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Elderberries & toxicity?

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beckerkorn

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Hi all,

I have about 3 lb of frozen elderberries that I got from a specialty restaurant supplier. Everything I've read about ingesting elderberries suggests that they are poisonous until cooked. I'm wondering if I need to treat the elderberries with heat in order to take out the toxins? Or does fermentation detoxify them through a chemical process?

Second question: I plan to dethaw and crush them (and heat/cook if needed?), add cane sugar, and ferment with the pulp sitting in a cheesecloth bag in the bucket. That's what I did with peaches. But for elderberries, is it better not to leave in the pulp? Maybe the pulp is what has the toxins?

Lastly! If I start with 3 lb frozen elderberries, how much sugar should I add, and how much wine will it make? I would prefer not to top up with water, as I don't want to dilute it.

Thanks!!!
 

Stressbaby

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I do heat treat mine, but not because of toxins. I learned that way, was told it helps set the color, and I'm in a rut.
 

balatonwine

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The alkaloids and cyanide-producing glycoside in elderberries are in all elderberries, including in the seeds, leaves, bark, roots.

But.... black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is only a problem for unripe fruit (notice the highlight -- if in doubt about ripeness, just remove the seeds and you are okay or cook the fruit flesh -- cooking is a common activity in many home elderberry recipes). Blue elderberry (Sambucus mexicana) fruit is edible.
 

WVMountaineerJack

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Check out our elderberry webpage http://www.wvmjack.com/Elderberries/Elderberries.html . Each way you prepare your elderberry wine makes a difference in taste. If you cook the berries, or steam extract them it will taste different than using raw fruit. I think raw gives a more fruitier flavor over heating them. We also like to dry ours in a dehydrator and make wine from them, it enhances the flavors, sort of like using raisins vs fresh grapes. Also some oak goes very well in an elderberry mead, extra good in a dried elderberry mead.
 

pgentile

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"Fresh and raw frozen berries need to be fermented or heated so that the entire volume reaches 180 degrees F, or more, to neutralize the glycosides (proto-cyanides) that can cause pain or sickness in the digestive system. Different folks have different tolerances, but all are affected.

Picrate Paper Reaction - like a pH test strip - is red-brown, but not extremely sensitive, but quick and easy to determine if any glycoside/proto-cyanide is present. The U of MO is testing each of the parts for cyanide using a more accurate and sensitive testing method vs. Picrate paper."

http://www.midwest-elderberry.coop/buying/

Doing a little research, I have elderberry concentrate and a lb of dried elderberries. Was looking for any sources of frozen and came across this site.
 

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