Elderberry Processing

http://www.durgan.org/URL/?VZSWW 8 August 2010 Processing Elderberries
Eight pounds of elderberries were picked this morning, and removed from the branches. The berries were picked by snapping off the fruit bearing branch and placing in a plastic bag. The problem is removing the small berries from the branches. Usually the process is done by hand plucking. Since I had a 1/2 inch screen, it was decided to see if this would work. It did with amazing results. The berry removal only took a few minutes and was more than satisfactory.

http://www.durgan.org/URL/?BCCNF 11 August 2010 Elderberry
More elderberry bushes are producing. Today 7 pounds were picked. I am experimenting with making juice by gently boiling for about 20 minutes then squeezing the pulp through cheesecloth. Depending upon the amount of water the juice can have the consistency desired. According the some the juice is beneficial. At least it cannot be worse than commercial fruit juice. One or two pounds of fruit produce about one liter of juice.

http://www.durgan.org/URL/?SVUBN 12 August 2010 Elderberry Juice
Nine pounds of elderberries were picked today. This makes a total pf 21 pounds in the last week or so. To utilize them it was decided to make juice. After some experimenting this is my method. Four cups of berries are placed in a container, and water is added to fill the container still containing the berries. The purpose is to obtain a fairly strong juice. The berries are placed in a pot set to gently boil for about 20 minutes, meanwhile mashing periodically to break the berries apart. The mixture is strained through a cheese cloth to extract as much juice as possible from the pulp. Pictures depict the method. I have improved on this method by using a metal screen mesh, but the output is essentially the same.

http://www.durgan.org/URL/?VJYLM 16 August 2010 Elderberry
Thirteen pounds of elderberries were picked this morning and processed. Juice will be made and stored in the refrigerator for relatively immediate consumption. A Presto pressure canner has been ordered so the juice can be kept for longer periods and stored in a cold room. This is a perfect year for this fruit. The five bushes with which I am familiar still have many berries available. Observation indicates that the best berries are in the shaded part of the bushes, since direct sun dries the berries somewhat. This will be my last picking. It appears that I am the only person picking the fruit.

http://www.durgan.org/URL/?YIVZV 17 August 2010 Pressure Canner.
A Presto pressure canner, 23 quart size, was purchased to enable me to process and store safely (sterilize) various juices in the cold room. This unit is the same as a typical Presto pressure cooker, of which I am familiar, except it has a pressure gauge controlled by adjusting the heat applied, and the container is larger.
Today the elderberries were processed for long term storage, up to a year in the cold room. The berries were made into juice, and placed in liter jars with the lids finger tightened, and placed in the canner, and placed on the stove. The canner was operated without the “whistler” in place until steam started to emerge to drive out the air, then placed in position.
The recipe called for 11 pounds pressure for 15 minutes. When the pressure reached 11 pounds the heat was adjusted to maintain this level for 15 minutes. Then the heat was removed, and the canner allowed to de-pressurize. The jars were removed and placed on the counter to cool. The pictures depict the simple procedure.

All this juice was consumed and there were no ill effects.

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