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Elderberry wine recipes please?
Tue 10-Jul-12
6:10 am
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lya
New Zealand

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Hello, greetings from New zealand,

where my elderberries are still in the freezer and I really want to use them. I've got about one kilo and wanted to make them into wine.

Any good recipes? I can't do too complicated as the only wine I've ever made was elderflower wine (or fizz as mine should be called). I did buy a demi-john and some yeast nutrient so.....any ideas?

Last year I made them into a cough syrup which my youngest grandaughter loves so much, I used to put it in her yoghurt to sweeten it. It's all gone now and I thought I should make some more, but I want some home made wine too, just to see if it's drinkable around Christmas.

Thanks, cheers

Lya

Tue 10-Jul-12
6:16 am
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Aly
Normandy France

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Welcome, you are a long way away!
I have never tried wine only Elder flower cordial. I am sure someone will help out. I would be interested to see as I always feel bad about not using the berries. Assuming there will be some this year. Cherries have been a failure and pears are conspicuous by their absence. Do look at the introduction board and tell us a bit about you. We love to hear from people in other parts of the world.

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Tue 10-Jul-12
9:01 am
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lya
New Zealand

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I have been a member for a while having read and learned from the "locals". I've got some raspberry vodka on the go, peach schnapps, as well as the lemon vodka which is Fiona's lemon Gin recipe. Last year I made  lovely damson gin and vodka liquors.  I love all these kids of things. I was too late with the walnut liquor so need to be on the ball this summer. Made elderflower wine twice, the second lot was a lot more quaffable, maybe there was more yeast on the flowers last summer? Who knows, but will be making more this coming October. champagne This winter I would love to make elderberry wine, just to have something lovely to have at Christmas with family and friends. cheers

Tue 10-Jul-12
9:05 am
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brightspark
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My OH used to make this - though I wasn't involved - sorry!

One word of caution - don't store the bottles sideways-on (if that makes sense) which is meant to keep a cork from drying out, if you are storing it in a room with a very light carpet.

Voice of experience. Elderberry wine can go everywhere!  eeek   big_laugh

Lya, type in elderberry wine recipe on a search engine, there's loads of recipes out there!.

 

Oh, and welcome to the forum!  ok

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Just make your absence felt"
Tue 10-Jul-12
9:15 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Hi Lya, 

Welcome to the forum. I am afraid that any elderberry wine you make now will definitely not be ready for Christmas ( well , not for a few Christmases to come). It takes ages to become drinkable & tastes horrible if tasted too early. However if you can wait it can be wonderful. Also I suspect you may not have enough berries with only about a kilo.

Here's a recipe, personally I would add blackberries to it (as the recipe suggests at the end) & make it into a port-type wine. This should mature much faster. 

Good luck !

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Tue 10-Jul-12
11:19 pm
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mike.
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Hi Lya,

I have made elderberry wine a few times and I agree with Hattie, it's better with blackberries added. My best attempt had a couple of pounds each of elderberries and blackberries, a tin of red grape concentrate, and some sugar (can't remember how much). It had a very rich deep flavour. Other years haven't been as good - I think it varies a lot depending on how much juice is in the berries.

I suspect that a kilo of berries alone might not give enough flavour so you may need to add something else, such as blackberries (either fresh or tinned should do) or a tin of grape juice or even a cheap tin of red wine kit. In my opinion there is certainly nothing wrong in making a kit wine and adding extra fruit for flavour.

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Wed 11-Jul-12
1:19 am
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lya
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Thanks for the replies, I might try Hattie's recipe.  Can I call on you for advice if I'm stuck??confused

Any idea how many bottles I could get if I used a kilo of elderberries and a kilo of blackberries? There are only frozen blackberries around at the moment.  Would I just use wine bottles? I have no corks, so screw caps would suffice? And I shall store them in the garage, standing up smile

I shall give it a go, hopefully this weekend, if nothing else comes up (again!)

