new wine maker in need of some guidence

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Well-Known Member
Mar 1, 2010
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South Dakota
Hello all,

I am new to making wine and have got somewhat mixed messages from all the websites online on making wine, though i have gotten some good info also. But my first problem/question of sorts is:

I have 8 lbs of chokecherries that my brother in law has picked and frozen. I decided to take it upon myself to make some wine. I want to use a recipe similar to this one.
but i am not sure where to start exactly. So i will throw some questions out and hopefully get some feedback.

Do i let the chokecherries thaw and then crush/remove pits?
What do they mean by adjusting the acid?
Can i get some general tips for adjusting the SG?

Hopefully the good folks of HBF can help me get started.

Thanks in advance
The questions you've asked could fill a book but I'll try to answer some and direct you to place that can answer your questions better than anyone here.

Yes, you'll need to thaw and no, you don't need to crush and remove the pits. You can mash the berries lightly with your hands but you don't want to break the pits. Also be aware that 8 pounds will make 2-3 gallons of wine at the most.

Get a hydrometer to measure your starting gravity and begin with a pound of sugar per gallon and adjust from there to a starting gravity of about 1.090 +-.

Go to Jack Keller's website and he'll answer all your questions in detail and even provide you with a recipe for your chokecherries.
One of my best wines is chokecherry! Check out my recipe to see how I did it. I have 5 gallons in secondary now, and I'll be making another 20 gallons or so this winter with frozen berries.

Even when they thaw, they are kind of hard to smash. I ended up getting a strainer type set up, with a wooden "smoosher" to smash the berries without breaking the pit. Then I put the fruit in a big mesh bag, so it could ferment but not be too much of a mess to remove.
Thanks for the help. I will try to keep updates posted as a go along, if only for constructive criticism.

With your recipe, when you say cut the grape concentrate, does that mean cut it out or cut it down?