Vishnick - Sweet cherry wine, or maybe it's a liqueur - Advice for bottling?

Discussion in 'Special Interest Wines' started by halcyon1234, Aug 3, 2012.

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  1. Aug 22, 2012 #41

    saramc

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    add neutral high proof alcohol

    I make fruit liqueurs every year and I use either fresh or dried fruits, actually prefer dried fruits with the exception of my plum recipe & then I just love to use fresh plums. I use fruit, sugar and high-proof neutral alcohol like Everclear or vodka (or a combination of both). They are ready after 90 days (the longer the fruit remains intact, the better--you can even bottle it with the fruit added), though I allowed my plum liqueur to remain on the fruit for more than six months. I then removed the plum pulp and canned it in pint jars with a cinnamon stick--makes awesome ice cream topping. The plum is adored by my mother-in-law as a cough syrup (she does not drink alcohol but will not hesitate to ask for a "refill"--she knows my recipe and refers to it as her "medicine" LOL). To date I have made fresh plum, dried apricot to which I added a small airplane size bottle of Butterscotch Schnapps--think Buttery Apricot liqueur, dried tart cherry, toasted pecans and a blueberry ginger. Out of the ordinary, I made milk liqueur (a well known liqueur in Lithuania made with whole milk-vodka-sugar-citrus & I added a vanilla bean..my photo attached) and a chocolate milk liqueur(tastes like a malted milk ball, made with whole milk-quality dark semisweet chocolate melted instead of grated, plus citrus..my photo attached)--recipes are easily found on the internet, and they are ready in as early as just 10 days and will be crystal clear after straining/running thru coffee filter. I saved the "drunken cream cheese" that remained in the coffee filter and used the chocolate in the filling for tiramusa (best ever!) and used the cheese from the milk liqueur with homemade yogurt and marshmallow creme and served as an adult-only fruit/graham cracker dip!! Also attached a photo of three liqueurs bottled (I actually need to filter one more time since they have dropped some sediment), from left to right, chocolate milk, milk, and fresh plum liqueurs.

    I typically like to weigh the fresh fruit, use 1/2 the amount(in weight) of sugar...for every 3# of fruit I will use 750ml of alcohol. If using dried fruit, I measure by cup, and for every cup of dried fruit I use 1.5 cups alcohol and 0.5 cup of sugar.

    Delicious stuff--all the way around. My mother asked me just yesterday to make her an apricot rum raisin liqueur...I have the fruit, just need to get some rum and plan to use turbinado sugar in this one.

    milk liqueur.jpg

    choc milk liqueur.jpg

    choco.milk.plum.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  2. Aug 22, 2012 #42

    JoshDivino

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    Very interesting, I'm going to have to try this myself! Sounds like a real delicacy in the family!
     
  3. Aug 23, 2012 #43

    Deezil

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    Just to reiterate..

    12 cups sweet cherries, pitted
    6 cups white sugar
    1 cup + 2 tablespoons lemon juice

    It bubbles through the airlock about once per 10 minutes

    You can see the bubbles around the rim - those started on the 2nd day.. The foam building inbetween the cherries just started today, but last night i broke up the "disc" of sugar that had gathered at the bottom of the 1-gallon, & since i broke it up, it hasnt reformed so i think everything is suspended in the solution now.

    Smells like a cherry cola, minus the cola :)

    IMG_20120822_174656.jpg

    IMG_20120822_174729.jpg

    IMG_20120822_175038.jpg
     
  4. Aug 24, 2012 #44

    Deezil

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    5 days in..
    And still foaming & bubbling
    The cherries are sinking into the liquid more now than before
    Definitely fermenting though, smells amazing
     
  5. Aug 25, 2012 #45

    ckassotis

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    Very cool! Love the pics. Super excited at how this turns out for ya. Are you doing anything to do on a daily basis besides stirring it up 1-2 times a day?

    I am thinking that once my Chardonel starts fermenting I might have to just give this a shot!
     
  6. Aug 25, 2012 #46

    ckassotis

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    Can't quite tell - did you toss an airlock on that? Just some cheesecloth or something?
     
  7. Aug 25, 2012 #47

    Deezil

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    I've had an airlock on it from the start because i didnt inoculate with any yeast nor did i use anything for protecting the mix, but i give it a good stir more than a couple times a day (bottom of the bung gets wet from stirring) and i've only taken the airlock off maybe twice to smell it.

    I was working on a batch of blackberry jam a couple days ago.. But i couldnt stir the grit out of it - sometimes it happens with the first crop of berries for some reason - and it wasnt setting up right.. So i left it on the counter to stir some more.. Well im pretty sure all the bubbles coming out of it now are co2 and not air i've whipped into it.. So i maybe have a blackberry liqueur coming shortly as well - the only differences; it had pectin addedbut pectic enzyme can fix that when fermentation is done, its had a cup of corn syrup added but its still just fructose and glucose so it should ferment out fine, and i havent measured the batch yet - but knowing theres 1 cup of corn syrup and 4.5 cups of sugar, i can subtract that from my total to figure out how many berries are really in there - so i can apply the 2 cups fruit : 1 cup sugar : 1 cup vodka ratio
     
  8. Aug 26, 2012 #48

    halcyon1234

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    Looks great, Deezil! That's exactly what my batches end up looking like.

