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123 responses to “How to Make Elderberry Wine”

  1. Mickey

    Just stopping in to say that your blog is one of the most well written and inspiring I have found! I seriously look forward to every one of your posts :).

    I have never made wine from start to finish myself, but have helped at my uncle’s winery in oregon (mostly picking and crushing). He has elderberries on his property, and this has inspired me to start a little side project the next time I am there!


  2. Kevin

    Excellent details! Makes me feel like I could just jump right in there and do it. Most of the good elderberry patches here are in ditches along gravel roads = dusty berries.

    I’ve always been curious about the wild grapes here. Lots of people make muscadine wine since the fruits are quite large I guess, but I have never heard of anyone using the much smaller “possum/fox/summer grapes”. Although, I have heard that summer grape (V. aestivalis) genes are part of the cultivar ‘Norton’.

  3. Christine

    Ahhh! I just made a pathetic attempt at elderberry+fruit wine, today before reading this post. Our plants only gave about six heads of berries, so I supplemented with raspberries and frozen strawberries to make one gallon. Thank you for such a great in-depth reference! I’m a fly by the seat-of-my-pants type of scientist, but next time I will follow your advice. The disappointment in failure is enough to right me.

  4. David Eger

    Looks fantastic! Love the tart, herbaceous flavor of elderberries. I’ve made Elderberry cordial, but never wine. Will try making this soon.

  5. adalynfarm

    I’ve got about 4# of blackberries in the freezer right now, and I’m waiting for more to ripen! Your post could not have been more timely.

  6. What I’m Digging | Small Measure

    […] attention this week: *11 foods you can stop buying & start making. *Hank shares his recipe for elderberry wine. *Georgia’s tips on getting started in hunting. *Moss graffiti! *Learning to eat like Julia […]

  7. Joe

    Hank …Great article, this year will be our first try at Elderberry wine..My neighbor Lady has the little wine making operation I am the Berry Picker.. I will pass this info on to her..I will let you know in a year or so how it all turned out..Somo Joe

  8. Brew Your Own, Part 3! (Making wine from wild plants) | BuzzQuack

    […] Elderberry Wine […]

  9. T Welch

    Another good way to mash the berries is an empty wine bottle. Just grab it by the neck and use it for a masher. Made 5 gallons from berries off a single tree! Wonderful stuff.

  10. bob horan

    glad to see I am not the only one using elderberries for them !

  11. Jojotogi2

    Hey Hank! I’m a home vinter who’s taking his first swing at making some elderberry wine this year. I was wondering, what yeast did you use to ferment your vintage? Do you have the specific company name and number?

  12. Joe T

    Hey Hank!

    Great post. I was wondering, what kind of wine yeast do you use when you make elderberry wine?

  13. Joe T


    Thanks! I just started a batch the other day and I’m following your suggestions and cold soaking it.

    One more question, though. During primary fermentation, does your must form a lot of krausen (head foam)? I’m doing a large batch and I’ve got maybe 2-3 inches of airspace in the 6 gallon bucket. I’m concerned that if it foams up there might be some blow over and foam/wine will push the airlock out.

  14. Arwen & Dean

    Hi Hank,

    Great blog post! This has really given us the motivation to give making Elderberry Wine a go…. As we are newbies to this would you recommend us buying a starter kit or is it worth investing in all the items you mentioned above (can we make do with “whatever we have to hand”?)

    Many thanks,
    Arwen and Dean.

  15. Joe T

    Hey Hank!

    Do you know of any recipes for how to make wine out of Toyon berries? I’m aware that they’re toxic raw, but use I’ve been told like in elderberries the cyanide burns off and when they’re cooked. And I’ve heard through the grape vine (no pun intended) that early settlers in California used to ferment them into wine and spirits.

  16. Wyllt Roberts

    I made elderberry wine last year using your recipe just siphoned off the lees with my wine into new carboys to oak. I’m in the UK so elderberries season is late, so will be racking about a year later.i have no problem waiting to years to taste but its the friends and family that you have to fight off. I picked up a helpful trick from my local homebrew shop – use a fork to strip the berries! It’s a huge time saver. Thanks for you blog – my wife is starting to think I might actually have pulled off a decent wine, she was quite cynical to begin with and now starting a blackberry dessert wine at the moment.

