Tart cherry wine recipe

Discussion in 'Country Fruit Winemaking' started by VitruvianMan, Mar 26, 2013.

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  1. VitruvianMan

    VitruvianMan Member

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    Im looking at getting a tart cherry wine batch going but havent found a recipe on here other than Choke Cherry one. Im not sure which type of cherry to use for the "tart" flavor so I thought Id ask some of you more knowledgeable people :) I recently tried a local Meadery's tart cherry mead and it was amazing, so I thought Id make a wine version for now. Starting with a one gallon batch t get the flavor I want down then go up to bigger carboys, anyone wth any info or willing to help let me know! Thanks guys
     
  2. Deezil

    Deezil Moderator Super Moderator

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    There's a lot of different ways to go about it, although theres a good chance it wont taste much like the one you tasted from the meadery.. Although if you were to use honey, there's procedures i can share that could get you close

    'Tart' flavors usually come from the acidity level in the wine, but using tart cherries should give you a tart-cherry profile as opposed to the sweet-cherry profile that some equate to a cough syrup flavor...

    All i know is sweet cherries, as thats the primary type grown around where I'm from...

    I'd shoot for at least 5lbs of cherries per gallon, although more would be better, up to probably 10-12lbs of cherries per gallon - then you're probably getting into the "pure juice" realm (which is my favorite place to be)

    I wouldnt push the SG past 1.090
    And if you're really going for tart, i wouldn't go above a .75 % TA

    The tartness will shine, when you find the right balance between TA/pH, sweetness and alcohol levels....

    Too much sugar, it'll balance out the acidity and still make a good wine but wont come across as 'tart', just 'cherry'..... Too much acidity without enough sugar, and it'll taste out of balance with a puckering sensation.. Too much alcohol, might get that cough syrup flavor and not enough, it wont keep

    If you want it drier, leave the TA a little lower (.65 - .70 % TA).. Semi-sweet or sweet can handle a little more (.75 % TA)

    I'm sure there will be some differing opinions..
    Hope that helps, for a starting point..
     
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  3. VitruvianMan

    VitruvianMan Member

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    Yeah helps a lot thanks, I know the honey in the mead gives it a different flavor than the sugar does I just like the overall taste and wanna try something new that I will like as much as the Dragon Blood recipe here. I really want to try the carmel apple mead but I dont want to make a 3 gallon batch right out the gates, so looking for something else to make for now, thanks again
     
  4. REDBOATNY

    REDBOATNY Senior Member

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  5. Arne

    Arne Senior Member

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    Here is what I used. The cherries were from and old pie cherry tree in our yard. Actually they are what started the winemaking around here, had a bumper crop and wanted something to do with them besides feeding the birds.

    20+ lbs. pitted pie cherries
    12 lb. sugar
    5 tsp. nutrient (half now half after fermenting a couple of days)
    2 1/2 tsp pectic enzime
    2 1/2 tsp tannin
    1 tsp acid blend
    starting s.g. approx. 1.090
    used Cotes de blanc yeast.

    Pitting the cherries makes a big difference in the taste. The taste will mellow out, but no pits makes it happen much sooner. Ihave a small hand pitter, makes the job pretty fast. Doesn't get all the pits, but most of them.
    Ferment it down, rack, let it clear. let it sit in the carboy for 6 months or so, stabalize, sweeten and bottle.
    Arne.
     
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  6. Turock

    Turock Senior Member

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    An easy way to make tart cherry wine is getting sour cherries. We make it every year and the wine has that tart flavor you're looking for.

    Ask around the orchards in your area--we have one here that orders cherries every year from Michigan. They come either frozen or unfrozen and are pitted. It's the easiest way to get a large amount of cherries without having to pit them yourself.

    Figure about 10# per gallon, use NO water. You have to check the PH and adjust pre-ferment. Set your PH to about 3.4 using calcium carbonate. We use Montrachet for the culture. The whole secret to a good cherry wine that has that tartness is NO WATER additions.
     
  7. UBB

    UBB Senior Member

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  8. BobF

    BobF Banned

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    I did a sour cherry wine a couple of years ago that came out really nice. If you like sour cherries :)

    I steam-juiced the cherries and measured the TA of the juice; 1.2%.

    To get the acid down, I used 2/3 cherry juice to 1/3 water. TA = .8.

