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Old 06-27-2009, 07:25 PM   #1
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Default Cherry wine experiment

Fellows,
I made a 1gallon batch of pie cherry wine today, I wanted to test the native yeast and also get some wine type experience. I have a couple questions.

I extracted about two quarts of pure juice which came out to 12 brix, I wanted more potential so I boiled up 1 cup of fructose in 2cups water and added it to the mix, then added water to appx. 1gallon.

The brix refractometer still says 12 brix, tested calibration again and tested juice again and still at 12 brix. Increase in volume I guess? That's a stupid question, duh. Gravity is at 1.048.

So I added another cup fructose disolved in about 1 cup water, making brix at 15.8, gravity is at 1.062ish.

So I added another cup fructose disolved in about 1 cup water, making brix at 19.6, gravity is at 1.082ish.

Is fructose the best suger to add to wine? Does it matter?

Is there going to be any cherry flavor left in this?

If I want this wine sweet in the end, do I add sugar later? Cold crash it to stop yeast? Assuming I have any yeast in there.

Do I save some of the juice in the fridge for top-off when I secondary? There will be a ton of lees from the looks of it.

Will I in fact have native yeast from the cherries, skins etc?

Thank you for your thoughts? I'll post a pic later while at work.

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Old 06-27-2009, 08:58 PM   #2
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No Campden, so there should be some yeasts.

They may not all be good yeasts, though.

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Old 06-28-2009, 12:36 AM   #3
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Old 06-28-2009, 01:24 AM   #4
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As with grapes, you'd likely extract more color if you used the fruit and fermented on the skins. If you have more cherries, I'd add more to the secondary as well.

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Old 06-28-2009, 01:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summersolstice View Post
As with grapes, you'd likely extract more color if you used the fruit and fermented on the skins. If you have more cherries, I'd add more to the secondary as well.
Nice, I do have more, should I freeze them to store them for secondary? I should have known to leave them on the fruit like red grape wine right? White wine is just the juice right?

For secndary, Is pitting them enough of a crush? Do I need to smush them and throw the whole mess in?

This first run I squeezed the juice out in a collander and put the pulp/skins in the dryer to make fruit leather.
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Old 06-28-2009, 01:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COLObrewer View Post
Nice, I do have more, should I freeze them to store them for secondary? I should have known to leave them on the fruit like red grape wine right? White wine is just the juice right?

For secndary, Is pitting them enough of a crush? Do I need to smush them and throw the whole mess in?

This first run I squeezed the juice out in a collander and put the pulp/skins in the dryer to make fruit leather.
If you freeze the fruit, it'll "smush" just fine. I use a sanitized mesh bag to contain the fruit, and once it thaws, I use a spoon to really smash it up.
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Old 06-28-2009, 02:12 AM   #7
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No need to pit either

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Old 07-02-2009, 03:05 PM   #8
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Well, it's been 5 days and no activity, I shook it up a couple times, do I need to wait longer for native yeasties? Does wine get real active when it ferments like beer? Guess I'll take a hydro sample and see if it's doing anything.

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Old 08-20-2009, 07:29 AM   #9
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It's been over a month since I started this, I ended up adding some 1118 yeast because all it did was get moldy. It fermented well and I racked it last week and added more of the saved juice and some sugar. I did not add any skins as I want to see what it's like without them.

However I really liked the way it tastes, like a cherry pie with an extra kick, so I purchased 3 gallons of frozen pie cherry juice and 8lbs of frozen pitted pie cherries and have this fermenting also with 1118.

I see alot of wine makers are adding numerous other things, namely nutrients, enzymes, acid blend and campden tablets. Will my wine not ferment if these are not added? What will happen if I don't add them?

The big batch fermented actively for 3 days then slowed down, do I punch down the skins and mix it up or what now? How do I make this a dessert wine if I want it really sweet like SWMBO likes them?

Thanx, Vern

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Old 08-20-2009, 11:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
I see alot of wine makers are adding numerous other things, namely nutrients, enzymes, acid blend and campden tablets. Will my wine not ferment if these are not added? What will happen if I don't add them?
The nutrients are necessary for efficient fermentation, which also prevents off-flavors and odors. The pectic enzyme will help it become clear. Acid blend helps to balance wine and mead and give it a little "zing" but you likely won't need acid blend with tart cherries oor other tart fruit. The campden tablets, or potassium metabisulfite, prevents your mold. Yes, your wine will ferment just fine without these things but it'll be much better with them.

Quote:
The big batch fermented actively for 3 days then slowed down, do I punch down the skins and mix it up or what now? How do I make this a dessert wine if I want it really sweet like SWMBO likes them?

Thanx, Vern
Yes, keep the cap moist, even during active fermentation. Vigorous stirring during active fermentation will also add much needed oxygen to the fermentation during the first 2-3 days. After that, daily stirring for the next 5 days or so will help. After fermentation is completely finished, and when the hydrometer reads .096 or so, add potassium metabisulfite and potasssium sorbate to stabilize and prevent renewed fermentation and add a 50-50 sugar water mixture and sweeten to taste.
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