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Crayfish 01-06-2009 08:04 PM

Cherry Ale ?'s
I have a light American Ale kit I need to use and thought I might as well experiment with it. I want to make a very cherry tasting ale. I am aiming for some sweetness and a little tartness.

If I use fresh cherries, do they need to ne pitted? If so, is there a trick do doing it?

The kit has nottingham yeast. Will it totally dry out the cherries in the secondary if I add them then?

If so, do I use lactose to retain sweetness? If so, how much and when do I add it?

Is there an advantage to using dried vs frozen vs fresh vs juice? I have 3 pounds of fresh ones but I think I'll need a lot more if I really want it to be a large part of the flavor.

Thanks for looking!

homebrewer_99 01-06-2009 08:27 PM

Same asnwer as another thread...1/2 gal of 100% Cherry juice from Fareway. Even makes the brew pink...;)

MoRoToRiUm 01-06-2009 10:55 PM

Don't know 100% about the juice, but you definitely want to go with a concentrate/extract when it comes to cherry. I'dd just add it before bottling/kegging.

Cpt_Kirks 01-06-2009 11:30 PM

I have a cherry wheat carbing now.

Used 5lbs of cherries (canned tart and frozen black cherries). Mashed them with a potato masher and heated them to 170*. Let them cool, added to Better Bottle and racked from the primary on top of them.

Kegged the batch 7 days later. It is TASTY!


homebrewer_99 01-06-2009 11:55 PM


Originally Posted by MoRoToRiUm (Post 1046888)
Don't know 100% about the juice, but you definitely want to go with a concentrate/extract when it comes to cherry. I'dd just add it before bottling/kegging.

It's not "juice" as in mixed with other fruits, but 100% juice from the cherry...you can call it extract.

The label says: Indian Summer Montmorency Cherry Juice, 100% pure Cherry, 46 fl oz., ingredients: Montmorency Red Tart Cherry Juice and Montmorency Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate...that's all...;)

I used two in a batch of wheat and it tastes a lot like the canned cherry pie filling.

MoRoToRiUm 01-07-2009 01:12 AM

As long as it's sanitary, with cherries some kind of boil (or commercial juice/extract); I have read that if you use natural cherries, once you boil or sanitize them, you kill a lot of the good flavors. As posted by Cpt Kirks, a canned type should be alright, considering they're good for canning and have the good flavors maintained (I don't know if his boil was necessary, but sounds like it should turn out alright).

Crayfish 01-07-2009 02:33 PM

Thanks for all of the replies. I'll let you all know how it goes. Probabaly going to use the fresh ones I have and supplement with some canned as well. However, it may be more cost effective to go with juice. I'll see what I can find at the stores around here.

Crayfish 01-26-2009 04:58 PM

I need to add more cherries. Tastes good but its still in secondary adn could use more.

Do they need to be pitted? Will the pits have an effect on the beer's taste?


MoRoToRiUm 01-26-2009 07:44 PM

I would personally pit them; I think I read somewhere that the pits can make it bitter...

Crayfish 01-26-2009 10:42 PM

I was afraid someone would say that. Thanks though. Pitting mutliple lbs. of cherries is a pain...

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