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Elderberry Brandy (yet again)

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Elderberry Brandy (yet again)

Postby Pikey » Sat Aug 05, 2017 4:35 pm

Hi folks - we seem to have two threads on elderberry brandy and I will link to them here;

One by Jolly Roger http://www.artisan-distiller.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=3076&hilit=elderberry+brandy

and another by MUD http://www.artisan-distiller.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=8985&hilit=elderberry+brandy

I've never made elderberry brandy, but have made elderberry wine a number of times and found it quite hard to make it "Drinkable" because of all the tannin in the skins. However I did eventually find a way of making decent wine which was very drinkable by Xmas. This means nothing now as I understand tannin does not carry over in the distillation.

Researching various places indicates that the elderberry flavour carries over well and I shall be using less berries than called for in the other threads, more sugar and aiming for a higher initial abv so I can do a single first run, then save feints to add back to subsequent runs aiming for abv of around 60% (pot still ) for ageing, oaking and consuming ! :D

Now I understand from the "purists" that "brandy" can only be made from pure fruit juice with no added water or sugar ! ok then I'm not making "brandy" but "Brandyish".

Around me the berries are beginning to turn black, but are not ready to harvest yet. I like the berries to be big and juicy, with the heads hanging down on very red/purple stems.

So this post is by way of an invitation to join with me in doing a batch of elderberry - either following my recipe (will post soon) or the one MUD published or one of your own.
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Re: Elderberry Brandy (yet again)

Postby punkin » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:02 pm

Great idea. You guys should do a swap at the end.
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Re: Elderberry Brandy (yet again)

Postby Kareltje » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:43 pm

I used to make wine and elderberry was one of my favorites. Harvested them end of september and made a party of friends to get the berries from the stems. Cooked my chicken with nuts and fruit and garlic to feed my friends.
Made a wine of it as strong as possible, heavy, colourful, sweet.
I used 2 kg of berries plus 1,5 kg of sugar in 5 litres of wine. Siphoning it after 3 months and than let it rest for about 9 months. It became a quite sweet, heavy red wine. With a lot of sediment.
Nice wine! :mg:
Those were the days.

As there is not enough sugar in elderberries to make a fermentable juice, one has to find other ways of getting the taste into a drink.
1) Making a wine like I just described.
2) Making a maceration.
3) Making (concentrated) juice and mix it with neutral alcohol.
When you want a drink of a higher strength:
1) Distilling the wine.
2) Distilling the maceration.
3) Distilling a mixture of concentrated juice and alcohol.
4) Distilling with elderberries in the ginbox.

I think it is fun to make an experiment with a group of people, while everybody is making his/her own moves.
But how do we compare the results????
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Re: Elderberry Brandy (yet again)

Postby just sayin' » Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:49 pm

An elderberry story: Fifty years ago my cousin and I were fishing, as our little boat slowly drifted back down stream we noticed heavy cluster of elderberries all along the shore. We decided to try another clandestine wine project, we were both in our early teens. We picked and picked, we ended up with nearly five gallons of ripe juicy berries. We latter rinsed them and had them nearly all crushed when Rick noticed the unmistakable reek of stink bug. It was a terrible end for such beautiful fruit...
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Re: Elderberry Brandy (yet again)

Postby dutchmancreek » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:00 am

This thread reminded that I still have some of Mud's Elderberry Brandy, from years ago. It tastes even better than I remembered.
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Re: Elderberry Brandy (yet again)

Postby Pa_bon » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:27 pm

Muds brandy is quite tasty.
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Re: Elderberry Brandy (yet again)

Postby Pikey » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:48 pm

Kareltje wrote:
................... Cooked my chicken with nuts and fruit and garlic to feed my friends..............


C'mon K - THAT's the recipe I want :8)
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Re: Elderberry Brandy (yet again)

Postby Pikey » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:16 pm

I don't dispute for a moment that MUD's brandy was tasty. Was it finished white ?

My recipe will be basic, giving a considerable saving on time and effort ;

3 lb elderberries 1 kilo (2.2lb) sugar in 5 litres total wash. A little citric acid and nutrient. Decent wine yeast.

That should ferment dry quite quickly. [Edit - and should give a wash at 12% abv, near as dammit]

I'm tempted also to do a "Port" type wine which I did before with elderberries and use the resultant spirit for fortifying this.
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Re: Elderberry Brandy (yet again)

Postby punkin » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:53 pm

Kareltje wrote:I used to make wine and elderberry was one of my favorites. Harvested them end of september and made a party of friends to get the berries from the stems. Cooked my chicken with nuts and fruit and garlic to feed my friends.
Made a wine of it as strong as possible, heavy, colourful, sweet.
I used 2 kg of berries plus 1,5 kg of sugar in 5 litres of wine. Siphoning it after 3 months and than let it rest for about 9 months. It became a quite sweet, heavy red wine. With a lot of sediment.
Nice wine! :mg:
Those were the days.

As there is not enough sugar in elderberries to make a fermentable juice, one has to find other ways of getting the taste into a drink.
1) Making a wine like I just described.
2) Making a maceration.
3) Making (concentrated) juice and mix it with neutral alcohol.
When you want a drink of a higher strength:
1) Distilling the wine.
2) Distilling the maceration.
3) Distilling a mixture of concentrated juice and alcohol.
4) Distilling with elderberries in the ginbox.

I think it is fun to make an experiment with a group of people, while everybody is making his/her own moves.
But how do we compare the results????


You set up a small PM group and send a small bottle to each of the people in the group.
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Re: Elderberry Brandy (yet again)

Postby Pikey » Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:47 pm

punkin wrote:

.........You set up a small PM group and send a small bottle to each of the people in the group.


Apparently I can send alcohol up to 70% abv, all over the world by international post using Royal mail :D

Unfortunately I am NOT allowed to send alcohol stronger than 24% abv within the UK using Royal Mail ! :doh: :roflmao: :roflmao:

However there must be alternavie deliverers within the UK ! :)
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Re: Elderberry Brandy (yet again)

Postby RedwoodHillBilly » Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:53 pm

Pikey wrote:
punkin wrote:

.........You set up a small PM group and send a small bottle to each of the people in the group.


Apparently I can send alcohol up to 70% abv, all over the world by international post using Royal mail :D

Unfortunately I am NOT allowed to send alcohol stronger than 24% abv within the UK using Royal Mail ! :doh: :roflmao: :roflmao:

However there must be alternavie deliverers within the UK ! :)


What about sending "marinade". You don't have to explain that it is "ice cube marinade".

"Homemade marinade" is what I declare here in the colonies.
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Re: Elderberry Brandy (yet again)

Postby punkin » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:04 pm

Never thought i'd hear a moonshiner say they aren't going to do something because it's against the rules.
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Re: Elderberry Brandy (yet again)

Postby Pikey » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:10 pm

punkin wrote:Never thought i'd hear a moonshiner say they aren't going to do something because it's against the rules.


:oops: Maybe you do have a point :roflmao:



RedwoodHillBilly wrote:
.............What about sending "marinade". You don't have to explain that it is "ice cube marinade".

"Homemade marinade" is what I declare here in the colonies.


Sometimes I thank you colonials can be somewhat devious :8) :D
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Re: Elderberry Brandy (yet again)

Postby Tracker » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:44 am

WHAT??? :shock: devious indeed.


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Re: Elderberry Brandy (yet again)

Postby RedwoodHillBilly » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:25 pm

Pikey wrote:Sometimes I thank you colonials can be somewhat devious :8) :D


True, we shoot from behind trees instead of the accepted method of standing in a line facing each other in an open field. Not exactly cricket, but we did send old George's troops packing. :D
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