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Becks the Elder

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Hi everyone,

I think I have a problem (what's new?).

I've been bashing out my elderberry wine for a while now without any problems. Unfortunately my Batch #5 is causing me problems.

I rather over did the sugar in the primary. It was unintentional - honest.

I used

1.25 Kg of dried Elderberries
1.25 Kg of Raisins
7.75 Kg Sugar
22l of water
Yeast, pectolase & Yeast nutrients.

I had a starting SG of 1120
and I now have an SG of 1004

So far all my batches ferment out at 992.

This batch was racked to secondary and then racked again after about 6 weeks. It seems to have been stuck for around 7-10 days.

I think Batch #5 is currently sitting at around 15.75% abv but I know it will go higher as I have a couple of batches at around 17% abv. I'm not that bothered about the strength it is the residual sweetness that bothers me.

The room temp. is around 20 degrees C during the day, dropping at night (though not by much). Would putting a heater belt 'round the carboy be a good place to start?

Should I put another sachet of yeast in the carboy? If so should I use the same 'all purpose red' or use a high alcohol yeast?

Other suggestions / help gratefully received.

My other option is to fortify the batch with brandy and turn it into elderberry port. Problem there is that this is a double batch (10 Imp. Gallons). Thats a lot of brandy!

Cheers!

Becks.
 
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Boozehag

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Oh hey Becks been wondering how youre getting on!
I wont attempt to help you ...sorry...too new and not up with the play enough, but Im sure someone will be along soon.

Was meaning to ask yuo about your ginger wine as how it ended up??? i have some brewing now. Want to know if we followed the same receipe or not. Email me!!!!!


anyway back to the elderberry.......
 

Becks the Elder

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Sticking or Stuck.

Having spent they day turning my elderberry Batch #5 problem over in my tiny little mind my thoughts have started to turn to my #6 Batch.

My #6 Batch went into the Secondary on 29 Aug. It's 'plopping' away nicely. 10 Imp. Gallons with a projected abv of 15%.

Is my best bet just to split the sticking #5 and mix it with the newly fermenting #6?

I imagine that would lower the sugar concentration just enough for both batches to ferment out at 992.

Are there any draw backs with taking this course of action? I think this may be the answer but my lack of experience means i need a little feedback.

Many thanks,

Becks.


[P.S. - Thanks for the message Col. I'll certainly send you an email real soon. Hope all is well with you and yours. All the Best.]
 

surlees

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IMO you have too much alcohol to restart this fermentation. The alcohol level is too high for yeast to live without a slow adaptation to that level. I believe you have plenty of alcohol and should just stop where you are.

Fred
 

Luc

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Have you tasted it ????

You might actually like it.

Most of my elderberry wines are around 15% alcohol
and a lot of residual sugar, just like yours is now.
Actually we love it that way, around here.

Luc
 

myakkagldwngr

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Hi from central Florida. My mind is working slow this morning as I'm thinking of your receipe and mine.
You used 1.25 Kilo's and I'm figuring that's about 3 lbs give or take for 22l
My first attempts at elderberry, actually my first attempts at wine was 3lbs per gallon.
It so far hasn't impressed me. It's very strong. Are elderberries strong enough berry that I used too much?
 

smurfe

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Hi from central Florida. My mind is working slow this morning as I'm thinking of your receipe and mine.
You used 1.25 Kilo's and I'm figuring that's about 3 lbs give or take for 22l
My first attempts at elderberry, actually my first attempts at wine was 3lbs per gallon.
It so far hasn't impressed me. It's very strong. Are elderberries strong enough berry that I used too much?
Elderberries are pretty tannic and yes you can overdo it.
 

Becks the Elder

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Hi myakkagldwngr,

Did you use dried or fresh berries?

How long did you let the Primary sit for? If you leave the must in the primary for too long (more than 3-4 days you can get rather high tannin levels from the berries). I believe that there are those around that use a lot more berries then me in their wine. There is also a rather large degree of variation in the wine produced from berries of different bushes - some can be very tanic or astringent while others are quite smooth. Whether this is down to sub-species of bush, growing / weather conditions etc. I haven't the faintest idea. Aging can mellow the wine considerably but this can take several years.

