Elderberry Wine - Original Recipe

Elderberries require special care, please ask a club member before trying for the first time. 

For a batch of about 5 gallons -


  • 15 lbs. Elderberries 
  • 5 Campden tablets OR 1/4 tsp. metabisulfite 
  • 5 tsp. yeast nutrient 
  • 2-1/2 tsp. dry or 25 drops liquid pectic enzyme 
  • 10 tsp. acid blend 
  • Sugar 
  • General purpose wine yeast 


  • After picking elderberries, freeze, stem, and put into a fruit bag. 
  • Put fruit bag into 5 gallons hot water. 
  • Add 5 Campden tablets OR 1/4 tsp. metabisulfite 
  • Add 5 tsp. yeast nutrient and pectic enzyme. Let sit overnight. 

  • Adjust acid to .70% (7g/L)  with acid blend. 
  • Add sugar to 1.085 S.G.
  • Add 5 tsp. yeast nutrient 
  • Add yeast. 

  • Rack when S.G. reaches 1.020  (normally 5-7 days) 
  • Elderberries contain quinic acid which is very bitter and are high in tannin, so remove skins as soon as possible. 
  • Rack again in 3 weeks and add 5 Campden tablets OR 1/4 tsp. metabisulfite. 
  • Cold stabilize 1-2 weeks 
  • Rack within 2 weeks and add 5 Campden tablets OR 1/4 tsp. metabisulfite. 
  • Add 1/2 tsp. potassium sorbate per gallon (to prevent renewed fermentation) 
  • Add sugar syrup to taste. 
  • Filter, if desired, and bottle

  • ALWAYS wash elderberry utensils with cold water or you will get green gummy stuff all over. 
  • It is very difficult to remove. Care early will require less work later. 

  • Editors note: I mixed dried elderberries and wild grape juice together before fermenting and had a very good wine. If you have the fruit, give it a try.

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