Adventures in Wine Making - Elderberry Wine


This Recipe is taken from the book "Wild Food" by Roger Phillips (See link on the right)

  • 1 lb Elderberries
  • Pectin Enzyme (pectolase)
  • 1 gal water
  • 2.2 lb sugar
  • 1 sachet Yeast
  • 2 campden tablet

Pull the berries off the stalks with a dinner fork and crush them thoroughly in a strong polythene bag with a rolling pin, or similiar implement to break the skins. Add 2 pints of boiling water and campden tablets and leave overnight in a covered container. Next day, add 4 pints warm water, pectolase and activated wine yeast. Put in a gallon jar and fit airlock; leave for 3 days. Colour will return to normal at this stage. Strain through jelly bag and return to clean jar. Insert airlock and leave in a warm place to ferment out (approx 6 weeks). Syphon off sediment into clean jar, and leave to clear. Repeat if necessary. Bottle and store in a cool place

This wine can be made in september and mulled for christmas with great success or it can be kept for a few more months to provide a splendid, dry table wine. It does not improve after years of keeping.


July 21st 2010

Finally bottled this wine. After the 1L I took out at Christmas, and another half litre I took out in May, the final bottling produced just 3.5 bottles.

This is a really nice easy to drink wine, not atall what I had expected but I am pleased I made it. I will try to make a 5 gallon batch of this this year. Another resounding success!

December 25th 2009

As part of the home brewed contribution to christmas dinner I siphoned off some of this brew into a 1L flip lid bottle. Whilst I had the siphon tube in the demi-john I also took the opportunity to siphon out half a glass full, which I mixed with a crushed campden tablet before returning to the demi-john. Fermentation should now be stopped, so I can bottle what is left in the coming weeks. Alternatively as evidenced by the glass or so left in the 1L bottle I siphoned off 6 hours ago, this one might not actually last long enough to bottle...

I am really really impressed with this wine. One of the nicest wines I have drunk in recent times. A result of which is I am seriously considering making a 5 gallon batch of this one when the 2010 elderberries are ripe. It has the advantage over the Elderberry still bubbling away, of needing 1/3rd of the elderberries and being ready to drink by christmas. Something to ponder, in the mean time. Cheers!

December 16th 2009

Just given this wine it's first racking off. Transfer went much less painfully than some of them, with the exception of the usual mouthful of sodium metabisulphate. Whilst siphoning off I also took the chance to do a reading with the hydrometer, which came out at 990. Which is alot lower than I expected. Fermentation is slow, but still active. I need to decide if I want it to ferment abit more, and thus be drier, or if I want to stick a campden tablet in it and let it clear. Having a sample tube full of wine, I also took the liberty to take a taste. Already this wine is very very tasty. Dry, but with a hint of sweetness. Very nice.

September 7th 2009

Today I added the rest of the water, and the sugar, boiled together to make a syrup, then stirred into the must. It smells loverly. I left that forabout 6 hours to cool to 34°C, then added a yeast starter solution (some warm water, eyeast, and a teaspoon of sugar). The Must is now all in a bucket for the next 3 days. Hopefully we should see signs of fermentation tomorrow.

September 6th 2009

After an evening destalking elderberries, we have started off this wine, step one (crush berries, add 2pt water and campden tablets), and it has been left over night. Slight oversite, I didn't have any campden tablets, however as they are supposedly just sodium metabisulphate (Na2S2O5), which I do have in stock, I used 0.8gm of Na2S2O5 instead, I hope it works well enough. Reading through the recipe, I notice that it doesn't actually say when to add the sugar. So I think I will add it tomorrow when I add the yeast and the water.

This page last modified Friday, 23-Jul-2010 02:03:38 CEST.