  17. Foraging for Elderberries - One Acre Farm

    […] The flavor of the raw, ripe berries is somewhat reminiscent of blackberries, but blander, and not as juicy. Cooking them greatly intensifies and improves the flavor. Raw berries can be dried and later cooked, or fresh berries can be boiled to make flavorful juice, syrup, jelly, and jam. And, of course, berries can be used to make elderberry wine. […]

  18. Greg

    Nice write-up on Elderberry wine making. I try to make a batch each winter from frozen berries I picked in late summer. I didn’t notice in your article, and first time makers of elderberry should know this, is that elderberry wine is a lot more work than most other wines. It’s not just the picking of the berries from the stems, but elderberry juice tends to leave a green gunk on everything it touches for an extended period of time. Be prepared to spend of time cleaning this gunk out of your fermenting bucket, but not so much the carboy. Vegetable oil helps the cleaning process tremendously. Maybe you have a process to prevent this gunk from forming.

  19. Andrew

    Great article Hank – perfect to allow the novice to upgrade to respectable amateur and just what I was looking for. I was already onto my 2nd batch without your instructions, based on the whack-it-in and hope for the best approach – so far I’ve been delighted. But this summer’s crop looks like it could be good so am itching to start the potions up again – and this article gives me confidence that I might even have a clue what I’m doing!

    Thanks again.

  20. John Holland

    Do you have any opinion about a difference between glass and plastic carboys?
    Plastic ones are cheaper and more practical, but I worry about contamination if wine is left in plastic for months.

  21. Damien

    Hey Hank,

    I found the blog great. I’m getting ready to start making my first batch of elderberry wine.

    I sometimes over think things and now have two questions. 9 to 15 pounds of elderberries is a big variation in weight of berries, if I have 15 pounds could I make four Gallons? I will be using one gallon carboys, is there a difference between the ladled off “free run” juice and what comes from the press bag? Do I need to mix all the juice before putting it into the carboy?

    Many Thanks.

  22. Justin

    Great recipe – have just used it!
    One question: you say it’s “vital” to fill the carboy to within a few inches of the top, but doesn’t the CO2 produced by the ferment push out any remaining air after airlocking?

  23. Ben

    Hi Hank, I’m a bit confused on how much space I need in my carboy. In your instructions you mentioned it being “vital that you fill your carboys to within an inch or so of the bottom of the airlock stopper.” However in response to Joe T. you said “You might be pushing it with only 3 inches of headspace.” Is that because he was making a 6 gallons worth and requires more headspace? I completely agree this is more sceince than art, and this is my very first try at making any wine. I am confident given your detailed instructions but I’d prefer to avoid the mess of a “boil over” and bad batch.

  24. Ronan Roche

    Hi Hank,

    About to try this great looking recipe over here in the UK-big elderberry crop this year. Just wanted to ask you about the bringing the berries to the boil step. Is this done before the cold soak-the detailed instructions don’t mention this step? Any clarification would be great! Thanks!

  25. Heather

    This is great! We made some elderberry wine before I saw this page, and althought he recipe is similar, after our initial racking, we tasted it and it was really unpleasantly sour. It fills our 3 gallon carbo full, so don’t think we can add water or sugar now…any tips for what to add at the end in a few months or longer? How many times do you rack a wine you age a year? Thanks!!

  26. Dan

    Hi Hank,

    Thanks for a great article – as a biochemist-cum-novice home vintner, it’s really great to see such a detailed and informed write-up, it’s really helped me dodge lots of novice mistakes that can easily be made with less detailed protocols. I also really enjoy the nuts-and-bolts approach (I’m a little bit of an anorak, I know).

    Just a quick question – with regards to the acid testing, I don’t have an acid testing kit unfortunately but do have basic pH indicator strips etc.. Would you happen to know how much acidity you want in terms of pH rather than in terms of grams of acidity?

    Thanks very much for your great site,


  27. Reminiscing About Harvesting Wild Elderberries | Norm's FarmsNorm's Farms

    […] Thanks for the great story, Marcia.  We wish you the best of luck with your wine making challenge, and, don’t tell your brother, but we are rooting for you!  If you need a good recipe, with lots of “how to” advice, this is one of the best I’ve found.  […]

  28. 8 Delicious Homemade Country Wine Recipes

    […] Elderberry Wine – If done correctly, this wine can rival a good bottle of wine made from red grapes. Test your skills with this classic homemade wine. […]

  29. Owen

    I am now retired and 3 years ago decided to create an elderberry “vineyard of 36 trees, I am looking forward to my first crop in coldish Scotland. Thanks for the recipe and tips which I will follow assiduously.

