Dried Elderberries are a wine additive that enhances both the color and flavor of the wine. Native to the British Isles, the small dark colored elderberry makes an excellent Port.
The appearance of berries on the bushes is said to have signaled farmers when to sow their wheat. Elderberries are also reputed to have been used to make one of the first black hair dyes in ancient Greece.
Use in combination with 1 OZ Oak Chips to achieve an aged flavor.
Dried elderberries do not leave the residue, described as “elderberry goo,” that defies conventional clean-up methods.
Dried Elderberry Wine Recipe
Recipe makes one gallon (3.8 L).
- 4–5 1/4 oz. (0.11–0.15 g) dried elderberries
- 2 1/2 lbs. (1.1 kg) sugar
- 7 3/4 pints (3.7 L) water
- 1 tsp. acid blend
- 1 tsp. yeast nutrient
- 1 crushed Campden tablet
- 1 pkg of Red Star Montrachet yeast
Bring water to boil with sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved and water clear. Wash dried elderberries and put in nylon straining bag with several sanitized marbles for weight. Tie bag and put in primary. Pour boiling sugar water over elderberries and cover primary. When cool, stir in crushed Campden tablet, yeast nutrient and acid blend until dissolved. Recover and set aside 12 hours. Add activated yeast and ferment until specific gravity drops to 1.010, stirring and squeezing bag daily. Transfer liquid to secondary, fit airlock and ferment to dryness. Rack every 30 days until wine clears and doesn’t drop even a dusting of lees over a 30-day period. Bottle and enjoy. Improves with age.