How old is your wine? Mine is usually ready to drink about 6-8 months after leaving the primary. What was it that you were unhappy about with your wine? Did you use raisins in the recipe? People have often told me that they have tried to make elderberry wine but with rather poor results. I think the main problem is finding a good recipe.

I guess the other possibility is that the wine the berries produce just isn't to your taste but I'm sure with the right ratios you'd produce something really special.

Here is the basic recipe I use:


Dried Elderberry Wine Recipe.


Expected Alcohol: 14.6% ABV

Starting SG 1100
Expected Final SG 992


Elderberries (Dried – 1.25 Kg)
Raisins (1.25 Kg)*
White Granulated Sugar 7 Kg
Red Wine Yeast
Yeast nutrient 2 Level Tbsp.**
Boiling Water 22 ltrs.
Pectolase 3 Level Tbsp.**

*Raisins prepared as suggested by Luc - http://wijnmaker.blogspot.com/2007/11/rozijnen-raisins.html



Place Elderberries, Sugar & Minced Raisins directly in the bin and pour on the boiling water. Dissolve the sugar. Wait until cool (takes about 24 hours).

Add Pectolase.

Leave for 24 Hours.

Add the yeast & yeast nutrient.

Cover well and leave in a warm place or wrapped in brewbelt to ferment for 3 days only.

Strain off the liquid into secondary and fit a cork and airlock. Leave to ferment for approximately 4 weeks, or until fermented out. Rack. When SG reaches 992 and fermentation has ceased add one Campden tablet and 1/4 teaspoon of Stopper per gallon**. Leave to settle for the rest of the month. Rack. Leave for two months.

The wine can now be racked to storage and drunk within 3 to 6 months or left to mature. Leave airlock on and change water every month.


**Chemical dose will vary with make. Follow makers instructions.


An alternative is Luc's Fresh Elderberry recipe. Here:
http://wijnmaker.blogspot.com/2007/08/scroll-down-for-english-version-ik-had.html
 
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myakkagldwngr

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All my berries have been fresh. The first two batches were small. They have been sitting since June.
All three batches were in the primary no more than four or five days.
Sampling one when bottling to get my carboy empty wasn't too bad. I haven't tried it lately.
The second had a very Earthy taste. Having only been trying my hand at wine now for a few months, I'm not sure how else to describe it, a strong Earthy taste, almost to the point of dumping that batch.
The third was racked for the second time yesterday, it is clearing nicely. I believe I only lost about 1/2 liter to sediment. Thru the clear tubing it looked nice. It's just a strong berry taste compared to my blackberrry that I like alot.
I got the receipe from an Uncle who made wine a few times. Probably never got into it seriously.
15 lbs berries to five gallons of water. I added 6 lbs of raisins and 10 lbs sugar.
Thanks for the information. All the help is appreciated. I've really enjoyed what I've done so far and can see this being something I'll be doing for a while.
It's nice to be able to produce what you drink.
 

Becks the Elder

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IMO you may have used too many berries and possibly too many raisins although this may be a moot point. An article on Elderberries was posted here a while ago. I cant remember who posted it but here is the URL:

http://www.winemakermag.com/stories/issue/article/issues/109-april-may-2009/841-elderberry-wine

I think some of the problems surrounding Elderberry discussions stem from the difference between European and US stains.

As I know very little about fresh berries, even less about US variations, I don't really feel qualified to offer much advice. Given the quantity of raisins you used in your recipe your method for prepping them may have had an effect on your wine. What I would say is stick with the batches you feel are poor as you will probably find they improve with time... the question is 'How much time?'

Hopefully the links given here and in previous posts will give you some hints and tips regarding your batch and pointers for any subsequent attempts. It's just a case of matching your raw ingredients, your tastes and your recipe. I'm sure you'll crack it next time 'round.

Good Luck in you endeavours, All the Best,

Becks.
 

WaWa

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Does anyone know where to get elderberries, fresh or frozen, in NZ for wine?
 
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