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Cherry/Grape Wine from Juice

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raguido

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CHERRY/GRAPE WINE

• 1 gal of Langer’s organic white grape/tart cherry juice (try Costco or Trader Joe’s)
• 13 oz. sugar
• ½ t acid blend
• ½ t pectic enzyme
• 1 t yeast nutrient (DAP)
• ½ t yeast energizer
• ½ t GoFerm
• ½ t Sparkolloid
• ½ t potassium sorbate
• Sugar syrup or agave nectar
• 1 crushed Campden tablet (0.5 – 0.6 g potassium bisulflite (KHSO3)
• 1 t Lalvin 71B-1122 yeast

Add the juice to the primary fermentation vessel and add the sugar and stir until it is dissolved. Add the pectic enzyme, yeast nutrient, and yeast energizer and stir well. The specific gravity at this point should be approximately 1.095 (~oBrix of 21.0). Take about 1 C of water and heat it to between 104o and 108oF. Add the Go-Ferm and yeast and stir well until dispersed and hydrated. Let the mixture stand for 15 min until signs of fermentation are shown. Add the yeast slurry to the primary fermenter and cover with a sterile cloth and store in a warm place to encourage fermentation.

After 4 or 5 days, the fermentation should have slowed. Cap the fermenter and attach an airlock until further signs of fermentation stop (up to another two weeks). The specific gravity at this time should be less than 1.000 (typically, 0.997) at this time. Rack the wine into another fermenter and add the potsssium sorbate. Heat about ½ C of the wire with the Sparkolloid powder for several minutes and add to the wine. Cover the fermenter and add the airlock. Store until the wine has cleared (another two to four weeks).

When the wine has cleared, rack into another container and sparge with a paint stirrer to remove dissolved CO2. There should be little to moderate foaming at this time. Taste the wine to see if it has the desired dryness. If a somewhat sweeter wine is desired, incrementally add sugar syrup or agave nectar until the desired level sweetness is achieved. (I ended up adding 5/8 C of sugar syrup to mine, which gave me a final specific gravity of 1.010.) To prevent further fermentation if syrup was added, add 0.5 – 0.6 g of potassium bisulfite (basically, one crushed Campden tablet). (I personally prefer to add this in a powdered form, as it dissolves more readily. Inexpensive scales for weighing small amount of such powders are readily available from eBay; search for "small digital pocket scale".)

If a stronger cherry flavor is desired, incrementally add small amounts (e.g., ¼ t at a time) to the wine and check after each addition, to avoid adding too much. This will be a matter of personal taste. (I ended up adding 1 t of extract per gallon.)

The final wine can be stored in the original plastic container in which the juice was container for bulk aging. Individual bottles can then be filled from this later. Or, simply fill the bottles after bisulfate and sugar syrup addition. I would age the wine at least 6 months and preferable a year for best results.

The beauty of making cherry wine from juice such as this is that one avoids all the hassle of de-pitting and de-stemming of whole cherries, which can be very time consuming and messy. It also makes scale-up to a 5-gallon batch very easy.
 

madscientist451

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So how would you rate the taste of the above wine? Any "hot" alcohol notes from the sugar addition?
 

Yooper

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Nice looking recipe- thanks for sharing.

The only critique I could offer is this:


To prevent further fermentation if syrup was added, add 0.5 – 0.6 g of potassium bisulfite (basically, one crushed Campden tablet).
Keep in mind that potassium metabisulfite does NOT kill or slow wine yeast, so if someone wanted to have a sweetened wine without explosions, they'd need to use potassium sorbate or another stabilizer to inhibit yeast. That would only work after several rackings to make sure that there was no viable yeast before sweetening. It would take some time and at least a couple of rackings before it would be safe to stabilize and sweeten. Adding sorbate earlier on in the steps is something that wouldn't make the wine stabilized later on, and could create off flavors.
 
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raguido

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The main reason for adding the metabisulfite after back sweetening is to prevent further yeast activity in the presence of sugar. If fermentation were to restart, CO2 pressure would build up and could case the bottle to explode later during storage. Potassium metabisulfite serves to prevent spoilage and further fermentation by removing oxygen. However, this serves another purpose it preserves the flavor and color of a wine. I have not had any issues with bottles stored for a year or more. There were not any noticeable off flavors in the cherry wine that I made with this recipe when I opened bottles at that time. There were no fines present when I added the metabisulfite; i.e., the wine was clear after the initial and secondary finings (see also: http://winemakersacademy.com/potassium-sorbate-wine-making/)
 

Yooper

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The main reason for adding the metabisulfite after back sweetening is to prevent further yeast activity in the presence of sugar. If fermentation were to restart, CO2 pressure would build up and could case the bottle to explode later during storage. Potassium metabisulfite serves to prevent spoilage and further fermentation by removing oxygen. However, this serves another purpose it preserves the flavor and color of a wine. I have not had any issues with bottles stored for a year or more. There were not any noticeable off flavors in the cherry wine that I made with this recipe when I opened bottles at that time. There were no fines present when I added the metabisulfite; i.e., the wine was clear after the initial and secondary finings (see also: http://winemakersacademy.com/potassium-sorbate-wine-making/)
That's my point- sulfites don't inhibit yeast activity. It's used as an antioxidant by winemakers. If you want to inhibit yeast activity it's SORBATE that is used. And that is to be used after the majority of the yeast drops out.

If you haven't had bottle bombs yet, that's great but I hate for others to follow this advice and have glass grenades if they use sulfite to inhibit the yeast.
 

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