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Old 01-28-2013, 05:09 PM   #1
Beernoulli
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Default Recipe help: Cherry Sherry

I had a really good Sherry from a local winery called Messina Hof. It's $45 a bottle, so I want to try and reverse engineer it with a fruit wine. Their website describes it as having "... vanilla and creamy flavors, almond and cherry notes with an undertone of white chocolate and truffles." I've made several fruit wines in the past, but nothing this big an complex.

To me, it had a lot of the amaretto flavors: cherry, almond, and vanilla. It was very strong, but had little to no alcohol heat and a lot of residual sugar. It was strong enough that it would benefit from oxidation, not be destroyed by it.

My plan is to use cherries (fresh if I can find them, canned black cherries, and/or canned tart cherries), brown sugar and/or molasses, vanilla beans, and a few oak cubes. It's going to be a small batch, 1.5-2 gallon primary and 1 gallon secondary.

Questions:
What us a good yeast to use for something this high in gravity? I would like if it could get to 18% without giving off flavors, and not ferment to completion.

What would be a good amount of cherries to use, and which type? I'm hoping for more like amaretto, not "cherry juice".

Are there other ingredients you think I should use?

What would be a reasonable chemical schedule, and can I add acid blend to-taste after fermentation?

Thanks so much guys!

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Old 01-28-2013, 07:46 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Beernoulli View Post
I had a really good Sherry from a local winery called Messina Hof. It's $45 a bottle, so I want to try and reverse engineer it with a fruit wine. Their website describes it as having "... vanilla and creamy flavors, almond and cherry notes with an undertone of white chocolate and truffles." I've made several fruit wines in the past, but nothing this big an complex.

To me, it had a lot of the amaretto flavors: cherry, almond, and vanilla. It was very strong, but had little to no alcohol heat and a lot of residual sugar. It was strong enough that it would benefit from oxidation, not be destroyed by it.

My plan is to use cherries (fresh if I can find them, canned black cherries, and/or canned tart cherries), brown sugar and/or molasses, vanilla beans, and a few oak cubes. It's going to be a small batch, 1.5-2 gallon primary and 1 gallon secondary.

Questions:
What us a good yeast to use for something this high in gravity? I would like if it could get to 18% without giving off flavors, and not ferment to completion.

What would be a good amount of cherries to use, and which type? I'm hoping for more like amaretto, not "cherry juice".

Are there other ingredients you think I should use?

What would be a reasonable chemical schedule, and can I add acid blend to-taste after fermentation?

Thanks so much guys!
Can answer a few, but not all your questions. Never done Port or Sherry myself.

I would reccomend Lalvin's EC-1118 champagne yeast, which can handle up to 18% abv environments. A clean yeast.

As to chemicals, you can add acid blend at any time to taste, but I would pull samples from the main batch for the tests. Not sure what other chemicals you had in mind to add.

hope that helps!
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:19 PM   #3
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Turns out I got a little bit suckered by the tour guide. Their "special, unique yeast" she called K1 is just Lalvin's 1116 (K1-V1116). I only had to read a graduate degree dissertation to figure it out... I'm going to try that yeast first. Based on the spec sheets from Lalvin, it seems pretty similar to 1118.

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Old 01-30-2013, 09:53 PM   #4
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Add some dried elderberries, you can also go to a hippie market and get black cherry concentrate, those should give you a good start. WVMJ

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Old 01-31-2013, 01:07 PM   #5
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Which cherries would be best to use? The crop seems to be very small this year, so I'm leaning toward mostly canned sweet cherries with 15% or so canned tart cherries and maybe 15% fresh sweet cherries. (Around here we don't get the various varieties, just "cherries".)

If I use fresh cherries should I pit them?

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Old 01-31-2013, 02:00 PM   #6
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You can get Black Cherry concentrate from a sight called IHerb. I believe that it is the lowest in price and is a very good product. I have been using it for years in tea, and I made some outstanding wine with it.

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