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This blog is a record of the wine that I make and drink. Each flavour made and each bottle drunk will appear here. You may come to the conclusion that, on the whole, I should be drinking less.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Elderberry Wine 2012 - The Making Of ...

As with blackberry wine, my elderberry is a fortnight later than usual. This is partly down to general busy-ness but also because the fruit is later this year. I was concerned that I might have left it too late, but there is at least another fortnight of elderberries on the trees.

Claire and I went on our usual (shortened) Hetchel Wood walk on Saturday afternoon, 29th September, with a variety of plastic bags. As well as elderberries we were on the look out for sloes and brambles to use in gin and crumble respectively. It was a pleasant amble in mostly sunny weather - there is something entirely pleasing about autumn afternoon sunlight cascading through a forest.

We picked most of our elderberries in the regular field, thought continued foraging down the length of Kennel Lane. Once I got my eye in, elder trees were easy to spot, even when they did not bear any fruit.

Between us we gathered one full plastic bag and one two-thirds full. I was confident that this would be sufficient for a double batch. At home I started stripping the elderberries at 4:25 pm and did not finish until 7:10. It is a tedious task made bearable by Radio 4. I have found stripping the berries into sandwich bags aids their weighing.

The elderberries in their bucket, in the dark.
 I left the berries over night, and completed the process on Sunday evening. Between us we picked 6 lbs 1 oz, which was more efficient than expected. I crushed these in the bucket and poured over 5 lbs of sugar and thirteen pints of boiling water, which proved to be at least a pint too much. The yeast and one teaspoon each of pectolase and nutrient went in on Monday morning. I gave the bucket its twice daily stir and should probably have put the liquid into its demijohns on Thursday. However, I was out both that night and Friday (and in fact every evening this week - I'm exhausted), so did this on Saturday afternoon. It was a fast process and the wine is now bubbling in a half-hearted manner.

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If you want to see how the first bottle of this turned out, click here