Homemade elderberry extract results

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by countrygrrrl, Oct 24, 2004.

  1. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    In August, I decided to see if I could make my own elderberry extract or tincture.

    I was also wanting to make a liquid stevia extract with some ground stevia leaves.

    So I got a very large, dark blue bottle of Russian vodka, poured half of it into another bottle and added the stevia, and poured the rest into a bowl over a pound or two of elderberry.

    I added some Succanat :D , then set it aside. Although I did shake it once-twice a day.

    Starting late last night, I began finishing it off. It still had an unsavory edge to it, so I poured it into a crockpot (remains of berries and all), added some cinnamon and simmered it overnight. Today, I put it through a hand cranked food mill, got all the liquoer out, poured the berries back in the crockpot and simmered them with water most of the day and evening.

    I combined the whole thing a little while ago, and just sat down to drink a bit.

    !!! It's still pretty stout --- !!! --- but it's not bad.

    Maybe by next year, I'll have the process down pat. :D
     
  2. bubbba

    bubbba Well-Known Member

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    Intresting. This is for medicinal purposes? or to drink and enjoy???
     

  3. carole in ky

    carole in ky Member

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    The way I make elderberry tonic is with a steamer pot (mehiu leisha, not sure of the spelling). This sold by Lehman's. You put the berries in the top, really push them in the top of the pot. Add a little water to the bottom of the steamer. Turn on the heat and the juice from the berries will end up in the collector, which has a platic tube coming from it that you can drain the juice out of. As the juice is being made I continue to add berries. The berries made a lot of juice. The first juice is very strong, the longer it steams the weaker the juice. I call this generation 1, 2 and etc. I put the juice in canning jars and seal. No processing necessary. When I am ready to use the juice I add water to a tablespoon of juice and some honey, all this to your taste. It is wonderful. I know the steamer pot is a little pricey but worth the money.
     
  4. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    CG, did you use fresh or dried elderberries?
     
  5. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Carole, that process sounds like it would turn out great tonic! I will definitely keep it in mind for next year.

    Cyngbaeld, I used a combination of fresh and dried, about half and half. That's likely why I have the twang to it --- at least, I think that's why. Could also be the vodka :haha: [hic].

    I have elderberries along the perimeter here but it can be a little tough getting to them, as some areas are really poorly cleaned out and very critter-infested. Which is why ... I'm planning on putting in my own elderberry patch next spring --- besides, by putting it closer, I can keep a better eye on it and leave the other elderberry to the critters. :)

    The stuff I made isn't bad. I chose to go the vodka route because I was doing that for the stevia anyway --- I wanted to be sure the stevia extract would last for a long long time and not go moldy and turn on me. I simmered it to get out some of the alcohol content, then resimmered the remains of the berries so I could cut it and bring down the alcohol content even more. It has a nice elderberry taste, but also a very smoky taste, which I find kind of interesting --- had I made wine with this batch, I think it might have come out like a Zinfandel because of all the smokiness to it.
     
  6. carole in ky

    carole in ky Member

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    I used fresh elderberries. I find this so much faster and easier. Why would you use alcohol in this tonic?
     
  7. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Carole, to be honest, I can't remember exactly why I used alcohol. :confused: I think it was because I wad doing up stevia at the same time --- I wanted to make up a big batch of the stevia at once, and wanted to be sure the stevia didn't turn, so I got some alcohol. Then, one thing led to another. :D
     
  8. januaries

    januaries Well-Known Member

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    Any idea how effective homemade elderberry extract is for medicinal purposes? I love the stuff I get at the health store (Sambucol) and take it to fight colds and other viruses. It works quite well, but is rather expensive. I'd like very much to find a way to make useful extract at home.
     
  9. buellkat

    buellkat Active Member

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    Yes please post a recipe if someone has one. "Sambucol" would be a good one to have on hand at home for the coming cold & flu season. It would be very helpful for others considering the "flu shot" shortage. We could make this and give it to our local communities who need it for those who cannot get the shot.

