View Full Version : Usages sour cherry juice

08-09-2014, 09:21 AM
Hey. NewBee...
I made about 30 lites(7.9 gallons) cherry juice concentrate from boiling about 30 kg(64 lbs?) of sour cherries yesterday. The juice alone has now a gravity of 1.06 .

My questions is :
-What/how should I use this juice for?
-Can I freeze some of it?
-Should I water it out when making mead or just add honey? Other recipes(mead recipes, juice making/boiling recipes) seem to be using a lot less weight of cherries pr volume juice. I basically just boild it with a little water on low temperates squeezed and sifted out as much juice as possible.
-I got lalvin yeast 71b. Whats the max and recommended OG a mead using 71b should have if fermented to dry FG 0?

The juice is just standing there in a plastic carboy at the moment so I have to do something with it soon I guess.


08-09-2014, 10:19 AM
This isnt exactly goin to answer your question, bu tim just goin to give you my exp with cherry juice. Made a 2gallon batch using 3 quarts sweet cherry juice and 2 quarts tart. It was juice you could just buy off the shelf, cant remember the name though. Added 4.5lbs honey and used 71b. Starting gravity was ~1.124 ending gravity was ~1.008. It tasted like cough medcine, hopefully it will age at bit and get better.

08-09-2014, 11:57 PM
Sour cherries supposedly do not impart a cough syrup-like flavor; sweet cherries do.

If it were me, I wouldn't thin the juice a bit. Add enough honey to bring the gravity up to 1.100 or so, higher if you're into that, but no higher than 1.125. You might be able to get 71B to go higher, but it'd likely add years to your aging time. I'd use a light-flavored honey, the more floral the better. Plan to take it dry as I suspect the nutrients in the fruit juice will take it there one way or another. My goal would be to let the cherry profile dominate, but back it up (and balance the acid you'll get) with a good dose of honey sweetness. Consider adding vanilla, and/or oak. I don't recall which oak has the most vanillin, but the info is on this forum somewhere... that's the oak you'd want.

Medsen Fey
08-10-2014, 01:39 PM
If you have concentrated sour cherry juice with a gravity of 1.060, and you ferment it dry, you will have enough acidity for it to peel your tongue.

With that much tart cherry in a batch, I'd probably take the gravity up to 1.110, make sure the pH is no lower than 7.4, ferment it to completion (71B would be fine), then backsweeten it like crazy to reach a drinkable balance. Wouldn't surprise me if you had to use 1.5 pounds per gallon or more to backsweeten - something like 1.060 as a final gravity. That will give you a dessert mead that will be spectacular.

Whatever you don't use, you can freeze (or send to me - I'll give it a good home) :D

08-11-2014, 11:41 PM
Very good points, Medsen. Especially the one regarding any excess; send it here!

I've been looking around for tart cherry juice, and finally found it, not from concentrate, for $5.37 per quart. Thinking about it, but ouch!

08-12-2014, 04:17 PM
Have cherry blossom honey....about 13 kg. As I will soon get some free ripe grapes, I see a payment in my future.....and maybe a batch of traditional

Chevette Girl
08-13-2014, 07:09 PM
Heh, I picked and froze a pound or two of choke cherries (what the bear left me), last time I used them I really really wish I'd backsweetened, when I bottled it, it could strip paint :) I'm hoping aging will have helped a bit.

08-30-2014, 06:52 AM
I've made this mead about 3 weeks ago now and it started to settle.

The way I did it was...
~20 liter(5.2 US gallon) cherry juice
~10 liter(2.6 US gallon) water & "wild raspberry" honey (the cherry juice was very intense so I mixed in a bit of water)
Lalvin 71B
sg 1.10
Ph did not measure(dont have any way to measure it)

The fermention was so active its basically was boiling. Now activity has settled down to below a blop(?) a minute and ~an inch of sediment has formed.

So do I rack it now?(I read somewhere that the brewer should get 71b of the lees as fast as possible )
How long in the secondary?
Can I bulk age it in a big glass carboy and for how long? How many rackings should be performed before long term aging?

Consider adding vanilla, and/or oak.
When do I add vanilla and or oak and how much?

...backsweeten it like crazy to reach a drinkable balance...
Do I backsweeten it after aging?

Medsen Fey
08-30-2014, 08:22 AM
Let it finish. When it is done and gravity is stable then rack. You can plan on racking it again after it accumulates more than inch of lees or at 4-5 weeks, whichever comes first. Make sure to top up. Then you can rack it again after it accumulates another thick layer (or after it clears). The tannins and anthocyanins in cherry juice will usually allow for fast clearing.

You can keep in glass carboys until ready for bottling. I would recommend long aging under airlock (like 1-2 years) if you don't plan to stabilize. When you rack, I would consider adding 1 Campden tablet per gallon.

You can go ahead with oak now. I'd wait on vanilla; might not need it. Oak is a very personal thing, but I'd start gently with Oz of medium toast Hungarian cubes and Oz American heavy toast cubes. You can always add more later.

When it is clear, take a glass and taste. I'm sure the acid will be too intense. Then slowly mix in honey, a little at a time and keep tasting until it finds a balance you like. Check the gravity at that point and come back to taste it again hour later to see if you still like it. If you have trouble finding a point you like, let us know and we can give some suggestions on how to approach it. Once you have identified a target gravity, you can add honey to get to a little below that point in the rest of the batch (if you add too much you can't get it back).

You are going to need a larger container (or a second one). I would dose it again with Campden tablets when sweetening. Then let it sit for a few weeks to makes sure gravity remains stable. Then taste it again. If you feel you need to bring it up to the target level, then add more honey. Keep under airlock and wait for it to clear again (honey will add some haze). If you want more oak, add it.

Then let it sit for a long time.

Then bottle.

Where can I find some of this juice,? my mouth is watering. :)