    Made wine like normal from here. Backsweetened to 1010, but still sour.

    Bottled when clear and waited a year.

    Like I said, came out very nice. I still have some aging to see if I can predict what will happen. I'm -expecting- it to taste less sour/more sweet with time ...
     
  9. VitruvianMan

    VitruvianMan Member

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    Ok, a few different ways to do it, thanks guys!
     
  10. Turock

    Turock Senior Member

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    We always sweeten this wine before bottling. It is not tart from too much acid---even the nose of this wine smells tart like a cherry. It took us a couple attempts to get this wine perfected, so if you do it according to the way we do, you should get the result you're looking for.

    I agree with Bob--let it age one year before bottling.
     
  11. VitruvianMan

    VitruvianMan Member

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    Im in nebraska, I dont know of any orchards for cherries around but Ill start doing some looking, I wanna try you way Turock, sounds great
     
  12. Turock

    Turock Senior Member

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    During cherry season in June, keep an eye on the newspaper classified section. Many orchards advertise there for cherries. You'll need at least 50 pounds to do a 5 gallon batch. I'm sure there are places that ship in Mich. cherries. If you have an wineries in your area, you might even check with them to see if they can ship them in for you.
     
  13. Arne

    Arne Senior Member

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    I'll bet if you drive around Omaha and look for some cherry blossoms you will be able to spot some trees that nobody uses. Talk to the people and see, tell them you will give them a little money if you can pick the cherries when they are ripe. I am out in Kenesaw, but know of at least a couple of trees that nobody messes with. There will probably be 50 lbs on my tree that the birds get because they are too high for me to pick. Cherry season is just around the corner and it makes a great wine. Bet if you take a ride down to Nebr. City the orchards down there have cherries and they will be for sale. The trees ought to be blossomed out in the next couple of weeks. Should be worthwhile to go down and see that. Arne.
     
  14. VitruvianMan

    VitruvianMan Member

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    Thanks Arne! I forgot all about Nebraska City's orchards
     
  15. Arne

    Arne Senior Member

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    While you are watching for the cherry trees, keep an eye out for crabapple too. They are easy to get as most people just have them for ornemental trees and let the fruit go. I pick them in the fall when they start falling on their own, use store bought apple juice instead of water and ferment the crabapples with them. After a couple of tries it is starting to be a pretty nice wine. Still has a pucker taste with it, but very drinkable. If you get out in the country pretty soon you can watch for the elderberries too. They will be ready towards fall, but are easy to spot when they are blooming. They won't be blooming til after things start greening up. Wild plums make a good wine also. Lots of choices. Arne.
     
  16. fivebk

    fivebk Senior Member

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    VitruvianMan, I live about 17 miles south of Nebraska City. It's nice to hear of someone else on here thats close to my area. Good luck with your winemaking projects.

    P.S. I know that Kimmel orchard in Nebr City has a cherry cider that is very good. It probably would make a good wine!!!!

    BOB
     
  17. Deezil

    Deezil Moderator Super Moderator

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    Hey Arne, if you get a hankering to experiment, try running MLF on a batch of your crabapple... I took some apples from my aunt and uncles yard, added some apple juice from the store, and fermented it out.. It went through MLF on its own.. Still bulk aging, but wanna talk about 'very drinkable' :)
     
  18. VitruvianMan

    VitruvianMan Member

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    I just went to trader joes and got 100% tart cherry juice in a jar. 64 oz of it so I may mix in cranberry to keep it from being diluted and see what happens.
     
  19. VitruvianMan

    VitruvianMan Member

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    So is this a 5 gallon batch? Im gonna start with one gallon and perfect it then move up to bigger quantity this is in response to Arne's recipe I tried to reply to it directly but hit wrong button apparently lol
     
  20. Arne

    Arne Senior Member

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    Yep, mine was 5 gal. Just divide everything but the yeast by 5. If it is 100% cherry juice it will probably be mity tart by itself. You mite have to dilute it down a bit, but maybe not. I don't know how much juice comes from the 20 lbs of cherries, but for me it is enough and the flavor is plenty strong. Anyway, give it a try and see what happens. Keep good notes so you know how to replicate it if you want to. You mite wine up tweaking it some to get it how you like it. Arne.
     

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