Chokecherry wine using dried chokecherries

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MilesBFree

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Hi all, first post so am looking forward to a lot of discussions. I have made dandelion, elderberry, and rhubarb wine and mead. Those are in varying stages from bottles to still clarifying on the carboy, but I am still a rank noob.

I want to make chokecherry wine but can not find fresh fruit locally and frozen is cost-prohibitive to ship on dried ice overnight or 2-day shipping. So I am looking at dried fruit.

A search didn't turn up any recipes for making wine from dried chokecherries. But when I made elderberry wine I used dried fruit and most of those recipes seemed to use 6 - 8 oz of dried fruit vs 3 lbs of fresh fruit. Chokecherry wine recipes using fresh fruit also tend to say 3 lbs of fresh fruit. So I am thinking of 8 oz of dried chokecherries.

Does anyone have a recipe or know if the 8 oz of dried fruit would be a good amount?
 
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MilesBFree

MilesBFree

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I ordered some of the dried chokecherries and will give it a go with 8 oz for a 1-gallon batch.

Thinking Red Star Premier Classique (Montrachet) yeast. I have a couple of packets left from other wine and it dido well for the elderberry wine (so far)
 
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MilesBFree

MilesBFree

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The dried chokecherries arrived. I rehydrated them by pouring boiling water over them and surprisingly they plumped up pretty much to fresh fruit size and texture - all the wrinkling was gone - other than looking a bit mushy you might think they were fresh.

I started the wine and it is tasting really good but at this point it is basically a fruit syrup so as expected. I put the fruit in a cheesecloth bag and squeezed them and got a lot of juice out of them so very happy with the dried chokecherries so far. The taste was a little thin however.

I overshot the specific gravity a bit tho and it is at a starting point of 1.14. I first added 2 lbs of sugar and it was around 0.9 so I added more sugar, tested, repeated and while the SG was increasing it was going slowly so I added a bunch more which brought the total additional sugar up to 2-1/2 lbs. I wasn't sure how much sugar it would take given the amount in the fruit will vary some year-to year so I still think 2 lbs to start was ok but would go slow and steady next time.

I need to find a larger wine thief - it takes like a dozen or more dips into the wine to fill the cylinder into which the SG tester goes and I got impatient after doing that several times and put to much sugar in.

One thought however is that I may need to add more fruit and that was one of the reasons the SG was a bit lower than I expected to start and why the taste was slightly thinner. I went with the 1/2 lb of fruit as I found in several recipes that used dried elderberries but it may be the chokecherries dehydrate to a different level than the elderberries. I should have weighed the chokecherries after I rehydrated them and checked how close to 3 lbs they were (since that is the weight of fresh chokecherries most recipes call for). I bought a full lb of the dried ones so will weigh them after rehydrating if/when I made another batch.

I will update in a week or so when I rack it out of the primary fermenter. After soaking for a week and squeezing the chokecherries when I remove them the taste will hopefully be fuller.
 
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MilesBFree

MilesBFree

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update: the dried chokecherries worked VERY well. I would make that recipe again exactly as-is; this may be my best wine so far. In fact, I will, since I bought 16 oz of the dried chokecherries and have enough to make another gallon.
Pic attached of one bottle (rhubarb wine in the other ones)
 

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