Elderberry Wine

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Wade E

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Well I picked a 6 gallon bucket full of these little critters(with stems still). Tomorrow Ill take a pic of them before and after running a fork through them to destem them and see what the tally is. Theres still a lot more out there that I havent even got to and a bunch more that werent ready yet so either way I should be able to scrounge a 6 gallon batch out of them, I hope. These were pretty hard to get at and I almost rolled down a hill into a main road getting them! It was very hot here and I was dripping wet when done!
 

smurfe

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Your one dedicated fruit picker there my man. That ought to be enough to get you a fine batch.
 

Wade E

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This is it for fruit picking though as Im very tired of it now!!!!!!! I dont care if a grape vine sprang up in my yard with enough to make a batch! Yea right, Id be all over it. But really, I want to make a Peach wine to end this all and will probably go the week after next or maybe even next Sunday as Saturday is the big Ct. Wine Competition in which I am 1 of the judges.
 

St Allie

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6 gallons?

how much did the fruit weigh?

Allie
 

Wade E

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If I can get enough for a 6 gallon batch Im going for it, otherwise Ill do a 5 or 3. I dont do 1 gallon batches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I havent weighed yet but I have a 1 gallon bag and 1/4 of another and I havent even dented that 6 gallon bucket full yet. It took a few hours to get as far as I did destemming them into a bucket of water and then straining off the few that float and then dump the good ones into a sieve to dry while I work on the next batch so when I freeze these they dont turn into a block. Just weighed them and Ive got 6 lbs already.

Picture 001.jpg

Picture 002.jpg
 

Tom

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Wade,
I would get as much as you can then freeze till you have enough for a 5-6 gallon batch.
This is what I am doing with Blackbery and Raspberry. I want to make a 6 of each.
 

Wade E

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Thats what i always do and the 6 lbs are already frozen from this afternoon. I still have about 3/4 of the bucket I pcked that havent been destemmed as its painfully tedious. I have them soaking in cold water though.
 

mainecr

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I stumbled on an an elderberry pach today. How do you seperate the berries from the stalks?
 

Wade E

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Im no pro on these but getting there fast. What I did was snip the whol stem of berries and put them all in a bucket till I got home. Then I get 2 plastic buckets and a sieve and wet your fingers and gently roll the berries off the stems into a bucket with cool water in it. The floaters are the ones that are unripe and should go bye-bye. the ones that sink are what you want so strain off all floaters and then pour the goods ones int the sieve which will be resting on the other bucket and let that drip dry and then pour into freezer bags to frezze for at ;east a few days as this will break up the cellular structure of the berry so when you ferment the wine you can get maximum color and taste from these berries using pectic enzyme also. Some people run a fork through the stems but I found I was getting to many stalks that way and took just as long to seperate them later. This is very time consumng!!!!!!!!!!!! Each freezer bag holds approximately 6 lbs of these berries.
 

Luc

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Im no pro on these but getting there fast. What I did was snip the whol stem of berries and put them all in a bucket till I got home. Then I get 2 plastic buckets and a sieve and wet your fingers and gently roll the berries off the stems into a bucket with cool water in it.
You really are getting there fast :b

The only differnce is that I clean them in the field. I roll them just like you off the stems in a bucket.

At home I fill another bucket with clean water and pour some berries in, stir well and indeed the unripe ones will float.

I am not using a comb either as indeed that will get you too many stems in.

Luc
 

upper

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I have de-stemmed about 50 pounds this year,and I am a Cowboy baby....Upper
 

Mud

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I'm ready to start on this tomorrow. I have 18 lbs of clean berries. It's mentioned elsewhere that elderberries have a lot of flavor, so maybe an f-pak is unnecessary if it's a 3 gallon batch with 6 lbs per gallon? I would like to sweeten it a bit when done, but not much. Any suggestions are welcome.

-rookie Mud
 

Wade E

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This stuff is potent and I think all youll have to do is make up a simple syrup after.
 

Mud

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Awesome. Thanks Wade.
 
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Mud

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Turns out I had 21.5# of elderberries, so it's going to be a 4 gallon batch now. Nice to find a little extra.
 

Wade E

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That will be a nice batch there Chad. The color of this stuff is awesome along with the bouquet.
 

Mud

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What kind of yeast do you think, Wade?
 

Mud

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It took a while for the berries to thaw, so I was finally able to pitch the yeast starter this morning. Wish me luck. Now.
 

non-grapenut

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If I can get enough for a 6 gallon batch Im going for it, otherwise Ill do a 5 or 3. I dont do 1 gallon batches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I havent weighed yet but I have a 1 gallon bag and 1/4 of another and I havent even dented that 6 gallon bucket full yet. It took a few hours to get as far as I did destemming them into a bucket of water and then straining off the few that float and then dump the good ones into a sieve to dry while I work on the next batch so when I freeze these they dont turn into a block. Just weighed them and Ive got 6 lbs already.
Beauties! Thems some perty berries, there, Wade. So you used a fork to de-stem them, huh? I used a hair pick..larger mouth = faster processing. We, also, had to fight the stink bugs here in the FL panhandle for them berries..had to process outside due to this. I have a 5gal primary of 3lbs elderberry and 3 lbs of blackberry...Luc shared his recipe with me. I added some spice (ginger, clove) and, I tell you what, it tastes like NOTHING I have ever tasted. When I boiled and processed the berries, though, my plastic containers/utensils got a green goo on them that only came off with cooking oil. Beware the goo!!!! I do agree that these happen to be the hardest berries to pick and process, but I am really looking forward to the result.
 

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