Quantcast

New Guy From A Chokecherry Grove in N. MN

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

E Riehle

Junior
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
5
Location
Upwind of the yellow snow
Hey there. I'm here for the wine....and maybe a little whine...I've never made wine or brewed beer, but the property I'm on is filthy with fruit, mostly wild, mostly chokecherry, with some raspberry, currants, crabapple, dogwood, rhubarb and plums. I also tend an 8th acre vegetable garden, and am a fool for tropical hot peppers.

I thought I'd vint myself a few bottles of chokecherry wine, but my first must has a starter SG of 1.150...Which is why I'm here, to read and to learn and to adjust accordingly....

--Eric
 

sour_grapes

Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Messages
11,869
Reaction score
10,508
Location
near Milwaukee
Welcome to WMT!

Are you sure about that SG? Did you add a lot of sugar? You may want to watch this:
 

E Riehle

Junior
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
5
Location
Upwind of the yellow snow
Thanks for the welcome, and I guess I'm not that sure about it, I'm as new to hydrometers as I am wine making. But I pretty much followed a published recipe that called for fruit, and what I used was pre-strained fruit juice, about a gallon of it. Sugar added was 2 & 1/2 lbs., which is WAY less than I'd use for a jelly in the same amount of juice (most chokecherry jellies are +/- 7 cups sugar to 4 cups of strained juice). So I have the must sulking in a cool dark corner of the cellar for a day before I check again and consider adding water or yeast or both....

*edit* Oh, and I can't seem to access your link.
 

E Riehle

Junior
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
5
Location
Upwind of the yellow snow
OK, your youtube link is working now, and according to what the lady says, my hydrometer reading was 1.150 exactly. I'm going to test a batch of tapwater to be sure.
 

Johnd

Senior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
6,699
Reaction score
6,693
Location
South Louisiana
Could very well be that you're SG is at 1.15 (which is very high). 2.5 pounds of sugar added to a gallon of water will result in a SG of nearly 1.10 (1.0967 to be exact), when you consider that you used juice, not water, you could easily be at 1.15. If your original juice was at 1.065, that would get you there................
 
Last edited:

ThreeSheetsToTheWind

Skeeter Pee Sommelier
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
124
Reaction score
53
Location
The great white north
Welcome! I haven't been here long bit learn something new every time I log in.

That is a really high sg. I made a chokecherry once, sg was probably about 1.090, that's my usual starting point. I lost my notes but pretty sure I used a recipe from Jack Keller. I found mine light on the fruit, but you might be able to water yours down if you used straight juice.

Three years later and there are only two bottles left from 6 gallons. Decent, light bodied and light flavoured, definitely chokecherry but it lost the astringency along the way. I might take another shot at it sometime.
 

E Riehle

Junior
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
5
Location
Upwind of the yellow snow
I'm told it's really high, and this juice is from a superior crop: High in juice, very VERY small pits. I added very little water initially. I checked in 60 degree tapwater, the hydrometer zeroed at 1.000. Then I tested the must one more time:

hydrometer first read.jpg

I guess I could be reading it wrong, but I'm seeing 1.150...Is there a way to calculate how much water to add without turning my must into swill?
 

E Riehle

Junior
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
5
Location
Upwind of the yellow snow
Welcome! I haven't been here long bit learn something new every time I log in.

That is a really high sg. I made a chokecherry once, sg was probably about 1.090, that's my usual starting point. I lost my notes but pretty sure I used a recipe from Jack Keller. I found mine light on the fruit, but you might be able to water yours down if you used straight juice.

Three years later and there are only two bottles left from 6 gallons. Decent, light bodied and light flavoured, definitely chokecherry but it lost the astringency along the way. I might take another shot at it sometime.
Heh heh, I'm trying my luck at a gallon, but if this works out I have almost 30 lbs. of raw chokecherries in the freezer and a 6 gallon carboy that I'm itching to break in.
 

ThreeSheetsToTheWind

Skeeter Pee Sommelier
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
124
Reaction score
53
Location
The great white north
By my redneck calculations you are sitting at roughly 20% potential alcohol. If it were me I'd like to see it between 10% and 12% (~1.075 to 1.090)

You would need to almost double your volume, leaving your juice pretty dilute.
I would be tempted to add lemon juice and turn this into a chokecherry dragon blood.

Someone else might come up with a better idea however.
 

Arne

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
4,969
Reaction score
1,034
Location
central Nebraska
Take a little of your juice, taste, water it down and taste. This will give you some idea of how far down you can water it before it becomes too light. I am guessing you can bring it down to 1.090 and still have enough flavor. Chokecherries are full of flavor and you have straight juice. A lot of it just depends on your taste buds. Arne.
 

buzi

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2012
Messages
75
Reaction score
52
Location
Illinois
Welcome to the forum Eric! Fruit can be a bit trickier than grapes so as the gents above mentioned, jack keller's site was fantastic to find! He has the most extensive fruit recipe collection I have found. Here is his page:

http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/index.asp

Also, I am sure the calculations are on this site, but I have also used this site extensively for calculations.

http://www.brsquared.org/wine/Calcs.htm

Good luck and happy wine making!
Chris
 

E Riehle

Junior
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
5
Location
Upwind of the yellow snow
Thanks for that, Chris! I printed off a slew of pages from Jack's site, including more than a few recipes.

I also found some helpful know-how from a couple Ed Krauss articles, and have a clean cloth over my must instead of the plastic lid, as he suggests.

By the way folks, I owe you a huge thanks for these first two days of near panic on my part. I checked my must this morning and it was fizzing away like a fresh opened can of Canada Dry! I'm using a kit from Home Brew Ohio, and used the yeast that was included (Red Star Montrachet/Premier Classique). I actually expected foam, but am delighted to see that that isn't the case (the must fills the 2 gallon bucket to 4/5 full).

I'm going to need a second carboy, being as I pretty much doubled my brew. I have a 6 gallon for a Spring rhubarb wine, and the one gallon that came with the kit. The nearest brew supply to me (about 50 miles away) burned to the ground last week. I was looking forward to a long relationship with those folks, hope they rebuild...Until then it looks like I'm mail order...
 

ThreeSheetsToTheWind

Skeeter Pee Sommelier
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
124
Reaction score
53
Location
The great white north
Great to hear that you got it all straightened out. And please keep us updated with your thoughts on how this turns out, I'd like to give chokecherries another go someday and I'm curious as to how straight juice would compare to the relatively watered down version I made.
 

Arne

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
4,969
Reaction score
1,034
Location
central Nebraska
A towel is the way to go, but I always just set the lid on top of my towel. Helps keep unwanted critters out (like my wifes new kitten). LOL, Arne.
 

Kayts

Junior
Joined
Apr 14, 2016
Messages
18
Reaction score
3
I got started making wine because of all the chokecherries on our property. I must say that the chokecherry is fabulous after it has aged a year. The raspberry and crab apple within 6 months we enjoyed. So enjoy...I also like rhubarb and many others.!!!!
 

Latest posts

Top