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Old 03-15-2013, 03:09 AM   #1
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Default Cherries in my imperial stout?

So im pretty new to brewing, and i would like to do an imperial stout, i would like to add some cherries flavor also. How should i go about this? Dry hopping? I really dont want to use any extract, just real fruit. And of your input would be appreciated.

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Old 03-15-2013, 11:18 AM   #2
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I have done one fruit beer so far. I researched this for a few months before making an attempt. Seems that the common way is to put the fruit into secondary first and then drain the primary without splashing as you would do for bottling. And leave it there for a couple of weeks. It will ferment, but not as vigorously as primary.

There are some that put the fruit into primary after primary fermentation has completed. And most information indicates that flavors will be lost if fruit is added to the wort - before primary fermentation.

- Fresh fruit can be used. It needs sanitized.
- There are canned purees made for brewing. Vintner's Harvest and Oregon Fruit are usually at the brew stores.
- There are also concentrated extracts. There are a number of negative comments about the results with these.

I used the Vintner's Harvest. It is not concentrated, so by weight it is similar to fresh fruit. The amount to use will depend on taste. I used one can (3 lbs) for a 5 gallon basic pale ale and it suited me. Faint cherry notes were the result of that.

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Old 03-15-2013, 11:33 AM   #3
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One additional option is using dried fruit. That has become my preference. It will substantially boost the gravity though due to little to no water added with it. The flavor is more concentrated. With apricots and black currants, 2lbs in 5 gallons yielded very fruit forward flavor.

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Old 03-15-2013, 03:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retief View Post
So im pretty new to brewing, and i would like to do an imperial stout, i would like to add some cherries flavor also. How should i go about this? Dry hopping? I really dont want to use any extract, just real fruit. And of your input would be appreciated.
Welcome retief, Good to see you here.

Oh and Im going to want a glass of that one when its done

Cheers
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:08 AM   #5
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Thats a lot of good input! Thanks brewers! With this new information, i think i will be looking into some of the brewing puree, and would it hurt to throw some oak in there too?

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Old 03-16-2013, 04:25 AM   #6
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It wouldn't hurt unless you over do it. Taste it along the way to decide when to remove the oak. However i recommend you take it a step at a time and just go with fruit. Although, if you have some 3 gallon carboys, you could split your batch when going to secondary: oak one half and fruit in the other.

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Old 03-19-2013, 06:45 PM   #7
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I am pretty Sure this is going to need a yeast starter. Any suggestions?

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Old 03-20-2013, 02:11 AM   #8
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What OG are you aiming for? A starter is always wise, the question is size.

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Old 03-20-2013, 05:40 PM   #9
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I did an imperial stout with 1 gallon racked onto raspberries and another racked onto blackberries. I did frozen fruit because it is likely sanitary already and I heard that frozen fruit releases flavor better because of busted cell walls. Keep in mind you will need to use more fruit than you would for a light beer so that you can taste it. I did a 3/4 of a pound of each in a glass 1 gallon jug.

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Old 03-20-2013, 06:03 PM   #10
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I have done cherries in the secondary before. I used fresh ones that I washed ( with water), pitted, and froze. I then just thawed them out and racked my beer on top of them. I didn't do anything to sanitize. The pH and alcohol content of the finished beer are pretty unfavorable conditions for other things to grow.

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