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Old 09-23-2017, 08:58 AM   #11
Cher
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Wow, montanaWineGuy! 18 gallons of elderberry wine. How many pounds of berries did you steam to get that much juice?

 
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:36 AM   #12
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I make my elderberry with 5#/gallon fresh-frozen. It certainly doesn't need any more than that, but I generally cold soak them.
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Old 09-24-2017, 06:08 AM   #13
montanaWineGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cher View Post
Wow, montanaWineGuy! 18 gallons of elderberry wine. How many pounds of berries did you steam to get that much juice?
A lot. I didn't weigh. Roughly enough berries w/ vines still attached to fill 9 to 10 gallon buckets. I picked enough to fill a large storage bin, and it took hours and hours to steam it all into pure juice.

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Old 09-24-2017, 07:17 AM   #14
salcoco
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nominally Jack Keller's recipe call for 4-5 ounces of dried elderberries per gallon of water. I would use your fruit wine base add whatever recommended water and 4 ounces of dried elderberries per gallon measure your specific gravity and add sugar to reach a sg=1090. this should give you a robust wine.

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Old 09-24-2017, 10:19 PM   #15
Scooter68
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Just to be sure folks - Vintners' Harvest and Vintner's Best are two very different products. The first is, as far as I have investigated and checked personally 100% the Fruit Named on the label, nothing else. The second is made with a variety of fruit juices in addition to the fruit name on the label. In fact in all the cases I've checked the named fruit is NOT even first on the list - meaning that named fruit is not the only fruit juice in the containers. The ones I checked contained Apple Juice, White Grape Juice and/or Pear Juice as the leading fruit varieties with the Named Juice NOT being the major juice. In fact here is the list of ingredients for Vintner's BestŪ Blackberry Fruit Wine Base: High Fructose Corn Syrup; Apple, Pear, Blackberry & Grape Juice Concentrates; Water; Citric Acid; Natural Flavors

In other words you are paying a premium price for Corn Syrup, along with some Apple, Pear, Blackberry and Grape juice. Last I shopped I could by 4 lbs of cane sugar for less than $2.00 - I don't think Corn Syrup costs much more than that. And for the record I only make 3 gallon batches with the Vintners Harvest 96 oz cans. They have all turned out great.
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Old 10-02-2017, 11:51 AM   #16
Cher
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Thanks again for all the help and advice. Particular thanks to Salcoco who saved me from a mistake regarding Jack Keller's recipe for dried elderberry wine. I had been reading "4 - 5 1/4 oz dried elderberries" as 4, 5 1/4 ounce packages of dried berries, or 21 ounces dried elderberrries per gallon. Salcoco's comment made me read that again and this time understand it. Duh.

Anyway, I managed to round up a pound of dried elderberries plus one of the 96 ounce cans of elderberry wine base (Vintner's Harvest) referenced above. That is in addition to the 128 ounce plastic jug of Vintner's Best elderberry wine base I had originally purchased. As Scooter68 mentioned, these are very different things and I regretted the original purchase upon reading the ingredients.

The plan for all these elderberry potions is to make two 3 gallon batches, one from the canned berries/juice and the other from dried. To each batch I will add half the Vintner's Best mixture (with its corn syrup, etc.) plus water and sugar to achieve a reasonable starting specific gravity. I may even use the same yeast for both batches.

The first one was mixed up last night. In addition to the canned berries (poured them into a bag but there were very few identifiable berries, almost all juice) we used 2 quarts of the Vintner's Best (which smelled pretty good, like elderberries not apple or pears) water to 3 gallons and 2 1/2 pounds of sugar which brought the SG to 1.09. Medium toast French oak chips were also put into the bag. I used a whole 8 g packet of VRB yeast rehydrated with GoFerm. It is in a loosely covered bucket, bubbling nicely and smells good. The recipe on the side of the can called for acid blend, an initial kmeta dose before yeast and peptic enzyme. The pH was 3.3 so we skipped the acid blend. The VB syrup was supposed to be adjusted for acid, so maybe that helped. With canned fruit, we didn't see the need to add kmeta and then wait 24 hours to pitch yeast. There were hardly any intact berries so not sure what the pectic enzyme will do, but we had it so added a teaspoon as called for. Don't see that it will do any harm.

The other half of the Vintner's Best (VB) syrup is in the refrigerator, waiting for a small fermenter to become available so I can start the dried batch. The plan there is to mostly follow Keller's recipe, using the VB syrup to provide some of the needed sugar and adding whatever elderberry flavor it can.

Will keep y'all posted on how this works out. Thanks again for the help,
Cher

 
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:48 PM   #17
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Have been busy so a little late with this. I have used both the elderberry & blackberry 96 oz cans & found 5 gallon batch with elderberry is really good, five gal w/blackberry is too thin so have done 3 gal and found it to be much better. Have one of each bulk ageing now. Have 40# of blackberries in freezer now so will have more on line soon.

 
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Old 10-16-2017, 04:51 PM   #18
Cher
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Time for an update on my batches of elderberry wine. First the one made with the 96 oz can of Vintner's Harvest. I am calling it Elderberry I. It was sweetened with half a jug of Vintner's Best elderberry syrup plus 2-1/2 pounds of sugar, as described above. Starting SG was 1.09 and the yeast was VRB.

This was a slow, steady ferment that smelled wonderful all through primary. Honestly, it smelled better than any grape ferment we've ever done. No off odors and it did not lose the elderberry fragrance, even near the end. On day 8, the SG was 1.000 and I transferred to a carboy and a jug. It foamed over when racking into the carboy, hence the jug. VRB is a kind of foamy yeast and the wine apparently keeps this characteristic, because I tried to pour the jug contents into the carboy the next day and it foamed up again. Managed to get enough in the carboy so the overage fit in a 1.5 l bottle, see pic. You can see the layer of foam, as well. Sorry it is sideways and enormous, can't figure out how to fix that.

Noticed a little H2S odor in the carboy wine. On day 11, I vacuum racked to a clean carboy and that seemed to get rid of the stinkiness. As of yesterday the carboy and bottle are now topped up, smelling nice again and have some French oak cubes inside.

We think this is a very promising young wine. Not sure why the stinky smell showed up when it moved to the carboy, but racking seems to have fixed it. Will be sniffing often to make sure it stays gone.

The color is dark, dark purple. We will see how that holds up as it clears, still a lot of solids dropping out. Thanks for all the advice. I will post on Elderberry II (from dried berries) soon.

Cher
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Old 10-17-2017, 05:43 AM   #19
Stressbaby
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The color will hold up fine. I use a bit of elderberry to help with color in some of my other fruit wines.
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Old 10-17-2017, 12:35 PM   #20
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I am a little late to this Elderberry Party. I have made a lot of Elderberry Wine from dried Elderberries from E C Krause. It made a fine wine as per directions. But our fav Elderberry is made from Home Winery concentrate. Very easy, no fuss or mess. But I use 1 pint of their concentrate to a gallon of must. That is one extra pint per 5 gallon batch. Sometimes I'll add an extra pint of Cab to the 1/2 gallon of Elderberry concentrate. Just ordered 4 - 1/2 gallon jugs, going to make a Blackberry/Elderberry blend. Roy ps Elderberry is one of Favorite wines and an every day drinker.

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