In good years cherry plums are very fruitful—one tree can yield up to 100 kilos of cherry plums. One of the most interesting ways of processing them is by making homemade cherry plum wine.
You can make wine from any variety of cherry plums, be it purple, red or yellow. Thanks to their high sugar content the red and apricot cherry plums are the best suited for winemaking. To prevent your homemade wine from getting contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms, you should sterilize all vessels with boiling hot water and then wipe them dry.
- Cherry plums – 3 kilos
- Water – 4 liters
- Sugar – 300 grams per liter of the juice
- Unwashed raisins – 100 grams (optional)
How to Make Cherry Plum Wine
Sort out the cherry plums by removing the leaves, stems, and spoilt, moldy fruits. Don’t rinse the cherry plums as this will wash away wild yeast on their surface. Crush the fruits into a homogenous liquid puree. Be sure not to crush the stones as this will make your cherry plum wine bitter.
Add the raisins and water and stir well. The raisins will secure fermentation in case wild yeast will let you down. Tie the neck of the container with cheesecloth and move the diluted puree to a dark place with a temperature of 18-28°C. Stir the mixture 2-3 times a day to drown the pulp in juice.
After 2-3 days, once fermentation starts (foaming, hissing and sour smell) decant the fermented juice and strain the pulp through cheesecloth. Decant the obtained juice into a bottle or a jar. Add 100 grams of sugar per liter of the juice and stir.
Fill a fermentation vessel up to ¾ of its volume to leave enough space for foam and carbon dioxide, as well as the next sugar batch. Attach an airlock of any design. You can use a medical glove with a pierced finger—it’s enough for a homemade drink. Move the vessel to a dark place with a temperature of 18-28°C.
Cherry plum must fermenting under an airlock
After 4 days, add the second sugar batch—100 grams per liter of the juice. To do this, decant 300-500 ml of the fermenting must separately, mix it with sugar, and pour the obtained syrup back into the wine vessel. Attach the airlock once again. After another 5-6 days, add the last sugar batch (100 grams per liter) in the same way.
Depending on the temperature and yeast activity homemade cherry plum wine ferments for 20-50 days.
If fermentation doesn’t stop 50 days after you’ve started making the cherry plum wine, you’ll have to decant the wine through a tube and let it ferment under the airlock. This will prevent the wine from becoming bitter.
Once fermentation stops (lighter must, sediment at the bottom, airlock not bubbling, deflated glove) you can decant the young wine through a thin tube. Try It and add sugar to your taste or fortify with vodka (ethanol)—2-15% of its volume.
Pour the wine into aging containers and try to fill them up to the brim to prevent any contact with oxygen. Seal with corks or attach the airlock once again for 7-10 days in case you added sugar.
Move the homemade cherry plum wine to a dark place with a temperature of 5-16°C for 30-90 days. Decant the wine if you see a 2-5 cm layer of sediment forming (once every 20-30 days). Your homemade alcoholic drink is ready when sediment is no longer forming.
Yellow cherry plum wine after 3 months of aging
For longer storage bottle and cork the drink. The resulting cherry plum wine has a rich fragrance and slightly astringent flavor. It has 11-12% ABV and can be stored up to 3-4 years. The yield is 65-70% of the juice volume.