Quantcast

Nearly There! The home stretch.

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

Becks the Elder

Country Wines.
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
71
Reaction score
0
Hi everyone,

Today I looked at my 6 demijohns and decided that fermentation looked pretty sluggish so I decided to rack them into my new carboy. They had been in demijohns for about 17 days. Once racked I measured the SG and found the elderberry wine had dropped from 1098 to 992. I guess that's it then. At the moment it is sitting in the carboy with an air lock in it. Gas bubbled out slowly for the first hour but now seems to have stopped.

I think the ABV should be about 14.4% at the moment and I don't really want it to go any higher. So, the next step is to add the potassium sorbate and campden tablets but should I do that now or should I leave it a few days / weeks? If I leave it how much higher is the abv likely to go?

Once I add the sorbate and campden should I leave the airlock in and let the wine sit for a month or two before racking again to give the gas a chance to escape naturally? I've heard that fruit wines don't generally need to be 'degassed' as time tends to do it.

Thanks for all the help and advice I've received, the winemaking has been great fun and so far I'm pleased with the way the wine has been going.

Cheers!
 
Last edited:

cpfan

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
4,867
Reaction score
193
Becks:

I have never made elderberry wine, but I doubt it will go much below .992.

I suspect that you could choose either option...wait a week, or do it know.

Steve
 

Becks the Elder

Country Wines.
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
71
Reaction score
0
Thanks Steve,

I decided to add the sorbate and campden. I've read that once they are added you can leave the wine for 10 days under an airlock and then filter to bottles or bulk storage but as the wine has fermented out so quickly I wonder whether I should leave it in a carboy with an airlock in it for a couple of months to settle first before racking again to give the gas a chance to escape naturally? I've heard that fruit wines don't generally need to be 'degassed' as time tends to do it.

Any suggestions or advice would be gratefully received.

Once the wine is finished, filtered and bunged I intend to leave it in bulk for a minimum of six months.
 

cpfan

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
4,867
Reaction score
193
Becks:

Patience is always a good thing for winemakers. I just bottled a 4-week 'quick drinking', 'wanted for summer' kit. I started it about 8 weeks ago. As we finished filtering it, my wife and I commented that the lees were well settled, and we probably needn't have filtered it.

Degassing...to the best of my knowledge, I have never made a wine that didn't need degassing. Sitting in a carboy for 6 months doesn't seem to degas a wine. Now I haven't made many fruit wines. I would also guess that the amount of CO2 will initially be dependent on the amount of alcohol. So lower alcohol fruit wines will be easier to degas than higher alcohol.

Steve
 

Luc

Dutch Winemaker
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
1,615
Reaction score
33
Becks,

I make loads of elderberry wine each year. It is my all-time favorite.

I never filter. I do not fine. I let time take care of it.

So in this particular case I would just wait a few more weeks, see if any sediment forms, then rack again. During racking the gas will get out. So your idea about waiting a few months is along the same lines as I would do. Why hurry (unless you need the carboys).

Luc
 

Becks the Elder

Country Wines.
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
71
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the advice guys,

I don't need the carboy as I am about to collect my third. They are not cheap but a whole lot cheaper then dried elderberries at the moment. I was quoted £40 per Kilo by two different sellers yesterday! :eek:

Plenty of outlets are still selling at around £13 - £15 per Kg so I'll get a few bags in to take me up to the berry season. A bad Summer here last year by all accounts.

I'll wait it out with this batch and rack a couple more times. I hope to get a test taste at least in for my birthday in mid October.

Thanks again for all the help.
 

Wade E

Premium
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
33,224
Reaction score
268
I would personally degas it some as that will let it clear better while it sits, Suspended gas will hold sediment in suspension in your wine. I have had wine bulk age for a little over a year and was still gassy as all heck and have had batches that were only 2 months old that needed very little degassing you will need to decide this yourself but just make sure you make the right decision as it really bites when you bottle a gassy wine.
 

Skyhawk

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
126
Reaction score
1
I've never had to "degas" a wine before. If you've bulk aged your wine a year and it still has a lot of dissolved CO2 in it, you've had a solid bung in it and it's been under pressure.

Even a few weeks of leaving CO2 filled wine at normal atmospheric pressure makes a huge difference. After a couple of months bulk aging and racking, a degassing shouldn't make any difference. In fact, on occasion I've tried to whip the small end of my spoon around in the carboy after a few months, and not a bubble was formed. It didn't matter whether the wine was from wild fruit, grapes, or juice - red or white.

Think of leaving an open 2 liter bottle of coke on your counter for a couple days. Does it get flat on its own? Or do you have to "degas" it?

Degassing is for those with kits who are impatient to clear and put it into the bottle right after fermentation so they can drink it ASAP.
 

Wade E

Premium
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
33,224
Reaction score
268
Nver used a solid bung in my life just drilled bungs and airlocks. Some people can detect gassy wines more then others, that being said if you make wine mostly from grapes then you really dont have this problem as pressing the grapes after fermentation will rid your wine of 95% of any gas. This also depends on the temps in the area in which you store your wine in bulk aging, mine are in my cellar whih stays a pretty constant 58*.
 

