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The Brewing Forum • View topic - Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)
Page 1 of 2

Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:20
by krazypara3165
Found an interesting recipe that i plan on starting this weekend. However, its a bit dated so will need refreshing. Thought I would run it by you all with my amendments :)

Recipe (changes in red)

1.8KG Elderberries Only have 1KG thinking of substituting with 800G blackberries
450g Raisins
450g Bananas
450g dried dates
1KG Red grape concentrate Does this even still exist? thinking of substituting with 1L RGJ or one of the mini 200ml bottles of concentrate.
1.36KG Sugar Seems a bit much?
5G Tantaric acid Why would Tantaric Acid be needed?
3G Tannin Elderbeeries are already high in tannins are they not? is this needed?
5G Pectic enzyme Pectolayze i take it?
Activated wine yeast port style Port style? does this not make it a port then over a dessert red wine?)
Yeast nutrient

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:37
by Moley
Yes to the blackberries.

RGC is the stuff which comes in small bottles or tins, sometimes labelled as “wine enhancer”. Even when diluted it's not the same as RGJ out of cartons because this concentrate comes from wine grape varieties whereas the juices are from dessert grapes.

Sugar seems well excessive, I will attempt some sums.

Elderberries are fairly low in acid, but blackberries can be higher, halve it.

Drop the tannin.

Yes, pectic enzyme = pectolase.

Port style yeast just means it's better suited to full bodied reds, and may have a higher alcohol tolerance.


EDIT: I've just re-read the recipe and 1kg of grape concentrate would be just mental :shock:

What volume are you working to?

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:47
by krazypara3165
the Recipe is for a DJ so thats what, 4.5-4.8L?

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:56
by Moley
If you want to end up with a heavy, dessert red then I would suggest total sugar in the region of 400g to the litre.

That should give you OG 1.144 and around 17 or 18% abv with some residual sweetness, you can always add more when it's finished.

So if you're working towards 5 litres you need 2kg total sugar. Keep any excess in a side bottle (still under airlock) and use it for topping up after racking.

You're going to get around 825g of that out of the fruit, and 150g if you use a litre of RGJ.

But don't add it all right at the start!

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:58
by krazypara3165
Superb. Thanks Moley. By don't add it at the start I'm assuming you mean the sugar? so add a few hundred g whilst everything is in the bucket and the rest after straining?

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 13:03
by Moley
Don't add any sugar to the bucket, there's quite enough in there already.

Add half after straining, and the rest in stages as fermentation progresses.

I'll have to get back to you later, lunchtime's over and I've got other stuff to do.

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 13:12
by krazypara3165
:thumb:

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 14:53
by robwalker
I'm currently brewing an autumn fruit port (primarily blackberries) and like moley suggests, I have sugar syrup in a sanitized bottle to add gradually. This is because the yeast may give up at some point and you probably won't get it going again with such a high alcohol content.

1.8kg elderberries is a lot IMO, so dropping some out for milder juicier fruit isn't a bad shout. I can also agree that 1kg RGC is a tonne, particularly as 450g raisins will supply plenty of vinosity and flavour. I think without the RGC and with 1kg elderberries that recipe is closer to a decent wine.

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 15:08
by krazypara3165

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 15:19
by robwalker
oh and, port style wine yeast is just high alcohol tolerance yeast, depending what you use. Over the years I've found Gervin GV4 generally reasonably clean and fruity - what makes port wine a real port wine is fortifying it with brandy, I think they use somewhere in the region of 1 part brandy to 4 parts wine, which is stupidly expensive for home brewers. I'm lead to believe that the name "port" for strong, heavy country wines in home brewing comes from home brewing books of yesteryear who referred to it that way, a few of my recipe books certainly have "port" recipes in with no mention of brandy whatsoever.

If I can offer some advice from experience, try to keep a good amount of headroom by not using an excess of water and macerating the fruit daily to get the flavour out, and don't rack it until it's necessary - mine died on racking and I had to repitch more yeast.

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 13:53
by divingdavey
I got one of these on the go today. I used 1kg of elderberries and 800g of sloes. I only had 250g of dates but pretty much made up the difference by using four bananas which weighed in above the 450g given in the recipe.

I've quite often included a banana in my wines and it always seems to be a good addition. Looking forward to a banana wine once this one is in a dj and the fv is free.

Cheers KP :notworthy:

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 16:22
by robwalker
Also just realises, is this from the marks and Spencer book? Ben turner I think?

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:09
by krazypara3165
I don't think its from a M&S book? its from a really really old one I acquired with some brewing equipment not sure of the book though, ill have a look tonight when i get home :)

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 18:03
by divingdavey
What sort of time is good for something like this to ferment on the pulp? :drunk:

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 18:41
by Moley
5-7 days, then strain to DJ or other closed fermenter.

But .... with great big wines like this there will be plenty of goodness left in the fruit pulp. Throw it back into another bucket and add some more cold water, maybe some red grape juice, and some more sugar and give it another 5 days or so before straining again.

I usually make a 30 litre full-bodied red fruits wine then take a 20 litre second mash.

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 19:08
by divingdavey
Thanks Moley :notworthy:

Just out of interest, what's the consequence of leaving it in there longer?

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 06:58
by Moley
It gets too heavy on the tannins. As it is, I give my first mash 2 years before bottling.

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 22:27
by divingdavey
Lovely, I got mine into a pet today and started a secondary brew off too.

Cheers fellas

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 08:49
by divingdavey
I've had mine in my new brewing fridge for a couple of week since I built it and I think it's done fermenting now - there's a bit of a scum on top of the wine though which is concerning me :hmm: so I'm thinking I might rack it onto a CT and stabilizer, not taking the surface (and therefore the scum) and seeing how that goes.

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 09:56
by graysalchemy
have you tasted it? thats the best way to know if it is infected.

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:17
by divingdavey
No but I'll give it a taste when I rack it off - I was thinking it can't do any harm to stabilise it anyway if it's finished fermenting?

You do look pretty at Christmas ;)

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 21:47
by graysalchemy

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 15:49
by divingdavey
Well I checked on the wine again today, and the scum had gone :D so I took a sample in a trial jar and tested the S.G which I found to be 1.028 (I think as I don't use a hydrometer often, does that sound right folks?). I'm pretty sure it's stopped fermenting and I was expecting a high reading anyway due to residual sugar.

Anyway then I took the plunge and tasted it, it looked pretty clear in the glass and tasted delicious aready! :thumb: So that was a nice relief.

I've put it back in the brewing fridge for a few days and I'll take another reading then, if it's still the same I'll rack and stabalise it, it's so clear I don't think I'll bother with finings unless it clouds up after racking.

Thanks for all the help folks and for the recipe :notworthy:

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 15:56
by robwalker
Sounds like the yeast might be giving up, do you know what your OG was? If you're happy with it its safe to stabilise and bottle. I never use finings in wine :)

Re: Royal elderberry wine (Heavy sweet red-dessert style)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 16:24
by divingdavey
Thanks Rob - I didn't take an OG as there was loads of fruit in the pulp but I think the yeast has given up now, I'll leave it a few days more out of interest than anything and if the reading hasn't changed I'll stabilise and bottle. :thumb: