I'm trying out elderberry for the first time in my life. I've collected a whole bunch with the plan to make some jam and some elderberry mead.
I cleaned a bunch of them and boiled them to extract the juice so that I can use that for some jelly. Boiled for a while (<1hr) and ran it through a strainer to get the juice.
The juice tastes terrible!! Very bitter and not a ton of flavor, quite thick and very pretty. I added a bunch of sugar to a sample, and that took away the bitterness, but the flavor isn't much.
Is this normal for elderberries? The jelly recipes call for some lemon juice (assuming for more tartness). Did I perhaps pick these too soon (I picked 3 batches within about 3 weeks).
Thanks for any input you might have.