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  1. #1
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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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
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    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
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    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    I've only made twenty or so batches. Pour the boiling water over to kill critters, you aren't boiling the fruit. If you have pectinayse by all means stir it in a day or so before you pitch yeast. I have great results just waiting for the must to cool down to non lethal temps for the yeasties. Freezing to help release juice would be great but I don't find you need to. Color is intense though it will start to settle out after ten years or so.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    Last night I put together 3 gallons of chokecherries, a pound of raisins, 12 pounds of honey with six more reserved for day ten when I rack off the fruit, 10 mg KIV-1116, and water to 6 1/2 gallons. aerated it furiously and going down to areate again and see if the yeast is having a good lunch. All this talk made me think it was time.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    This had already worked down to SG 1.000 on the 4th day! I added another 3 pounds of honey. Five more days and I will rack it off the fruit and decide whether or not to add more honey.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    This had already worked down to SG 1.000 on the 4th day! I added another 3 pounds of honey. Five more days and I will rack it off the fruit and decide whether or not to add more honey.
    Pictures?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    I don't know how and it is just dark purple in a white sealed brewbucket. Wish I could supply what you want.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    I don't know how and it is just dark purple in a white sealed brewbucket. Wish I could supply what you want.
    Understood. I was hoping you were brewing it in a glass carboy. Our chokecherry jelly was such a rich beautiful color.

    Maybe when you bottle it?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    The wine will be the same color as the jelly I make which is the color you describe. That intense color will settle out of the wine in seven or eight years though.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    Maybe one of the new tannin additives that sacrafice themselves to be precipitated out instead of your polyphenols might protect the color? WVMJ
    Meadmaking with WVMJ at Meads and Elderberry Winemaking

  15. #15
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    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    Quote Originally Posted by WVMJ View Post
    Maybe one of the new tannin additives that sacrafice themselves to be precipitated out instead of your polyphenols might protect the color? WVMJ
    Err.... New tannins? Enlighten me, dear friend lol

  16. #16
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    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    Guess I don't speak polyphenols. I just make some mead to give away and serve for holidays. My methodology is good enough for the people I hang out with. It still tastes the same when the color does slip to the bottom if kept from oxidation. My chokecherry melomel has gone dry and pretty much stopped working. The KIV-1116 is out of sugar. I planned to rack into secondary at ten days. Getting must off the pits and and berries will reduce the amount of tannin. Tomorrow is 9 and I think it will be close enough and I will add honey to bring it back to 1.030 and let it work back down dry and maybe repeat. Haven't decided. Tastes pretty fair just the way it is if you like a dry merlot type wine.
    Last edited by Vance G; 09-22-2013 at 07:16 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    Mead has worked back down to 1.000 I decided to rack off the fruit today and got six gallons, add another pound per gallon of bochet honey and bulk age for a year or so now. I look at that still black ripe fruit that has not given nearly its all and am tempted to add 15 pounds more honey and water to six gallon mark and see what I get in another ten days. I have the usual surplus of melter honey. After four days with the chokecherries one could not taste the burned honey at all. Think I will give it a go.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    After racking six gallons off the lees and fruit, I added water to fill the bucket back up and melter honey to get to an OG of around 1.120.
    I threw in 8 oz of pollen and aerated. I airlocked it for no particular reason. This morning my wife was in the basement and made the pointed remark that my science project was making a lot of noise! I knew that my army of KIV's would be huge and this fermentation would not take long. The airlock was steady in its outgassing, just constant flow of C02. I popped the lid, there was a mountain of foam and berries and raisins pushed up high out of the must. I aerated and degassed. The SG is down to 1.070 and I am betting this party will effectively be over in another two and a half days. The berries apparently were still up to the task I set them. The must tasted just like thinned chokecherry pankcake syrup again. Marvelous reservoirs of flavoring are these little bitter cherries. A lot of people will be getting a bottle Christmas after next.

  19. #19
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    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?

  20. #20
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    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

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