Elderberry Winter Experiment

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pgentile

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I know this won't be a purists elderberry wine, but I've been intrigued for a while. I realized too late this year that I encounter many elderberry bushes where I walk and hike around Philly. But did not acquire any, next year will be different.

But I need a winter doldrums ferment. I did a pear concentrate with 15lbs of frozen pineapple bits two weeks that had the most amazing smell during fermentation

I have elderberry concentrate and a total of 1.5 lbs of dry elderberries.

Recipe so far:

1.5 lbs dried elderberries
64oz elderberry concentrate
water to 5.5 gl
sugar to 1.080
acid blend
tannin
nutrient


i have read to both poor boiling water, and not to, on the dried elderberries. Not sure what to do here. Not worried about toxins, but would boiling water bring out more using dried berries?
 

Julie

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I would say that pouring boiling water would bring out more juice from the dried berries. The problem that most people are concerned with is when boiling the fruit you are setting the pectin which will cause a haze in your wine. I don't think pouring hot water onto dried berries would cause this.
 

pgentile

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I started this tonight, the dried elderberries bled dark burgundy from the hot water much darker than I was expecting. Actually a few berries got wet with a little cold water and still turned the water dark. Added everything in the recipe above except the tannin. Will use rc212. Will get pH and TA before I pitch.
 

pgentile

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pH came in at 3.43. Fermenting away nicely. Smell is nice, familiar although I can't pinpoint it.
 

pgentile

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IMG_20180201_123631295_HDR_1.jpg Was at .998, racked to secondary two nights ago. One thing I didn't account for was how much liquid the dry elderberries would absorb and not give back despite squeezing the bag pretty tight. Will have to age in 4-5 one gallon vessels, instead of five gl carboy. I don't feel like topping up with something else as much as it needs. Crappy phone shot but it's the second from left. Haven't tasted yet, but will when I rack from secondary.
 

treesaver

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There is no pectin in elderberrys. I steam juice elderberrys every year and have not ever had wine that wouldn't clear. Some other fruits and berrys are not suitable for heating.
I would say that pouring boiling water would bring out more juice from the dried berries. The problem that most people are concerned with is when boiling the fruit you are setting the pectin which will cause a haze in your wine. I don't think pouring hot water onto dried berries would cause this.
 

treesaver

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View attachment 46203 Was at .998, racked to secondary two nights ago. One thing I didn't account for was how much liquid the dry elderberries would absorb and not give back despite squeezing the bag pretty tight. Will have to age in 4-5 one gallon vessels, instead of five gl carboy. I don't feel like topping up with something else as much as it needs. Crappy phone shot but it's the second from left. Haven't tasted yet, but will when I rack from secondary.

I use a blanket of co2 on carboys that have headspace. I bulk age all my wines, and use solid bungs, not airlocks, after the ferment is over and rack it into a new carboy. I can't remember ever losing any wine by doing this, and it sure saves watering down your wine, topping it off with water or blending other wine into it.
 

pgentile

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I use a blanket of co2 on carboys that have headspace. I bulk age all my wines, and use solid bungs, not airlocks, after the ferment is over and rack it into a new carboy. I can't remember ever losing any wine by doing this, and it sure saves watering down your wine, topping it off with water or blending other wine into it.
Yeah, no desire to use water down to top up. Don't want to blend this in any way either. Good idea with co2 in headspace. And I just remembered the headspace eliminator exists from AIO pump.
 

pgentile

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Racked this today, and finally tasted, not ever having tasted an elderberry wine before I had no idea what to expect, and I must say this is pretty darn good. Nose is of a very young wine but taste wise it's very much like a red wine. Very drinkable right now. This is going to be interesting as it ages. Can't wait to harvest some elderberries this coming year.
 

Country

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I am going to try to make a one gallon batch from 100% elderberry juice. Do you think that 34 ounces of juice (not concentrate) will be sufficient to pull this off? The SG of the juice is 1.060 right out of the bottle. Planning on using simple syrup to raise to 1.090, or maybe apple or pear concentrate. Plus acids and nutrients, of course.
 

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pgentile

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I am going to try to make a one gallon batch from 100% elderberry juice. Do you think that 34 ounces of juice (not concentrate) will be sufficient to pull this off? The SG of the juice is 1.060 right out of the bottle. Planning on using simple syrup to raise to 1.090, or maybe apple or pear concentrate. Plus acids and nutrients, of course.

Is your plan to dilute the 34 oz of juice with water and sugar/concentrate to get to 128 oz? I think most elderberry purest would suggest getting four 34 oz bottles to make a gallon and add simple syrup to get to 1.090 and 1.25-1.5 gls in volume. Then after racking a few times through the process ending up with one gallon or so. But that's ideal. 1.060 is pretty close to where I was at with the concentrate after diluting to 5 gl and before sugar addition. I did consider diluting concentrate until 1.090 with no sugar, maybe next time.

My batch has enough flavor even after diluting to full 5 gl, but I did add 1.5lbs of dried elderberries.

So your elderberry juice might have enough flavor to handle the dilution, but others here with more elderberry experience would know better.
 

Country

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Thanks for the reply. I have another 17 ounce bottle that I think I will add to top up after the first rack. To make it out of a full gallon of juice at almost $8.00 per bottle was just too much to spend on this little experiment. I used 4 cups of sugar, 3tsp of lemon juice and 1.5tsp of acid blend to get my start numbers. The sweetened juice had a really good taste, first time I’ve ever tasted these little gems :)
 

Country

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Well, my SG crept up and the mix was looking a little thin so I added another 2 bottles of this fabulous liquid + acid blend.
 

Country

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About how much acid blend did you end up using? As my elderberry experiment failed miserably, I am inclined to copy yours! :)
 

pgentile

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Tastes flat? The acid blend I used for this came pre-measured with the concentrate. But I believe it was around 3.3-3.5 tblsp for 5 gls. One gallon batch you'd probably want about 2 tsp. But really should test the acid to be sure of what your addition should be.
 

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