Last month I finally got around to making wine from the cherries we picked last summer from the cherry trees growing on the grounds of nearby St. Francis Seminary. I had them stored in the freezer and I set them out to thaw for a few days last month. We has picked a little more than 20 pounds which should be enough for a decent 3 gallon batch of wine.
After the cherries had thawed they released a lot of their juice, freezing the fruit helps break the cell walls and causes the juice to flow. I took a gravity reading if the juice and it was 1.050 pretty sweet considering it didn’t tase terribly sweet. I chaptalized with about 4 cups of white sugar and also added about a gallon and a half of water. Tossed in some pectic enzyme and pitched Montrachet yeast the next morning. The starting gravity was 1.087.
Three weeks later I pressed the cherries and transferred the wine to a 3 gallon carboy. Gravity at pressing was 1.002, I expect to to go down to around 0.995 before it finishes.
I didn’t press the cherries too terribly hard, I didn’t want to damage any of the pits and add excessive tannin to the wine. I also saved the pressed cherries and put them back into the freezer with the intent of adding them to a future beer.
The wine at pressing was decent, though pretty tart, I’m not sure this will be too great if I leave it dry.