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Old 01-18-2013, 05:50 AM   #1
Mikeymu
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Default Suggestions please for over-rich elderberry

Hi. I made the mistake of racking too early and as I'd used 18% yeast I put extra fruit in. The wine has stopped fermenting at 15% and sg 1.017, and tastes over-rich. It's mainly elderberry but with a small amount of blackberry juice so it has more bite than pure elderberry.

These are the options I thought of:

  • dilute with water (we don't mind lower alcohol wine)
  • blend with dry wine (e.g. 0.994 to make sweet wine at 1.011 - would perhaps be too sweet)
  • fortify with brandy to make port (we already have a mixed berry done this way - oaked it too)
  • add spices to make mulled wine (no experience here but gluwein is our favourite and unsure that mulled elderberry would taste as good)

Any thoughts from the more experienced?
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:32 AM   #2
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Add some pure alcohol to raise the levels up a little bit. Elderberry blackberry is one of our favorites. WVMJ

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Old 01-19-2013, 01:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by WVMJ View Post
Add some pure alcohol to raise the levels up a little bit. Elderberry blackberry is one of our favorites. WVMJ
Wouldn't that mean it took longer to mature and mellow out?

Anyone had any experience with mulling elderberry? I did measure some gluwien and found it to have sg 1.030+ so thought this might be a good option since it's only 1.017.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:15 PM   #4
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Mikey, not sure what direction you are trying to take this elderberry. Mulled elderberry would be nice, if you have enough fruit you can sweeten it up to 1.03, but you might not have enough alcohol to balance it out. WVMH

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Old 01-19-2013, 11:47 PM   #5
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Thanks WVMJ. did a test in a clean jam jar with mulling spices and it worked a treat - keeping it at 1.017 and not adding any more sugar the wine seems well balanced. So have put in small quantities of spices (I can add more if I need to in stages so as not to overdo it) and naturally sweet clementine juice in the demijohn.

My better half, who is more of a mulled wine fan than I am liked it very much.

Shop bought gluwien tastes OK but maybe because they cheat by using lots of sugar which we generally try to avoid as it tends to mask other flavours.

By the way the wine is from CJJ Berry's recipe using water from boiling 1lb runner beans - very smooth (in the demijohns I did properly) and tastes gorgeous now, even though it's only 4 months old. I won't be surprised if it's drinkable at Christmas 2013!

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Old 01-20-2013, 02:53 AM   #6
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Mikey....do you plan to bottle this spiced or just when serving? You may consider bottling some plain and/or backsweetened and allowing to age--just enjoyed a two year old semisweet elderberry a few weeks ago and it was nothing like a bottle from same batch even a year ago. But I am a sucker for mulled wines and have yet to not like one. The mulling spices offered by Atlantic Spice Co are fabulous(if anyone is looking).

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Old 01-20-2013, 06:45 PM   #7
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Mikey....do you plan to bottle this spiced or just when serving? You may consider bottling some plain and/or backsweetened and allowing to age--just enjoyed a two year old semisweet elderberry a few weeks ago and it was nothing like a bottle from same batch even a year ago. But I am a sucker for mulled wines and have yet to not like one. The mulling spices offered by Atlantic Spice Co are fabulous(if anyone is looking).
Do you mean that an over-sweet elderberry can taste really good after a year or so?

I do have another gall of similar which is at 1.011 that I was going to blend with a gall that went to dry at 0.994.

I already added mulling spices (from the kitchen spice rack) and freshly squeezed clementine juice to the wine this post is about.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:08 PM   #8
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Do you mean that an over-sweet elderberry can taste really good after a year or so?

I do have another gall of similar which is at 1.011 that I was going to blend with a gall that went to dry at 0.994.
It will still be the same SG, unless it is fermenting again, but typically it smooths out, the tannins and acids and the complexity that makes a wine round out. Ideally. Elderberry in general is one fruit that needs age to come into its own. Level of sweetness is individualized, and one may like strawberry at 1.010 but not like blueberry at that same level.
I would bottle a few at 1.011, a few at 0.994 and then blend the rest if you so desire.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:25 PM   #9
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...I would bottle a few at 1.011, a few at 0.994 and then blend the rest if you so desire.
Gr8 idea! I'm up for doing just that. Cheers!
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