Cherry Wine

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Introduction[edit]

I am a homebrewer that briefly glimpses the wonders of wine/cider/mead making when not making a delicious batch of beer. As a preface I want to add that I created these recipes with simplicity in mind, and are therefore going to be more delicious than the complex recipes you might have read about.

This page actually consists of two distinct types of wine recipes. The first recipe is for a dry cherry wine, and the second is for a sweet wine. I used Mont Morency 'tart' cherries for the dry and Ulster 'black sweet' cherries for the sweet wine, but these can be interchanged if you are feeling creative. Also, these varieties of cherries are the type that I recieved free of charge, and are not necessarily the most choice cherries for wine. I would use a Ballaton variety if I could attain them, but any type will be delicious regardless.

Preparation[edit]

First off, you are going to need a fermentation bucket and an airlock. If you do not have these, go to your local homebrew store or shop online and get one. This bucket needs to be sanitized and clean. Buckets.jpg

Ingredients[edit]

Dry Wine[edit]

  • 5 Pounds of tart cherries (pitted)

Tart.jpg

  • 2 Pounds White granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. Lemon or Lime concentrate for acid (Optional)
  • 1 Gallon pure water
  • Yeast (See Below)

Sweet Wine[edit]

  • 6.5 Pounds of sweet cherries (Pitted)

Sweet.jpg

  • 3.5 Pounds of White granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. Lemon or Lime concentrate for acid (Optional)
  • 1 Gallon pure water
  • Yeast (See Below)

Yeast[edit]

For yeast, I use White Labs Cabernet Red Liquid yeast. Now this might be hard for most people to readily come by. If you have a local homebrew shop, you can purchase almost any wine dry or liquid wine yeast and have it turn out decently well, but I would go with champagne or cabernet yeast. If you must (but I shudder to think of it) you could use Baking yeast, but I make no promises as to the result. It will most assuredly make wine, but quality will be lowered. If you can find no wine yeast at all, I would use baking yeast as a last resort.

Procedure[edit]

This is the easy part for you, once you have pitted the cherries (this can take some time). Put the cherries into the fermentation bucket, pour in the sugar, pour in the yeast and lemon/lime acid substitute, and then pour in the water. Stir this with a sanitized stirrer (or just shake it up), put the lid on, secure the airlock, and place in a dark, room temperature area.

Dry.jpg

Black.jpg

After the airlock stops bubbling, which should start within a couple days, wait a couple days. Congratulations, you now have wine! Here is where your path becomes a little more complicated:

  • You can siphon it out and drink it if you are impatient.
  • You can siphon it out and put it in another bucket to age, thus removing the sediment from the batch.
  • Or you can just let it sit for a month or two in its original container to age before drinking.

Whatever your choice, I hope you enjoy your cherry wine!

Hydrometer Readings[edit]

If you have a hydrometer, you can make sure whether your wine is going to be sweet or dry by checking the starting gravity. If you have no idea what I am talking about, do not fret, your wine will still be fabulous.

My last batches starting gravity was 1.102 for the dry and 1.124 for the sweet wine. The dry wine is at the very top end of dry, and could almost be called a medium sweet, while my sweet wine is of a typical SG.