Having spectacularly failed in my first elderberry wine-making attempt a few years ago (mouldy corks, exploded bottles, carnage everywhere), i’ve recovered enough to try again. This time i’m planning things a bit better and making sure everything is properly sterilised each time.
So, i’ve been inspired by the River Cottage Handbook No.12 Booze, by John Wright! Lots of interesting booze-related information in there and he recommends elderberry wine as the most popular grape alternative wine and the easiest to make.
So, after a trip to Wilkos to stock up on essential items and the previous trips up Robinswood Hill to collect the elderberries and blackberries, i’m ready to start!
1.5kg of elderberries
200g of blackberries
4.5L of boiling water
1 tsp yeast nutrient
5g red wine yeast
So, i’m using Campden tablets (Sodium metabisulphite) to sterilise all of the equipment. I used two of these with boiling water to sterilise the various items. We had frozen the elderberries and blackberries and these were thawed out over a day and tipped into the barrel, then boiling water poured in, to add the liquid and kill most of the unwanted bacteria etc. The sugar was added at this point and mixed in well with the long handled spoon.
This was left to cool for maybe 6 hours, then the yeast and nutrient powder added. This starts the fermentation process and the bubbles! At this point, i’m 1 day in and lots of bubbles so far. I should get 6 full bottles from the recipe and a bit left over to check in maybe 2 months – maybe around Christmas ; )
More to follow…