Elderberry Wine

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The Complete Book of Home Preserving

The Complete Book of Home Preserving

By Mary Norwak

Published 1978

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  • 2 lb/1 kg elderberries
  • 8 oz/225 g raisins
  • 5½ lb/2.5 kg granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pectic enzyme
  • 4 teaspoons tartaric acid
  • 2 teaspoons nutrient salts
  • Yeast starter of Burgundy wine yeast or general purpose yeast


Elderberry makes an excellent Port-type wine if kept for a long period because it is heavy in tannin, and will continue to improve for several years. This recipe gives a lighter wine which may be drunk young. It is lighter in alcohol and body, fresh, and one of the cheapest wines to make. Crush good ripe elderberries and boil them in a large container in 4 pints/2 litres water for 15 minutes. Strain the liquor into a large bucket containing sugar. Add a Campden tablet, and make up the liquor to 1 gallon/4.5 litres. Keep the fruit. Add another 4 pints/2 litres water to it, boil for 15 minutes, strain, and add the liquor to the original gallon. Make up to 2 gallons/9 litres and add the chopped raisins. When the temperature is down to 75°F/24°C, add the pectic enzyme, acid, nutrient salts and yeast starter. Ferment on the pulp for 5 days, then strain into 2 jars under airlock, and ferment to a finish in a warm place. Rack when the fermentation is complete.

This wine will show a tannin deposit for some time and should be kept under observation for at least 3 months after completion of the fermentation before bottling.

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