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Old 06-27-2012, 05:08 PM   #1
mxfuel
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Default Cherry Beer

I have recently got permission to pick some Nottingham cherrys from a neighbors place. I have a few questions. I think I can find a cherry wheat recipe on here but do you always have to make a wheat beer or can you use a different style? What kind of prep work do I need to do on the cherrys before adding them to a secondary (like mashing the cherrys first or just boiling them?). When should I transfer to the secondary? How many pounds of cherrys should I pick for a 5 gallon batch? Please post some all grain recipes to help me out. Thanks in advance.

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Old 06-27-2012, 05:17 PM   #2
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:27 PM   #3
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Um what does "subscribed" mean?

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Old 06-27-2012, 05:53 PM   #4
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When I do fruit beers, I freeze the fruit first. This helps to break down the cells so that the flavor will be absorbed better. I add the fruit to the secondary, slicing/mashing. Some people make a puree. Before slicing up I'll rinse with hot water, but I'm really not sure if this does anything to kill any bacteria, it just makes me sleep better. Usually adding it to the secondary, after the yeast has done it's business, will produce enough alcohol to kill off anything. I shoot for about 1lb/gal with fruit.

example: this weekend I'm doing a cherry barleywine. 10lbs of cherries, smoking half, all added to the secondary. Hope this helps.

Also, "subscribed" means that he will get notifications when someone replies to the thread.

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Old 06-27-2012, 06:46 PM   #5
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You can add cherries to any style. I added them to a robust porter and it was one of the best I've ever brewed. When I added them to the porter I added them after the beer was kegged and chilled and I kept the beer at 40 degrees. This prevented the sugar from fermenting out of the cherries so the sweetness from the cherries remained.

If you add the cherries to the secondary and keep the beer at ale temps the yeast will ferment out most of the sugar from the cherries resulting in a tart cherry flavor. Which is better? Depemds on what you are looking for in the finished beer. When I brew blueberry and watermelon wheat beers I add the fruit to the secondary and keep them at ale temps. The resulting tartness is perfect in the summer.

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Old 06-28-2012, 02:06 AM   #6
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My mistake the cherrys are called nanking cherrys. These cherrys are smaller than the normal cherrys I find at the store. I will try to mash them. I was also thinking on putting them in a hop bag so that I could get them out easy. I will also freeze them first. I was thinking I would shoot for 2lbs/gal or so. Some of the research I found is to make a beer that isn't too malty or hopy so that the fruit flavor comes through more. So any recipes that you suggest?

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Old 06-28-2012, 05:29 PM   #7
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My usual recipee for a fruit beer is:
5.5 gallon batch

5 lbs Pilsner 2-row
5 lbs White Wheat malt
1 oz crystal hops at 60 min
1 oz crystal hops at 15 min
Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast

I mash at 152 degrees for 60 min.

Crystal hops works great with fruit beers because it is light and herbally. I shoot for abiut 25 ibus. It is just enough for the hops to be noticed withput overpowering the fruit. One of my biggest pet peaves when I try different fruitt beers is too many are all fruit and no beer. They taste like wine coolers. With this recipe you get a nice balance. When I ferment this beer I heep the temp right at 60 degrees which produces very clean fermentation.

Using a hop bag is necessary because the fruit will clog a racking cane. I haven't used this recipee for a cherry beer but it worked great with blueberry abd watermelon. I pureed the fruit and added it to the secondary and kept the beer at 60 degrees. The result was nice tart- dry fruit beers. perfect for the summer.

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Old 06-28-2012, 06:40 PM   #8
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Great, this is the recipe I will try. I do have two questions though. When do you rack to the secondary? Do you add any rice hulls or do you have any problems when you are draining the wort?

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Old 06-28-2012, 07:48 PM   #9
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I played around with cherries for the first time last summer and I went with a wheat. This year I'm trying a Cherry IPA. I fermented the beer in my primary for about two weeks and it's been "dry hoping" with hops and cherries for about a week now and will be kegged this weekend.

I boiled the cherries for about 15 minutes and sanitized my potato masher at the same time, then cooled and mashed the cherries and threw them in the carboy seeds, juice and all. Dropped in the hops and racked the beer on top of the whole thing. I used about 2.5 lbs for a 5 gallon batch only because that's the amount that was given to me. It will probably be a little light on the cherry flavor but it should make for a good experiment. Good luck to you!

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Old 06-28-2012, 09:17 PM   #10
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I usually rack to the secondary after 2 weeks. I don't use rice hulls because I batch sparge. If the mash gets stuck I give it a quick stir. If you are going to fly sparge and do not want to disturb the grain bed I would use rice hulls.

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