  30. Shaz

    Thanks so much for the write-up! The details in this post and in your book were great at inducing confidence in a first time winemaker!
    I made this recipe a bit over a year ago and just tried it. It smells AMAZING, and tastes great too – except that it’s much too alcoholic tasting. Letting it breathe doesn’t help either.
    I hope it’s not too much of an imposition to ask for some ideas of a fix and of prevention for future batches. Looking around, I’ve only found one forum person saying to add a little sugar or tannins (or acid, but since I measured the acid as per your post, I don’t think it’s that), and another saying to just age it and hope for the best. Do you have any thoughts? (Also forgot to take a reading from the opened bottle, so I’m not sure what the alcohol content is – though I hear the taste is about balance, not necessarily about ABV%. Per the yeast, it shouldn’t be more than 14%)
    The only deviations from your recipe are: 1) no pectic enzyme 2) got a little extra oxidation in there, since a tilted glass shows up around the orange of a 30 year wine 3) I used Lalvin D47 yeast, which my homebrew store recommended after hearing I like young fruity full bodied red wines. Fermentation was within the recommended temps for this yeast.

    Also going to make some Oregon Grape wine soon. 🙂 You’ve made a new winemaker!

  31. Shaz

    Thanks for the extra info!
    It started at 24 Brix, so probably the yeast… Do you mind if I ask which you usually use? Anyway, it’s much too hot to be drinking such a big wine right now, so it shouldn’t be too hard to wait another few months (though I might still stick it in a closet to make it easier to forget).

    Just came into some golden raspberries, so of course started a wine. 21.5 Brix, and thinking to split it to add a sourdough bread yeast, which is what the Appalachian folks used to do (and I had good luck with on a kale flower wine), and maybe Montrachet, to compare. Though I didn’t add any tannins, since I didn’t fancy yet another trip to the brew shop… I was thinking to add oak chips for tannins, think that will work? Or should I head down to the store after all (how late is too late to add)? And in that vein – any idea how to measure / calculate how much to add?
    Thank you!

  32. Slokiki

    I am a total novice. This will be my third attempt at wine making. First was Elderflower “Champgne” which turned out nasty and very yeasty. I now have a batch of Elderflower wine that seems to be coming along nicely. My question is with the yeast. Is it just one package? I have seen recipes for 1-5 gallons and they just say wine yeast without the amount. Does the amount vary depending on the size of the batch?

  33. Tim

    I’m 18hrs into fermentation and I forgot to add pectic enzyme. Is it too late? Have I ruined my batch already? 🙁

  34. Slokiki

    One more question before I get started. Is there an ideal temperature(s) for primary and secondary fermentation? It is very hot today and will get wamer ths week. I have a root cellar that is @ 76 today but usually cooler @ 68-70ish. The house/ kitchen is @86. I am wondering where would be best for this operation. I have an old fridge set at 50 for cold soak process.

  35. Rita Garand

    I wish I had stumbled on your site before I made my elderberry wine. It tasted like a good strong cough syrup!
    The detailed info in your instructions help me understand the science of winemaking.

  36. Ashley

    Hi Hank,
    I read this recipe the other day and it inspired me to try and make my own wine.
    I went picking yesterday in the UK and have harvested quite a large amount of elderberries, but am now only realising how time consuming stripping the berries is! Is it a problem if a few of the tiny stalks are still attached to the berries? I’ve read online that some people say they’re toxic, but others say a few small red ones are fine but create more tannin in the finished article. I would be very grateful for any advice as this is my first brew!

  37. marsha

    My dad used to make wine, and his most wonderful was from the large dark
    cherries, I think they called them oxhearts, oh to be able to have a
    glass of that again

  38. Don

    Hi Hank, Harvesting our plentiful crop of Elders right now, and are going to use your techniques and recipes. However, we are definitely not sweet wine drinkers. How does your recipe accommodate this? Any clue to the residual sugar content? Any insight to this would be appreciated.
    Thanks Don.

