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Elderberry season

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:03 am
by aleguy
In case you missed it, the elderberries are dead ripe right now and ready for mass picking.
If you have never used elderberries before, here are a few things to keep in mind:A) Raw berries have no flavor, they must be cooked or fermented before they taste like anything. B) Unripe berries are TOXIC, so be sure you sort through them carefully. C) Fermenting elderberries will leave a waxy green deposit on glassware. DO NOT use hot water to clean this! Use only cold water, a brush and oxyclean. Hot water will cause it to set up like concrete.
HAPPY PICKING!! :D

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:21 am
by Jerm
sounds like a lot of trouble to me.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:40 pm
by GuitarLord5000
That's what I thought the first time I read this post.

How do elderberries taste? Are they good enough to go through all this trouble?

I guess I'm gonna have to give em a try one day and see for myself.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:18 pm
by Jerm
elderberry juice is availble in specialty stores and health food joints, sounds like a bettter alternative for expermenting to me.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:02 am
by aleguy
Actually, if you just wait until the heads are evenly ripe, it's not that much trouble. Yes you can buy puree at the home brew shops, but aside from the picking, you still have all the other problems. You WILL still get the green waxy stuff.
Elderberries are probably the easiest berries to pick. The only really hard part is finding a large enough stand. Once you do though, It's easy enough to pick 25-30 lbs in an hour or two. Any green berries that get into your bucket stand out like a sore thumb and are easy to pick out.
The taste once they're fermented definitely makes it worthwhile. I have done both melomels and wine with them. They beat just about any other fruit IMHO, with the possible exception of blackberry.