Cherry wine

Hi. I want to tell you what I did and you tell me if I messed up or did OK.
I have made wine using 2 cans Welsh's frozen grape juice concentrate in a
gallon jug. I put in the yeast, sugar, juice from a lemon, and added water
till it was full. Then I capped it with a balloon over the top. I have
done this 3 times and the wine came out OK.
We just picked a bunch of cherries and after sorting them out for canning, I
juiced the rest. When I got done, I put some yeast, 4 cups of sugar, and a
couple tablespoons of lemon concentrate into a gallon apple juice jug, mixed
it all up till the sugar was dissolved, and filled it the rest of the way
with strained cherry juice.
Did I do OK, or since the cherry juice was fresh, not concentrated, did I
mess it up? I tried making choke cherry wine by putting whole chokecherries
in a "primary", then squeezing out the juice and putting it in a gallon jug
with an airlock. It really came out bad.
If there is something I can do to make the cherry juice into wine, please
let me know. If I did OK, please let me know also.
Reply to
Hi, You can make cherry wine. It is a bit different than making the wine with the Welch's frozen concentrate. I started with the Welch's to learn a few things before I moved on to making wine with fruit. I kind of look at it as you're graduating to a new level of wine-making, with its difficulties as well as its rewards. It sounds like what you did might work, but I don't know how it is going to turn out. Has it started to ferment (bubble)? You might need yeast nutrient to help the must start; campden tablets to fight off any undesirable beasties in the cherries, and pectin enzyme to make sure it doesn't turn into jelly. I would get a bung & an airlock for your winemaking now to keep things a bit more sterile. You might want to check out Jack's site
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- he's got recipe to follow. Good-luck. Darlene
Reply to
Dar V
Darlene gave good advice. Cherries make very nice wine. Visit Jack Keller's site and look at his recipes to get an idea of what to do. He has several for cherries.
If you have made several batches and you have decided that this is a hobby you are going to continue, I would suggest you should take the next step and become a little more serious about it. Your results will be more consistent. 1) Loose the balloons and get some airlocks. They are cheap and reusable. 2) Get a hydrometer so you know how much sugar to used. Don't trust recipes for this. They hydrometer is not expensive and is very easy to use. 3) Pick up a book on wine making. Something published after the 1940's. They will not suggest you use balloons.
This is a great hobby. Start simple but grow with it.
Reply to
It's hard to say because you did not mention how much cherry juice really went in. It sound like at least 3 quarts. The better way to do this might be for you to get a hydrometer, it's about $6 US and will tell you how much sugar is in the cherry juice. Once you know that, you can figure out how much sugar to add.
These are rough calculations:
2 ounces of sugar per gallon = 0.5% Sugar;
You added 32 so you had around 16 brix.
A ripe cherry can be anywhere from 9% to 12% sugar, so you may have had somewhere at least 25 and 28% brix to start (I don't know the real amount of sugar in the cherries or the starting volume, but a best guess is better than nothing.) If that ferments all the way to dry, it would be pretty alcoholic, but I doubt it will. Most winemakers do not make fruit wines at a higher alcohol content, it seems to hide the fruit in the wine. You may have added a little too much sugar and the lemon may have been unnecessary, but I have made only one cherry wine so I'm not in a position to say. Some lemon concentrate has a preservative that may inhibit the yeast as an FYI.
Let it go and see what happens. All that matters is whether you like it at the end of the day. I would not use ballons anymore. Airlocks are better and the cost is about the same. That said, my grandomother used ballons and made good country wines.
Hope this helps. Regards, Joe
Reply to
Joe Sallustio
Thanks for the input. I forgot to tell you that I now have airlocks and used them with the aborted chokecherry wine attempt and the current cherry. I also forgot to mention that they were pie cherries.
Yes the present batch foamed up a lot and came out of the airlock. After about 4 or 5 hours it quit bubbling over and settled down to a regular perking action.
I tasted some of the foam coming out and it had a nice cherry taste, but it was a little sour. I didn't dilute the juice at all, except for the water I put in the pan to heat them up before extracting the juice.
I live in a small town. When we get to a larger one I will go to a brew it shop and get the rest of the ingredients and equipment I need. Since I am diabetic, I don't drink very much, but I like to play and serve it when we have company.
Thanks again. Dwayne
Reply to
I have a book from Penn State on winemaking, it has a section on fruit. It shows cherries at anywhere from 1 to 2% acid and the major acid as malic; you usually want that to be no higher than 0.9% (9g/l) typically, even if the wine is finished sweet.
I hate to suggest adding water, but you could pull a small sample and add some to that to see if it tastes too thin. I suggest that since you may have enough sugar in there to cover the addition. I doubt it will stand 1/2 gallon but it may be worth a shot. Most water additions contain sugar in roughly the amount you started with to make sure the alcohol does not drop too much. Regards, Joe
Reply to
Joe Sallustio
Could you share the name and author of your book, please? And if possible, the ISBN? My wife's family are huge Penn State fans, and her father makes about 200 gallons of wine each year. I'm seeing a synergy here, and a possible gift idea. :)
Thanks for any info you can provide!
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