Tuesday, July 30, 2013

2013 Cherry Wine

My 2009 Cherry Wine was so good! My wife and I said that it tasted like Christmas -- it had all sorts of pleasant flavor associations.

The 2012 Cherry Wine on the other hand was not good. It has a strong off flavor that I attribute to cherry pits. I am not sure what I am going to do with it, but what am not going to do is drink it  -- at least any time soon. Maybe it'll mellow or maybe I'll blend it with some store bought jug wine.  Worse comes to worse, I can make Cherry Brandy. I have 41 liters of it!

I am trying to learn from my mistakes, so this wine is all Michigan Sweet Cherries, and none of the cherries were boiled. I squished all the cherries with wooden plunger, and mixed them all with sugar water. 

2013 Cherry Wine Recipe

23 lb Michigan Cherries -- ripe
3.5 gal  water
6 bags of standard tea
11.2 lb of sugar  (cherries are not as sweet as you think.)
3 g yeast energizer
3 g pectin
1 packet Red Star Premier Cuve'e

It took a few tries to get the sugar up to 28% (started at 25.3 degrees Brix) for a 13% alcohol content.  The 2009 wine was not too strong. 

Right now the fermentation is done, and the color is great, but the flavor may be a little thin.  I am hopeful because it is way too early to be tasting it. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

2013 Strawberry Wine

 My 2012 Strawberry Wine was good, and I decided to try it again. I bought some fresh strawberries since they were on sale. I cut the stems off the fresh strawberries with a knife, and then put them in the food processor to make a puree. I h

10 lb of fresh strawberries (California), pureed
6 lb frozen strawberries, pureed
5 quarts water
3300 grams of sugar (7.25 lb) cooked with the water above into a syrup

Fresh Strawberries
1 large orange (including the peel)
4 g pectic enzyme
5 g yeast energizer
1 packet Cote Des Blances from Red Star

I measured the sugar content; initially very high, so I added water and then waited, the sugar content by refractive index and by density projected a 14.1 to 14.6% alcohol. I used Cot Des Blances so maybe we'll get a little residual sweetness.

Strawberry Puree