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Old 02-05-2008, 03:16 AM   #1
biberbauer
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Default Elderberry Stout

I'm thinking about doing an Elderberry Stout my first off-the-wall experimentation sort of brew. How potent are elderberries in brewing? Would a pound of berries in 5 gallons be overpowering? Thanks

-Biber

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Old 02-05-2008, 03:21 AM   #2
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Your father smells of elderberries.

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Old 02-05-2008, 04:33 AM   #3
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Elderberry, like plum, can be an alternative to red wine grapes, in wine making. Natives to mexico made elderberry wine, well actually they made alcohol out of everything. I have never used elderberry in beer, but I can tell you it will be stronger than most fruit in flavor.

Then again, stout is a strong flavor that may be good with a strong companion flavor, I mean if you can't taste it what's the use right?

If I had a pound of fresh elderberry, I'd use the whole thing in the stout, and leave the skins behind for secondary fermentation.

Let me know how it turns out.

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Old 02-05-2008, 04:48 AM   #4
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Since we're still in winter (I'm not an elderberry specialist, but I have a hunch the harvest was quite a while ago), do you think it might be possible to rehydrate dried elderberries? Is rehydration as simple as it sounds?

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Old 02-05-2008, 12:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biberbauer
Since we're still in winter (I'm not an elderberry specialist, but I have a hunch the harvest was quite a while ago), do you think it might be possible to rehydrate dried elderberries? Is rehydration as simple as it sounds?
Soak them in water for a half hour or until plump. You could also soak them in elderberry wine to heighten those flavors before use. If you are putting them into a mash no rehydration would be needed (at least I think).

Either way, I think you have something good brewing here. Grains would have to be adjusted to match flavors, but yeah! Let us know how it comes out!
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Old 02-06-2008, 03:53 AM   #6
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Right now, I'm trying to figure out if I would put them in the boil or not (as a puree near the end). Since elderberries are supposedly mildly poisonous (!) raw, I'm trying to figure out a possible way to safely incorporate them into the brew without creating any chemical haze (I've read that boiling fruits in the wort tends to create some sort of haze. Anyone know anything about this?).

A couple elderberry wine recipes that I've read say to rehydrate the berries with boiling water, then to juice them, and boil the juice. I reckon this would do the same sort of hazing that putting it in the wort would do? Is it a good idea to use the fruit skins in the secondary? Any ideas?

-Biber

EDIT: "There are reports of gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and weakness after drinking elderberry juice made from crushed leaves, stems and uncooked elderberries. Notably, the berries must be cooked to prevent nausea or cyanide toxicity." yikes! talk about a risky brew!

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Old 02-06-2008, 05:43 AM   #7
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I have had elderberries in several kinds of drinks. Elderberry stout being one of them. A local brew pub brews a batch every winter. The taste of the berries in their stout is very mild. I am not sure how much they use, but I think I would have a liberal hand if I used them.

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Old 02-06-2008, 08:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf191
I have had elderberries in several kinds of drinks. Elderberry stout being one of them. A local brew pub brews a batch every winter. The taste of the berries in their stout is very mild. I am not sure how much they use, but I think I would have a liberal hand if I used them.
I shot an email to the owner/brewer of Otto's Pub & Brewery to ask him a few questions about how they use elderberries in making their brew. (Is that the pub you're referring to?)

From the reviews I've seen on beeradvocate, it sounds pretty tasty.

I wonder:
Should I use a standard irish stout recipe and just add the elderberries into it, or should I compensate for the berries with a stronger body? Ideas?

Thanks for all the comments. I really appreciate it.

-Biber
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Old 03-30-2008, 11:46 PM   #9
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Alright, I finally got around to getting the ingredients (and time) to put this brew into action. I'm about halfway into the boil right now. I ended up ordering the AHS Coffee Malt Stout kit for simplicity's sake, and I'm just going to wing-it as far as the elderberries go. Here's the current plan:

# 1.75 lbs. Marris Otter Pale Malt
# 0.75 lbs. Coffee Malt
# 0.25 lbs. 40L Crystal Malt
# 0.125lbs. Black (Patent) Malt
# 0.125lbs. Black Roasted Barley
# 0.5 lbs. Malto Dextrin
# 2.0 lbs. Amber Liquid Malt Extract
# 4.0 lbs. Dark Liquid Malt Extract
# 1.0 oz. Galena Hop Pellets (Bittering, 60 min, 13.1% AA)
# White Labs London Ale 013 Liquid Pitchable Tube Yeast
# 2 oz. Dehydrated elderberries (15 minutes before the end of boil)
# 1 oz. Dehydrated elderberries (rehydrated/boiled then added to secondary)

Thoughts on adding them to the secondary? I'll taste the wort before I pitch and see how it tastes, I suppose. From what I've figured out, 1oz dried ~ 6oz fresh, so I'm trying not to overdo it.

Suggestions appreciated!

-biber

EDIT: After trying the wort, the hint of elderberry taste is almost like an after-aftertaste. It's very faint, but it sticks to the palate.

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Old 08-11-2008, 02:10 PM   #10
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Resurrecting this. I just picked 2 1/2 pounds ripe Elderberries, thoughts on amounts? I have never used Elderberry for anything, but I was up on my mountain and found them, I did find another (wasn't ripe yet) and there is probably more. I was thinking a Stout, Otto's Elderberry Stout is very good...but I dunno yet.

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