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Old 03-18-2013, 11:35 PM   #11
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I would make a guess as to how fermtable it is, then make up the rest with priming sugar. Gonna be a crap shoot at best, but your not gonn ause that much liqure are ya?

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Old 03-18-2013, 11:47 PM   #12
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I would make a guess as to how fermtable it is, then make up the rest with priming sugar. Gonna be a crap shoot at best, but your not gonn ause that much liqure are ya?
Don't know yet. My plan when it gets close to bottling is to grab a 12-oz thief sample of the beer, chill it and maybe force-carb it with one of those 2-liter bottle-cap to CO2-quick-disconnect adapters that I have, and then add a few ml of the liqueur (I'm thinking "cherry cordial" of some sort) at a time until the taste is as close as I can get it.

Once I have the right amount in 12 oz for flavor, then I plan to scale it up and add that scaled amount to the batch for bottling, provided it's not too much sugar for a safe prime, which I'll have to calc ahead of time based on any bottle info I can find. I'll post that info here as I find it, or the guesses I make in the info's absence.

Of course once the yeast chews through it, its taste will have changed. It will likely be hit and miss.

Another option entirely is to make my own cherry cordial liqueur based on one of the many recipes I've found (basically take cherries, sugar and vodka and steep for weeks), and substitute something unfermentable like lactose for the table sugar in the recipe. That way I could prime as normal, add the liqueur to taste and not have to worry.

-Rich
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:49 PM   #13
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or, just add the right amout of sugar to the home made liqueur, that you want for priming....

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Old 03-18-2013, 11:56 PM   #14
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or, just add the right amout of sugar to the home made liqueur, that you want for priming....
Hard to know that ahead of time, when I don't know yet how much the recipe will require for taste.

Also, the final product I'm trying to match is actually pretty sweet, so making it so the sugar will be entirely consumed for CO2 would mean my clone wouldn't be sweet enough.

...I guess I just convinced myself. I'd better start on that custom liqueur, then. Some people online say that Splenda is the best for sugar-free liqueur, which makes sense. Lactose would add a milky note which probably wouldn't work as well.

...Or I could use K-meta and sorbate to stop the yeast, then use the liqueur for backsweetening, keg and force-carb, and try to bottle from the keg.

Dang, so many options.

-Rich
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:15 PM   #15
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One other thing I'm finding and being made to think about is the fact that liqueurs are very sugary, and I probably won't be adding enough to kill the yeast.

Since I want to avoid bottle bombs at all costs, I guess I'm left with two options:

A) kegging, or
B) trying to calculate the amount of sugar in the liqueur addition and have its sugar serve for bottle priming, which will inherently limit how much of it I can use.

I guess I'll find out; I was really looking to bottle this batch. And I really don't want to buy 10 lbs of cherries for my first try: pricey!

-Rich
you can also try stove-top pasteurizing after it reaches the right carbonation
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:33 PM   #16
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you can also try stove-top pasteurizing after it reaches the right carbonation
I've read that thread. It scares me.

The proposition seems to go like this:
  • IF I've primed all bottles uniformly, and
  • IF there's no inequality of yeast among the primed bottles, and
  • IF I don't accidentally put an overcarbonated bottle in the hot water despite testing other bottles, and
  • IF there are no flawed bottles or flawed caps, and
  • IF I don't mismeasure my temperatures, volumes or time...

Then I can have safely carbed bottles, IF they survive the pasteurization process, with sugar that would otherwise have kept fermenting and become bottle bombs. Unless I don't, which I'll find out abruptly at a later unspecified date.

I know Pasteurization is hardly voodoo science, and I know the OP on that thread has never had a problem, but plenty of others in the thread have.

Not the same thing, but my brew buddy had a failed-stabilization situation with a cider he made over the holidays where a wine bottle shattered/exploded across the room from him. It was dumb luck neither he nor his wife was standing next to it at the time. Despite having bottled it all still and (he thought) stabilized, when he uncorked the remainder of the batch to dispose of it safely, each one sounded off like a champagne cork.

