fruit, until I have enough, then add it to the juice, add campden, leave 24 hours and pitch the yeast. leave on the pulp for about 5 days, before leaving to ferment out, and racking off after a month. You could be brave and leave out the campden and rely on the wild yeast, but I'm not that brave.
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Postby Futisle » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:56 pm

Recipe and instructions for Elderberry wine here that seem ok.

http://www.the-gift-of-wine.com/wine_ma ... ml#country
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Postby Lordstilton » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:32 am

Make sure you squeeze them through muslin. If you leave any skin behind the tannin levels will be through the roof. From what I've read (I've another year to wait to see how last years is going to taste) you want to leave out the skin and give your wine body by using banana and rasins.
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Postby Futisle » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:37 am

Any more info on this use of bannana and rasins?

I have a bag of elderberries in the freezer waiting for time to do something with them. The link I posted above suggest adding grape juice instead of raisns and the like. Is it all the same what you use? Maybe we'll have to wait til next year to evaluate the two approaches :wink:
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Postby donnchadhc » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:41 am

Lordstilton wrote: (I've another year to wait to see how last years is going to taste)


:shock: I stand in awe at your self-discipline!!!!
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Postby Lordstilton » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:09 pm

1kg of elderberry
250g dried apricots
2 ripe banana
250g raisins
250g white sugar
15g lemon juice
campden tab
4 l water
bordeaux yeast and nutes

clean and wash elderberries
chop apricots
peel slice bananas
all fruit into a pan with the water, heat to 80c for 15min
cool and strain
add lemon juice and campden leave for 24hrs
stir in sugar and yeast
ferment out
rack and then store till bright
rack again and store for 1 year
then bottle and keep for 1 year

taken from home wine and beer making by ben turner.1979
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Postby Taf » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:52 am

Looks like a nice recipe, with most of the sugar coming from the actual ingredients, and only 250g being added. I did a couple of country wines before, and added way too much sugar, and they are too warm and sweet, but very strong. I've an elderflower wine that is about 16 months old now, and I only take the odd tot of it, as it's more like a desert wine. I must bring some along to a tasting some time, but I can just imagine the scrunched up faces!
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Postby Lordstilton » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:08 pm

The book has some great country wine recipes...some are bizare like parsnip wine..a friend picked it up at a bric and brac because it had beer making on it. The beer section is very dated but the wine section has some good stuff in there...I used its blackberry recipe last year and the wine is decent enough after a year, i'm trying to hold back a few bottles till next year as I'm planning on using this years pickings on a blackberry Wit, which will also be my first attempt at all grain!!
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Postby Futisle » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:28 pm

Adventurous stuff the Lordstilon.

Off topic I know but. Taf I how Beamishisf is your Beamishish?
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Postby Taf » Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:42 pm

Futisle wrote:Adventurous stuff the Lordstilon.

Off topic I know but. Taf I how Beamishisf is your Beamishish?


It was a clone that I got for Beamish from god knows where. I have the original recipe in beer engine, but I think I tweaked in on the day, so would need to check my brew diary. It was one of those brews that took an age to come good, as I wasn't keen on it for a long time, and gave a good bit of it away. The receipe called for white sugar and maybe I added a bit more than was ideal, but never again, as I could definitely taste it, and it was thin for a while. I brewed it 6 months ago now, and had the last champagne bottle the other week, and it was rather good. I brewed a hoppy wheat beer a couple of months back with Agave syrup, and that's a bit rough and limey at the moment, so will have to give that a prolonged period of aging as well, but that's another story. I am now trying to resist the temptation to add adjunt sugars to my brews. I did have good sucsess with Chinese Rock sugar though.
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Postby Futisle » Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:05 pm

Thanks Taf.

A fan of the Beamish so when I saw it I had to ask.

Kind of wary of trying to recreate a specific commercial brew. Think its safer to make a type of beer but a close realtion to Beamish would be interesting is all.
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