  39. Sadie

    Hi Hank,
    found your website (thankfully) last year just in time for the elderberry harvest. Made 5 gallons successfully. The wine is robust and drinks like a BIG zinfandel. I think the oak chips make it amazing. Reading through the posts, I was happy to see the clarification on the boldness of the wine can be curbed slightly. I currently have 25# prepped and plan on trying to recreate last years wine and another slightly lighter version. One thing I noticed with this wine, was how cloudy it initially was compared to other wines. I try to steer away from petroleum based polymers in the clarification process and used Bentonite clay. It worked like a charm and I’m not picking up any off flavors from it. Do you use bentonite clay for clarification? Thanks again for the informative and entertaining site!

  40. James

    Do you wash your berries? I just cut about 20 pounds from my bushes out back and will need to freeze them before I can get to wine making. I’d love to just chuck them in the freezer, but there is a lot of debris I don’t want to get frozen with them.



  41. Sam

    Hi Hank!

    Following your procedure for elderberries from our property. We’re starting the first ferment, but wondering about one of the later steps. You say to test the wine for oakiness after 3 months. Do you mean 3 months from starting the 2nd ferment (so 2 months would have been the secondary ferment), or 3 months after racking and putting into the carboy with oak cubes (total 5 months from starting the secondary ferment)?

    Thanks for the detailed explanation of the process!

  42. SARAH

    Hello, I decided to follow your recipe as it is the best one I have found yet.
    It didn’t go to plan exactly as it needed more sugar than your recipe suggested but wild fruit is unpredictable. I have however made a stupid mistake and I’m worried.
    I have added tartaric acid to my 3 gallons plus of Elderberry wine mix but didn’t need to as I did the acid test wrong. It has far far too much acid now. Have I ruined it?

    I hope more sugar water will fix it.


  43. Allen Morris


    Hello, hope all is well. I agree with others posting here, your recipe was the most detailed I could fine on the internet. This is my first try at making wine and have been trying to follow your recipe to a T. I had cold soaked the berries for three days and had a nice dark must. Now on day two, my must has turned red, sort of the color of the inside of a red grapefruit. Do you think the must May have turned bad? Thanks in advance for your reply.


  44. Tricia Lefever

    Hi Hank,

    I have steam extracted the juice from my elderberries. Can I still make wine with the juice, rather than the whole berries? I thought I might add some tannin, since the skins won’t be fermented. Any thoughts?

  45. Ian Dowlman

    Hi Hank,
    Just finished collecting, stripping and freezing elderberries (in Nottinghamshire UK). I have usually made a country style wine adding bananas and black currants to the wine which ends up as a smooth but Chianti type wine. Having read your notes on the web site I’ll try this now on a 3 gallon batch and see what happens against my usual method.
    Good site, I enjoyed reading the comments.

  46. Josh Homer

    This is my first foray into winemaking and so far am having fun. Thanks for the great directions and recipe.

    You mentioned that if you have extra after topping off your carboy to go ahead and put in another closely sized container. What do you do with it then? Also how should your new wine taste, can you get an idea of how it will taste once aged?

  47. Lisa

    Hello Hank,

    Great article on making Elderberry wine. I especially love the level of detail the instructions get. Unfortunately though I didn’t see your website until after I had already steam juiced my berries. So my question is do I just take 3 gallons of the straight juice or do I mix the juice with some water? If so, how much juice to water? Thanks and look forward to checking out the rest of your website.

  48. Ken warner

    Hi Hank: I have read that elderberries contain cyanide, what do you do to combat this? I have made elderberry wine for years and are just aware of this now… Thanks, Ken

  49. Elderberry: The Definitive Guide

    […] has one of the best recipes available, plus detailed information on the process. […]

  50. Don Williams

    Have 80 lbs. Brought to heat and simmered 10 min. Acid check ok, hydrometer check ok. Created must for three, 6 and 1/2 big mouth fermenters. Squeezed out all pulp well, only put in the juice. Fermented 7 days, transferred to carboys. Some say to leave about a inch of airspace. Some says no need to top off at this time. The day I transferred, I degassed all fast 1-2 min as one carboy did react with heavy fissing after transfer to carboy. That slowed down gas release to 1 bubble every 5-6 seconds on two of them and one stopped bubbling and no longer releases any gas. I had topped off that one. Did not top off the other two. The one with the previously heavy fissing is the only one with about two inches of foam (hydrometer 1004.) Temperature was consistent 68 degrees. Hydrometer is 999 on one that quit bubbling and was topped off. The one that was 1000 had been degassed 1-2 min, then quit bubbling then started back after a day at one bubble every 5-6 seconds. One gallon I did, quit bubbling on 4th day, transferred on day 6. Degassed also. Topped off. Been 2 days and had not restarted any bubbles. All was consistent 68 degrees. Mostly worried about not topping off the two as do not want to oxidize. Do I need to go ahead and sulfite those that quit bubbling, even tho it has been two days now since I first racked them? I realized I request a lot of help here.

