Strip berries from stems. Wash and sort out any blemished or moldy berries. Using a nylon straining bag (or with a press) mash and strain out the juice into the primary fermenter. Keeping all the pulp in the bag (with dried berries put in with chopped raisins), tie top, and place in primary.
Next stir in all the ingredients EXCEPT the wine yeast. Starting S.G 1.095- 1.100. Cover primary.
After 24 hours add yeast (we proofed it first). Cover primary.
Stir daily, check S.G and press pulp lightly to aid in juice extraction.
When ferment reaches an S.G of 1.030 (about 5 days) strain juice lightly from bag. Syphon wine off sediment into sterilized glass secondary. Attach airlock.
When ferment is complete (S.G has dropped to 1.000- about 3 weeks) syphon off sediment into clean secondary. Reattach airlock.
To aid in clearing syphon again in 2 months and again if necessary before bottling.
Blue-blackberries will result in a ‘Chianti’ type of wine. You can also make a ‘Port’ type wine by increasing the elderberries to 4 1/2 lbs and another 3/4 lb of sugar and use Sherry or Port Yeast. Keep in mind that if you’re multiplying the batch for a port wine it has more berries and sugar for increased volume (so you might only be able to multiply it 4 times for a 5 gallon for example)
Using 1/4 oz of oak chips per gallon of wine will benefit this wine with an ‘aged-in-oak’ flavour.(we’re choosing to not do this as this is our first time making this batch and we want to see what the base flavour is).
The wine color darkened a lot after it was ready to bottle. It’s recommended that you wait 6 months-1 year for the wine to age before drinking as the taste gets better. As we’re newbie wine makers we dug into a bottle after 4 months, 6 months, 8 months and so on to notice the change in flavor over time. It definitely got better! We quite liked it ‘as is’ although next time we hope to try a blend, perhaps blackberry and elderberry.
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