Cream Sherry - Kit conversion or Homemade

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hawkwing

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Similar to my port thread I want to make a Cream Sherry. Apparently I like sweet wines.

I’m wondering what a good base wine would be to start with? Would a Chardonnay be good? The reason I suggest this one is that it’s full bodied and very common and easy to get a kit for.

The other option is to possibly try making it from raisins. Not sure if anyone has done this and if it would taste similar to a Sherry?

Regardless of base choice I’d likely end up fortifying the wine and likely aerate and possibly heat a bit to oxidize the wine.

I found this article but who knows if it’s even worth considering. Not sure why they are recommending a red wine for Cream Sherry.


Any help would be appreciated. There isn’t much to be found doing a search.

Thank you!
 

VinesnBines

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I have a book “The Art of Winemaking” by Stanley Anderson and Raymond Hull. They have a section on Flor and Cream Sherry and Madeira. I’d like to try all of them. I can post recipes if anyone is interested or can’t find instructions.
 

hawkwing

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I have a book “The Art of Winemaking” by Stanley Anderson and Raymond Hull. They have a section on Flor and Cream Sherry and Madeira. I’d like to try all of them. I can post recipes if anyone is interested or can’t find instructions.
Do you need grapes for those recipes?
 

hawkwing

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Would Chardonnay be a good base wine? I'm looking at it as the best candidate at the moment. Possibly Pinot Grigio as a second option.
 
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The recipe may indicate some red grape to duplicate the characteristics of the Palomino grape, which is used to make sherry. I found a couple of recipes. The first one seems doable.


This recipe calls for Flor Sherry yeast, and you need to let a flor develop. You can probably use any white grape, but Chardonnay sounds good to me.

This second one is several recipes, including apple and apricot. I'm including it for comparison, but I'd go with the above recipe, which appears similar to the one in Anderson.

 

VinesnBines

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Yes, Anderson uses grape and fig concentrate. He also has a raisin and plum recipe. The sites linked by Bryan are very similar.

I'm thinking of how to make an estufa to hold a 1/2 gallon or gallon jug. I could use my attic which gets pretty hot in summer but the temps won't be well regulated. I could pop a half gallon up there just for kicks this summer to get the old world style.

My plan is a box on the concrete floor, maybe made of cinder block and leftover large floor tile. The heat is a light bulb. The cooking temps are only 130 F so I don't need a lot of heat. I worry about using a wooden box though that may be better than concrete or tile.

I need to find a real maderira to see if I really want to bother. 🤔
 
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I could use my attic which gets pretty hot in summer but the temps won't be well regulated.
I could use my attic, but in the summer the temperature exceeds the surface temperature of the sun, even with ridge vents and heavy duty exhaust fan. :)

I was thinking of buying a white kit, I can see doing a gallon in the attic with the remainder normally in a 19 liter carboy.
 

hawkwing

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Okay, I'm not a big sherry drinker, but I believe cream sherry is different (sweeter?) than "regular" sherry. Anyone have a recipe specifically for cream sherry?
Working on it here now. There are some recipes above and to make a Cream Sherry would require fortifications or chaptalization. Possibly followed by an oxidation and high temp aging. I haven’t tried yet but I’m wondering if making a sweet high alcohol raisin wine would get very close. I plan to try both avenues eventually.
 

oppyland

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Working on it here now. There are some recipes above and to make a Cream Sherry would require fortifications or chaptalization. Possibly followed by an oxidation and high temp aging. I haven’t tried yet but I’m wondering if making a sweet high alcohol raisin wine would get very close. I plan to try both avenues eventually.
Isn't all sherry fortified? That's where I get confused - does cream sherry start out as regular sherry with an additional step? Based on a really basic Google search, it looks to me like they just backsweeten with Oloroso to make cream sherry.
 

hawkwing

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Isn't all sherry fortified? That's where I get confused - does cream sherry start out as regular sherry with an additional step? Based on a really basic Google search, it looks to me like they just backsweeten with Oloroso to make cream sherry.
From all the reading and searching I’ve done it looks like they are all fortified and they blend sweet and dry Sherry to make cream Sherry. Oloroso is one and Pedro Ximénez is another. I believe there is at least one more even sweeter. I think it starts with an M but google will tell you. They also do a process called solera which is blending partial older casks with partial newer casks in a three level process. I believe much flavor comes from oxidation during aging as well. The dry wines develop a flor layer that protects from oxidation but the sweeter ones don’t and oxide. Hope I got that all correct.
 

