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Elderberry Mead

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mtkeg

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Post Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:44 am

Elderberry Mead

While I've head of elderberry wine, has anyone here ever tried to make a mead with them? If so, how much for a five gallon batch? The elders are blooming now and should be full of berries in a month or so.
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BrettM

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Post Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:13 pm

i had a commercial one that was excellent!
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buzzardwhiskey

Post Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:27 pm

Here's my 3 gallon recipe:

# 96 oz (1 can) Vintners Harvest Elderberry juice
# 49 oz (1 can) (1 can) Oregon Raspberry puree
# 1/2 gallon grape juice
# water and honey for about 3.2 gallons at an SG of 1.130
# 2 packets Lalvin RC212 yeast
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ew1usnrr

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Post Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:21 am

Elderberries

I love elderberries (click on the pictures to make them bigger).

Image

Wild Tampa elderberries.

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Late last June and I picked eight lbs of elderberries. Read about elderberries here: http://www.floridata.com/ref/S/samb_can.cfm

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Elderberry Ale (Ebulum) & Mead (Melomel)
The center one-gallon jug is Ebulum (elderberry beer) made with 2 lbs of fresh picked wild elderberries, a teaspoon of sweet gale and some wax myrtle, and 1 3/4 cups of wheat malt extract. The jugs on the left and right are elderberry mead (melomel). Each jug was made with 3 lbs of fresh elderberries and 2 1/4 lbs of fresh orange blossom honey.

I steeped and crushed the elderberries in hot water, strained the mix and added honey to the juice. The result was a beautiful, clear, deep-red wine that tasted like burgundy. It was really nice.
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mtkeg

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Location: south MS

Post Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:00 pm

I've been doing some thinking on the subject and I can't decide if I want to make a dry mead of a sweet desert mead. Never used elderberries before and I'm feeling a a little anxious to get this mead started.
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ew1usnrr

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Post Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:09 am

elderberries

"I can't decide if I want to make a dry mead of a sweet desert mead".

Split the difference and try for a semi-sweet. If you start with an OG of 1.120, then there will probably be enough sugar left over to keep it from being too dry.

The mead description for dryness is based on final gravity (FG):
dry: 0.990 – 1.010, semi-sweet: 1.010 – 1.025, sweet: 1.025 – 1.040+
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buzzardwhiskey

Post Thu Jun 05, 2008 2:35 pm

In my limited experience, a SG of 1.120 will be quite dry when finished. The yeasts and methods I've used require closer to 1.130 to reach the dry/sweet border.
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symond steve

Post Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:07 am

hello,
I had make dry mead that was excellentin my experience you will click thijs link thanks
http://allnutri.com/elderberry.aspx
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vlatro

Post Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:46 am

Elderberry mead is wonderful. Keep in mind that elderberries are very acidic, bitter, and have 3-4 times the tannin content of grapes. Totally dry is very good if you use a lot of them, for sweet meads use less elderberry.

If you press them your self, wear gloves. Yours hands will be stained purple for days if you don't. They are a pain to clean, but worth it.

I've also heard of people using the flowers instead of the berries, but I've not tried it. The flowers tend to drop after about 2 days, so I never got around to picking them.

P.S. Buy your elderberries. I made the mistake of growing my own. Two bushes will turn into 2,000 in one season. They are one of the most virulent plants I've ever seen.
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Taylor-MadeAK

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Post Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:26 pm

vlatro wrote:Elderberry mead is wonderful. Keep in mind that elderberries are very acidic, bitter, and have 3-4 times the tannin content of grapes. Totally dry is very good if you use a lot of them, for sweet meads use less elderberry.

They're also toxic until you cook them.
Primary: Nothing. Gainfully employed now, but still broke.
Secondary:
Bottled: Saké 2010
Make some sake.
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wayneb

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Post Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:01 pm

Taylor-MadeAK wrote:
vlatro wrote:Elderberry mead is wonderful. Keep in mind that elderberries are very acidic, bitter, and have 3-4 times the tannin content of grapes. Totally dry is very good if you use a lot of them, for sweet meads use less elderberry.

They're also toxic until you cook them.


Actually, that is only true for some varieties (principally the ones with red berries), only one of which is common here in North America. The variety most harvested for berries, sambucus canadensis, has trace amounts of the cyanogenic glycoside sambunigrin (a cyanide producer) in the fruit that virtually disappear when the berries are fully ripe. Fully ripe berries are a dark purple to black color. However, the stems and leaves do have significant amounts of the toxin, as well as calcium oxalate and should not be used. The berries also have another ingredient that can taste somewhat "musky" to some folks, which disappears when the berries are cooked.
Wayne B.
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mtkeg

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Post Sat Aug 16, 2008 5:04 pm

Ok, I got my elderberry mead started today. I spent a couple hours picking tiny stems and under ripe fruit out of the mix. However, I know I must of missed about a cup worth of those tiny stems. I was over all that picking and sorting. If all it takes to ruin a batch is a few green berries and stems I don't think I'll be trying this again. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
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sworbid

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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:27 pm

elderberry mead

Check for a private message from me-----In the past two weeks I have picked, cleaned, and frozen 47 pounds of elderberries. You are right, it is a job, however, I can tell you how to make it a lot easier. Believe it or not, in south MS you can find plenty of elderberries where the clusters are ripe to the point that there are no green ones or(not more than 8-10) green berries in a cluster. If you clip off a cluster that has a bunch of green ones in it---more than likely the red ones are not as ripe as they will be and the green ones make the cleaning almost not worth it. Right now elderberries are at their peak. Put the clusters in a big platsic bag and freeze them. Take the bag out of the freezer and blow some air in it, seal the top and shake it. All of the elderberries will fall off the stems. You may have a little trash to pick out of the good berries but it's a whole bunch easier. Remember, no green ones on the cluster before you freeze them. I would like to hear from you----I live in Hattiesburg.
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Stardust

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Post Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:43 pm

I planted two bushes in the spring.
How many years until they produce berries?

Don't eat anything but the ripe berries
and somewhere else (not the following site)
i read it is safer to cook um before eating them
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/cons ... ambuca.htm
Sambucus canadensis
Common Name
Elderberry, American elder

Mode
Ingestion.
Poisonous Part
Leaves, twigs (stems), roots, unripe fruits.
Symptoms
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, coma.
Edibility
EDIBLE PARTS: Cooked berries edible in pies, pancakes, and jellies; flowers and fruits used in wine making.
Toxic Principle
Cyanogenic glycoside and alkaloid.
Severity
CAUSES ONLY LOW TOXICITY IF EATEN.
If it's good for ancient Druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids, Drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me! - Pete Seeger
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sworbid

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Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:27 am

Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Post Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:02 am

elderberry mead

You will get elderberries your second year but there won't be enough to get excited about. Fertilizing and pruning will help too. I planted my own too, but the truth is that there are so many wild ones out there that this year I picked about 50 pounds. I decided that it's a waste of my time to care for my own.
Cooking does render them safe. Stems, pieces and leaves and green berries are toxic to the point that they will make you sick if eaten. If cleaned and these parts are removed, you should be okay. I never cook mine other than pouring boiling water over them in the primary, but that's to break them down.

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