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Elderberries are looking great

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montanaWineGuy

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I figured I was about a month early, and I was. But I did see that the plants are in full bloom, and the still very green berries are in BIG clusters.

I've 66 gallons of spring wine well on their way (apple, rhubarb, and blueberry). Rack the last of them off the lees yesterday, and I'm hoping to start bottling as I pick the elderberries. 66 gallons fully processed by late Aug, and another 66 started soon after.

Damn!!! This is going to be one hell of a wine making year. :db
 

montanaWineGuy

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Sadly, no. Many were nominated, tested, became interesting, but failed minimal standards of behavior and temperament. Still looking, but thinking my puppy might be all that I can hope for in companionship. :ft
 
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sour_grapes

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Sadly, no. Many were nominated, tested, became interesting, but failed minimal standards of behavior and temperament. Still looking, but thinking my puppy might be all that I can hope for in companionship. :ft
I am sorry to hear that. I am also sorry to tell you that your puppy probably does not qualify you, sadly, to make more that 100 gallons of wine a year. You need another adult: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2006-title27-vol1/xml/CFR-2006-title27-vol1-sec24-75.xml Maybe it is time to start casting your net again!! :D
 
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montanaWineGuy

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Let the coppers try and close down this operation. BTW, my wine making book says 500 gallons, at least that's what I remember, one hundred gallons ago. :db
 

Johny99

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Let the coppers try and close down this operation. BTW, my wine making book says 500 gallons, at least that's what I remember, one hundred gallons ago. :db
Hey, you are in Montana, rules are different and coppers are few and far between. How are huckleberries looking?
 
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montanaWineGuy

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Hey, you are in Montana, rules are different and coppers are few and far between. How are huckleberries looking?
I was out checking today. Looks to be a bumper crop. :db

Sheriff is over worked, judge just wants to ease into retirement, nobody is going to jail for making >500 bottles of wine. :h
 

Scooter68

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Let the coppers try and close down this operation. BTW, my wine making book says 500 gallons, at least that's what I remember, one hundred gallons ago. :db

Federal code states 100 gallons per person or max of 200 gallons per residence where 2 or more adults reside. (Posting code below.) Being in Montana you certainly are unlikely to have a problem unless a neighbor has a grudge. (Keep passing out that wine.) :b



In 1978, Congress enacted Public Law 95-458 (H.R. 1337), amending the Internal Revenue Code to allow any adult to produce beer, without the payment of tax, for personal or family use. The beer produced per household may not exceed: (1) 200 gallons per calendar year if there are two or more adults residing in the household, or (2) 100 gallons per calendar year if there is only one adult residing in the household. Under the 27 C.F.R. §25.206, homemade beer for personal or family use may be removed from the premises where made for organized affairs, exhibitions or competitions such as homemaker's contests, tastings or judging. Under 27 C.F.R. 24.75, adults may produce wine for personal or family use in the same amount as allowed for beer.

[From - http://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/home-manufacture-of-alcohol-state-statutes.aspx#MN ]
 

montanaWineGuy

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Being in Montana you certainly are unlikely to have a problem unless a neighbor has a grudge. (Keep passing out that wine.) :b
So I don't have to wrap tin foil around my head? :)

Can you tell me how many people have been prosecuted under this statute?
 

Scooter68

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So I don't have to wrap tin foil around my head? :)

Can you tell me how many people have been prosecuted under this statute?
Laws like this are rarely brought to bear on folks unless they get crossways with local LEOs or the blatantly flaunt their actions by publically selling their products. I imagine a still on a isolated section of land would go undetected unless the operator buys his supplies from someone who comes to dislike or feel like he's a 'dangerous person''

Direct answer I bet there are less than a dozen such cases a year (Stills and Gross violation of the Beer and Wine limits. The focus of the ATF has no doubt been changed to other illegal activities.
 

