Elderberry/Grape Twist - My Latest Wine Batch

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I really prefer to make my wines from fresh/frozen fruits and/or vegetables. I am looking forward to trying a pumpkin spice, and just pitched my yeast today to a Thawed Elderberry/Fresh Grapes mix.

Both my previous Elderberries fermented like mad and the first is very slow in fermentation now, SG < 1.000. I can still see bubbles but it might bubble in the airlock once every 5 minutes. Elderbery #2 is a little faster than the Blueberry. The Blueberry is fermenting steadily along in secondary (about 1 bubble in airlock every two seconds).

Here is my Elderberry/Grape recipe.

5 lbs frozen and thawed elderberries, hand crushed.
5 lbs fresh grapes, hand crushed (Not wild, concord? Vine was in my yard)
3/8 tsp potassium monobisulfite (no campden tablets used prior to primary)
3/4 tsp yeast nutrient
Added sugar and water to bring volume to about 3.5 gallons and SG to 1.102.
ph without adding any acid blend was 3.6

Created yeast starter with 1/4 teaspoon yeast nutrient, 1/8 tsp acid blend, 2 1/4 tbsp sugar, and 1 3/4 cup of water. Mixed this AM and added to fermentor at about 7:00 tonight.

Can anybody give me any insight as to what I can expect from the Elder/Grape mix versus the elderberry or blueberry batches I have going?
 

Julie

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Elderberry/concord is a good wine, the two seem to blend very well together. But I hate to tell you this you need more fruit that what you have for a 3 gallon batch and sg should be around 1.080 - 1.090.

You should always plan on 5# of fruit for every gallon of wine you want to make.
 
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The numbers for my berry weights came from a book of recipes that has been in reprint many many times since '72. Perhaps my pallette is not well developed, but so far, the three batches I have racked have all tast very much like the fruit I used! I realize that I may get a fuller, more fruity tasting wine by using more fruit and will have to make sure my next batch has more fruit. Thanks for the advice Julie!

BTW...it was something how acidic the grapes were to bring my pH to 3.6. 5lbs of elderberries in my first elderberry batch required like 5tsp of acid blend to get the acidity to 3.6.
 

Randoo

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Concord and elderberry makes an amazing tasting wine, one of my all time favorites. I use a pure Concord base with enough elderberry added impart a pronounced elderberry flavor.

My last batch included 12 cans of frozen concentrated Concord grape juice to make 5 gallons of wine. To this I added 5# of thoroughly crushed elderberries in a fine mesh bag. 5# of sugar, 5 tsp yeast nutrient, 3 tsp pectic enzyme, and 2 Tbsp acid blend to bring acid up to about 0.60%. SG was about 1.100, which gave me a finished alcohol content of about 12.5%. Here is where I depart from most winemakers: Everyday during primary fermentation, when I stir the must, I also squeeze the hell out of the fruit bag to get as much favor as possible out of the elderberries. By about day 6 or 7 when primary is winding down, the fruit volume inside the bag is down to less than half. I wear disposable nitrile gloves for this, for sanitation and also because of the sticky resin that comes out of the elderberries during fermentation. At this point, I pull out the fruit bag and let the SG drop to about 1.03 before racking to secondary. Once aged, this wine is nearly as good as the pure elderberry that I make, and a lot more bang for your buck. I can make 25 gallons of this wine with the same amount of elderberries it takes to make 5 gallons of pure elderberry.
 

Scooter68

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Elderberry is reported by some to be capable of producing a solid wine with only 3lbs per gallon. BUT unless you have compared the differences in taste between 3 or 4 lbs per gallon to at least 5 lbs per gallon you won't know what you don't know. I learned that with Peach wine. NEVER less than 6-7lbs per gallon even with very ripe peaches.

Juile is correct, Never heard anyone complain about a wine being too strongly flavored but on the other hand...
 
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Julie

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I normally use 4# of elderberry per gallon and once I am done with the skins in that batch, put them into a batch of Niagara.
 

JustJoe

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I have been making an elderberry/grape blend for several years (probably more than 50 gallons so far) and I have used 4 to 4 1/2 pounds of fruit per gallon. Results have been great; I have had many compliments on the wine. I am planning to up that to 5 pounds per gallon this year to see if it makes any difference. Also I go for a higher ABV, I start at SG of 1.09 and ferment it dry (usually around .995).
 

Chuck Rairdan

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@JustJoe, currently making a elderberry dominant blend with pomegranate, concord, and blueberry that is in primary ferment. Aiming for about 16% ABV. The flavors and color are quite good and enough antioxidants to revive a zombie. Added some tannins and will be aging on a mix of Hungarian and French oak. Agreed, elderberry is an amazing wine fruit!
 

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