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Dried Elderberry Wine

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At this time of the year, there is a distinct possibility that you will have some dried elderberries left over from the harvest of last Autumn (or you may have bought a bag from your local homebrew store), now is an ideal time to use them to make dried elderberry wine.

The common method used in CJJ Berry's book to make 1 gallon is to take:

250g of Dried Elderberries
100ml of Red Grape Concentrate
1.25kgs of Sugar
1 teaspoon of Citric Acid
Pectic Enzyme/Pectolase (as per manufacturer's dosage instructions)
4.5ltrs of Water

The water is brought to the boil and then the grape concentrate, dried elderberries and sugar is stirred in to dissolve the sugar. Once it has cooled, citric acid and pectic enzyme is added, followed by Yeast and Yeast Nutrient. It should be kept in a warm place and stirred daily for a week and the fruit should be pushed down regularly. At the end of a week, it is strained into a fermenter and left to ferment out.

This will produce a dry table wine which will be ready to drink much sooner than wine made with fresh elderberries. The same method can also be used to produce dried sloe wine.

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  1. Geoff Hutchinson

    Easiest and simplest recipe, excellent results. Have used this method for years, never a failure.

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  2. Geoff Hutchinson

    No Yeast?
    I don't specify a particular yeast as the preference is yours, but as stated, the Yeast and Yeast Nutrient are added once the mixture has cooled.

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  3. Tom

    Looks good going to give this a go what yeast would you say and how much thanks?
    It really depends upon which yeast you can get or prefer as long as it isn't "Baker's Yeast". Standard "All Purpose Yeast" or any of the youngs or Gervin Red Wine Yeasts will be suitable. Generally, you would follow the instructions on the pack/tub, but most recipes tend to suggest around 1tsp of each additive per gallon.

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  4. Terence Munro

    Just wondering if I could use ordinary red grape juice. This is cheap and freely available in the supermarket but have had no luck in locating concentrate
    Hi Terence,
    "Supermarket grape juice" could be used, provided that you ensure that it doesn't contain preservatives, as these could potentially inhibit the yeast. As for finding "grape concentrate", we have it on our website in the "ingredients" section, listed as Wine Enhancer

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  5. kathryn

    There is no quantity given for pectic enzyme? i never seen recipe for sloe or elderberry using pectic enzyme! Is this ingredient used in fermenting grains of potatoes?
    Hi Kathryn, The pectic enzyme (pectolase) is added as per the guidelines on the pot, usually around 1 teaspoon per gallon, but this may vary depending on the manufacturer/supplier, which is why it isn't included as a quantity in the recipe. Pectolase is used to breakdown the cell walls of many fruits to prevent "pectin haze". The chemical you mention as being used with grain and potato recipes is amylase, which breaks down starch into fermentable sugars and thus reduces/prevents "starch haze".

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  6. Geoff

    Best and easiest recipe for dried elderberry wine! Simple instructions,easy to follow makes an excellent wine.
    Thanks for the kind words Geoff. Glad it worked well for you

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  7. Geoff Hutchinson

    Just what I needed, easy to understand and to follow. Will try as soon as I can. Looking forward to the results.

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