Wed 11-Jul-12
11:43 am
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lya
New Zealand

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By the way Hattie, is there a specific yeast you use for this recipe? I've got an all purpose yeast which I can use for reds as well as whites and sparkling. I thought I'd bought yeast nutrient but I actually bought yeast. So what kind of nutrient should I get? Sorry about the questions, I just don't get a lot of elderberries as there aren't many trees in NZ and the birds get a lot of mine, I just want to make the most of my berriessmile

Wed 11-Jul-12
12:54 pm
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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I think the yeast you have will be fine, Iya. It is years since I made wine so I am not up on all the modern stuff you can buy now.

You might find this article useful. This one is about nutrients to help the yeast work efficiently.

Hope this helps a bit but maybe you should see if there is a home winemaking forum online in NZ. It is always useful to have fellow countrymen who know what is available in your own country. smile

But in case you can't find one here is a UK forum that is quite good.

wave

 

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Wed 11-Jul-12
6:03 pm
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mike.
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While running the risk of sounding a bit 'me too', I'll also say that the homewinemaking forum is quite good. I used to be a regular there, back when I used to make more wine.

I am in the middle of comparing yeasts at the moment and have two gallons of elderflower wine going, one using bakers yeast and the other using proper wine yeast. I normally just use bakers yeast cos we've always got some in the house and the results are usually fine. Since the experiment is still fermenting, the only observation so far is that the bakers yeast froths up a lot more and escaped through the airlock overnight!

I always add a teaspoon of yeast nutrient (I think it might be the ammonium phosphate stuff) but I've no idea if it actually makes any difference if you have good juice, which should contain sufficient nutrients anyway.

Two kilos of fruit should make a gallon of wine, which usually ends up as 5-6 bottles, depending on how much sediment. I was told (by someone on the aforementioned forum) that bakers yeast gives more sediment so I'll see if that's true, once my experiment has finished.

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Wed 11-Jul-12
6:10 pm
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Toffeeapple
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I wish I could be your taste tester Mike!

I'll try that again!

Fri 20-Jul-12
11:39 pm
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Vagabondic
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I have used apple in the past to bulk out elderberry wine, but as others have said there are plenty of other options - other red fruit or whatever else takes your fancy.  The basic home made wine recipe is 3 pounds of fruit and three pounds of sugar makes a gallon of wine so add whatever else you want. As others have said time is a really crucial element for elderberry, if you can leave it for 5 years it will be sublime. Also do not add all of the sugar at once or it is likely to go up through the airlock as elderberry fermentation is very vigourous so start off with half and keep adding.

I don't normally add nutrient to elderberry or fruit wines as there should be enough oomph in the fruit - flower wines and infusion wines probably need it far more

Sat 21-Jul-12
10:26 pm
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Terrier
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I remember when I was a child, My dad made a number of fruit wines. Carrot wine and Parsnip wine were lovely, however elderberry wine was disgusting, even he couldn't bring himself to drink it, even years later.

I make my lovely anit-viral jam with elderberries, it's lovely, and the other year I made elderberry & grape cordial, which went down a bomb.

Thu 26-Jul-12
11:11 pm
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mike.
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I bottled the elderflower wines this evening. The champagne yeast has fermented slightly drier than the bakers yeast. It also cleared faster. I mentioned before that the bakers yeast seemed to ferment more vigorously at the start, and frothed up a lot more, escaping from the airlock but the champagne yeast must have caught up and overtaken it later.

I added a teaspoon of sugar to the drier 'champagne' version to prime it to help it go fizzy. Hopefully in a week or so I'll be able to do a taste test champagne

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Fri 27-Jul-12
8:30 am
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lya
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Well, I have started making my wine! I found a recipe on BBC website and it uses raisins, so off I went last Monday! I didn't quite have enough elderberries, so I went to find some blackberries, only to find that the supermarket had none and I had to use boysenberries. By Monday it was bubbling away in the demijohn smile, I think that was a good sign. Nothing much happening now and I should bottle it next week Monday. Wish me luck cheers

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