I recently froze some elderberries. I use the flowers for on top of salads, cordials. You can also make fritters with the flowers. Ref: Diane
Elderberry and Passionfruit Wine to Make a Dry Red by Bruce Chadfield
– 5L or 7L bottles – 2kg liquidised elderberries, preferably picked fresh, frozen, and then defrosted – 400g passionfruit pulp – 3.8L water 1kg sugar – 1/2 teaspoon red tannin powder
Add 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient, 1 tspn pectolitic enzyme, 1 tspn tartaric acid, 1 tspn citric acid, and Gervin (Variety A) yeast
Sterilise a 20L container, preferably an esky with a tight-fitting lid, but make sure it is NOT airtight. Pour the liquidised fruit into the esky. A small amount of the water may be used to make the liquidising easier. Bring the rest of the water and the sugar to the boil in a separate pan. When boiling, pour over the fruit and close the esky. Leave to stand for 12 – 24 hours, then add the yeast, the pectolase, the yeast nutrient, the tartaric acid, the citric acid and the tannin. Leave to ferment for ten days, stirring twice a day with a clean wooden spoon. The lid should be left on the esky at all other times. At the end of the ten days, strain the contents through a nylon bag into a sterile bucket, then transfer into sterilised demijohns (leave approximately 2 – 3 cm air gap between the top of the wine and the bottom of the bung), fit an air lock, half fill with water, and plug the other end of the air lock with a loose plug of cotton wool. At this stage there will be more than 5L, so you will need to assess what quantity is left and put it into whatever container you have, such that there is a small air gap at the top, and an air lock can be fitted. Leave to finish fermenting and partially clear for another three to six weeks, then siphon the clearer wine from the sediment and put the wine into a new sterilised 5L demijohn. At this stage, there may or may not be a small amount of wine left over. Again, put this into a small container to which an air lock can be fitted. Leave wine to stand and clear for a further four weeks – it may take longer. When the clarity you require is achieved and you are sure that there is no movement of the water level in the air lock (apart from that expected from contraction due to varying temperatures day and night), the wine can be siphoned into bottles and stored appropriately.
Elderberry wine, unlike many other fruit wines, is one wine that does seem to improve with age.
Elderberry champagne Get a 10 litre bucket, add 10 elderflower heads, juice and rind of 4 lemons, 4.5 ltrs water, 1 heaped tsp of cream of tartar (can substitute white wine vinegar), 450gms of sugar, wash flower heads and grate lemon rind, place in bowl and add water, cream of tartar, sugar (dissolve it in hot water some of the water) Champagne can be drunk almost immediately but can keep for several weeks. Wait until the bottle goes firm before you start to drink which usually is around 3 days but don’t leave it for more than a few weeks otherwise the bottle can blow!! Don’t use glass bottles for this reason – only soft drink bottles.
You can also substitute rose petals for the elder flowers and I’ve also used citrus too.
Homemade Wine using Silver Birch
I drilled holes in all my Silver Birch trees and put a piece of garden hose in the hole and put a 2 litre plastic soft drink bottle on the other end of the hose and in 2 days and I made wine following a recipe in a book.
I put rice through the coffee grinder and made rice wine and it was potent! Neither Regina nor myself drink so I don’t make wine anymore.