    @others (mass reply): I haven't fortified it with any other liquor, but I might try that with one of the batches. I have done a limoncello before, but this is slightly different. Instead of extracting the cherry essence with liquor, this is producing liquor from cherries (and sweetening it with a lot of sugar =) )
     
  9. Aug 26, 2012 #49

    Deezil

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    I started the blackberry version tonight out of the gritty jam & added more berries to the total of about 5lbs - which is about how many cherries it took to get 12 cups - so the ratios are basically the same.. Interested in seeing how this one turns out, and then i might try mixing a little for a blackberry-cherry, since thats my favorite wine anyway
     
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  10. Aug 30, 2012 #50

    ckassotis

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    Hey Deezil, any update/pics? How are they looking? Still fermenting?
     
  11. Aug 30, 2012 #51

    Deezil

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    The cherry liqueur is done fermenting, the cherries look like your fingers after climbing out of a swimming pool.. Havent cracked it open cause i dont wanna ruin the co2 layer.. Gonna top up with vodka sometime this weekend..

    Cant tell if the blackberry is still going or not..
     
  12. Aug 30, 2012 #52

    saramc

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    My Mom just reminded me there is a Danish and German version of this called Rumtopf (aka Rum Pot)....fruit, sugar, and a high proof rum. They start it in the Spring and add more seasonal fruits to it as they are available and by holiday time there is one delicious concoction available. They take their RUMTOPF so seriously you can even find Rumtopf crocks. Various recipes exist on the internet.
     
  13. Aug 30, 2012 #53

    Deezil

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    Yeah sara i had suggested something like that on pg 3 and got corrected :)
    "Cherry Bounce" is the "rumtopf" cherry version basically..

    But rumtopf uses multiple types of fruit - as they come in season, soaking in rum, in a cast iron crock pot all year... It's a tad different than this as this actually requires fermentation before the fortifying..

    It all sounds delicious tho, if ya ask me
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  14. Aug 31, 2012 #54

    halcyon1234

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    Yup, that's how I remember seeing them. =) Don't forget to have a cherry with each glass of wine. You can probably get a buzz just off eating one.

    After my last batch is done, I think I'll try making cherry jam out of them.

    BTW: I saw in your pics that you pitted the cherries. I hadn't, mainly because I was too lazy to pit so many gallons of cherries. =) Do you use any special equipment to do your pitting?
     
  15. Aug 31, 2012 #55

    saramc

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    I use a cast iron cherry pitter, looks like one of the clamp on counter style sausage grinders. Got mine for $5 at a yard sale years ago and am amazed at how much they go for on the market now. But would still be worth the investment if you work with alot of cherries or olives.
     
  16. Aug 31, 2012 #56

    Deezil

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    [​IMG]

    Thats how i did it..

    Potato peeler with a pointy tip.. Pointy tip goes in where the stem attaches to the cherry - spin it around the seed & the seed'll come right out, then i'd put the cherry in the measuring cup to measure out the ratio

    Took probably 30 minutes to do 5lbs, but i was horsing around as well.. Me and a friend did 20lbs of cherries in an hour last year.. Doesnt take long, but can be a bit messy until ya get the hang of it...

    I'll get a cherry pitter one of these days, when i find one i trust... They dont always get the seed out, or sometimes they pulverize the cherry while doing it.. I'm a hands-on kinda guy :)

    Edit: You could also just cut the cherry in half like a peach - along the "crack".. and the seed'll be right there... That'd leave you with clean-cut halves under the airlock - i have some cut like that as well
     
  17. Sep 1, 2012 #57

    ckassotis

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    Very cool, appreciate the updates! I am interested in the seed discussion. Some of the earlier posters mentioned that having the seed in there added something to the finished product. I'm curious if that is true. Purely from an enjoyment perspective, I would rather not have to deal with the seed in the finished product when I'm trying to eat/drink it!
     
  18. Sep 21, 2012 #58

    Deezil

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    Just a nifty little observation..

    Was taking a good look at the cherry liqueur last night, and noticed that the cherry pieces have gone a bit translucent, and there appears to be co2 bubbles within the cherry pieces

    It's still degassing, too :)
     
  19. Sep 24, 2012 #59

    bob1

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    why depit? you dont need to.
     
  20. Sep 24, 2012 #60

    Deezil

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    Just preference

    Didnt wanna have to spit the seeds out later, nor did i want them bringing anything to the final product although they may not
     

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