Mankind has made wine for centuries and it has been made from every fruit you can imagine and some you can not. Easily obtainable, in a variety of flavors and with high sugar content, cherries are a natural fruit for winemaking. Sour cherries give you a dry and slightly tart wine that will age well for several years.
Things You'll Need
Using the large bowls, wash 3 to 4 pounds of sour cherries, changing the water several times, removing any stems and leaves at the same time. Remove the pits, being careful not to crack them and release their bitter oils.
Place the pitted cherries in the nylon straining bag. Mash and squeeze the juice into the primary fermentor. Tie the top of the bag tightly and place it in the fementor. Add 7 pints of cool, non-chlorinated water; do not use distilled water. In addition, add 2 and ¼ pounds of sugar, 1 tsp. of Acid Blend, ½ tsp. of Pectic Enzyme, 1 tsp. of yeast nutrient and one crushed Camden tablet. Stir this thoroughly and cover the fermentor. Wait 24 hours and then add one package of Champagne yeast. Re-cover the fermentor.
Stir the wine mix daily, pressing on the pulp to aid in the extraction of the flavors. After five days, test the specific gravity with the hydrometer. If it is at 1.030 or higher, still heavy with sugar, drain the juice from the bag and siphon the wine off the sediment into the second fermentor.
Test the wine weekly until a specific gravity of 1.00 or slightly less is reached. Fermentation will then be complete. The wine will be at its maximum alcohol content and can be bottled.
Spring or de-chlorinated water will yield the best results. You can find winemaking supplies at a local brewing retailer or at an online specialty retailer.
References and Resources“The Joy of Home Wine Making;” Terry A Garey; 1995
“Wine Science;” Ronald Jackson; 2008
“The Ultimate Fruit Winemakers Guide;” Domini Rivard; 2009