Cherry Wine

I find getting a batch of wine started is one of the most difficult things to do each summer. Not because of the “how” but because of the “when.”  You want perfectly ripe fruit with which to begin—yet there are so many other things that require attention because they’re “perfectly ripe” also!

This year, I was able to set aside an afternoon to get a 5-gallon bucket started. We’ve tried many types (apple, grape, meads, peach); the cherry always does well so I was happy this was to be our choice.

I began by inspecting the cherries and measuring 24 pounds. Following a simple fruit wine recipe I found online, I then mashed the cherries by stepping into a garbage bag in the food-grade bucket full of fruit and doing my best Lucille Ball impression! 

Yeast was added the next day and allowed to ferment in this primary stage. After gentle daily stirrings, 5 days later, we carefully siphoned off the liquid from the “must.”

"Must" is juice that contains seeds, skins and stalks.

The liquid will sit in a glass carboy for 30 days before being again “racked” (or siphoned off) in another, clean carboy with a fermentation lock in place. Fermentation locks allow little, if any outside air to penetrate, gas to escape, and keeps unwanted fruit gnats OUT (the bacteria from one gnat can ruin the entire batch).

Notice the bubbles at the top of the glass carboy? That’s the yeast, going to town, converting the sugar into alcohol. After I took the photo of the yeast bubbles, we added handfuls of marbles to bring the liquid up into neck of the carboy (you want as little interaction between liquid and air as possible).

Stay tuned for an update in another three weeks or so….


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