Elderberry something or other

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markm1878

Elderberry something or other

Post by markm1878 » Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:58 pm

Hi, ive got some elderberries from the garden. I managed to get 900g. Is this enough to do anything with?

I was thinking of a gallon of wine but don't think I have enough. Is there anythere fruit/juice that I can buy that wont cost too much to make a decent wine or even a cider?

The berries are in the freezer now. Any harm in them being there for a few weeks while i decide what to do with them?

Thanks in advance
Mark

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Re: Elderberry something or other

Post by oldbloke » Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:47 pm

A carrier bag full of bunches of berries is enough. Less might do.
Looking at the notes for my elderberry wines I see I used around 3lb for a straight elderberry, so you don't really have enough for that.
However, if you use your 900g and add in about 450g blackberries and maybe a few rassies (and a few ounces of blackcuurrant never hurts a berry wine) you'll have pretty much my most succesful recipe so far. 4oz or so chopped raisins are a good idea. Maybe 1tsp citric, or better, an acid mix. Some pectolase.
Pretty much ignore the sugars contributed by the berries and calculate how much ordinary sugar to add by how strong you want your wine. I generally use 1.2kg for about 14%abv

You might use apple juice in place of some of the water, just for fun.

Leaving the berries in the freezer for a while will do no harm, in fact it's a good idea.

Straight elderberry needs a lot of time to mature, it's quite tannic - easily a year sometimes! An elderberry/blackberry mix will be drinkable much sooner.

hazelbrew

Re: Elderberry something or other

Post by hazelbrew » Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:07 pm

keep them in the freezer should be fine for many months.

Go back out and collect more from elsewhere. loads of elder on the paths near me. Loads of sloe and damson this year too.

I'd say to go out and get a larger amount of fruit either elder or later in year and do a mixed batch of sloe/elder or damson/elder.

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Re: Elderberry something or other

Post by Cully » Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:17 pm

Our elderberry wine tasted like burning tires. We made jam with them this year.
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Re: Elderberry something or other

Post by JamesF » Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:35 pm

I'm not entirely sure what burning tyres taste like. Don't think I want to find out,either :)

We have loads of elder. Chuff all fruit on it yet though. This year has been very weird. One of our Victoria plums still has fruit on and the apples that should have been ready to pick two or three weeks ago are still some ways from ripe. The brambles were looking ready to pick more than a month ago, but there's no sweetness to them at all.

The sloes however are looking seriously gorgeous. If I can pick enough and find a sufficiently cheap source of vodka then I might be tempted to go mad and rather than shandying about with a couple of demijohns full I might just see how much of a 25l barrel I can fill.

James
Fermenting: Nothing!
Conditioning: London Pride, Old Speckled Hen, Beaverdale Chardonnay
Maturing: Brewalong Wee Bee, Arkell's Kingsdown, Beaverdale Sauvignon Blanc, Beaverdale Gewurztraminer, Beaverdale Shiraz (5G)
Drinking: Marston's Pedigree, Elderflower Champagne, OSH, London Pride, Arkell's Kingsdown, Seymour's Hobgoblin, Jim's ESB, Fuller's ESB, Arkell's 3B, Beaverdale Shiraz, Beaverdale Merlot
Planned: SMaSH brews with a range of hops, some variety of stout
Pints brewed in 2016: 323
Pints brewed in 2015: 619

hazelbrew

Re: Elderberry something or other

Post by hazelbrew » Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:45 pm

JamesF wrote:I'm not entirely sure what burning tyres taste like. Don't think I want to find out,either :)

We have loads of elder. Chuff all fruit on it yet though. This year has been very weird. One of our Victoria plums still has fruit on and the apples that should have been ready to pick two or three weeks ago are still some ways from ripe. The brambles were looking ready to pick more than a month ago, but there's no sweetness to them at all.

The sloes however are looking seriously gorgeous. If I can pick enough and find a sufficiently cheap source of vodka then I might be tempted to go mad and rather than shandying about with a couple of demijohns full I might just see how much of a 25l barrel I can fill.

James
burning tyres... yuk

elder seems just about right near me right now in Herts. lots of big plump berries hanging down. Found some damsons/bullace a few weeks ago. picked 5kg in just over an hour! those are now in the freezer. the trees still have fruit but I've not had the time to get back to them.

brambles were a washout for me this year. by the time I looked they were nearly over.

Sloes are looking good. Loads of them. enough to catch that dusky blue cloud as you drive past. I like your style thinking about a 25l barrel! you are talking about sloe gin or vodka? or about fermenting them? 25L would be a fairly serious amount of vodka or gin.

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Re: Elderberry something or other

Post by JamesF » Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:53 pm

It would :)

I've done two demijohns of sloe vodka before now though, so doubling that amount doesn't sound so scary :) I think what I did at the time was to start them off with all the fruit and sugar and a bottle of vodka each, then top them up with more vodka over a period of time. Sloe gin always seems to taste a bit "medicinal" to me so unless one of my "nearest and dearest" says they'd like some I tend not to bother.

I am a little concerned given the lateness of the apples that my cider apples may not ripen fully this year. Some of them aren't ready to pick until late October even in a good year. If that's the case then I may well make some turbo cider and once the sloe vodka is done I'll dump the used sloes into some of the cider for a few months.

James
Fermenting: Nothing!
Conditioning: London Pride, Old Speckled Hen, Beaverdale Chardonnay
Maturing: Brewalong Wee Bee, Arkell's Kingsdown, Beaverdale Sauvignon Blanc, Beaverdale Gewurztraminer, Beaverdale Shiraz (5G)
Drinking: Marston's Pedigree, Elderflower Champagne, OSH, London Pride, Arkell's Kingsdown, Seymour's Hobgoblin, Jim's ESB, Fuller's ESB, Arkell's 3B, Beaverdale Shiraz, Beaverdale Merlot
Planned: SMaSH brews with a range of hops, some variety of stout
Pints brewed in 2016: 323
Pints brewed in 2015: 619

oldbloke
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Re: Elderberry something or other

Post by oldbloke » Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:41 am

Clearly it depends where you are.
Locally, the wild bramble season in in full swing - I got 1.7kg of blackberries in about an hour today. But the elderberries are at least a fortnight, maybe a month off being ready.
I have standard and late rassies in my garden so can use them to bulk out any other berries.

Just had a bottle of my 2012 Rass+Strawb. Lush. Hope my notes are good enough to let me re-create it.

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