Becks the Elder

Country Wines.
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
71
Reaction score
0
Do you think atmospheric pressure variations play a part in the degassing debate? It seems that here in the UK few of the brew suppliers advertise degassing equipment and the few local winemakers I've talked to about this have never degassed and have had no problems.

While monitoring my wine the pressure changes make the wine level in a demijohn regularly fluctuate by around 5mm, sometimes more. Jutting out in the North Sea brings a lot of temperature and pressure changes. Maybe this lack of atmospheric consistency affects the degassing process here in Northern Europe? - Just a thought.
 

Boozehag

NZ Artist
Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Messages
320
Reaction score
0
Hey great you have reached that stage Becks! Is your wine clear? Ive done degassing on my three that are at that stage and all three are still at various stages of cloudy! :( Im going to go stick them in the garage and let them do their own thing. Two I have added finings and the other is still so gassy I gave up! I have brought a wine pump (waiting for it arrive!) so I can try that method of degassing! Hope it works, im sick of stirring it!!!

So what does elderberry taste like? No smarta replies either, I have never seen or tasted them so im interested. Are they like any other type of berry I might know?
 

arcticsid

Arctic Contributor
Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Messages
4,203
Reaction score
57
Sorry you asked

:) I will start with a smile. An elderberry taste like any other but it is a little older.:D I hear these elderberries are suppose to be one of the best beries ever to make wine with. LUC speaks quite highly of them. I have access to quite a few varieties of berries here myself. Now that I have spent the winter learning and experimenting, I have a feeling I too may be looking forward to berrie wine this fall
Troy
(HeeHee)
Sorry Colletee, i didn't notice you asked for no smarty replies before I posted.(yeah right)
 
Last edited:

Boozehag

NZ Artist
Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Messages
320
Reaction score
0
An elderberry is an old berry!!! hahaha, is it still April Fools day? :D
 

arcticsid

Arctic Contributor
Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Messages
4,203
Reaction score
57
might be different there, it's still winter here. April fools day doesn't start here for another hour.:)
Troy
 

Becks the Elder

Country Wines.
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
71
Reaction score
0
Hi Boozehag, Thanks for the interest. The English Elderberry (sabucus nigra) is a member of the honeysuckle family, it grows as tall as 10m and produces a lot of berries. I tried to load some pictures but it seems a little complicated so just "Google Image" the latin name - There are lots of images available. The elder springs up everywhere. Birds love the berries and sow the seed in their usual way. Once rooted they are quite hard to get rid of so nowadays many people view them as a bit of a weed in their garden if they appear. Historically though it seems to have been widely utilized.

Here in the UK people use the flowers to make a cordial and this is commercially available in the supermarkets. The creamy white flowers are also used to make elderflower wine and elderflower champaign. They figure quite prominently in historical recipe books. People even batter and deep fry them. The flowers have a sweet, clean flavor.

Once the flowers are over the green berries start to appear, eventually ripening to a glossy black. They look like black currants and have been known historically as 'the english grape'. They produce what is generally considered to be the best fruit wine you can make, in so far as it produces a wine which is full bodied and very similar to some grape wines. There are several country wine producers here and they always produce elderberry wines. Unfortunately the traditional English taste is rather sweet and this tends to blight the taste of the commercially produced wine.

The wine itself is a really deep red and appears so dark that it looks almost black in the carboy. The wine is so difficult to see through that even if you put a light behind a demijohn full you will not see the bulb. This makes it rather difficult to tell when it has cleared. The colour also makes acid testing difficult (some may say impossible).

Anyway, I hope I haven't spread any mis-information in my description. If I have I hope someone will correct me. I hope the brief explanation was of use, maybe even interesting.

Cheers!
 

Luc

Dutch Winemaker
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
1,615
Reaction score
33
Nothing to correct Becks !!!!

Ask yourself do you like lychee's. If you do then go out and search elders. From the flowers you can make a syrup that resembles the taste of lychees. It is a great syrup which you can use to top icecream, flavor and sweeten your white wines, make icecream from (guess who has an icecream machine....) or just make a cool summer beverage from.
I really recommend it and i make several liters of this syrup each year.

For those interested here is the recipe:
http://wijnmaker.blogspot.com/2008/02/vlierbloesemwijn-elderflower-wine.html

And make sure you make wine from the flowers or from the syrup !!!!!

But do make sure that you do not use all the flowers and leave some to become berries in autumn.

Elderberry wine is in my opinion the best.
It is indeed dark red. You can not see through it even when using a lamp. I sometimes mix elderberries with blackberries which makes the wine even better. I like it sweet and heavy in the alcohol (15% or so). That way it really is a port style wine. A great dessert wine.

So cherish the elders in your environment and you can make superb wine all year through..........

Luc
 
Top