No thanks.

/rant

-Rich

[Edit: in case you can't tell, I'm a bit paranoid about backsweetening.]
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:08 PM   #17
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An update on this recipe:

Flavoring day!

I siphoned a liter of the beer out of primary into a 2L soda bottle, squeezed out all the air, and force-carbonated it with my CO2 tank and one of those carbonator caps.

I bought a 750ml bottle of nice cherry liqueur (really, almost a cherry port-style wine by the taste) from my local package store, and began making 2oz pours into snifters and putting in 1/4-tsp at a time, then tasting.

My wife and I arrived at the best flavor by putting 5 full teaspoons of liqueur into 2oz of beer. We needed to sharpen it up with some citric acid powder (the liqueur was pretty oxidized, basically like a tawny port instead of ruby), but came to a scary-good approximation of the real-deal Kasteel Rouge. Success!

Problem is, 5 teaspoons of liqueur in 2 oz is almost a third by volume. This means for my 4 gals of remaining base beer I'd have had to add over a gallon of liqueur! Since the 750ml bottle I bought was over $30, this would have meant over $200.00 (7 bottles)! Whoops!

So the next plan is to make a gallon of my own cherry-cordial liqueur from cherries, vodka and sugar per this recipe, and redo the taste test. This should prove much cheaper, but I have no idea how much almost 20 lbs of cherries will run. I might be stuck either way.

And it'll take another month to steep the cherries. Ill update when I have the chance.

-Rich

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Old 05-12-2013, 05:37 PM   #18
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So I just discovered this beer - Kasteel Rogue. I am half way through my first glass and it's fantastic. Knowing I wanted this beer again and again, when looking for a "clone" recipe, I found your post. Any progress thus far?

Have you tried cherry puree from various sources including vinter's harvest? I added 36-48oz (I think, I'll have to check my notes) of cherry puree from a local source to my latest begian quad. After tasting this Kasteel, it might be more appropriate to age it on the cherry puree and add tart cherry juice? I can get 32oz locally for $6.99.

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Old 05-13-2013, 04:30 PM   #19
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So I just discovered this beer - Kasteel Rogue. I am half way through my first glass and it's fantastic. Knowing I wanted this beer again and again, when looking for a "clone" recipe, I found your post. Any progress thus far?

Have you tried cherry puree from various sources including vinter's harvest? I added 36-48oz (I think, I'll have to check my notes) of cherry puree from a local source to my latest begian quad. After tasting this Kasteel, it might be more appropriate to age it on the cherry puree and add tart cherry juice? I can get 32oz locally for $6.99.
Some progress, but I'm not done yet.

I decided not to go with fresh cherries or puree in secondary when I found that Kasteel itself uses "confectioner-grade" cherry liqueur, and most of the local fresh-cherry sources were either out of cherries (since they're out of season here), or wanted crazy-money for them.

I went with frozen cherries (only slightly less crazy-expensive), and have been steeping them in cheapo vodka to make my own liqueur for about a month now. I tasted the liqueur with my wife over the weekend, and it was excellent, if still pretty boozy.

Only problem is... No free kegs to do the mixing! I have two cornies, and they're currently hosting a Bombardier clone and a honey Kolsch. It'll be a few more weeks before either of them kicks, since they're both still aging themselves into drinkability.

Once that's done, my wife and I will redo the formulation and I'll post about it here.

For reference, here's the recipe I used for the liqueur:

Wisniak (Cherry Cordial)

Base Recipe:
1 pound cherries
2 cups sugar
3 cups vodka

Scaled to 4 liters (1 gallon):
5.7 lbs cherries
11.25 cups sugar (I used 5 lbs even)
4 L vodka

-Rich
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:21 PM   #20
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Where did you find that they used a cherry liquor? The bottle I have says "Belgian ale with cherries and cherry juice added". Adding a cherry syrup/liquor to taste at bottling sure would make things a LOT easier!

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