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Cherry wine is way strong!! Advice?

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Maestro

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Ok, so we fermented our cherry wine that we made from fresh bing cherries. We used the recipe from the purple recipe book, Winemakers Recipe Handbook, which I understand many of you have.

I racked once more into a clean carboy to further age it and allow it to clear. I tasted it and it had a super strong alcohol taste to it as well as didn't taste much like cherries. I used Lalvin EC-1118 to ferment and it went FAST! I followed the recipe exactly so am trying to figure out what else there is to do.

Also, I noticed in that recipe book that there are no instructions for stabilization and it only says to let it sit to clear with a rack a couple months in. Is there more to the recipe that I am not getting???
 

Julie

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What was your sg? That will tell what your alcohol is. Plus I use that book all the time but only use it as a guidance not as a rule. Find out what your % our alcohol is first and then figure out what needs to be done next. And yes if you want to backsweeten, stabilize and sorbate first then add sugar to the hydrometer reading that you want.
 

cpfan

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Recipes from that book tend to be higher in alcohol than many like. As Julie said already...without specific gravity(sg) readings, we can't determine the alcohol %age.

Some people reduce the amount of sugar in the recipes from that book by upto 25%, and increase the amount of fruit by a similar amount. Said to provide a better tasting wine (at least it should be fruitier). Regardless go by your hydrometer reading when adding sugars.

BTW, just saw a question about a cherry wine on another forum that started at 1.114. Could get about 16% from that. Too high for my tastes.

Steve
 

Wade E

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This is why we try to encourage everyone not to follow those old recipes. They are typically hich in alc and weak in flavor. Im guessing your starting sg was about 1.100 and you probably used about 2-3 lbs of fruit per gallon. We like to tell everyone to keep the starting sg around 1.085 and to use about 6 lbs of fruit per gallon and youll get a wine with a decent amount of alc and some nice fruit flavor. The only thing you can do now is to make an f-pac to give it more flavor and this will also dilyte it a bot but not much or you can make another batch with much less abv and blend the 2 but that my friend will take much more fruit and lots of time.
 

BobF

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This is why we try to encourage everyone not to follow those old recipes. They are typically hich in alc and weak in flavor. Im guessing your starting sg was about 1.100 and you probably used about 2-3 lbs of fruit per gallon. We like to tell everyone to keep the starting sg around 1.085 and to use about 6 lbs of fruit per gallon and youll get a wine with a decent amount of alc and some nice fruit flavor. The only thing you can do now is to make an f-pac to give it more flavor and this will also dilyte it a bot but not much or you can make another batch with much less abv and blend the 2 but that my friend will take much more fruit and lots of time.
Also ... testing/adjusting acid will help bring the fruit forward. After the acid is right, backsweeten/fpac.

Then there is time ... a lot of time for a hot wine to settle down
 

mmadmikes1

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for a fix, add cherry juice you get from Juice Isle. That will add flavor and reduce alc%. Taste as you go. Make sure you have stabalized first or it will start fermenting again. F pacs are good if you still can get fresh cheries
 

Maestro

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Thanks everyone for the advice. I'm thinking the Fpac backsweeten is the route I'll go with it.

The starting SG on it was 1.098. The recipe said target was 1.100. It seemed high to me, but I went with it. I'm living and learning. Loving every minute of it.

Once more, thanks so much to all of you for all the great advice.
 

Wade E

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How many lbs of fruit were used, guess I nailed the sg. I have never seen this book.
 

Maestro

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We followed the recipe that asked for 6 lbs of cherries per gallon and 2 3/4 lb of sugar per gallon plus 1/2 a pint of grape concentrate. In retrospect, the amount of sugar does seem a little high. Your thoughts?
 

Wade E

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Never follow the amount of sugar or acid as they can vary considerably. If the fruit is picked early the sugar will be low and acid high while when picked late the sugars will be much higher and the acids will be lower so as you can see it all depends on the fruit.
 

JasonH

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Three years ago, I had the brilliant idea of making an 18% cherry wine. I had some really good cherries so I thought I could get away with it. It was awful when I bottled. I tried it over a year ago and it was still bad (but getting better). I just popped another in June to get drunk with my buddies and it was excellent. They were pleasantly after the warning I gave them. I never thought age could make such a difference. If you got the space to store it away for a few years it might turn out ok like mine....or it may still taste like crap!
 
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Maestro

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Yeah, I'm thinking that if backsweetening doesn't help it much then I am hoping that a nice long aging will. :sm
 
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