My Elderberries Taste Awful! Am I Going To Poison Myself?
Posted 04 October 2011 - 07:22 PM
But I juiced some for jelly and they taste terrible.
a) Pick some poisonous berry that looks just like elderberries? The plants match every photo and the berries looked and acted like every picture and description.
Leave too many stems in? I removed all major stems. The only ones left were tiny, like the size of an eyelash.
c) Get some bad tasting elderberries? They were wild.
The juice is very dark reddish purple, almost opaque. There is a fruity flavor, similar to black currants, but it has a horrible medicinal bitterness. I drank a sip, then sweetened it, and tried it again. No improvement. Is this how elderberries taste? Or should I throw it all out?
Posted 04 October 2011 - 08:07 PM
I make elderberry and mulberry syrup (in addition to wine). I think they both have a similar earthy flavor when the elderberries are cooked.
I've actually acquired a little bit of a taste for raw elderberries since I pick and eat them at times when jogging, but it is certainly an acquired taste raw.
Posted 04 October 2011 - 08:31 PM
I'm still alive two hours later. But as it is, the juice is unpalatable.
I don't want to make anyone sick, and I don't want to make crappy jelly and wine.
Posted 04 October 2011 - 09:14 PM
Posted 05 October 2011 - 12:50 AM
Posted 05 October 2011 - 01:08 AM
the sharpness of it is why its more commonly used as a blender or made into a port than a strait wine.
Posted 05 October 2011 - 06:08 AM
Posted 05 October 2011 - 06:24 AM
2014 Wines: Elderberry, Pear, Malbec, Muscat; Raspberry Melomel, Elderflower/Lemoncello
2013 Wines: Noiret; Muscat; Vignoles; Pear/Apple, Zinfandel/Merlot/Cab-Sav Blend; Elderberry; Blackberry/Elderberry;
Posted 05 October 2011 - 08:50 AM
I find that you really need to let it simmer about 30 minutes to let the sweetness out. At that point my elderberry and mulberry syrups taste very similar, but I leave the stems on my mulberries so they are more tannic than usual.
Posted 05 October 2011 - 03:18 PM
My family likes my elderberry wine the best of the dozen or so country wines that I make. It is a Chianti-style, medium-bodied wine at 4 pounds berries/gallon and oak cubes. Age 2 years. Then it smooths out.
You don't have to worry about the stems, except for the more stems the more green goo. A commercial winery nearby throws the panicles in a big primary, large stems and all. And their elderberry wine is very good. I personally sort out the very large stems, but I don't mess with trying to remove all the smaller stems.
The "bitterness" that you taste is what makes it a good dry wine - tannins. Just follow a standard recipe, don't be afraid to add up to 5 pounds/gallon (I personally like 4 lbs/gallon, most recipes call for 3 but are too light-bodied IMHO). I don't personally cook mine, I just ferment them after freezing to help rupture the cell walls and release more juice. They don't need cooked if you don't want to mess with that in the future.
But do double-check that they are truly elderberries if it's a new berry for you. If you can post a photo of the bush & berries we can let you know for sure...
Posted 05 October 2011 - 04:01 PM
#61 Blueberry #60 Mixed berry #59 Niagara #58 Moscato #57 Piesporter- kit #56 Raspberry Melomel #55 Rhubarb
#54 White Grape/Peach #53 Elder Pee #52 Elderberry #51 Black Currant Pee #50 Black Currant #49 Elderflower
#47 Dandelion #46 ELDER PEE #45 Elderberry (seconds)
Posted 05 October 2011 - 04:16 PM
Could cooking the berries with the small stems have leached out enough toxins to make the juice dangerous? Am I risking a little stomach upset or a trip to the hospital?
Posted 05 October 2011 - 07:21 PM
@DebRN: I spiked my elderberry syrup (made from dried berries) with homemade dark chocolate syrup, works wonderfully as a cough syrup. It's the combination of the medicinal qualities of the elderberry and the theobromide from the chocolate! I know Village Winery in Virginia makes a Elderberry & Chocolate Syrup that CrackedCork raves about.
Please keep us posted with your elderberry adventure.
Amateur Winemakers Of Louisville: http://www.facebook....37454883025144/
Posted 06 October 2011 - 01:55 AM
Posted 06 October 2011 - 04:25 PM
I'm going to skip making the jelly and just use it all for wine. I think the flavor will more agreeable.
There's a reason I don't live closer to Louisville!
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