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Drying Elderberries


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#1 Paul Williams

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 01:34 PM

I have a new Excalibur Food Dehydrator and am attempting to dry elderberries but there are no clear instructions with the new dryer. It does show a suggested temp of 105 degrees for drying fruit or berries so I have used that temp. My question is, what texture should the dried berries be. I now have them looking pretty dry but they are still somewhat soft which indicates that there is still some moisture within the berry. Should I take them on to a dryer point or leave them at the texture of a raisin. Any suggestions on how to store them? Thanks for any help or suggestions.
[size=4][color=#3366FF]Paul
Clearing: 5 gallons Elderberry, 5 gallons Elderberry blush, 5 gallons Muscadine, 2 gallons
blackberry, 1 gallon Peach, 1 gallon Elderberry
Bottled: Muscadine, Strawberry, Chocloate Orange Port, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauv., Pinot Noir

SMILE, LOOK UP, AND TRUST!

#2 deb_rn

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 02:18 PM

I have a dehydrator, but deciced against using it for elderberries... I don't think it would reduce the volume that much. Most instructions tell you to freeze them after dehydrating... without preservatives... they can mold easily.

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#3 WVMountaineerJack

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 06:38 PM

The Excalibur is great for drying elderberries. Make sure not to put them thinly on the mesh, if they are to think they will stick together in blobs. We dry ours until they are crunchy and then store them in vacum bags with a foodsaver. To test them to see if they are done you have to let them cool off first. They make a great wine different than the fresh ones and added to muffins, they absorb some of the moisture and you get these great little purple flavor bombs. They are also great to nibble on by themselves, something in the drying makes them taste much better than the fresh ones. After they are cooled with roll the mesh into a bucket and just brush the berries off. One warning about the dryer, if you dry hot peppers in it the capsaiacin sill stick to whatever you put on the mesh to dry, not a bad thing if you dry some zuchinni, but a surprise with dried elderberries!

Crackecork

I have a new Excalibur Food Dehydrator and am attempting to dry elderberries but there are no clear instructions with the new dryer. It does show a suggested temp of 105 degrees for drying fruit or berries so I have used that temp. My question is, what texture should the dried berries be. I now have them looking pretty dry but they are still somewhat soft which indicates that there is still some moisture within the berry. Should I take them on to a dryer point or leave them at the texture of a raisin. Any suggestions on how to store them? Thanks for any help or suggestions.



#4 Paul Williams

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 07:11 PM

Cracked Cork, Thanks so very much for your response. That's excatly the information that I needed. I just wasn't sure if I should take them all the way to crunchy. I will do them a bit more in order to reach that stage. I will remember the pepper thing since I grow many Anaheims,Poblanos, and jalapenios. Is there a rule of thumb about how many ounces of dried equals ounces or pounds of fresh when making wine?
[size=4][color=#3366FF]Paul
Clearing: 5 gallons Elderberry, 5 gallons Elderberry blush, 5 gallons Muscadine, 2 gallons
blackberry, 1 gallon Peach, 1 gallon Elderberry
Bottled: Muscadine, Strawberry, Chocloate Orange Port, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauv., Pinot Noir

SMILE, LOOK UP, AND TRUST!

#5 WVMountaineerJack

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 01:24 AM

Paul, dont go by other peoples ratio, weigh some before you put them in and then weigh them when they come out, that is the only way you are going to know about your berries and how you dry them. We did an experiment with and equivalent amount of dried berries to fresh (determined from weighing our own fresh and then after drying) vs double the amount of fresh equivalent in dried. The equivalent was ok, the double a bit much, so we settled for about 1.5 times the amount of the dried. It does make a different kind of wine, more like making a raisin wine but not as extreme a difference between grapes and raisins. We like to steep them in hot water overnight before adding making them into the must. I know we are a bit nontraditional, but if we are making a red wine, we always add either some fresh elderberries or dried ones, and sometimes both just to give an added touch of flavor and color and some tannins.

I do have a recipe for the dries ones on our website, but again thats for our ratio of dried to fresh cultivated berries, not wild ones. Have fun with your dried elderberries. http://www.oatmealjack.com/Elderberries/WineRecipies.html

Crackedcork




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