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Old 01-09-2013, 03:40 PM   #1
jeffersonjames
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Default adding cherries to cream ale...please help

Hi, let me start by saying I am pretty new to brewing. I have 4 batches under my belt with a lager in the fridge a month or so away from tapping. I am working on my 6th batch which is a slight variation on a caramel vanilla cream ale that I got off this forum. I made that before and it was the best beer I have ever had. I wanted to add fresh cherries which brings me to my question. What is the best method? I have done a lot of reading on this forum as well as books, articles etc. I am not looking to make a fruit beer. I want the cherries to be only noticeable if you know they are there and are looking for the taste. I have 4lbs and was thinking of adding a 1lbs to the last five min of the wert and the rest in primary. If anyone has any suggestions it would be appreciated. Thanks



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Old 01-09-2013, 04:56 PM   #2
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By adding cherries, you make it a fruit beer.

Have you made this beer witrhout the fruit before? It might be useful to brew the beer as is. When it's done, add some cherries to a pint of it until you begin to smell it in the beer. Extrapolate that data to 5 gallons and guess low. Then add the fruit to the next batch in the same manner.

Some people add fruit and other things at flameout, allowing the cooling wort to pasteurize the fruit. Other people soak the fruit in vodka (or some other booze) and add it to a secondary.

A general number for how much to estimate would be 2lbs fruit per gallon. This depends on a lot of things, but it's a starting point. One method I've heard of for preparing the fruit is to freeze them, which damages cell walls.

Keep in mind that fruit is loaded with fructose, which we consider to be an adjunct. Adding fruit will alter the mouthfeel of the beer and increase the abv. Cream ales are very dry. They usually include adjuncts such as sucrose and dextrose, and they can have higher carbonation that other beers. You may find that after brewing your beer, it will be too dry for your liking. If this is the case, you could change your original recipe to account for this by removing adjuncts, increasing the proportion of specialty malts, and, if you are mashing, increasing your mash temperature.



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Old 01-09-2013, 06:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffersonjames View Post
caramel vanilla cream ale
...with cherries,

sorry I can't help you with your question but this combination sounds great. I'm logging this for future reference.

-DZ
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:47 PM   #4
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Most people that use a fruit add previously frozen fruit to a secondary and let it age for a week or two then start tasting.

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Old 01-09-2013, 10:34 PM   #5
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Thank you for the replies. I have made this beer before and at one point had it while i was eating cherries. I know it sounds corny but it was truly amazing. It was at that point I decided to mix the two. I am going to freeze what i have and get more fresh ones or get some canned ones. I like the idea of doing a secondary and adding a little at a time to taste. I am thinking that if I added them to primary i probably would have ended up with a disaster.

DZ-
I will post the recipe for the caramel vanilla cream ale along with what I do with the cherries and let you know how it ends up....thank all

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Old 01-09-2013, 11:31 PM   #6
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Definitely rack onto the cherries in secondary. You can use fresh, frozen or canned cherries. If using fresh, I would freeze them first. If canned, make sure you drain the sugar/water they come in prior to adding to your secondary. Sanitizing fruit is always a little trickier. You can use vodka or even star-san if you wanted, but I haven't had a problem with infection before with freezing or canned cherries.

In terms of quantity, typically I about 5 lbs per 5 gallons which imparts significant flavor and color to the beer. If you want it to be more subtle, I'd cut it down to maybe 2.5 or 3 lbs.

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Old 01-09-2013, 11:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocScott View Post
Definitely rack onto the cherries in secondary. You can use fresh, frozen or canned cherries. If using fresh, I would freeze them first. If canned, make sure you drain the sugar/water they come in prior to adding to your secondary. Sanitizing fruit is always a little trickier. You can use vodka or even star-san if you wanted, but I haven't had a problem with infection before with freezing or canned cherries.

In terms of quantity, typically I about 5 lbs per 5 gallons which imparts significant flavor and color to the beer. If you want it to be more subtle, I'd cut it down to maybe 2.5 or 3 lbs.
Thanks, I'm sure this beer will be great.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrenbrews View Post
...with cherries,

sorry I can't help you with your question but this combination sounds great. I'm logging this for future reference.

-DZ
I have finished this beer and wanted to share how it turned out. below is the recipe I used for the base of the beer. It is one that I found off of here and was absolutely amazing when I made it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesefood View Post

"Here's the final recipe that I'm brewing RIGHT NOW.

Malts
3 pounds extra light DME
3 pounds light wheat DME
1 pound Caramel 60L (steeped for 45 minutes at 150'-165')

Hops
1oz Cascade for bittering (60 minutes)
.5oz Saaz for flavor (20 minutes)
.5 oz Tettnang for aroma (end of boil)

Yeast
Wyeast German Ale

Extras
1 tsp Irish Moss (10 minutes)
4oz Lactose @ 15 minutes
2 oz real vanilla extract

Priming
>1cup Lactose
4oz vanilla (Be careful! This may be too much vanilla for some people.)
1.5 cups light DME

I'm adding the Lactose in the last 15 minutes of the boil. I'll add the vanilla in the primary, because I don't want to risk losing any that bonds to the trub. So far, it smells fantastic but I'm still at the bittering hops boil. I think this should end up with a nice caramel flavor and a good hint (perhaps a suggestion size amount) of vanilla. I've had vanillas with way too much flavor and they tasted too much like candy. This should have a decent balance.

Notes: 11/4/05

So good. Can't even explain it - you simply must make this beer. I let it prime for almost 2 weeks before fridging it, then cracked one tonight after only about 30 hours. Great head, good lace, nice color, good body and nose. Pictures won't do it justice, but here's one anyways"



I basically added to this recipe the following....

Another 2oz of vanilla at secondary along with 32 oz of 100% tart cherry juice, 16 oz of 100% black cherry juice and 12 oz of 100% concentrated black cherry juice.

I let sit in primary for 10 days and secondary for a little over 2 weeks. I tried it prior to putting in the keg and chilling for some carbonation and it is fantastic. The cherry is pronounced at first then settles into the vanilla. It is interesting how the flavors show up at different times. It adds a complexity that is similar to a good wine. This is a perfect beer to relax and enjoy. The only down side is that it is very easy to drink.

All in all I am very pleased with how it turned out although it was pretty expensive to make so it is not something I will make more than a couple of times a year. At almost a hundred bucks for what is basically two cases of beer I am hoping that this keg will last a little bit....I do not expect it is going to though, which is why this is one beer, that I will not be sharing.


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