Elderberry Honey Wine
This is a simple recipe that I discovered for making elderberry wine. It is quite easy, takes little preparation and yields wine within 2-4 weeks! The production of alcohol requires an anaerobic environment; thus this process requires an airlock.
Prep: 5 minutes Fermentation: 2-4 weeks Storage: 6-12 months
· 1 gallon jug
· plastic tubing
· auto-siphon (optional)
· 9 cups water
· 4 cups raw honey
· 4 cups elderberry
· 1 package champagne yeast
1. In large pot, bring water to just under the boiling point, turn off heat, and let cool for a few minutes. Stir in the honey.
2. In a separate bowl, lightly mash the elderberries. Add the fruit to the water-honey mixture. Let it cool until the temperature is below 100°F (lukewarm to touch).
3. Using a funnel, transfer the honey-water-berry mixture into the gallon jug. Read yeast package directions and follow before adding yeast to mixture (if necessary, rehydrate yeast before proceeding). Sprinkle yeast on the surface of the liquid.
4. Fill the airlock with water to fill line, attach it to the bung, and place it in the jug to create a tight seal. Place jug in cool, dark location.
5. After 2 weeks, test the honey-wine. If you like the flavor, it is done and ready to be siphoned. If you would like the honey-wine to be more dry (less sweet), continue to ferment for up to 2 additional weeks. Keep in mind that when bottling the honey-wine with a lot of sugar still remaining will create carbon dioxide and cause carbonation within the bottle.
6. Prepare 10-12 swing-top bottles (4-6 22oz. bottles). Transfer the honey-wine using the plastic tubing and siphon into bottles, taking care not to disturb the sediment.
7. Cap the bottles and store them until ready for drinking.
MAKES 1 GALLON.
OTHER OPTIONS: You can double the batch if you have a large carboy to ferment in. Also you can experiment with different berries. For instance, blackberries and salmonberries make a lovely honey-wine!