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Intended Recipe and Method. Elderberry Wine.

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Becks the Elder

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Hi. I have had problems getting a reliable Elderberry Wine recipe which address all the issues which seem to need addressing when making up a batch. This is an amalgamation and best stab at a recipe I can come up with. Will it work?


Elderberry Wine Recipe


I am looking to make a dry to very dry wine with a bit of bite.

Desired Alcohol: 11.5 - 14% ABV

Intended Starting SG 1085
Intended Final SG around 995 – 998
Desired Acidity: 6.0 - 6.5g/L (0.6 - 0.65%TA)


Elderberries (Dried - 250g)
Raisins (250g)
White Granulated Sugar 1120g
Citric Acid (1 teaspoon)
Red Wine Yeast
Yeast nutrient (1 teaspoon)
Water 4.5 ltrs.
Pectolase (as directed)

1 Campden Tablet
Potassium Sorbate (Stoppitt) as directed

RECIPE

Place elderberries directly in the bin and pour on 4.5 ltrs of boiling water. Add and dissolve the granulated sugar. Add Citric acid. Cover.

Wait until cool.

Should I do the Acid Test Now?

Add Pectolase.

Leave for 24 Hours.

After 24 hours add the yeast & yeast nutrient (Should I add B12 as well?).

Cover well and leave in a warm place to ferment for 4-6 days.

Strain off the liquid into glass demijohns and fit a cork and airlock. Leave to ferment for approximately 4 to 6 weeks. When the wine is clear syphon it from the sediment. Check SG and taste. Leave for 1 month. Rack again. Once sugar is spent and the hydrometer registers the desired SG reading add one Campden tablet and 1/4 teaspoon of Stoppit per gallon. Leave for 1 month. Rack again. ‘Degass’ (probably by hand, with the spoon handle back and forth…). Run wine through Vinbrite filter into bottles.

The wine can now be drunk within 3 to 6 months or left to mature.



Other considerations:

Although the recipe is for about a gallon I intend to scale up and make between 4 and 6 gallons.

I intend to keep the ‘head space’ in the demijohns to about an inch or just under. If and when ‘top ups’ are required I intend to use sterilized marbles to occupy any surplus space. That way I will not have to dilute the wine.

I will only ‘fine’ the wine if it doesn’t clear itself.

The house I occupy is not warm so I will have the 2 demijohns on heat trays, 2 in heat belts and one in the airing cupboard (no room for any others there).

The recipe has been adapted from about three different sources. None of which covered all the aspects I was looking for. They were all quite similar and I think I have retained their commonality while incorporating specific additions from each.

I know many things can go wrong and that the fermentation may ‘stick’ and that I may not get the desired SG or whatever but this is just a blue print. An ideal run if you like.

So, Will it work?

Do you see any glaring errors?

What should I watch out for?

Have I got the process in the right order?

When should I carry out the acid test?

Should I use B12 and yeast nutrient?

This is my first attempt at brewing / winemaking so I have no idea what I’m doing!

I know this is a long post and I appreciate the effort you've made in reading this far. Comments, observations and advice gratefully received!

All the Best, Good Health to all. Cheers.

Becks.
 

Luc

Dutch Winemaker
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Becks,

First let me get this straight, I can determine from the amount of water that we are talking imperial gallon........

So that is about 4.5 liter.

Now you are adding 1120 sugar AND 125 gram sugar from the
raisins (they contain about half sugar). That makes 1245 gram
sugar total.

1245 divided the amount of liters (4.5) = 276 gram per liter.
Now that is a hell lot of sugar and will give more as 15% alcohol.....

I always use 18 gram sugar for making 1% alcohol in a liter.

So I think you should lower the sugar with about 100 gram to get to 14% or use even less.

Process the raisins well, they might contain sulphite.
Look here on how I did it:
http://wijnmaker.blogspot.com/2007/11/rozijnen-raisins.html

I would make a yeast starter and so be sure that fermentation really starts of well:

http://wijnmaker.blogspot.com/2007/08/gist-starter-yeast-starter.html

I would measure the acidity first and then adjust addition of citric acid to the right number. I would not add a teaspoon citric acid without measuring first......

I presume you would have to age it longer, but that is easy to test by tasting.

As I have never used dried berries myself I know from literature that you generally use 1/4 of the amount of fresh fruit.

I use 3-4 kilo fresh berries for 10 liter wine.
So dried I would use about 1 kilo.
For 4,5 liter that would be half that amount so about 500 gram.
The recipe calls for 250 gram, so I think I would use more.
Can anybody who has more experience with dried fruit verify this please.......

Luc
 

Becks the Elder

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Thanks Luc, that's most helpful. You're right. I am using the UK Imperial gallon (4.5 ltrs). OK, so I should only add 1 Kg of sugar to the Gallon. Thats good.

The link to your raisin preparation was very useful. Thanks for that.

As far as the acid goes should I use an acid blend (C1, M2, T3) in preference to only using citric?

The 250g of Dried Elderberries are as per the recipe 'Dried Elderberry Wine' in C.J.J. Berry's 'First Steps in Winemaking' (p134 - Nexus, 1996) The suppliers of the dried Elderberries also recommended the use of 250g of berries to make 1 gallon of wine. However, I have also seen it suggested elsewhere that you should divide the amount required (fresh) by 4. Dividing 3Kg by 10l and then by 4 will result in a requirement of roughly 340g of dried elders. I guess it's a matter of concentration. I bought 1.5 Kg of berries so maybe I'll use them all and try for 5 gal. That would be 300g + the raisins.

What are your thoughts on the B12, Needed or not?

Thanks for your advice. I really appreciate it.

Becks.
 
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Luc

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Becks,

Depending wether you want an light or heavier wine I would indeed adjust the amount of elderberries.

I have read that the dries /fresh ratio is indeed 1/4 like
I explained and that is why I would use some more.

Elderberry wines that I have made is like i said from fresh
(frozen) berries. I never need to adjust the acid.
But for bringing some freshness to this wine I would only
use citric acid.

I buy my acids always in 1 kilo bags and when I need a blend, I make my own. You can also make your own blends. In that case I would (again for this wine) use more citric as the other acids.
I would certainly go low on the Malic as the sharpness it brings is not suitable for elderberry wine.

Concerning nutrients I would certainly add some.
B12 is something I never have used myself.

Luc
 

Becks the Elder

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Thanks Luc, your advice has been a huge help. I'll let you know when it gets started... and shortly afterwards, when I've made a mess of it and need more advice! :eek:

All the Best,

Becks.
 
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