Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Elderberry Wine

After our forage the other day, I quickly realised I didn't have enough elderberries to make the recipe from C.J.J. Berry's 'First Steps in Wine Making.' Luckily, I knew where a glut was near work, so off I popped, and 3kg+ of elderberries later, the first steps have been taken.

This is the recipe from the book, which if you haven't got, you should rush out to buy! I bought mine secondhand for 99p, a pittance I think:

1.5kg elderberries
1.5kg wine makers sugar
1 tspn citric acid
4.5 litres of water
Yeast and nutrient

Strip the berries from the stalks by using the prongs of an ordinary table fork (otherwise it is a messy and tedious business), then weigh them and crush them in a bowl. Pour on the boiling water, and let it cool to about 21c before adding yeast and acid. Leave three days, stirring daily, then strain through fine sieve on to the sugar. Pour the liquid into a dark glass bottle (in clear bottles the wine may lose its colour), but do not fill completely until first vigorous ferment has subsided, plugging the neck with cotton wool. When the ferment is quieter fill to the bottom of neck, and fit an airlock. Leave until fermentation is complete - it may be longer than most - then siphon off into clean, dark bottles and keep for six months at least.

So far I have got my wine into demijohns, but they haven't started fermenting yet. I'll keep an eye on it over the next few days.

Sam x

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