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HagaGrimalkin

Elderberry dried, possible for wine making?

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The only problem is that they are dried.  The wine comes from fermenting the juice.

However,

dried berries can often be reconstituted with boiling water, sugar and a pectin of some sort, much like making syrup.

This syrup can the be added to a wine or brandy as a flavoring.

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I made wine for years, from wild fruit in a press the old fashioned way (well, besides using modern chemicals like sulfites, and bred yeast). I second what Sagefire said, but, add that you can also add the dried berries before fermentation as well; the liquid in the mix will reconstitute the berries to some degree, and having the dried berries in there would certainly magically extract. Fermentation is quite the process: if it gets really warm it bubbles similar to a boil does. You won't be able to make wine out of JUST those berries, but, an elderberry-grape, elderberry-raspberry, elderberry-apple, whatever, would certainly be very interesting. Did you ever try it? How did it come out?

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I am kind of partial to meads, myself - if it were me, I'd set up a mead to ferment and throw the berries into that to reconstitute and infuse.  I agree that reconstituting the berries and making the wine with that alone is not likely to yield a very tasty product.  

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I have never made a mead before. How much honey is required? Is the process much different from regular wine? It always seemed like it could be cost-prohibitive, though there is an apiary here that sells half gallons for $30-35 in the stores... although I have not seen that size around lately... methinks there aren't as many weirdos around here as I thought.

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A typical batch of mead has about 3 pounds of honey per gallon.  It can vary a bit by recipe - I'd just grab a good beginner's recipe and use that as your base, adding the dried elderberries into it for the first fermentation.  Let us know how it goes!  :-)

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