    Just an idea.......
     
  10. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Folks, you use alcohol to tincture any herb because the alcohol pulls out the medicinal properties of the herbs. Vodka is usually the alcohol of choice among herbalists BUT some herbs tincture better in brandy and to my mid elderberries are muuch better in brandy. Using fresh berries you use about 4 cups berries in a 2 qt. canning jar and cover the fresh berries with the alcohol and a little above, shake, and let set for about 7-10 days, pour off the liquid and THEN add the sugar to taste. You can heat elderberries a little, gentle simmer which disolves the sugar/honey nicely and if you simmer for about 10-15 minutes some of the alcohol cooks off so it's not so harsh on the throat. Take a teaspoon full daily as a flu preventative or 3-4 times a day if you already have the flu or cold. If you use dried berries, the medicinal components are already somewhat concentrated from the water loss so you can use a 1 qt canning jar about 1/3 full of dried berries/herb and then fill the jar with your choice of alcohol. This is the basic formuyla/technique for making any herbal tincture, but without adding the sugar and simmering. Countrygirl how do you plan to use the stevia disolved in alcohol? Since stevia disolves so easily in water and keeps a long time in powdered form or as dried leaves I don't understand why you tinctured it?
     
  11. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    goatlady, I tinctured the stevia for a couple of reasons. First, I'm experimenting to see if I can make a stevia extract which tastes as good as the EXTREMELY pricey liquid stevias on the market. Second, this isn't my first go-round with dried ground stevia and I flat out don't like it! :no:

    So I'm trying to devise a way to make a stevia extract that not only tastes good (at least to my taste buds), but lasts a long time.

    I don't exactly have the best refrigeration, you see. :D

    In any case, the stevia has been brewing now for2 mos? 2 1/2 mos? And the longer it sits, the better the taste gets. As of yet, it isn't quite suitable for, say, sweetening coffee (still a bit of a twang to it), but I've been using it in sauces and it's perfect.

    I'm going to give it another month or so, then give it the crockpot treatment and see what happens. I will be thrilld if I could make my own liquid stevia which is as tasty as the pricey commercially produced stuff!
     
  12. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    You may be on to something CG

    "in 1971, a Chinese doctor, Dr. Tei-Fu-Chen sought to refine the processing of Stevia leaves even further and instituted an old Chinese method of herbal processing using alcohol to extract the sweetness from Stevia leaves. It was this latter "Oriental" process that removed the green color from the substance along with the bitter aftertaste that original processing attempts did not. "
    http://www.moonbowmedia.com/health/stevia.htm
     
  13. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    HMMMM, Cyngbaeld!

    Now all I need is to figure out exactly what the entire process is. I know it can work --- but I also know there's some steps here I'm missing.

    Thanks for the link --- it's good to know I'm on the right track, even if I'm missing a lot of the pieces!
     
  14. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Cyngbaeld, I've found a couple of interesting things on processing stevia.

    First this, which requires scrolling through all the posts to the bottom (although there's tidbits of good info in the posts, including using citric acid to bleach the stevia - ! ).

    Then, this site http://www.cookingwithstevia.com/

    I'm sure, if I just keep at it, I can work my way through processing stevia and come out with a good product --- although, from the reading, it looks like the problem may be the varieties of stevia I've been getting. ! But we'll see, as what I've bee working on IS tasting better and better, although still pretty twangy.
     
  15. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Be interesting to see if you come up with something good tasting. I don't much care for any of it that I have tried so far. I have a friend who thinks it is great, but she likes the lingering sweet taste and I don't.
     
  16. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Actually ... !

    I just pour a tad of the elderberry, thinned it with a bit of water and lemon juice and, on impulse, put a touch of the stevia extract in it --- not bad at all! :D

    So I might be able to work this out. *fingers crossed*