  51. ingo ermqanovics

    I’ve held elderberries in the freezer for two years.
    Will these be still suitable for wine making?……..thanks

  52. Gary


    I followed your recipe, except for heating the elderberries, including a cold soak, and just finished the first ferment. I’ve run the wine thru cheesecloth, sieves, and a jelly bag and into the carboy for the secondary ferment. The seeds appeared to give off a very sticky tar like substance that was mostly collected in the separation process. The wine colour is a pale/light cloudy red. The cloudiness is likely from some remaining sediments. However, I was expecting a darker red similar to fresh elderberry juice. Is the light red typical, or was there too much water added?

    Before the first ferment, the juice started at 5 Brix and TA at 2 grams/litre. A lot of sugar and tartaric acid was added to reach my targets of 21 Brix and TA at 7 grams/litre. The TA increased to 10 grams/litre after the first ferment. What might of caused this? Thanks

  53. Jan Graabæk

    Thanks a lot for this blog. I just added oak cubes to my first batch. It’s 3 months now, and starting to taste pretty good. Can’t wait to taste it when the oak kicks in. Thinking about taking a couple of liters of it, and adding some honey to it, could be really tasty. Have you tried something like that?
    Regards Jan (Denmark)

  54. Dieter Dittrich

    Jan: a lot of people who don’t like wine, because of the dryness, will enjoy a glass of wine that is slightly sweet, try from 1 – 2 % sweetener by volume. Birch syrup would also work.
    Hank: Very nice recipe with good instructions. Steam juicing may create a protein haze in the wine, for syrup it wouldn’t matter. Also freezing after cleaning the berries helps with extracting the juice as the freezing breaks the cell walls.
    Cheers, Dieter

  55. Paul

    Hi Hank, we had a profusion of elderberries this year in Yorkshire I picked 43lbs and used your recpie, same as I did last year with pretty good results. Couple of questions if i may
    1 your recpie…. is it in Gallons USA? as I always end up with more liqour than i think I should.

    2 I have been using oak from a cabinet maker friend, which I toast lightly I use sticks 7mm square by 25cm long….. is this overdoing it?

    3 How low do you take the Specific Gravity? mine goes very low to 0.090 will this make it too dry

    4. I tried to check the acidity with a kit I bought, but it was really really difficult to see an end point in the titration because the wine was such a deep red. Is it OK to by a cheap PH meter and if so what pH do you think is best?

    Cheers Paul

  56. Martina Romanova

    Helo Hank,

    I made my first batch of wine last year with a different recipe in which it said to bottle the wine right after the first fermentation. I let it in bottles for recommended 6 month. I checked one of the bottles and its fizzy like a sparkling wine, I suppose it still has a lot of sediment. Is there any way how to get rid of the sediment now once the wine is bottled or will it get less fizzy in time?
    Thank you very much for your help.

  57. Chris ross

    I am desperate to know how the steam juicer people wine turned out and quantities used I have fifty pounds that have been waiting two years in the freezer and any advice on a juicing recipe would assist in my endeavours. And hank what of this protein haze you speak of, will pectin enzyme remove it? Great article allows all us simililarly interested people to share our experience, thanks!

  58. Slokiki

    Wine is about 10 months old and tastes pretty sour like unripe fruit. I do not know what Elderberry wine is supposed to taste like. In general, I like eldberries and I make tasty syrup from them. I made my first batch late July per your recipe. In October, it tasted really sour and like burnt rubber. On the advice of a local wine maker, I added some K-meta and racked it 10/17 and again 12/20. It has been sitting in 3 gal carboy with a few oak cubes since. Is this just a “rough” young wine or should I do something else to help it. Is it time to bottle age it? I don’t mind waiting.

  59. Leesa

    Hank, where can I get your wine? I make wine jelly and I think elderberry wine jelly might be interesting.

