A Guide to Creating Elderberry Wine at Home - Vigo Presses Ltd
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A Guide to Creating Elderberry Wine at Home

When made correctly, elderberry wine can be simply delicious, and just as spectacular as traditional grape made wine. Elderberry wine somewhat resembles rich, red grape wines and is the ideal wine of choice for colder winter nights in front of a fire with friends and food! With the right equipment, creating your own elderberry wine in the comfort of your home couldn’t be easier.


Whether you’re picking your own or buying them at the supermarket, look for a cluster of elderberries that are fully ripe and have a pink stem for the best flavour. If there are any green berries, they’re not ready. The ripest berries will already have a few elderberry raisins on them, so look out for those.


The next step is to begin the crushing process. We have some fantastic crushers available on our website that can make crushing fruit an easy and efficient process. We’d recommend the Pulpmaster with Bucket for elderberries. Though this can be done by hand or with a blender, it isn’t advised- crushers can do all that hard work for you in a much quicker time! Once crushed, add some water to the berries for volume. Mix the berries and water together and pour some into your hydrometer. The scale will be able to tell you the sugar levels within your mixture. The ideal scale for an elderberry wine is around 24.5, but you’ll need it to be above 20 and below 28.


Depending on the scale your hydrometer read, you’ll want to add sugar accordingly. Most recipes will tell you the amount you need to add, but if not, think of it like this: (Hydrometer Reading) x 0.125 x gallons of juice = sugar needed (lbs) It’s important that you add the sugar in batches rather than all at once, with regular hydrometer tests in between. Always aim low for fruit wines, as sugar can pick up through the night, meaning there may be too much sugar come morning!


Conducting an acidity test will ensure your wine has enough acid to age without going bad. The right amount of acid can transform a drink from dull to bright, too. Our pH Meter is ideal for testing acidity within wine, cider and juice. The pH level of your wine should sit at around 3.2 to 3.8. If it is too low, your wine will be susceptible to bacterial infections, and a pH level that is too high will taste incredibly sharp.


You’ll need yeast to begin the fermentation process. Mix in half the amount of yeast that you will be using for the whole of the elderberry wine making process. Pour half a cup of boiling water into a measuring cup and add the yeast by sprinkling it on top. Leave it for five minutes then stir and wait another 15 minutes, then add it to the juice. The 100 litre Speidel Fermenter is ideal for wine fermentation due to its thick walls, helping to preserve flavour and restrict oxidisation. On day two of fermentation, add the rest of your yeast. Fermentation should last around three-six days.


The initial elderberries, sugar, water and yeast is now wine, which you’ll need to separate! We’d suggest using one of our presses which are ideal for separating any solids and liquids in your mixture. Using a press will ensure every last bit of delicious liquid is squeezed from the elderberries that are still lingering in the wine mix. You can bottle the wine in any of our bottles to keep it perfect for weeks, and even months, to come.

If you need more information on the best products for elderberry wine making, we can help. For more information, get in touch with a member of the team by visiting our contact page or by giving us a call on 01404 890093.

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