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Old 07-18-2013, 01:45 AM   #1
Matteo57
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Default Cherries to use??

Is there a better or worse or.... bad choice to use for cherries in sours/lambic beers? I have heard dried tart cherries are best but I've having trouble finding any without sunflower oil on them. Is there anything wrong with the regular cherries found in the grocery store? Pitting them and freezing them for a day or two and then racking the beer onto those? Thoughts?
This would be for an oud bruin, probably oaked lightly with some oak that sat in pinot noir barrels.. yah.. supplication style a bit but not trying to clone it.
Thanks!!!

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Old 07-18-2013, 01:55 AM   #2
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My low knowledge guess is that you could use about any cherry and not ruin the beer, but I believe the classic cherry was a specific tart veriety that has waning commercial acerage in belgium. My friend has a pie cherry tree that I'm going to try.

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Old 07-18-2013, 02:29 AM   #3
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True, I doubt it would ruin it... but would it be that great? Or, would you be able to tell a huge difference between the tart and sweeter cherry variety?

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Old 07-18-2013, 02:33 AM   #4
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A local brewery made a kriek with flathead lake sweet cherries and it seemed to have a very tame cherry flavor, so I would suggest either more (maybe a lot more) sweet cherries, or just try to find tart cherries. Maybe drop the cash and get a can from northern brewer?

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Old 07-18-2013, 05:10 PM   #5
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I'd go with tart cherries. I think the most common variety in the US is Montmorency, but I don't think I've ever seen the variety listed on them at the farmers markets and such.

Harvest time is usually June/July, so you might be able to find fresh right now. The problem is finding ones that haven't been sugared. If you can't find fresh un-sugared and you cant find frozen, you can consider using juice. Looks like you live in Cali...if you have a Trader Joes close by, they have 100% Cherry Juice. I think it's about 3.50 a quart, it's preservative free, and it's pretty tart. I don't think it's 100% tart cherries...probably a blend, but it's definitely tart. There's also Knudsen Tart Cherry Juice but I think it's usually a bit more expensive. I just used a gallon of Trader Joes in a Wisconsin Belgian Red clone.

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Old 07-18-2013, 07:44 PM   #6
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I heard trader joe's carries them here and there sometimes as well.
So, if I use regular sweet cherries, is it going to taste way off? Like brooksy said, would I just need to add more? Is it just the amount of flavor them impart? I would think it would be more of the actual flavor profile it would impart.
Thanks for the info and suggestions!

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Old 07-18-2013, 07:45 PM   #7
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*Double post Deleted*

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Old 07-18-2013, 08:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matteo57
I heard trader joe's carries them here and there sometimes as well.
So, if I use regular sweet cherries, is it going to taste way off? Like brooksy said, would I just need to add more? Is it just the amount of flavor them impart? I would think it would be more of the actual flavor profile it would impart.
Thanks for the info and suggestions!
My disclaimer is I've never used sweet cherries so I don't have firsthand experience, but I've heard sometimes you get cough syrup flavors with them whereas tart cherries give you that bright tart flavor that most people are after in a cherry flavored beer. Again, I've never tried it myself so that could be more myth than fact. Maybe someone else has tried both and can chime in.
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:18 PM   #9
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Ideally you want morello cherries, but I don't think they are easy to find. Morello are darker and juicier than the montmorency (pie) cherries. I've never found any so I'm just going to plant some.

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Old 07-19-2013, 06:05 PM   #10
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If it helps, I am looking into planting some Montmorency Cherry trees for use in my sours.

Check out: http://www.arborday.org/Shopping/Trees/TreeDetail.cfm?id=95

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