Dried Elderberry Wine

You can buy dried elderberries, year round, from Brewmart or pick plenty of wild ones in the Autumn and dry them. The advantage of dried elderberries is they do not leave a residue, which defies conventional clean-up methods. This recipe makes one gallon (4.5 L) of wine.

Ingredients

  • 4–5 1/4 oz. (0.11–0.15 g) dried elderberries
  • 2 1/2 lbs. (1.1 kg) sugar
  • 7 3/4 pints (4.4 L) water
  • 1 tsp. Citric or tartaric acid
  • 1 tsp. yeast nutrient
  • 1 Campden tablet, crushed
  • 1 sachet of Burgundy or red fruit wine yeast.

Bring water to boil with the sugar. Stir the solution until the sugar has dissolved, and the water appears clear. Wash the dried elderberries before putting in a nylon straining bag with several sanitised weights. Tie the bag and put in a fermenting bucket or demi-john. Pour boiling sugar water over elderberries and cover with lid or bung. When cool, stir in a crushed Campden tablet, some yeast nutrient, and citric acid until dissolved. Set aside for 12 hours. Activate the yeast before adding to the mix, and ferment until specific gravity drops to 1.010, stirring and squeezing bag daily. Rack off the liquid to a secondary container, fit an airlock and fully ferment. Rack off every 30 days until the wine clears and doesn't drop in gravity for at least 30 consecutive days. Finally, bottle and enjoy. Remember the better the ingredients you use; the more wine matures with age.