  60. Pamela

    Hi Hank,

    I wanted to ask if you had ever tried white/green elderberries for making wine. I’m not talking about unripe berries, but rather a variation of the mexican elderberry that produces berries that are a clear green color, rather like the color of gooseberries. I have three trees that give the green berries, and I’ve held off on using them much because I was looking for more of a ‘classic’ elderberry. Now I have a prolific young volunteer that produces larger and less bitter berries than any of my other specimens and I was hoping to utilize it. Thanks for any thoughts you might have!

  61. Alaskan Bob

    Hello Hank, Thank you for such detailed information. My only question is about the yeast, is it just one packet of yeast. I am going to be using the Red Star Montrachet 5gram yeast and just want to make sure one is enough. I thank you for your time and wish you a wonderful evening.

  62. Art

    You mention (as do many) to top off with a comparable wine to get the level to within half an inch of the stopper. Is there any reason you don’t use some of your own elderberry wine from a prior year?

  63. Peggy

    I’ve been following the recipe in “Guide to Better Wine and Beer Making for Beginners” and found your site as I wanted a recipe that didn’t call for raisins. Do you know why so many recipes call for using raisins? My book says to use citric acid 1 tbsp for a gallon using 3 lbs of fruit, which I have. Can I substitute if for the tartartic acid? I have done elderberry twice so far. The 2013 came out very sweet, like a dessert wine. The 2014 was better, I left in in the original fermentation gallon jugs for 10 months because I was too busy to attend to it. It was clear, dry and tastes just fine. I bottled the top 4/5 of each gallon, and drank the lees by combining the remains of several gallons together, letting the rank stuff settle more, decanting the top with a ladle. I liked it.

  64. Dave

    Have you tried stripping the berries with a fork- much easier, then pick out the stray stems.

  65. Jasmine

    Hi Hank, I’m just about ready to start the process but I can’t find reference to how much yeast you actually use? preferably in teaspoons please 🙂
    thank you!

  66. Tyler

    Hey Hank,

    Do you think it’s possible to make the elderberry wine without added sugar, yeast and water? I’m thinking about trying to make a ‘natural wine’ with elderberries. I guess it would be a small yield but do you think it would work?

  67. Tom Bailey

    Hi Hank

    I have just racked off my wine for the first time and fitted an air lock.

    During the first ferment, the fermentation was very strong. This lasted about a week. Since racking it off, the fermentation seemed to have slowed down to the point that it had nearly ceased altogether!

    I have just checked the gravity and it is 0990! What on earth do I do now? Do I need to add sugar? Do I just leave it in the demi john with air lock for 4 months and then bottle?



  68. Tom Bailey

    Thanks Hank. My recipe book said to rack it off again once fermentation had ceased so I have done that now. I have racked it off into fresh demi johns with new air locks. I plan to leave it like this for a couple of months then bottle to mature for a year. Is this OK? Or do I need to bottle straight away? I’m worried the wine will go off in the demi john now it has been subjected to the air while being re-racked….


  69. melissa

    Hi —

    Thanks for this great website!

    Quick question– have you tried steaming the elderberries to extract juice? I wonder how this would affect the flavor, acidity, etc. And also wonder if you have to be as careful with stems when steaming…..We love elderberries– make a liquor of them with vodka which tastes divine (and keeps us healthy!). Thinking about using the liquor to add to fruit wines to create a port-like wine (which apparently is how they used to cheat in Portugal!)

  70. Alex

    Hi Hank,

    Thank you for the great info. I can elderberry juice and jelly. This last round, I noticed that in the canned juice there was a “film” of sorts at the top of the jar. I had the same film when I set aside some of the juice in the fridge to make jelly (2days). It breaks up and floats on top of the juice. Have you experienced this before? Is it harmful? Thank again!

  71. Dan V

    I have made many batches of elderberry wine over the years, often mixed with a can of Gewürztraminer – Elderminer :). This year i used a different press, one of those crank press things, like a meat grinder. My wine is bitter and aweful. Beautiful color. After reading your post, I figured that I crushed the seeds too releasing the bitterness. Wish I read this before. I still have 12 lbs so I can make another batch :).
    Thanks for the post! I also like the cold rest but not sure if I can make that much room in my beer fridge!

  72. Alex

    It is already canned, so I can remove from juice once I open jar? It will be fine otherwise? Thank you again!

