Totally new to wine making.. Chokecherry wine!

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custercounty

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Picked 12 lbs of ripe chokecherries! Decided to make Chokecherry wine. The recipe book that I purchased says 12 lbs of chokecherry, 5 lbs of raisins. I steeped the chokecherry berries to make them split. Ran them all through a juicer. When I was finished, I had about 1.25-1.5 gal of juice. I put all the raisins in a blender with some water and pushed all the raisin juice through a mesh screen. Added 11 lbs of sugar as recipe asked for. Added the right amount of yeast nutrients, 1 tsp of tannin and proper amount of camden tablets in powder form to the batch for tonight. I did put all the skins/seeds and raisin residue in 2 different bags. Prior to adding the fruit bags I measured the gravity. It is at 1.135. If I take this to 1.00 SG, the wine will have an alcohol level of about 17%. This seems a little too high. Do I shut the fermentation down earlier than 1.00 or just let it go?? We like a dry red or white wine. Don't want it to have an alcohol bite.
Since we are very early in our wine making knowledge, please help us out. We have another batch of 5 gal of Melomel. 12 lbs honey and 10 lbs of chokecherry. Just so you all know, we are using Lalvin EC-1118 yeast.

These two batches are our virgin run!! Any advice is appreciated!
Thank you
 

Rice_Guy

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welcome to Wine Making Talk

* my choke cherry, has a strong astringent flavor. One of the comments in the vinters club is that choke cherry tastes better at year ten than year one (the tannins fall out of solution). I bottled a batch this spring which will sit at least into year two before I open any.
* the best choke cherry I have tasted was made with banana water. This one had nice fruity aromatics. I am going to try this next time I make a choke cherry
* making choke cherry was dirty/ lots of foam. To speed the clearing up I took a spoon and scooped the floating gunk off while in the primary.

* it is hard to successfully shut down a fermentation with a little sweetness as at 1.010 or 1.005. Most of us just let it go dry and then add sorbate to stop the yeast from regrowing. BUT wine is a multi variable preservative. High alcohol can kill yeast before you run dry. 1118 is a strong yeast so it might go dry, and it might stop at 16% alcohol, ,, but you won’t know till it happens.
* I like melomels. This is another wine where comments in the vinters club are the honey flavor pops out better at year two or three than year one, so let at least one bottle age.
 

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