Ground Cherry - Wow!

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BigDaveK

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Opened my first 375ml tasting bottle of ground cherry wine and again - Wow! This is why I started making wine! Good flavor, mouth feel, everything! Started even MORE seeds. Aunt Molly germinates fast, New Hanover (first time trying) takes forever and grows slow. It DID seem to get sweeter and next time I'll cut back on the back sweetening a bit. I may even do an off dry. This is definitely one that can be played with.

There's still time. If you like country wines give ground cherries a try.

ground cherry.jpg
 

BigDaveK

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Oh, they're tomatoes! I'm like: 'I would have thought it would be red!'
Well....they're in the same family as eggplant and tomatoes but they're not tomatoes in the traditional sense. Flavor is closer to gooseberry, sweet and tart. They're in between yellow and orange when ripe.
 

Raptor99

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@BigDaveK I might have to give this a try. How many plants would I need to get 5 lbs. of fruit for a test batch?

I read that Aunt Molly's is 70 days to maturity, so it is probably not too late to start some seeds.
 

Khristyjeff

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I just planted some New Hanover this past week. We're supposed to keep seeds moist which will be a challenge with the kind of winds we're getting. Maybe I'll try the Miss Molly next year. I'm really looking forward to this wine (and the pie) !

@BigDaveK , how long has it been since you first pitched the yeast on this batch of Ground Cherry wine?
 

BigDaveK

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@BigDaveK I might have to give this a try. How many plants would I need to get 5 lbs. of fruit for a test batch?

I read that Aunt Molly's is 70 days to maturity, so it is probably not too late to start some seeds.
I made a 1 gallon test batch last year and had been making wine for 2 whole weeks. I had 3 pounds in the freezer. I might increase fruit, might not. I was happy with 3 lbs.

You'll have time. They produce until a good frost.

You'll never get enough fruit all at once but they freeze VERY well. Harvest, freeze, harvest, freeze.....

Oops, almost forgot - I had 4 plants. Some left the garden in my stomach, some went to jam.
 
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BigDaveK

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I just planted some New Hanover this past week. We're supposed to keep seeds moist which will be a challenge with the kind of winds we're getting. Maybe I'll try the Miss Molly next year. I'm really looking forward to this wine (and the pie) !

@BigDaveK , how long has it been since you first pitched the yeast on this batch of Ground Cherry wine?
I planted 2 - my Aunt Molly came up in 3 days, the New Hanover in 2 weeks. First time growing the New Hanover. According to the description it's supposed to be more fruity and a bit less tart.

Started the wine mid-October last year. In bulk about 5 months. It became crystal clear on it's own in about 1 month. I was surprised.
 

BigDaveK

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Good to hear. I have several Aunt Molly ground cherry seedlings. Slow growing. Please share your recipe.

Okay!

For 1 gallon -

3 lbs ground cherry
about 2 lbs sugar
1 tsp nutrient powder
1/2 tsp pectic enzyime
1 Campden tablet
water to almost 1 1/2 gallons
I used 71B yeast

I was a two week old wine maker at the time so my notes are sparse. My note taking kicked in to high gear at 4 weeks.
 

BigDaveK

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any idea what the OG or FG was?
Planted some last year and liked them. Used most to make cobblers but this year I planted more and would like to make wine/mead

At 2 weeks into the hobby I was unfortunately loose with the record keeping. However, 2 lbs sugar in 1 gallon of water will give you 1.088. I had a bit more water so let's say 1.080. It finished at .992.

Cobblers sound good!
 

G259

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I was so intrigued, I bought 2 seed packs of this. I just have to find a place to plant them!
 

BigDaveK

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I got some seeds this week and started them in trays indoors. @BigDaveK, you are inspiring us to follow in your footsteps!
Oh, gosh...it's very kind of you to say that, thank you, but....I'm just a super cheap country wine maker who walks in the yard looking for the less common and/or ignored ingredients.
 

BigDaveK

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The ground cherries almost need to be started indoors. If nothing else, to ensure they don't get lost. I started all my plants from seed and they are among the slowest to germinate, slow growing, tiny. It takes them a long time but eventually they kick in to high gear.
 
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