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Old 11-05-2012, 08:51 PM   #1
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Default Best cherry form for adding to a cider? Attempting to make a Cherry Bomb

So my wife's favorite cider is Julian's Cherry Bomb. If you haven't had it, it's pretty fantastic. I always taste her ciders and think they are good, but I wouldn't have a bottle by myself. Julian's Cherry Bomb is a cider that I would drink.

I checked out their website to try to get some clues to how they make it. All they say is that they use their hard cider, which is made from juice from a secret blend of five apples, and tart Montmorency cherries.

I've found a site where I can get Montmorency cherries shipped in several forms. The options are frozen, whole cherries in water (canned), dried (unsweetened), and juice. Does anyone have any ideas as to what form will best deliver the flavor of the cherry? Has anyone tried using cherries or juice in a cider? And how much fruit would one use per gallon of cider?

I figure it won't be exact since I don't know their juice blend, but if I can get close we'll all be happy. At $6-$7 a bomber it gets to be an expensive habit. Anytime we find it in a store we usually wipe them out as we can't get them in our state.

Thanks!

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Old 11-05-2012, 10:13 PM   #2
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I make A LOT of cherry cider, with montmorency cherry exclusively. Straight up juice is best. Don't ferment it though, use it to backsweeten you finished cider to taste. Can't remember the typical brix or SG off the top of my head right now though so mot much help calculating the amount you want.

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Old 11-06-2012, 12:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBreton
I make A LOT of cherry cider, with montmorency cherry exclusively. Straight up juice is best. Don't ferment it though, use it to backsweeten you finished cider to taste. Can't remember the typical brix or SG off the top of my head right now though so mot much help calculating the amount you want.
Have you had Cherry Bomb, and if so how does yours compare? Care to share your recipe/method?
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:09 AM   #4
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Never had Cherry Bomb so I can't compare, but the cherry cider I make is ~5% RS and 5.5% ABV. It's an apple base fermented dry, with fresh cherry juice added while stabilizing with sulfite & sorbate and then force carbed. This helps keep the fresh cherry flavors in the cider since they don't get fermented. Big hit during the summer especially.

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Old 11-06-2012, 03:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBreton
Never had Cherry Bomb so I can't compare, but the cherry cider I make is ~5% RS and 5.5% ABV. It's an apple base fermented dry, with fresh cherry juice added while stabilizing with sulfite & sorbate and then force carbed. This helps keep the fresh cherry flavors in the cider since they don't get fermented. Big hit during the summer especially.
Please forgive me. I'm new to brewing so I have a lot of questions.

So what do you mean by 'stabilizing' and where in the process does that occur?

I'm not kegging at this point so carbing in the bottle is my only option. If I ferment the cider out, would it be possible to back sweeten with enough juice to carb the bottles AND give a nice cherry flavor? If I monitor the carbing closely could I cold crash or stove top pasteurize before my bottles started exploding?

Is there another method I'm missing?
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:13 AM   #6
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Stabilizing is a process that uses a combination potassium metabisulfite and potassium sorbate to prevent fermentation making is possible to backsweeten a cider with simple sugars like glucose and sucrose. Used for making sweet, still ciders or sweet, forced carbonated ciders.

For bottle conditioning, definitely use the cherry as a backsweetener and a primer as you wrote. First add the cherry until you've hit the desired taste of what you want the finished cider to be, then add 0.003-0.004 more SG points to take into account how much will be fermented to carbonate. Monitor closely then crash or pasteurize!

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Old 11-06-2012, 12:12 PM   #7
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Awesome...thanks! Just as a guideline to figure out how much juice to order, how much do you add and what is your batch size?

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Old 11-06-2012, 02:01 PM   #8
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Cherry Bomb is probably just Julien's regular cider backsweetened with cherry juice, at least that's what it tastes like to me. If you aren't force carbonating I'm not sure how close you are going to get to it, you could make a cider, bottle carbonate and use reserve cherry juice when you open a bottle to sweeten.

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Old 11-06-2012, 02:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by CRock303 View Post
Cherry Bomb is probably just Julien's regular cider backsweetened with cherry juice, at least that's what it tastes like to me. If you aren't force carbonating I'm not sure how close you are going to get to it, you could make a cider, bottle carbonate and use reserve cherry juice when you open a bottle to sweeten.
That's exactly what it is. I think I'm going to go with LeBreton's suggestion of adding juice to get the flavor where we want it plus a little more to get a few more gravity points for carbonation, and then watching it closely until we get the carbonation we want and then crashing or pasteurizing. I may need some protective clothing and eyewear, but since kegging is number four on my list of big steps to take it will be a little while before I'm able to force carb. If it needs a little boost after bottling then we can mix with juice.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBreton
I make A LOT of cherry cider, with montmorency cherry exclusively. Straight up juice is best. Don't ferment it though, use it to backsweeten you finished cider to taste. Can't remember the typical brix or SG off the top of my head right now though so mot much help calculating the amount you want.
Do you use the concentrate? If so, how much do you usually use for a 5 gal batch? I see that 16 oz and 32 oz bottles can be had.
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