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  1. #1

    Default Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    Has anybody made a Cherry Wine or Melomel?

    Thinking of this as a possible basis for a Cherry Melomel.

    Cherry Juice & Maple syrup to SG 1.07
    Honey to SG 1.16
    Yeast K1V-1116 (to finish with a gravity of around 1.02 for a semi-sweet to sweet mead)

    Wrathwilde

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Boulder County, CO
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    I just pitched a Cherry mel a couple weeks ago. My recipe went like this.

    Cherry Mel (1 gal)
    ---------------------
    3.2 lbs Huajillo honey
    44 oz Black cherry juice (RW Knudsens)
    1 T green raisins
    nutrient
    5g 71B

    OG = 1.140

    Shooting for a sweet/tart fruity melomel. I have some dried tart cherries I plan to rack onto. I also just found some tart cherry juice today (wish I'd found it sooner as I LOVE tart cherry flavor). I topped up with 5 oz. of tart cherry juice this evening.
    We'll see how it goes!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    byathread,

    Did you happen to take a gravity reading of just the cherry juice to see where you started from?

    Wrathwilde

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Boulder County, CO
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    black cherry juice SG = 1.075 @ 60F

    -kirk

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Troy, MI
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    I make my cherry mels on the fruit. 15-25 lbs pitted morello-type sour cherries, 15-18 lbs honey, water to 5.6 or 6 gallons (depending on how much volume I'm going to lose coming off the fruit), a three week fermentation with 71B-1122, racking off the fruit when the fermentation slows.

    They're pretty good. No, they're really good.

    Mr. Vanity,
    Ken
    It's time for some woodshedding, Willie Mae. The blue light was my blues, and the red light was my mind.

  6. Default Re: Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    I didsweet cherry and tart cherry melomels side by side last summer. At this point, the sweet cherry tastes like Robitussin and the tart cherry tastes AWESOME.

    I just ordered 6 wine cherry trees. I can't believe how hard it is to find fresh tart cherries around here. This is the state with the frickin' Cherry Festival, after all.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    I've made wine from sour cherries and it always tastes like cough syrup. How do you avoid that?


    Brian

  8. Default Re: Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by storm1969
    I've made wine from sour cherries and it always tastes like cough syrup. How do you avoid that?
    This may sound like a stupid question, but are you certain they are tart cherries? I've used sweet cherries in several beverages, and they always turn out like cough syrup. Never had a problem with tarts.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    It was only this summer that I found a truly tart cherry, and of course that was best of all - but the sweet-cherry wine I made last year, dry, was still pretty good. Once I detected the beginning of a cough-syrup taste, I stopped chapitalizing (my usual way), so it fermented out dry. The syrupy taste disappeared. This spring's first cherry melomel was made with sweet cherries too, but remembering last summer's experience, I went for dry and it worked again.

    The sour cherries allowed me to make a somewhat sweeter melomel and wine later on.

    Miriam
    Miriam the Mead Bubeh
    Israeli Kitchen www.mimi54.wordpress.com

  10. #10

    Default Re: Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    Maybe I have been useing to many cherries? My last batch had 6 lbs of cherries per gallon of water. I did half the batch dry and half the batch sweet.

    The cherries are pie cherries. Maybe I just don't like cherry wine. A lot of my friends love the stuff, they think it's great.

    Maybe I just can't get past the cherry cough syrup my mom used to give me. I make a small batch every year for my friends, and use the rest of the cherries for pies and such.

    Brian

  11. Default Re: Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    So has anyone made a good cherry mel from canned cherries or store-purchased juice?

    Getting fresh fuit here isn't really an option, and I've been wanting to do a cherry/vanilla mead.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Miriam
    Once I detected the beginning of a cough-syrup taste, I stopped chapitalizing (my usual way), so it fermented out dry.
    Miriam,

    My ignorance is showing here, but...what is chapitalizing?

    -David

  13. #13

    Default Re: Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    chaptalization - (in winemaking) the correction or improvement of must by the addition of calcium carbonate to neutralize acid, or of sugar to increase alcoholic strength.

    Wrathwilde

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    The OC
    Posts
    7,874

    Default Re: Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    Chapitalization is the addition of sugar or concentrated grape must into the must after they are crushed in order to enhance the flavor or to increase the alcohol percentage. Chapitalization is illegal here in California and in most parts of Southern Europe.

    Most of the time when you mention chapitalization to winemakers they think of adding sugar. Acid adjustments can be made as well, but mostly it means to add sugar or concentrated grape must.

    Cheers,

    Oskaar
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    I hadn't heard the term before either, took the definition from the oxford tome.

    Has Oskaar become invisible he seems to have been replaced by a blue square question mark.

    Wrathwilde

  16. #16

    Default Re: Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    Heavens...I just think of chapitalization as adding increments of sugar over time - to improve flavor/alcohol content, as Oskaar said. A term I picked up out of winemaking books. Honestly, as I have nobody to actually talk to about brewing here, I don't think I've ever even said the word out loud.

    Miriam
    Miriam the Mead Bubeh
    Israeli Kitchen www.mimi54.wordpress.com

  17. Default Re: Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    lol....I'm just a humble country boy here in PA...we don't have those big $2.00 words in these parts...lol, we just call it sugar feeding...

  18. #18

    Default Re: Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    OK, TBD, let's just say it out loud together - you never know what it might do to the brain cells. Ready? Chap... chapital... chapitalization. Ow! I dunnit.

    Miriam
    kind of disappointed that nothing weird happened
    Miriam the Mead Bubeh
    Israeli Kitchen www.mimi54.wordpress.com

  19. Default Re: Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    just curious -- why would "acid adjustments" (making a must less acidic, I assume) be lumped in with "adding sugars"?

    i mean, i can see where making a must less acidic might help the perception of more sweetness (since there's less acidic flavors to wade through), but that's a world of difference from adding more fuel to the fire (so to speak)!

    or is it just that the term refers to general tinkering with the must, rather than letting it lie?

    (heck, i was thinking of playing with the acidity level of an orange ginger mead i'm experimenting with; never thought it would have a twenty-five-cent name!)

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    The OC
    Posts
    7,874

    Default Re: Cherry Melomel Anyone?

    Miriam you crack me up! LOL

    The process is mostly for added sugar, but was named after a guy (Jean-Antoine Chaptal) who was Napolean Bonaparte's minister of agriculture.

    Cheers,

    Oskaar
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

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