THE ELDERBERRY WINE RECIPE – taken from The Selfsufficientish Bible published by Shodder and Stoughton
Our parents, who are fortunate enough to have an elder tree at the bottom of their garden, have tried various different elderberry wine recipes over the years and they have now settled on this one as their favorite. This recipe makes six bottles. It is quite a dry wine, but we’ve found the taste varies from year to year, depending on the amount of sun and rain during the summer,
1.5Kg (3lbs) Elderberries, 4.5 litres (1 gallon) water, 1tsp of brewers yeast, 1.5kg (3lb) granulated sugar, 7 tbsp warm water, 2 yeast nutrient tablets crushed or 1tsp of yeast nutrient.
- Take the berries off the stalks with a fork. This is important, because the stalks are poisinous. You could put the berries in the freezer before making this wine – this is not essential, but they seem to be juicer as a result. When ready to make the wine defrost the berries first.
- Crush the berries into a fermentation bin.
- In a large pan, bring the water to boiling point and pour it over the berries in the bin. Leave to rest until the water is lukewarm.
- Mix the yeast, 1tsp of the sugar and the warm water in a cup; leave for 15 minutes to activate
- Put the yeast mixture together with the yeast nutrient into the fermentation bin. Stir well. Cover tightly and lave at room temperature for 3-5 days, stirring daily. Do not allow the temperature to go below 15C (59F) or over 25C (77f).
- Put the rest of the sugar into a second fermentation bin and sieve the gunge (known as must) from the first bucket into the second.Combine the must thoroughly with the sugar until dissolved.
- Using a funnel, fill a demijohn up to the shoulder with the mixture.
- Fit the bung with the airlock attached and half fill the airlock with water.
- Leave the mixture to fement at room temperature – this can be quite a voilent process. When all activity has ceased (that is when no bubbles are coming out of the demijohn), the wine can be siphoned into sterilized bottles.
- Leave the bottles stored on their side for a good 6 months before drinking.