2022 Elderberry

March 2022

This wine has been planned since last summer, but I’m just getting around to making it.

I have a 25 liter (6.6 US gallon) demijon free, so the plan is to make enough wine to fill it. Since the elderberry concentrate reconstitutes to 5 gallons (19 liter), I purchased 1 liter of red and 1 liter of white grape concentrate to extend it to 7 gallons. I wanted 2 liters of red grape concentrate, but it wasn’t in stock at American Brewmaster, so I snagged what I could.


Fruit 1 gallon Vintner’s Best Elderberry fruit wine base
1 liter Global Vintners Inc red grape concentrate
1 liter Global Vintners Inc white grape concentrate
Bentonite 3 tsp
Yeast Nutrient 6 tsp Fermax
Yeast 2 tsp Avante + 1/2 tsp Fermax + 1 tsp sugar
Fermentation Sugar 6 cups
Pectic Enzyme 3 tsp
Fermentation Oak 2 cups medium toast American shredded oak
Fining Agents 12.5 ml kieselsol & 75 ml chitosan
Sulphite as required
Aging Oak 1 oz medium toast Hungarian cubes
Finishing Sugar 10 oz wine conditioner plus 1/2 cup sugar
Glycerin 6 oz

Added a few cups of hot tap water to a 6.5 gallon primary, then stirred in 3 tsp bentonite until it was as dissolved as it would get. Added Fermax.

Poured in gallon of Elderberry concentrate. Used 3 quarts of hot tap water in 3 batches to rinse the jug, emptying all into the fermenter. Topped up with cold tap water to 5 gallons. Racked into a 32 gallon Brute, as I don’t have a smaller fermenter that can handle 7 gallons of must.

Since I don’t have a better way to measure, poured the white and red grape concentrate into the 6.5 gallon primary. Used a couple of cups of hot water, each, to rinse the bags, putting all water into the fermenter. Topped with cold water to 2 gallons. Poured this into the Brute with the Elderberry.

The SG is a bit low for my tastes, but I’ll fix that tomorrow. I’m targeting 1.090.

Created a yeast starter with 2 tsp Avante, 1/2 tsp Fermax, and 1 tsp sugar in 1 cup water.

SG 1.080
Stirred in 6 cups sugar to raise the Brix. Added pectic enzyme and fermentation oak. Note: the SG is higher than I planned, but I’m ok with it.

Added yeast starter.

SG 1.100
There is no activity, so it appears the yeast starter failed. I had the yeast stored in the freezer, and suspect the jump between freezer temperature and room temperature was too much.

Created a new starter with 4 tsp Avante, 1/2 tsp Fermax, and 1/2 tsp sugar in 1 cup 93 F water. This one took off within 15 minutes, and I inoculated 8 hours later.

SG 1.100
Racked the wine into the 25 liter demijohn. Managed to mix up the last bit, so a 4 liter jug is filled with sludge, that should clear. 03/27/2022
SG 1.001
Racked the “sludge” wine, netting about 80% of the total in clear wine. Added to demijohn.

Added 1/4 tsp K-meta and 12.5 ml Kieselsol. Stirred for 60 seconds, changing direction half way through.

Added 75 ml chitosan. Stirred for 60 seconds, changing direction half way through.

Topped with 1 bottle 2020 second run wine.

SG 1.001
Racked the wine. The SG dropped a bit and there was very little sediment. Added 1 oz medium toast Hungarian cubes, 1/4 tsp K-meta, and topped with a bottle of 2020 second run wine. 05/02/2022
SG 0.998
Racked the wine, reserving 4 liters that will be bulk aged an additional 4 to 6 months, then backsweetened and bottled without sorbate.

To the 5.5 gallons bottled today, added Stabilizing pack (sorbate + K-meta) from last fall’s kits, 10 oz wine conditioner (from Eric’s Riesling), and 1/2 cup sugar, stirring well after each addition.

Bottled. As with the Blackberry, forgot to take a final SG reading. I’ll do that when I open a bottle.

UPDATE: opened a bottle and checked SG.

SG 1.010

Yield 33 bottles
Alcohol 13.9 %
Residual Sugar 3.1 %
Winemaking Notes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *