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Homemade Sherry Recipe

This recipe makes a 23-liter carboy of sherry. Sherry is normally made from Palomino grapes, but you can also use some old concentrate instead of throwing it away (or buy some at greatly reduced prices).

Sherry is usually drinkable in 2-3 years, though it will improve with much longer aging. Patience is the secret!

Ingredients

  • 5 gram package sherry flor yeast
  • 5 liters white grape juice concentrate
  • 21 liters water
  • 7.5 pounds sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon sulphite crystals
  • 1/3 tablespoon acid mixture 'B'
  • 2 teaspoons yeast nutrient
  • 13 grams precipitated chalk (calcium carbonate) per gallon
  • 30 ml of natural oak essence (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare yeast 24 hours in advance.
  2. Mix juice concentrate, 20 liters warm water, 6 pounds sugar, sulphite crystals, acid mixture, and yeast nutrient.
  3. Adjust (sulphuric) acidity to 4.5 parts per thousand (PPT) and specific gravity to 115.
  4. Set aside 2 cups of this prepared must and add 1/4 of the prepared yeast to these 2 cups.
  5. Add remaining yeast to the remaining must and stir well.
  6. Cover fermentor and keep near furnace (you need a place with high fluctuations in temperature).
  7. After fermentation has started, add the 2 cups that were set aside.
  8. On the third day of fermentation, feed the yeast with 1.5 pounds of sugar dissolved in 1 liter of water.
  9. Allow fermentation to go for another 4-5 days, stirring twice a day.
  10. At end, put 13 grams of precipitated chalk per gallon into gallon jugs and give them a good shake.
  11. Put on airlocks without water. Use cotton balls to allow some oxidation.
  12. Keep at fluctuating temperature for 9-10 months undisturbed  - this allows a flor to form on the surface within 4 months.If no flor appears within 5 months, or as soon as flor drops into the wine, rack, sweeten, and fortify with 1 cup of brandy.
  13. Age in gallon jugs for 2-3 years before bottling. Don't worry about oxidization; it's beneficial!
  14. Add natural oak essence before bottling.