Quantcast

Elderberry wine????

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

myakkagldwngr

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2009
Messages
785
Reaction score
4
I've got some Elderberry, actually my first attempt, now settling after it's first rack. Everything I've seen suggests letting it sit at least a year to age.
Have any of you made much Elderberry? And if so, when can I expect to sample it to see what kind of monster I've created.
Earl.
 

Wade E

Premium
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
33,224
Reaction score
268
You can sample it when ever to see how its coming along, just make sure you still have enough in the carboy or you will have to top it up. If you sweeten the wine back then it usually takes some time off aging but still needs time. Most fruit wines will need around 6-8 months minumum before they really start showing some real aromas and tastes.
 

myakkagldwngr

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2009
Messages
785
Reaction score
4
The first time I racked it, I tried just a sip or two and it definitely was wine, and seemed to be fairly strong in the alcohol department.
 

Russ Stewart

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
50
Reaction score
0
I have 3 gallons of elderberry wine that I started last Sept - 10 months ago. It has good color and clarity but still tastes rather strong and bitter. Does elderberry typically take this long to 'calm down' and age into a good, drinkable wine? I am going to go ahead and back-sweeten it some and bottle it up in the next week or two - I hope it turns out OK because some of the wine makers on here have raved about how good elderberry wine is! Thanks

Russ
 

Wade E

Premium
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
33,224
Reaction score
268
Elderberry is a very strong taste unlike many other fragile wines. Sweetening it up will usuall drastically improve many wines and make them much more drinkable. Most fruit wines will take this long especially if leaving it dry.
 

Luc

Dutch Winemaker
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
1,615
Reaction score
33
I have made loads of elderberry wine and mostly use this recipe/procedure:

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

I make mine high alcohol and lots of sweetness to make it like a port-style wine. These are directly drinkable !!! But definitely improve with age.

Elderberries have lots of tannin and occasionally I make a dry elderberry wine. Last year I made such a batch which had a lot of tannin which you perceive as astringent.
This one has to age several years before becoming drinkable.

So if you like it, dink it and put some bottles apart for aging.
If you think it is to astringent, let it age and it will improve tremendously.

Luc
 

myakkagldwngr

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2009
Messages
785
Reaction score
4
I've actually made two batches now. The first was only three gallons because of the weight of the berries. The second was closer to six gallons.
I tried both batchs while racking them and have some surprises.
The second batch, is nice, but strong on the alcohol side.
The first has an unexpected "earthy" taste and isn't really enjoyable right now. I have bottled it and will let it set. If it doesn't get better with age, I'll either use it to mix with something else or maybe even cook it to get rid of everything but the alcohol.
 

Sacalait

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
804
Reaction score
8
I have made loads of elderberry wine and mostly use this recipe/procedure:

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

I make mine high alcohol and lots of sweetness to make it like a port-style wine. These are directly drinkable !!! But definitely improve with age.

Elderberries have lots of tannin and occasionally I make a dry elderberry wine. Last year I made such a batch which had a lot of tannin which you perceive as astringent.
This one has to age several years before becoming drinkable.

So if you like it, dink it and put some bottles apart for aging.
If you think it is to astringent, let it age and it will improve tremendously.

Luc
Do you have a secret as how to remove the berries from the stems while in the field? Looking at the pictures you provided, I see no stems in your bucket...how do you manage that?
 

Becks the Elder

Country Wines.
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
71
Reaction score
0
I've heard that some people use a folk to 'comb' the berries off the stems. I've not tried this as I use dried elderberries in my wine. Luc's yer man. I expect he will have more information for you.

Cheers.
 

Luc

Dutch Winemaker
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
1,615
Reaction score
33
I am afraid you will not believe me, but I am going to tell anyhow.

All done by hand in the field.
No forks or other aids.

The year before last year and the year before that, I took a week off from work just to pick elderberries. Each of these years I harvested about 40 kilo, and 8 to 10 kilo blackberries. Each time enough for about 140 liter wine.
It was more like work as having a holliday !!!
At these times you realise that all the romantic thoughts we have about having our own wine-chateau is just plain bull-manure.....
But then elderberry wine and elderberry-blackberry wine is worth it every penny in my opinion.
It is just hard work to earn your money.

Back to the issue.
I indeed pick then by hand. I get rid of the stems in the field.
I never used a fork because in my opinion it rips off to many stems with the unripe berries. Besides that a fork might damage (read crush) berries, and I wash them at home to get rid of exhaust fumes, bugs, bird-manure etc etc etc.
Like you can see on my web-log washing also seperates the unripe-ones easily. And you can not do that with bruised berries, you will loose to much juice.

So shake the screen and the overripe berries will just fall off. The rest which is ripe but still attached is picked by taking the complete screen in my hand, fold my fingers around it and pull gently all the berries off.

Luc
 

Latest posts

Top