Stressbaby

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Back to elderberries...pics or it didn't happen. :h

Mine look good too but they don't ripen evenly so I have losses from berries dropping or getting eaten by birds (on the ripe side) and floaters (on the unripe side).
Going to run out to my secret patch today and see whether any of them are ready. I think I'm dialing back the elderberry this year to one 3 gallon batch.
 

montanaWineGuy

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Direct answer I bet there are less than a dozen such cases a year (Stills and Gross violation of the Beer and Wine limits. The focus of the ATF has no doubt been changed to other illegal activities.
I would be surprised if there is even one a year.
 

montanaWineGuy

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Back to elderberries...pics or it didn't happen. :h

Mine look good too but they don't ripen evenly so I have losses from berries dropping or getting eaten by birds (on the ripe side) and floaters (on the unripe side).
Going to run out to my secret patch today and see whether any of them are ready. I think I'm dialing back the elderberry this year to one 3 gallon batch.
Elderberries are my only yearly red wine source. Last year I came across a new and HUGE Elderberry patch, and unfortunately all my carboys were in use, and I did not have my large capacity freezer yet. I was checking my May1st Blueberry wine, and there are still bubbles forming. I'm now thinking that this years crops are going to be used in spring 2018 wine making.
 

Scooter68

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How big are the elderberries? The bushes I seen pictures of look reasonable sized.

I've tossed bout the idea of Black Currant or other berry plants for our place but I think the wife might have me committed if I did that. We have 17.5 acres with lots of wild blackberries, a small amount of wild Black Raspberries and of course my 30+ domestic blueberries. Then there are the pie cherry trees, plum trees, and apple trees. Guess another variety might be pushing it.
 

cmason1957

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Elderberry bushes can get somewhat large. Mine are over 6 feet tall and probably that wide. On the plus side only real maintenance is trimming out any woody looking branches once a year. If you do plant any, plant two different varieties, they can self pollinate, but do better with different varieties.
 

Scooter68

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Elderberry bushes can get somewhat large. Mine are over 6 feet tall and probably that wide. On the plus side only real maintenance is trimming out any woody looking branches once a year. If you do plant any, plant two different varieties, they can self pollinate, but do better with different varieties.
Not sure how they would do in Northwest Arkansas - We hit the 100's frequently in the summer and winters can see a few below zero temps every few years. High temps and Wife's temp are my greatest concern. That I another plant to protect from the birds....
Thanks for the info though at least I know what to expect if I take the leap.
 

Stressbaby

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Not sure how they would do in Northwest Arkansas - We hit the 100's frequently in the summer and winters can see a few below zero temps every few years.
Scooter, I'm pretty sure they are literally growing wild in the roadside ditches all over the place down there.
 

garymc

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They grow in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the Missouri Bootheel, so Northwest Arkansas is probably full of them. You just have to find them. I had some located a few years ago and a couple of days before I went to pick, they were bushhogged. So I planted some in my back yard. I dug up some wild ones and bought some Bob Gordon plants. The Bob Gordon don't get as tall and the heads of berries invert, making them difficult for the birds to get at. If I got the picture right side up, here's some 10-12 foot tall elderberry bushes.

16 - 1.jpg
 

Scooter68

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Thanks, I'll have to go looking for them. We've driven up and down 1-49 here in our area and always see tons of wild blackberry blossoms but with all we have at home, we never drive down there. (Especially with Interstate traffic rules about stopping etc.)
Anyway I've never looked for elderberries so I'm going to have to do some hunting.
 

cmason1957

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Not sure how they would do in Northwest Arkansas - We hit the 100's frequently in the summer and winters can see a few below zero temps every few years. High temps and Wife's temp are my greatest concern. That I another plant to protect from the birds....
Thanks for the info though at least I know what to expect if I take the leap.
Mine here in Missouri, near St. Louis do quite well. They are pretty much weeds. Do you ever see big white flowers near railroad tanks or along highways? I have seen many weeks heading south from here.
 

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