Cherry recipe?

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Dec 9, 2023
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I was just given 5 lbs of cherries. Is that enough for 6 gallons? Anyone have a recipe from r that or at the very least 1 gl?
As a finished volume goal I would target either two five gallon carboys, or a six and a three, or a five and a three. Basically I make the volume fit the carboys I own and I add water at the racking off primary to top off and to create the finished volume.

Montmercy and northStar and Supermont are sour cherries AKA pie cherry. ex. Supermont pH 3.64/ 3.33/ 3.07/ 3.47; SG 1.058/ 1.066/ 1.050/ 1.063; TA 1.63/ 1.76/ 1.97/ 2.06. ex NorthStar pH 3.31/ 3.24/ 3.32/ SG 1.048/ 1.80 TA. Sour cherry has primarily malic acid therefore a sharper taste. (NOTE I have been fighting pH rise with apple which is also malic)
Sweet cherry is primarily citric acid. It is a totally different crop. ex. Ranier pH 4.45 / SG 1.109/ TA 0.16; Bing pH 4.38/ 3.92/ SG 1.086/ 1.094 TA .70/ .97. My feeling is that Bing cherry makes a thin wine. What we normally expect as sharp front notes are missing.
Age? You should have it reasonably clear in four months. I would encourage you to rack to clean carboys which creates some void volume and only bottle that one. At four months I would add KSorbate. I would consider adding Bactiless to both carboys again because it is mainly malic acid.
Tannin? as picked a pie cherry does not have tannin. However as cherry ages some polyphenols polymerize and become tasteable, rough/ low bitter notes. The age developed flavor is reminiscent of choke cherry. At four pounds per gallon this shouldn’t be too bad though.

Did I cover everything so far?
I try to utilize whatever quantity of fruit that I have found. You could make one-11/2 Gallons- I think.
* My very first wine was with Mulberries that I intended for pies.. but couldn’t find time to make. I added lemon juice and sugar to “keep” it.. and realized it was fermenting in a day or two. ( I had a busy life! 😂) I added purified water and agitated it frequently - it made a lovely basic wine! ( Wild yeasts:)
It was a happy accident that helped me learn.
I follow “ recipes” sometimes.. but often try and take things to the basics. Utilize what I have.
Sour cherries or sweet? I’ve made Montmorency Sour Cherry wine several times.
A slower ferment seems to preserve the Cherry essence.
( I used Lalvin RC212 yeast which I preferred to the 1116 that seemed to ferment faster.? -But there are always variables such as temperature etc.. to consider too? )
It’s all experimentation to me. !:) I say go for it!
A basic recipe
1) decide what size carboy you want to use
2) put cherries in the primary/ pail. Add slightly less than enough apple juice (has malic acid like cherry) to fill the carboy (industry also uses pear or white grape for mild fruity aromatics)
3) adjust sugar to 1.090 +/-, add K meta, add nutrient (I like organics like Fermaid), check the pH (3.2 to 3.5 work well)
4) wait for the meta to work, then add your chosen yeast , cover with a towel/ lose lid
5) monitor gravity every day, with organic nitrogen I add a second dose at 1.050. When the gravity gets to 1.025 to 1.010 press pulp / strain into a carboy. Add the airlock.
6) if it is vigorous I let it churn, if foam is low slow bubbling I will top off to neck with more “bland” juice
7) continue with racking at one month (add more meta) and again before bottling. ETC
* Five pounds makes a nice four liter which racks nicely into a one gallon
* Five pounds makes an OK three gallon, with what is at my local supermarket I would add a bottle of cherry juice concentrate to get a deeper color. Accounting would be happy and marketing wouldn’t say much as long as the color was good.
* Five pounds makes a skinny five gallon and folks in marketing wouldn’t like it.
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