North Star Cherry Wine

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  • 4-5 lbs ripe North Star Cherries
  • 1-1/2 lbs finely granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • ˝-1/4 tsp acid blend or malic acid
  • 1 crushed Campden tablet
  • water to make up a gallon
  • Red Star Premier Couvee or Lalvin 71B-1122 wine yeast

Dissolve sugar in 3 quarts boiling water ahead of time and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, using only ripe fruit, de-stem and pit cherries as soon after picking as is practical. Either (1) freeze the pitted cherries for later use (when thawed, it will be easier to extract their juice) or (2) crush and tie inside a nylon straining bag in primary. Add crushed Campden tablet, acid, and water with dissolved sugar to primary. Cover primary and set aside for 10-12 hours. Add pectic enzyme, recover primary and set aside additional 10-12 hours. Add yeast starter and recover primary. Punch down bag daily, squeezing gently each time, for approximately 10 days. Remove cherries, pressing lightly. Transfer to secondary, top up if required and attach airlock. Rack after 30 days and then every two months until wine clears, topping up and reattaching airlock after eack racking. After wine clears, continue racking every two months until no sediments appear on bottom of secondary. Stabilize, wait 10-14 days, and rack into bottles. Age at least 6 months before tasting, but 12 months is ideal. [Author’s own recipe]