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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    6,242

    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.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Bismarck, ND USA
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    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.
    After 65 years on this earth, I decided to try and make some chokecherry mead wine. I have no idea where to start. Read a lot on-line but still have not found a good recipe that I think I would like. Any help would be greatly appreciated. My email is dwalsh500@gmail.com Thanks Dale

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,354

    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    This thread got bumped to the top just in time.
    My neighbor has a 'wild' black cherry tree that leans over my fence (probably "planted" by a bird, she doesn't take care of her yard, lucky me) , and this year it's packed with plump black cherries. Not enough for jelly but just right to add flavor and color to a batch of mead.

    It's been 12 years since I made any type of homemade wine...long story.... but I have been getting a hankering to make a small batch of mead.

    I was able to pick a little over a pound of cherries; the robins have been on them hard for a few days; and I mixed those cherries with a few raisins. Cooked them at 180 degrees for a little while and added 3 quarts of strained cherry water to a quart of honey. Pitched some Lalvin EC 1118 and away we go.

    Let's see what happens. If nothing else it will be a great color.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    4,180

    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    You will have a fast ferment with the 1118. Which tends to inhibit some of the flavor. And I personal do not care for the cooked flavor produces by cooking the fruit. The raisins will add tannin so you should be good there, and honey as a rule brings enough acidity. My only concerns in your recipe is I did not see where you added any yeast nutrients. A lack of nutrients combined with the hard charging 1118 can bring off flavors. In fact nutrient starves fermentations can result in the production of hydrogen sulfides which causes that rotten egg smell and taste. If the fermentation is still going a 1/2 tsp of nutrients would be beneficial.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,354

    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    Thanks for the advice, Tenbears. I guess I mistakenly thought the raisins would add nutrients. I think I put in too much honey. It might turn out too sweet. I need to get a hydrometer for SG.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    4,180

    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arnie View Post
    Thanks for the advice, Tenbears. I guess I mistakenly thought the raisins would add nutrients. I think I put in too much honey. It might turn out too sweet. I need to get a hydrometer for SG.
    welllllll, I do not think it will be sweet at all. 3 pounds of honey to 3 quarts of water will give you a specific Gravity of around 1.085 to 1.090 which will yield an alcohol by volume (ABV)of between 13 and 14%, EC 1118 can withstand an ABV of 18% so it is sure that the mead will ferment to dryness. But fear not you can back sweeten. Just be sure to use sorbate to prevent re-fermentation. Should have a nice warmth when it goes down. Be sure to age well to ensure smoothness

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,354

    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    If it ferments out dry I think I will prime it with a little sugar or honey before I bottle it so it has a bit of sparkle to it. That and a few years of age and I may have something I can choke down.
    Thanks for the help, Tenbears.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    6,242

    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    I just samples some chokecherry bochetomel that has been bulk aging a couple years. The melter honey makes a sweeter product because of the unfermentable sugars, I used KIV 1116 so it is not flame thrower fuel but it is very very nice.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    4,180

    Default Re: chokecherry melomel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    I just samples some chokecherry bochetomel that has been bulk aging a couple years. The melter honey makes a sweeter product because of the unfermentable sugars, I used KIV 1116 so it is not flame thrower fuel but it is very very nice.
    Sounds Marvelous. I have a batch Of chokecherry, Black cherry blend aging Now. Fingers crossed.

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