  73. Ivor

    Good recipe, I add a litre of red grape and also apple concentrate & 8 cloves and ginger to a 5 gal brew. Tried using glucose powder in place of the sugar and never had a problem, seen that oily looking affect mentioned previously on the surface and I think it could be natural flavonoids or other enzymes and actually good for you so I leave them. Storing stripped berries in the freezer until brewing in winter time means the racked off stuff can be left in the cold garage or outhouse and the cold usually kills off the yeast and so no secondary fermentation. I did have secondary fermentation on bottled red currant wine and it was wonderful. Like pink champagne but can be scary if too much pressure and bottles explode ( hence storing in cold garage ). My 10yr old elderberry is now really something special relatives tell me so can only go on improving for who knows maybe 20 yrs? What’s your oldest bottle Hank ?

  74. Anthony Super

    I am making elderberry wine using your recipe. It is in the cold soak phase and I am wondering if it can be left longer like 6-7 days as a family emergency has arisen and we may have to leave for a few days. Thank you

  75. Wild Wednesdays: Here’s what we’ve been up to outside. – Tales of the Black Dog Wildlings

    […] is what I’ve been finding most helpful for an overall look at making the elderberry […]

  76. Brett

    Hi,I was wondering about cleaning the berries/how do you make sure they are sterilized before starting the process? Or do the steps of wine making take care of this?

  77. Gary Rees

    Hello all,

    I made some Elderberry Merlot (the merlot from a cheap 7 liter wine kit from Costco). The berries were wild picked in Eastern Ontario and the were steam
    juiced. About 3 pounds of berries were juiced and the resultant juice was frozen and later added to a 23 liter batch of Merlot . I added some acid blend
    tannins and some pectic enzyme as well as the oak that came from the kit.

    At six months the wine is superbly drinkable, outperforming many commercial wines. My cost per bottle is about $1.00 Canadian money which works out to be about $0.000001 US.

    I am now growing Elderberries on my grow lights , in my garden and am starting Bob Gordon elderberries (from Misouri) Triple production they say.

    Thank you Mr. Shaw and contributors.

  78. Brett

    I was on my way to having my first go at Elderberry wine. Picked my berries and weighed them after destalking them. However when I went to bag them I weighed them out only to find I was about 2lbs short of the 15lbs. I then got sent away short notice with work and have come home to find I have missed the picking window. How can I make up the shortfall? I have some black plums or blackboy peaches that are about to ripen on on my trees. Could they be substitued? If so how would I work out the quantity? Or am I better off using shelf wine?

  79. Brett

    Thanks for the advise. They made sense but wanted to make sure that they wouldn’t do something strange. Do I just used the shortfall weight in this case 2lb worth of plums?

    Would the blackboy peaches work as a wine if I did a seperate run for them?

  80. Brett

    Hi Hank. Thanks for the replies. I am one of those people that likes to have a clear understanding when I do things. Another couple of questions sorry. You say that for second fermentation we should leave it for 2 two months…is that a typo or do you mean 4 months? Second, throughout the process what enviromental temperature range would I want to stay within? It’s coming into winter where I am, so can range from -10 to 15°c in the garage which is my only storage option. Wondering if it would be worth setting up a fridge with a temp controller cooling and heat pad.

  81. Brett

    I have just strained off my juice after 1st fermentation. I easily filled my 3gal (11.5L) carboy have about 4L left. I noticed that about 1/4 of the carboy is sediment. Given the amount of juice I have left would it be worth siphoning the sediment free juice into another carboy and then doing the same with the extra juice I have, then if need be make up the difference with sediment juice?

  82. sam

    I have gallons elderberry wine, I know its young but the flavor is shallow. not the bold true flavor I’m used to making. also the alcohol is around 22% I stopped fermentation. racked it. its a beautiful clear burgundy color, its been sitting for 2 months would you recommend cutting it down an adding flavoring. or juice. or a combo. the alcohol content I can deal with, but the flavor is bugging me.

    details follow; 15 lbs sugar, 2 tsp acid, 4 tsp yeast nutrient, 2.5 tsp pectin, .5 tannin, red star-Pasteur red wine yeast. blue eastern elderberry.

  83. Judi

    We planted elderberries years ago. The original plant was “crushed” after a major snowstorm and my husband managed to get six bushes from the original one. I’ve been practicing wine makeing with the commercial kits so I have some of the equipment you’ve mentioned and can source the rest locally. I will be eager to try your recipe (the plants are in bloom now) come this fall. thanks

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