Elder Berry Wine
I have this beautiful elder tree outside my front door I planted summer before last in the hopes of being able to make elderberry wine.
He was just a baby when I planted hi, standing no more than 8 inches tall. Today he stands about 8 feet tall.
I have been patiently awaiting the berries, knowing they come after flowering, which is mid summer. Now someone really needs to have words to my elder tree, I have tried and tried to no avail, he will not listen. You see, we are nearly mid winter and my elder tree will not stop flowering. How am I to get berries if it won't stop flowering????
Maybe next year.
Anyways, here's a recipe I have to make the wine, id I ever get the berries that is... -smile-
4 1/2 litres water
500g elder berries
4 1/2 litres juice for every 1 1/2kg sugar,
250g ground ginger,
150mL brandy for every 4 1/2 litres wine
3-4tbsp yeast for every 40L water
Pour boiling water over the berries and let them stand covered for
24hrs. Strain the whole through a bag or sieve, breaking the berries
to extract the juice. Measure the liquid, and to every 4 1/2 litres
allow 1 1/2kg sugar. Boil the juice with the sugar and other
ingredients, skimming the whole time. Let it ferment for a fortnight,
add the brandy. Bung up the cask and let the wine remain thus for 6
months before bottling.
I am not sure, being that it's still only a young tree, it just might be that it's one of those plants that do not fruit until their second year or something. Time will tell, and I will let out a huge yahoo when the berries come.
I also have a beautiful Rowan tree and hopefully that too one day will give me fruit, the rowan being the magical tree it is.
I have made elderflower wine, which is a white wine and very, fragrant. The flowers were scrummed from the allotment (a brook runs through the plots and the elders like it there). If you try elderflower you have to make sure the blooms are fragrant and don't smell like cats wee - I kid you not - not every tree smells the same! I want to try elderberry and will give it a go when the berries are out. I also scrum crabapples and make crabapple jelly and with the pulp discarded from that I make the wicked cider. I still have half a barrel in the shed and it has to be treated with utmost respect. I have also scrummed rowan berries which make fantastic rowan jelly. I have a gallon of sloe gin from last year maturing nicely. I thank all the trees for letting me have these bits by the way as otherwise I would consider it theft!
This autumn I shall take some Rowanberries and thread them on to a necklace and hang them up to dry. I shall give them out as gifts at Yuletime to hang up in the house somewhere for protection for the following year. I am all for food for free but the booze is something else.
Your elder tree will produce much better the 2nd and 3rd year.I have some out that I planted from rootstock last fall,and they have grown alot,and bloomed,despite the hot dry weather we have had.They didnt produce many berrys yet,but will do better next year.I pick most of mine in the wild,and have close to 30 pounds of them in the freezer.Im going to have a lot of wine to make this fall.
We didn't harvest any berries on our elderberry tree until the 2nd year. it's best ot let it be the first year any way to establish a stornger root system. It's actually a bush, not a tree and will start sprouting new grouth from the ground the 2nd and 3rd year on.
I've made elderberry wine and it tasts great.
It's time consuming as you need to pull all the berries from the stems. But it's worth it. I have an old RedWing Crock and I put hte berried in a cheese cloth and into the crock with 15 pounds of sugar and 5 gallons of water.
I used bread yeast and stirred ti daily for 3 weeks and then racked into a galss carboy and when it cleared I bottled it and left the screw caps on loose so they don't explode. It's drinkable withing a few weeks but it's better if you let it age,
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