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Old 09-02-2010, 03:46 AM   #31
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Thanks Yooper, I might just smash them in room temp water if cooking the cherries for the wine is not good (why is that?). Mabey I'll just remove the pits and try to stuff my mesh bags with the pulp. Also is it ok to use a conical fermenter for this wine?

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Old 09-02-2010, 03:58 AM   #32
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Thanks Yooper, I might just smash them in room temp water if cooking the cherries for the wine is not good (why is that?). Mabey I'll just remove the pits and try to stuff my mesh bags with the pulp. Also is it ok to use a conical fermenter for this wine?
I've never had a conical, but I can't imagine that it would make a difference.

I don't like cooking the fruit for wine for a couple of reasons- one is the taste is like "cooked fruit", like in a pie. Also, cooking the fruit sets the pectin (think jelly) and makes it a bear to clear.
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Old 09-04-2010, 06:16 AM   #33
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Everything is turning out pretty good, I found a large grain bag that I had stashed so that went smooth. Turns out I had enough cherries for 8 gallons, tomarrow I need to add the yeast. Do I add 2 packs or measure out exactly for 8 gallons? I'm using the ec-1118 yeast. Thanks!

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Old 09-06-2010, 02:36 PM   #34
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Hey Yooper, This is my first batch of wine I've ever attempted - so please bear with me

I didn't see where you added the grape concentrate in the instructions, I'm assuming it is before the primary. I'm making a 5 gallon batch, and I'm not sure what I was thinking but the grape concentrate never got added - i was in a hurry, when I should have been reading ahead in your instructions. So all I have as of right now in the primary right now is 15lb of chokecherries and the called for additives. It's been in the primary overnight and I just checked the OG and we're right at 1.090. So I have a couple of questions for you in hopes of making my first batch a success!

1. I have a feeling that the grape concentrate will make this wine. Can I still add it at this point? The bad news is, I do not have a supply store close by, and don't have any on hand. Can I use grocery store concentrate without having the end wine tasting like grape juice?

2. How important is the Champagne Yeast in terms of an ingredient and timing of adding it. Again, I should have read ahead and made sure I had this ingredient on hand - but I got too excited to get this wine going...

Sorry for the long post - and anything glaringly obvious for you experienced folks. Thanks for your help!

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Old 09-06-2010, 02:40 PM   #35
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Hey Yooper, This is my first batch of wine I've ever attempted - so please bear with me

I didn't see where you added the grape concentrate in the instructions, I'm assuming it is before the primary. I'm making a 5 gallon batch, and I'm not sure what I was thinking but the grape concentrate never got added - i was in a hurry, when I should have been reading ahead in your instructions. So all I have as of right now in the primary right now is 15lb of chokecherries and the called for additives. It's been in the primary overnight and I just checked the OG and we're right at 1.090. So I have a couple of questions for you in hopes of making my first batch a success!

1. I have a feeling that the grape concentrate will make this wine. Can I still add it at this point? The bad news is, I do not have a supply store close by, and don't have any on hand. Can I use grocery store concentrate without having the end wine tasting like grape juice?

2. How important is the Champagne Yeast in terms of an ingredient and timing of adding it. Again, I should have read ahead and made sure I had this ingredient on hand - but I got too excited to get this wine going...

Sorry for the long post - and anything glaringly obvious for you experienced folks. Thanks for your help!
1. You can add it now if you want- but it will increase your OG. You don't want regular grape juice- that grape concentrate is actually a wine grape concentrate. At this point, since your OG is 1.090, I'd leave it out. I've made it without, and it's still good but a bit less full bodied. You can always add it to secondary later, if you decide it needs a little more fullness and flavor.

2. You can use any good quality wine yeast. I like champagne yeast, but premier cuvee is good too.
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:29 AM   #36
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Thanks for the recipe, I started a 3 gallon batch of this tonight as I only had 9 lbs of choke cherries left after making jelly. We'll see how it turns out!

Actually, I had 8 pounds 10 ounces of choke cherries...I added 6 ounces of saskatoons to make up the difference. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. This is my first wine from fruit...seems like a lot of fruit for only 3 gallons.

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Old 12-06-2010, 01:23 PM   #37
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This is my first wine from fruit...seems like a lot of fruit for only 3 gallons.
Especially after you wash and destem all those little berries
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:05 PM   #38
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Especially after you wash and destem all those little berries
That's true! Although I picked them while camping in early September so it wasn't too bad sitting around the fire and cleaning them.
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Old 12-14-2010, 04:46 AM   #39
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So I have a question for you Yooper. I transferred my chokecherry wine to my 3 gallon carboy today (sg 1.020), and it's way short, but maybe it's supposed to be like this?

Basically I cut the recipe by 5 to make 3 gallons. So I used 9lb fruit and I made a line on my primary (the red one in the photo) using my 3 gallon carboy. I topped it up, fruit and all, to this line when I started.

Today I removed the fruit and squeezed it until I couldn't squeeze no more, and this is all I got.

The starting gravity was 1.106 so that's pretty close to what you suggest. And the wine does look very dark compared to the kits I make.

Is it normal to have to add this much water?

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Old 12-14-2010, 01:40 PM   #40
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You don't want any headspace! I usually make fruit wines in a primary bucket, and then transfer to a carboy for secondary to top up. I have several three gallon carboys, and I use them often. I don't know why you have so little in your carboy, but the fruit does take up a bit of room.

In your case, you will want to get the wine out of there ASAP and get it into 2 one-gallon jugs (a #6 stopper will fit), or top it up with a bit of water and some fruity red wine. If you made a three gallon batch, you could probably use some water but not all water- that looks like it's barely 2/3 full! Oxidation will ruin the wine. You want almost NO headspace, and you can use whatever bottles/stoppers you need to get there. Here's a photo of some of my wines on a racking day, so you can see the amount of headspace, and the assortment of containers:

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