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Elderberry wine and astringency

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Jim Karr

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I've got several batches of elderberry wine that I've made over the last few years. Two batches have fermented down to extremely dry.

The problem is that they're also so astringent that you cannot drink them. When you swallow, it actually causes pain in your swallowing parts.

Another winemaker suggested that I use 100 bloom gelatine, and perhaps also kieselsol as additives. These are supposed to remove astringency.

According to www.piwine.com, these are to be used primarily during or shortly after fermentation is complete. Some of my wine is 3 years old.

Will these still have any effect on wine that is this old?
 
C

Caplan

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I've got several batches of elderberry wine that I've made over the last few years. Two batches have fermented down to extremely dry.

The problem is that they're also so astringent that you cannot drink them. When you swallow, it actually causes pain in your swallowing parts.

Another winemaker suggested that I use 100 bloom gelatine, and perhaps also kieselsol as additives. These are supposed to remove astringency.

According to www.piwine.com, these are to be used primarily during or shortly after fermentation is complete. Some of my wine is 3 years old.

Will these still have any effect on wine that is this old?
The astringency you quote is a well known trait in pure elderberry wines - what recipe did you use? 3 Years is about the time it starts to mellow into something that's almost drinkable.
 

Jim Karr

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Recipe:

Elderberries, still on clusters, in a bucket....cover with one part sugar for each part berries (by volume). The sugar will draw out the juice without crushing.

Take juice, add to fermenter, add more sugar, pitch yeast.

When bubbling stops, bottle or jug.
 
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Also elderberrys are poisonous unless they are taken over a specific tempeature did you add very hot water or was it all cold ingredients? If all cold then it will always make you ill.

It helps to get the juice if you freeze and thaw a couple of times then pour near boiling water over them. Boiling them is a no no as this will make them taste awful and take much longer (years) to be drinkable.

This info is from what I have been told and read BTW but all the recipes i have seen include removing from stems and pouring off the boil water over them. I only made my first batch of elderberry this year so cant comment on how it tastes (still in secondary) but on second thaw my bag of berries was more like a bag of juice and after a week in primary there wasnt much left bar seeds.
 
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jneureuther

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First off , elderberries are not poisonous. I've made wine, juice, and pies out of them for years. Second, You must remove them from the stems. Elderberries are high in tannins. Third, If you add 3 lb. of sugar per gallon and use a port yeast or champagne yeast, you will still get a dry wine. The port yeast will still work when the alcohol content gets too high for an all purpose yeast to survive.
 

Wade E

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The berries are not poisonous, the leaves, stems, buds, bark, and roots do have small amounts of cyanide in them and if enough is left in the wine then the wine gat contain this cyanide so make sure to just use the berries!
 

Luc

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Now here is a discussion that has been going on
for years on many forums and groups.

Are elderberries poisenous ???

There is evidence that they are, and there is evidence
that only the stems and leaves are.
Remember not all elderberries are equal. There are several
varieties around and some might be poisenous and some might not be.
There is surely a difference between European and US-Canadian varieties !!!!

I personally vote in Favor: they are poisenous.
And if they are not I am not willing to take the risk.

So boil the elderberries for about 15 minutes to make sure
all sambunigrin is deteriorated. Than you can be sure that the
berries are not poisenous. Except for 1 thing: unripe berries are
certainly poisenous.

So make sure you really split the ripe ones from the unripe ones.
If you do not know how to do this the easy way take a look at my web-log, there it is demonstarted with pictures:

http://wijnmaker.blogspot.com/2007/08/scroll-down-for-english-version-ik-had.html

Now about the astringency.

Last year (2008) I made 3 batches of each 30 liter.
I made them all the same way I described in my web-log.

2 Batches were immediately drinkable.
1 Batch was really astringent.
Maybe in the last batch berries from a different variety were used. I really am not sure.
So what is the remedy.

You could fine with egg-whites.
Egg whites take away tannins and that would mellow
the batch a lot. I did it once with a batch and it made
it smooth and drinkable within a few weeks.

However I do not do that anymore. I just let it age in my cellar for 6 year and then will have a look........

Winemaking is about patience.

Luc
 

arcticsid

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This forum has really got me interested in this whole elderberry wine thing, I need to see if I can find a bottle at the wine shop, am curious to see what the hype is about.
What makes it unique, is it comparable to anything else?
 

Luc

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What makes elderberry special ???

Well here we go.

First elderberry is an easy grower, it grows almost everywhere
and for free. So anyone interested can harvest it for free.

Second in spring the blossoms smell wonderfull.
From the flowers you can make a more than heavenly syrup.
The syrup is a real winner for over the yoghurt, in the milk as a summer drink, for making icecream with, for sweetening white wines etc etc etc.
It tastes a bit like lychees (litchi), and I have yet to encounter the first
person that does not love it.....

Then you can make from this syrup a great white wine like
I described here (this actually also contains the recipe for the syrup.):
http://wijnmaker.blogspot.com/2008/02/vlierbloesemwijn-elderflower-wine.html

I have a new recipe for elderblossomwine coming up for this spring on my web-log.

Next in autumn you can easily harvest the berries.
The ripe berries fall of the bush when you shake the 'screens'
and if not they can easily be separated from the stems by hand.

