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Old 07-14-2012, 03:36 PM   #1
NavyMarine1978
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Default A Belgian Cherry Kriek with no flavour and almost no carbonation

I have just opened my first bottle of Cherry Kriek last night. The first thing that I noticed is that the carbonation was way down. I am making 1 gallon, all-grain batches, including this Kriek, and have been using the same amount of bottling sugar for all my batches (Oatmeal Stout, Porter, Peculiar, Heffe Weizen, Belgian Wit, Scottish Ale...) which is 1/8 of a cup batch primed ( I make a syrup and pour hot into the pot before syphoning into bottles). This has worked done for all of the other styles which I mentioned earlier. I should say here as well that I opened the bottle at 3 weeks. Again, this has been more than sufficient for all of the other styles except for one of the wheats that I made. I am wondering if the cherry puree has anything to do with prolonging the carbonation? The cherry puree was added in the fermenter with the chilled wort as I do one step fermenting in the carboy.

The next issue seems a complete lack of any flavour apart from the sourness. Acid was a part of the recipe which came as a powder. The beer has a cider like sourness without the flavours of the cherry. The sourness is not unpleasant at all. It is like drinking a watered down apple cider. Are these flavours to come later with age? Could this be a sign, along with the lack of carbonation, of being to fresh? I am still confused as to why there is not more of a cherry flavour?

NavyMarine1978

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Old 07-14-2012, 05:17 PM   #2
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Post the recipe and process?

Krieks are a very advanced beer. They take quite a while to mature and can be quite hard to get right. Especially if you are comparing the flavor to commercially available Krieks.

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Old 07-14-2012, 05:27 PM   #3
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This sounds like some sort of kit to make a cheap, fast version of a kriek. Hard to say what went wrong without the recipe and process.

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Old 07-14-2012, 06:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReverseApacheMaster View Post
This sounds like some sort of kit to make a cheap, fast version of a kriek. Hard to say what went wrong without the recipe and process.
This was a ready to make, all-grain, 1 gallon recipe from the store. Here's the recipe:

Kriek Belgian Cherry Beer

-60g malted wheat (crushed)
-804g Canadian 2 Row (crushed)
-40g medium crystal malt (crushed)
-0.08g Northern Brewer Hops
-2 1/3 cups cherry puree added to primary fermenter
-0.2 tbsp acid blend added to primary fermenter
-Nottingham Dried Ale Yeast
-1/8 cup priming sugar

These were the only instructions given to me with the recipe. I did the 1hr mash at 153F with the grains. I collected 2 gallons pre-boil wort including second runnings. I boiled the hops for an hour bringing my overall wort to about 1 gallon plus a litre by chilling time. I brought the wort down to 35C within 20min and had my yeast prepped at the same temp. When I was ready to pour the wort into my fermenter, I poured the cherry puree into the carboy and mixed the acid into chilled wort before pouring the wort over the cherry puree in the carboy. The ferment was active and quick and all seemed well. When I bottled, I batch primed with the 1/8 cup priming sugar and the beer smelled great. How does this sound to everyone else?

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Old 07-14-2012, 06:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwood View Post
Post the recipe and process?

Krieks are a very advanced beer. They take quite a while to mature and can be quite hard to get right. Especially if you are comparing the flavor to commercially available Krieks.
I would suggest, from your remarks, that my Kriek is very fresh and new. I noticed ReverseApacheMaster has a Lambic aging for over a year? I believe that Krieks are related to lambics?

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Old 07-14-2012, 06:27 PM   #6
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Yeah, that does sound like a kit to make something that tastes like kriek quickly. Kriek is lambic that has aged with cherries, and lambics are usually between 1 and 3 years old before packaged for consumption. Wild yeast and bacteria achieve the sourness and acid over time, not an acid packet. If you're really interested in all of that stuff the book Wild Brews is really awesome. There is also good information to be found on the internet of course.

Hope it turns out a little better with age regardless!

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Old 07-14-2012, 06:43 PM   #7
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Do you know what kind of yeast you used? I've noticed that with several Belgian yeast strains I have had to wait longer than 3 weeks to get a carb. 5-6 weeks for my Trappist was the longest. You might just need to sit on them for a few more weeks and see if they carbonate more.

EDIT: Nevermind. I see that you used Nottingham because I actually read this time. Sorry! I would still just sit on it for a few weeks to see if it carbs up right. Seems like the only thing you can do.

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Old 07-14-2012, 10:31 PM   #8
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In MY experience...

When you add a fruit (puree or whatever) to the PRIMARY with the wort, the fruit flavor will be VERY subtle.
I describe it as a "spirit", because it mostly ferments out and just leaves a faint background of the fruit flavor.
If I want the fruit (or whatever) flavor to be more pronounced, I secondary it on the fruit, it will ferment again,
but the flavor stays more pronounced. If I want to control the flavor more, I'll make an extract and mix it in
the bottling bucket or keg.

That's just what I do based on what I've learned through experience, and reading, and talking with other brewers.

ETA: We make a Belgian Cherry Triple (not exactly what your doing, but for example)
We use 6.6 pounds of Sweet Black Cherry Puree for a 5 gal batch, 3.3 lbs in the primary, for 4-6 weeks,
and 3.3 lbs in a secondary for 2-3 weeks. Then it ages in a keg for AT LEAST 8 months. (its 9ish %)

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Old 07-15-2012, 04:34 AM   #9
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When you say the grain was crushed, do you mean it was milled or did you crush it by hand with a rolling pin or some other device?

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Old 07-17-2012, 02:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowtones84 View Post
Yeah, that does sound like a kit to make something that tastes like kriek quickly. Kriek is lambic that has aged with cherries, and lambics are usually between 1 and 3 years old before packaged for consumption. Wild yeast and bacteria achieve the sourness and acid over time, not an acid packet. If you're really interested in all of that stuff the book Wild Brews is really awesome. There is also good information to be found on the internet of course.

Hope it turns out a little better with age regardless!
I guess my main issue is that I was not aware that limbic beers took so long to age nor did I have a proper instruction set. I had a beer rotation going that allowed a new batch to become ready each week. When I opened the fist kriek, I expected what I had been experiencing form my stouts and porters. I have decided to put the batch aside and carry on with the rest of my rotation. I ahd to by a 6 pack to supplement the 9 bottles tied up with my cherry kriek. I will give it a few months and try another. Since this kriek styled beer is not natural like true lambics, is there a chance that it will ready before a true limbic? I guess only time will tell. I will forget about it and come back to it to see what has become of it. So a limbic ages like a wine?

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