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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    1,256

    Default chokecherry melomel?

    Has anyone here ever made this?

    We picked a batch of chokecherries at our place in upstate Ny last month, and made jelly from them. It was some of the best jelly I've ever had. The flavor was cherry-like, but much richer,and with all sorts of subtle elements.

    Just wondering if I should make some melomel with them next summer?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jefferson Co., WV, USA
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    157

    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    I planted some last year hoping to make mels from them in a few years. They supposed to make a great wine so should make a good mead. WVMJ
    Meadmaking with WVMJ at Meads and Elderberry Winemaking

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    4,089

    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    I have made a lot of wine over the last fity some years. My Grand dad had me making it when I was way too young to drink it. The only caution I would have is that the cherries are small and I would rack it off the fruit quickly after a short fast fermentation or the tannin from the pits can get a bit intense for some. Ten days is good. I pour boiling water over berries to kill critters and go from there. Two gallons of berries is enough for at least six gallons of wine. I am making my first mead with it as soon as the weather turns cooler and my basement stays more stable below seventy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Federal Way / Wenatchee, WA
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    45

    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    Personally.. Although a pain it would be, I'd pit them..

    And I'd freeze the fruit first, this gets you past the boiling-water part without worry of the hot water setting some of the pectin and causing a haze (takes more pectic enzmye than normal, when the pectin has been heated)

    I'd only add enough water to the juice, to bring the acidity in-check.

    Made some regular cherry wine, but havent got my hands on chokecherries yet..
    Same process though..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    It would be tough to pit them, because there's very little flesh between the skin and pit. To make the jelly, we boiled them with a fair amount of water until the fruits burst open, then strained off all but the juice. The flavor was still unbelievably intense. You might not need a lot to give a fairly deep flavor and beautiful color.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Federal Way / Wenatchee, WA
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    45

    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    Yeah I was aware there wasnt much flesh, just not sure how willingly the flesh gives up the pit.. If it clings, then pitting wouldnt be worth it & something like that might be a better option..

    But if you can get the pits out, you'll benefit from the flesh of the fruit spending more time in the fermentation..

    'Ideal' and 'possible' dont always work well together, lol

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    4,089

    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    My next to favorite batch of melomel is one I made with chokecherries and melter honey out of my wax melter. I call it a bochetomel and I wish it was legal to mail you a bottle. It is wonderful young! Not even a year old and no raw or hot tastes. I used KIV and it is around 16% alcohol and the carmelized honey makes its perception that of a slightly sweet mead. I think I will use light honey this August when the chokecherries ripen and see the difference. The only reason I don't use the melter honey on all my meads now is if I want them dry. I am going to make some PR with lots of melter honey and EC-1118. I am bottling a carboy of mead where I was supposed to be making a quick sweet mead using 71B and used the EC-1118! When it was a year old, I had to be talked out of dumping it! Now it is absolutely wonderful and about 21% ABV. I guess sampling is making me talkative.
    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Has anyone here ever made this?

    We picked a batch of chokecherries at our place in upstate Ny last month, and made jelly from them. It was some of the best jelly I've ever had. The flavor was cherry-like, but much richer,and with all sorts of subtle elements.

    Just wondering if I should make some melomel with them next summer?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jefferson Co., WV, USA
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    We got chokecherries on our trees we planted finally this year, cant wait to try some! I did a writeup on Bochetomels for BC last year, we are still aging our elderberry bochetomel, put in a few to many cocao nibs to go with the bochet honey and its got to get mellowed a little before bottling. I have never picked chokecherries before, how can you tell when they are ripe? If you guys boil them for jelly then they can also be steamed in a steam juicer, would you think that would work well also? WVMJ
    Meadmaking with WVMJ at Meads and Elderberry Winemaking

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    4,089

    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    My grandfather took me on as the chokecherry wine apprentice when I was 8 years old and actually took over the franchise (one less thing for him to do) for a number of years. No science or wine making knowledge and some years it was very good and some years barely drinkable depending on the temperature of the house and how much wild yeast found its way In with the bread yeast used to make it.

    We dumped boiling water over the berries to kill off the wild yeast. Today I would use cambden tablets if I felt it necessary but I don't. I think the boiling to extract the juice or the steam extractor give it a medicine taste and only do that to make pancake/ice cream syrup or jelly.

    When picking for syrup or jelly, I pick them when the berries are still red and firm. For wine/mead I like them black and soft. The birds love the berries and you can expect an onslaught once they start to ripen. Here, there are more berries than birds or bears or raccoons or skunks. By the scat you can see that everyone is eating them in season. The indiians pounded them pits and all into a paste and mixed it with meat and tallow to make pemmican which I have tasted and only tastes good on very cold sub zero days when you are snowshoeing or otherwise playing mountain man or indian. I am sure it kept people from getting scurvy in the winter months.

    I am looking forward to rinsing cappings until I get to hydrometer reading 1.125 and adding freshly picked black ripe chokecherries with a half pound of raisins and 10MG of KIV-1116 or RC212. I might make a batch with EC-1118 but it will need put away for about three years before it is any good. Here the drive to the mountains takes longer than the picking. I can fill a five gallon bucket in 45 minutes on a good unharvested patch. You have a month to pick them here. Just keep going higher up the hill.

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