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.
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
- he's got recipe
to follow. Good-luck.
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
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.
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.
> 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.
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
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
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
Thanks again. Dwayne
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.
> 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
> "Dwayne" wrote in message
> news:Uu3Hc.2594$ firstname.lastname@example.org...
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!