Elderberries are rich in vitamin C, and contain lots of anthocyanin antioxidants. They are also a good source of vitamins B1, B2 and B6 and contain the anti-inflammatory agents ursolic and oleanolic acids. They have been used for thousands of years as a medicine and are mentioned in most holistic herb guides as helpful. There are scientific studies that seem to indicate elderberries help cell walls resist viral attack. There is plenty of information on the internet.
To use, follow your recipe exactly the first time. Most recipes say to pour your hot sugar water over the dried berries and we agree. Because elderberries contain small seeds, you will need a nylon straining bag or fine sieve to pour through when you rack your wine the first time. Some say to ferment in the bag and squeeze daily but that is messy work. Just leave the berries loose and stir at least every day to immerse the cap. When you are ready to rack just pour through the bag into a clean bucket and then squeeze or press the bag that one time. Sometimes I dump the supposedly ‘spent’ berries back in the bucket and make a batch of Welches Frozen Grape Juice wine right on top of the used berries. It already contains plenty of yeast just add in the yeast nutrient. I’ll try to get my versions of these recipes up on our web site for you.
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