VinesnBines

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could use my attic, but in the summer the temperature exceeds the surface temperature of the sun, even with ridge vents and heavy duty exhaust fan. :)

I was thinking of buying a white kit, I can see doing a gallon in the attic with the remainder normally in a 19 liter carboy.
I think I found my estufa. I have some small metal trash cans with no lids. I'm going to try using the floor tile as the lid and hang a light bulb inside. I'll still try the attic this summer.

That’s for sure. I often wonder how the economics work for them. Maybe on a large scale it works. Or perhaps labor is cheap there.
At a Scottish distillery tour, we were told that they age Scotch in bourbon barrels and sherry barrels. The demand for the sherry barrels is more than the demand for sherry and the producers end up dumping a lot of sherry. I would assume that is a reason it is cheap, that and the demand is so low.
 

hawkwing

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For the raisin version the only raisins I can find without oil on them are the Sun-Maid and possibly some organic ones on Amazon. Plan to finish with 120g/L residual sugar and 17.5% alcohol (361g/L). Sun-Maid are 72.5% sugar so 663g/L raisins. For 23 L need about 15.3kg or 20 x 750g bags or about $143 worth. Likely aim for a pH of around 3.2. I was thinking of soaking the raisins in hot water and using an immersion blender on them. Check and adjust the acid. Maybe add yeast nutrient or energizer. Possibly some pectic enzyme. Not sure about tannins. Then pitch a yeast not sure if 1118 or other. Might have to add the raisins in steps so as to keep the sugars at a workable level for the yeast.

Now that would be very rich. Most Sherry grapes produce 11-12% before fortification. It might make more sense to target this level with raisins and then chaptalize with sugar to get to 17.5% or more and back sweeten. I believe this was 245g/L sugars from raisins or 338g/L raisins. Which works out to 7.77kg raisins or 10.4 bags at around $77. Plus around 240g/L of sugar. This is much more approachable.

Not sure if the blending with the Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez sweeter wines would add more grape sweetness. Perhaps using a little more raisins to compensate for this would be warranted. Hard to say without some trials.

This would probably benefit from some added oak as well. Possibly both during fermentation and in aging. I believe there are fermented and aged in barrels.
 
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oppyland

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At a Scottish distillery tour, we were told that they age Scotch in bourbon barrels and sherry barrels. The demand for the sherry barrels is more than the demand for sherry and the producers end up dumping a lot of sherry. I would assume that is a reason it is cheap, that and the demand is so low.
That's definitely a factor. Scotch is more popular than ever, while the demand for sherry has been falling.
 

Steve Wargo

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I had a gallon of Home Made Apple wine that oxidized. 16%abv To me it tasted like a dry sherry, that I bought from the grocery store. So, I bottled it (750ml) and use it as a cooking sherry. I used it as a base ingredient or deglazing for some Italian, Asian, and other recipes. Red wine I add to beef or lamb stew, Beef bourguignon, red sauces.
 

hawkwing

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What would you all recommend for raisin and sugar balance? Is there such a thing as too much raisins? What would be too little raisins?
 

VinesnBines

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The Anderson book has a recipe for Raisin Madeira or Sherry, four pounds of raisins and 1 1/2 pounds of sugar for a gallon; no other fruit. I have not tried that so no opinion. He suggest using a Sherry flavor concentrate for a quick Sherry. I don't know if you can still buy Sherry flavor; I haven't looked.
 
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