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-   -   Wild chokecherry wine (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f79/wild-chokecherry-wine-121092/)

Yooper 05-27-2009 12:06 AM

Wild chokecherry wine
 
This is for a 15 gallon batch! For a smaller batch, just cut the ingredients in half/thirds/etc. I used a big rubbermaid bin for primary (make sure you know where 15 gallons is on the container!) and three 5 gallon carboys for secondary.

45 pounds chokecherries
28 pounds sugar
5 dark grape concentrates- 1 pint bottle (available in winemaking shops)
7 tsp pectic enzyme
5 tsp yeast nutrient
5 tsp acid blend
15 crushed campden tablets
3 packages of champagne yeast (Lalvin's EC-1118 works great!)

OG: 1.100
FG: .990

Destem chokecherries and freeze (this helps break them up easier). Place them while still frozen in large mesh bags, and thaw in primary. As they thaw, smash them up by hand or with a mortar and pestle, but don't crush the pits! You only want to break up the skin on the fruit. Dissolve the sugar in 5 gallons of boiling water and pour over fruit, stirring well. Add water, to top up to 15 gallons. Add the yeast nutrient and acid blend. Dissolve the crushed campden tablets in hot water, and pour over the fruit, stirring well. Cover with a towel. 12 hours later, add the pectic enzyme. Check the OG, and adjust to get it from 1.090-1.100.

12 hours after that, add the yeast. Cover loosely with a towel. Stir the must several times a day, knocking the fruit under the liquid. The fruit will keep trying to float- stir it down, and also stir any "cap" that forms. When fermentation slows (an SG of 1.010-1.020), pull out the bags of fruit, and squeeze well. Let them drain back into the fermenter, and throw out the fruit when draining stops. Pour and strain into carboys. Airlock. Don't top up until fermentation slows down a bit more. When fermentation slows, top up to 15 gallons with water.

Rack whenever lees are 1/4" thick, or in about 4 weeks. Thereafter, rack every 45-60 days or whenever lees are 1/4" thick. Top up with water to minimize headspace. After approximately 6 months, and no more lees fall, rack onto 5 ounces French medium toast oak chips, soaked in a bit of brandy. After approximately 6 weeks, taste for oak flavor. If adequate, rack off of the oak and bulk age.

Bottle and age one year.

This wine is a "big" red, and suitable for a dinner wine. If you want it a bit smaller and fruitier, you can cut the grape concentrate, lower the OG to 1.085, and not oak it. Stabilized and then sweetened, the lower OG version is a light red fruity wine.

Yooper 05-09-2010 01:25 PM

2 Attachment(s)
This is one of our all-time favorites. I have 10 gallons in secondary right now, and Bob is now dealing with 25 pounds of frozen chokecherries, so I can make another 8 gallons today. He is in charge of the "raw" part- picking and freezing the fruit, smashing the raw fruit, carrying heavy things, etc. while I'm in charge of the "fermentation" part. (Please don't tell him that I'm doing the easy part!)
Attachment 15552

Here's one 5 gallon carboy ready to be racked (on the right is a crabapple wine):
Attachment 15553

This wine is our "every day" wine, but it's good enough for company. Most people couldn't tell you the base fruit- it tastes like a nice red wine.

Powers 07-06-2010 12:09 AM

nice setup! i just picked the first ripe chokecherries of the season near my cabin, but i've only got 7 lbs. i was thinking of adding 3 lbs of sour cherries (Montmorency) and 2 cans of Alexanders' Pinot Noir (http://www.midwestsupplies.com/pinot...centrates.html), which is enough for a 5 gal batch. i figured the cherries wouldn't add much sugar, just more flavor.

does this sound like it could make a good chokecherry wine? i've never made wine, so this would be my first batch! any tips would be great ;)

Powers 07-06-2010 01:33 PM

ha! didn't realize you were the same guy i pm'd about the chokecherry wine til just now :mug:

i saw you post in a different thread, so sent you a message. looks like you're the resident chokecherry specialist!

Powers 07-06-2010 01:40 PM

should i add sugar in addition to the extract?

Yooper 07-06-2010 04:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Powers (Post 2146025)
ha! didn't realize you were the same guy i pm'd about the chokecherry wine til just now :mug:

i saw you post in a different thread, so sent you a message. looks like you're the resident chokecherry specialist!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Powers (Post 2146040)
should i add sugar in addition to the extract?


Yes, you want to get an OG in the area of 1.090-1.100. The sugar will get you there. You can add less at first, check the SG, and then add more sugar if needed. Some cherries (even chokecherries) are sweeter than others, so the berries will vary from year to year.

PS- I'm not a "guy". The "guy" in the photo is my husband, Bob.

Powers 07-06-2010 04:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by YooperBrew (Post 2146352)
PS- I'm not a "guy". The "guy" in the photo is my husband, Bob.

my sincerest apologies! i guess the dominatrix pic should have tipped me off, huh? but i definitely must say you have the easy part of the job with fermentation. i spent a couple mornings gathering the chokecherries this weekend and was attacked by mosquitoes and biting flies! and i don't anticipate the cherry crushing to be a clean process either ;)

i've only ever made jam/jelly from chokecherries, so i had never really assessed variable sweetness in them. of course, i never eat chokecherries raw, so i don't have a gauge to go by. maybe i'll 'choke' down a few each year to test :drunk:

Yooper 07-06-2010 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Powers (Post 2146374)
my sincerest apologies! i guess the dominatrix pic should have tipped me off, huh? but i definitely must say you have the easy part of the job with fermentation. i spent a couple mornings gathering the chokecherries this weekend and was attacked by mosquitoes and biting flies! and i don't anticipate the cherry crushing to be a clean process either ;)

i've only ever made jam/jelly from chokecherries, so i had never really assessed variable sweetness in them. of course, i never eat chokecherries raw, so i don't have a gauge to go by. maybe i'll 'choke' down a few each year to test :drunk:

They don't taste very good, but they sure make good wine and jelly!

Powers 07-07-2010 01:59 AM

so, while i have your ear (or whatever sense), i see you add pectic enzyme just before pitching yeast. i'm about to brew a papazian cherries in the snow recipe this weekend for my sister in law's wedding this fall, and it calls for 10 lbs of sour cherries. i've got some fresh picked door county wisconsin variety on the way as we speak. should i add pectic enzyme to this ale recipe?

Yooper 07-07-2010 02:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Powers (Post 2147370)
so, while i have your ear (or whatever sense), i see you add pectic enzyme just before pitching yeast. i'm about to brew a papazian cherries in the snow recipe this weekend for my sister in law's wedding this fall, and it calls for 10 lbs of sour cherries. i've got some fresh picked door county wisconsin variety on the way as we speak. should i add pectic enzyme to this ale recipe?

It's probably not necessary. I'm no fruit beer expert (hate fruit beers!), though. I add it to wines, not just for clarity but to increase the cell breakdown and to get more juice. I don't know what effect pectic enzyme has on beer, if any. I don't think I've ever heard of adding pectic enzyme to fruit in beer, but that doesn't mean it isn't done. I just never heard of it.


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