Then the berries itself contain astringency, acid and a lot of taste.
So the only thing you need to add is sugar for making wine.

It makes a wonderfull wine when made sweet with high alcohol (port like) although many like it as a dry wine.

So locate elderberries in your environment and start making wine.
You will not be dissapointed.

Luc
 
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arcticsid

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I have been in Alaska almost 30 yys and honestly don't know if we have elderberies here, we have many berries, I pick low bush cranberries, still have about a gallon in the freezer, the bears beat me to the raspberries this year, and normally tons of blueberries, we didn't see many of those this year. So as a general rule how many berries would it take to make a 5 gal batch? I will indeed inquire more about elderberries, whether I pick them or not, you all speak highly of them, and am eager to investigate the taste you speak so highly of.
 

peagen

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mullberry wine

Anyone ever make mullberry wine. I made a few batches in the last couple years. and everybody seems to like it. And I say that because they drank all of it on me.:(
 

shoes

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I have been in Alaska almost 30 yys and honestly don't know if we have elderberies here, we have many berries, I pick low bush cranberries, still have about a gallon in the freezer, the bears beat me to the raspberries this year, and normally tons of blueberries, we didn't see many of those this year. So as a general rule how many berries would it take to make a 5 gal batch? I will indeed inquire more about elderberries, whether I pick them or not, you all speak highly of them, and am eager to investigate the taste you speak so highly of.
are you asking how many elderberrys to make 5 gal.? holy crap! bazillions!
actually, i use a good 15 - 20 pounds of ONLY berrys(no stems) for 5 gal. but then i use the berrys for a "second wine" after the primary is done. i use apple cider for the base for the second wine.
 

Wade E

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Love Mulberry wine, do you have any, they cleaned me out also. I missed this years harvest but a friend just moved into a new home and has 2 huge Mulberry trees in his yard and he has already promised me as much as I want but it will cost me, I have to build him some new custom stairs and balustrade! Oh well, a few weeks of hard work and ill have all the Mulberries I want for as long as he lived there and he and his wife are on their 3rd move and very tired of it! :)
 

peagen

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I dont have any mullberry left either. I also missed the harvest this year. But on the other hand it's only about six months to get some more. My sister inlaw has a tree in her backyard but I know she cut some limbs off of it this summer. I just put down a big tarp down under it and go back in a couple days and get about three five gallon buckets.
 

Ron

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Elderberry wine

This forum has really got me interested in this whole elderberry wine thing, I need to see if I can find a bottle at the wine shop, am curious to see what the hype is about.
What makes it unique, is it comparable to anything else?
Elderberry wine is unique , and very good. Like you, at one time I was intrigued by the thought of making wine from a berrry that was quite abundant in the wild. I asked the local wine shop if they could order a bottle for me , and they did. Sadly, if I had used that first experience with elderberry wine , I would have missed out on a wonderful winemaking experience. The bottle I purchased had, I have come to find out, oxidized. It was brown in color and really tasted quite bad. I did my research online and talked to a local who had some wine making experience. What results now from my efforts is a wine with a color that is absolutely beautiful to look at . The wine is astringent , at first , essentially because I am impatient. I now make enough of it each year so that it has plenty of time to age. And when it has aged at least 1 year, preferably 2 or 3, it will in my opinion stand up to the best of wines. Notably it has what is needed to continue improving for 20 plus years . I do not try to sweeten it and all fermenting has stopped. It is a rather dry wine, but not lacking in its unique flavor. Realize that my elderberry wine is not good because of what I do, it is the elderberry that gets all the credit. I would be interested to hear that elderberries grow as far north as Alaska. Good luck in your winemaking endeavors.
 

Glyn

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Elderberry wine - restart fermentation?

Hi
I have made some Elderberry port wine with the initial SG reading of 1.120 There has been a vigourous fermentation over the last two weeks however there has been no sign of any fermentation for the last two days. I have not yet racked the wine. The current reading is 1.030 Can you advise if I should try and restart the fermentation? Thanks for your help.
 

Arne

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Hey Glyn,
Welcome aboard. I do not know the answer to your question, but I think you will probably get more response if you post in the fruit wine section. Go to the fruit wines, start a new post and see what happens. Good luck, Arne.
 

countrygirl

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glyn, if u did not go to the fruit section, i apologize for highjacking, but since this thread has been revived, i'll bring forth a question that has been bugging me. for all the elderberry wine makers on this forum, does maturity of tree seem to affect anything? since joining this forum and learning about elderberries, i have found my farm to be loaded with them. i have some trees that are 20+ tall. i don't know how i would ever harvest them as they are also in a swampy area...just wondering.
 

BobF

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glyn, if u did not go to the fruit section, i apologize for highjacking, but since this thread has been revived, i'll bring forth a question that has been bugging me. for all the elderberry wine makers on this forum, does maturity of tree seem to affect anything? since joining this forum and learning about elderberries, i have found my farm to be loaded with them. i have some trees that are 20+ tall. i don't know how i would ever harvest them as they are also in a swampy area...just wondering.
I have never read anything about age of the plant making a difference - and I've read EVERYTHING I can find about elders.

20' tall?! Wow! The tallest I've seen are in the 10-12' range. I did find one elder in the middle of a junk pile that has taken on tree-like form. It's still only about 12'

I bet you're happy to have so many on your own property!!
 

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