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Old 11-16-2012, 01:35 PM   #1
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Default How to add cherries to secondary

My current brew, a chocolate cherry stout is in primary and I will be needing to add 5 pounds of cherries to secondary soon.
Recipe calls for soaking 5 pounds of cherries in bourbon and freezing for 2 days then adding. I bought 5 pounds of frozen cherreis. Do I need to boil the cherries first to kill bacteria? Or some other method to kill bacteria.

What procedure do you guys use for your fruit additons?

Thanks

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Old 11-16-2012, 01:53 PM   #2
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Typically frozen fruits are good just the way they are. I usually freeze my fruits before using them. This helps in breaking down the cellular walls, so the natural sugars can be more easily released. Thawing frozen fruits also makes prepping them easier too. You don't have to work too hard to make sure they are all macerated.

Did you soak them in the bourbon first, then freeze them ?? If not, I would thaw them first, and save the juice. Then soak the cherry must (flesh) in the bourbon, and use as little bourbon as you can. Then dump the whole thing into the secondary. But I would make sure that the SG is close to the FG.

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Old 11-16-2012, 02:02 PM   #3
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I've not used cherries, but I did a strawberry blonde ale earlier this year. I bought fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and quartered them, and then froze them. When it was time to go, I put them (still frozen) in a mesh bag, dropped them in the bottom of a bucket, and racked on top. This worked very well.

There's some risk of infection, I suppose, but given that you've already got alcoholic beer, it's small. The main thing would be worrying about an aceto infection, since that will give you vinegar---most other bacteria wouldn't have any sugars left to eat anyway. In a stout, using a stronger alcohol like bourbon might not be a bad thing, but for my blonde ale I didn't want any of those flavors. So in my case, I trusted doing a thorough washing to reomove surface bacteria and it worked out.

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Old 11-16-2012, 02:28 PM   #4
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Bombo does it in a similar way to me. It is likely that the frozen fruit will have very little bacteria, and the alcohol in the beer should kill the rest. The bourbon certainly should kill just about anything.

That being said, I typically pasturize the fruit in one pint of water per pound of fruit. Then I just add the remaining liquid. This way you don't have cellulose sucking up beer.

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Old 11-16-2012, 03:40 PM   #5
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So bombo. Thaw soak in bourbon. Save juice. Refreeze. Thaw when ready to add to secondary. Add cherries, juice, and bourbon?

Thanks everyone!!

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Old 11-16-2012, 07:59 PM   #6
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I brewed a belgian golden strong ale about 10 weeks ago. After 3 weeks in primary I moved it to secondary and added 24 ounces of door country cherry concentrate. Just took a little taste last night and the cherry flavor really came through pretty nice. Going to add Roeselare blend to it and let it go for a year and see what comes out the other side. Pretty optimistic with it at this point, and planning a cherry stout using the concentrate again.

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Old 12-11-2012, 01:00 AM   #7
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I have a weizen with about 7lbs of previously frozen cherries in the secondary. It's been in there about four weeks and is still bubbling. Should I let it ferment completely out with the fruit? Or, should I separate the beer from the cherries at some point? I guess I'm just a little concerned about the fruit spoiling. Probably not likely, but I'm still a little concerned. Any advice?

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Old 12-11-2012, 09:18 AM   #8
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You can just let it finish. The fruit are fine.

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Old 12-11-2012, 10:44 AM   #9
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You don't need to take it off for the sake of the fruit. It's not a bad idea to rack off of it for a few days to a week before bottling if you want to minimize cloudiness, though.

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