Sweet Cherry Ale - how sweet can you go?
I'm trying to make a sweet cherry ale for my girlfriend, and I'd like to not have to sweeten the beer after killing the yeast at the end, so I'm trying to see if anyone has any ideas on how sweet I can go before the unfermentable sugars start making it too thick/weird? I'd love to hit something near Samuel Smith's fruit beer sweetness, with big fruit flavor and barely noticeable hops.
Here's what I was thinking for a 5 gal batch:
Steep 30 min @ 155:
1.5 pounds Crystal 40L
4 pounds wheat DME
8 oz. lactose
1/2 gallon cherry juice (preservative free)
Pitch Safale S-05
Rack to secondary over 2 pounds pastuerized cherries.
DOn't Boil the Cherry Juice. I would use a1lb or 2lb or cherries for a flameout steep/whirlpool addition. and then rack onto the 2lbs of cherries.
Hmm, I guess I should make sure the juice is pasteurized at least. Why not boil the juice?
Would 4lb of cherries be enough for a big cherry flavor overall? Should I macerate them and should I pasteurize?
4lbs of cherries (2kg) should be plenty, i did a fruit beer recently and added 1kg of blueberries to a half batch 11l/3g. seems like its enough.I would recommend using Campden tablets to sterilise the juice and the fruit itself, crush the fruit up and crush the tablet add it and let it sit for overnight. alternatively, I have heard the fruit being steeped in 70 degrees C to remove the bugs
From my memory and what I've read on here, boiling the juice changes the flavour and removes some of that goodness i think, I was just always told to leave it.
The other options with the fruit itself is to freeze it, then thaw it and then freeze it again, then thaw and crush, this breaks down the cell walls and helps releasethe flavour, and kills off alot of the bugs.
I recently did a cranberry ale... Crushed the berries and put them in at flameout for 15 minutes to pasturize.
So far seems to have worked reasonably well. Nice color, hint of flavor.
Pretty much everyone else I've seen will pasturize the fruit and add it at secondary time.
I've never seen anyone who boils fruit. Something about turning your beer into jelly with pectins.
I ended up making a Graff, which turns out was more or less what I was thinking of anyway. I may have gone overboard trying to get enough sweetness in the final product, time will tell!
3 gal batch
Steeped 155-160 20 minutes:
1 gallon of water
1lb crystal 20L
1 oz torrified wheat
1 lb pilsen DME
1 lb lactose
1/4 whirlfloc tablet
1/4 tsp yeast nutrient
1 gallon pasteurized apple juice
1 gallon pasteurized cherry juice
OG at a massive 1.082. I have fairly little head room in the fermenter so I went straight to blow off tube.
I'm planning on making a cinnamon tea from sticks and boiled water and adding it when fermentation is done.
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