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Wine Making & Grape Growing Forum > Wine Making > Country Fruit Winemaking > Fruit Ratio to water/sugar...how much and why?
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:24 AM   #1
anakeimai
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Default Fruit Ratio to water/sugar...how much and why?

After the 1st proper summer the UK has seen in years, the elderberry crop looks like it'll be excellent for a change, so it's time to have another go! I've had a couple of goes at this previously and the results haven't been bad, but I'd now like to understand what I'm doing.

If you search for elderberry recipes in a 5 gallon batch, there are different quantities of fruit suggested, from 2-4 (or even higher).

Can someone explain to me what the correct amount should be - and why? The most common recipes say 3lb of elderberries vs. 3lb of sugar. What happens if you add more fruit? Would you automatically add more sugar? Does it affect the alcohol content (and not necessarily in a good way)?

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Old 07-29-2013, 02:39 AM   #2
WVMountaineerJack
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First, you need to use a hydrometer to measure your sugar levels not a recipe, and second you need to test how much acid levels your fruit has to you can balance that. Many people think elderberry tastes very strong and are reluctant to go over 3 lb a gallon. The sugar amount varies as to the style of wine you are making, if you want a low alcohol dry wine you add less and a higher alcohol wine you add more, and if you want it sweet you add some at the end. Also with elderberries its very important to only use the ripe fruit, if you pick it, put it in a bucket of cold water and gently swish it around the unripe red and green fruit should float out of the bucket, havent done it with your elderberries but they shouldnt be much different than ours as far as ripe. This wine also takes oak well. You can go all juice but that might be a bit over the top for some people, 50% juice makes a very strong flavored elderberry. You can also mix in some apple juice or blackberries to add a little more flavor. WVMJ

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Old 07-30-2013, 03:35 PM   #3
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Many thanks - that helps!

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