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Old 08-31-2011, 01:49 PM   #1
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Default Fruit flavors that don't taste fake

I am gearing up to make a chocolate cherry oatmeal stout, and need some help. I have tasted many variations of this style of beer, and invariably the cherry flavor tastes fake. Is there any product out there that will add the cherry flavor without the syrupy or chemical taste?

TIA

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Old 08-31-2011, 01:52 PM   #2
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Cherries?

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Old 08-31-2011, 01:52 PM   #3
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Why not use cherries?

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Old 08-31-2011, 01:53 PM   #4
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gah... brain, gear --> not in.

I meant to ask if straight cherries in secondary would be the best option. Should I then not worry about it until the secondary and not do anything in the boil/fermentor?

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Old 08-31-2011, 02:10 PM   #5
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It would probably take a lot of cherries in secondary to give you the flavor you want in a stout. But the good thing is that the color won't be changed (I don't like the look of light ales sitting on darker fruits - it turns pinkish/purplish).

You could try the Cherry fruit puree. Looks like it's only $11.50 for 3lbs at Northern Brewer. The bonus is that it's also pasteurized or sterilized (dunno which), so you can toss it in without fear of wild yeast.

As far as extracts, you are at the mercy of the quality of the extract. I've brewed two blueberry beers - one with a $3.99 artificial LHBS crap and it tasted like cough syrup. I tried a $6.99 blueberry natural & artificial from NB and it was MUCH better.

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Old 08-31-2011, 03:25 PM   #6
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I haven't brewed with fruit before, so take this with a grain of salt, but I've heard pro brewers recommend 1-2 lbs of fruit per gallon at the end of secondary. With a stout I'd personally shoot closer to 2 lbs.

You can toss the cherries in whole, freeze them (to burst the cell walls and make the sugar more accessible) or puree them. I'd be hesitant to pasteurize them because you'll lose some of the delicate flavors and aromas. Just wash them as you would normally and go from there.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out! I've toyed around with the idea of a raspberry stout but haven't tackled it yet, so feedback on how this turns out would be great.

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Old 08-31-2011, 07:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowveil View Post
I haven't brewed with fruit before, so take this with a grain of salt, but I've heard pro brewers recommend 1-2 lbs of fruit per gallon at the end of secondary. With a stout I'd personally shoot closer to 2 lbs.

You can toss the cherries in whole, freeze them (to burst the cell walls and make the sugar more accessible) or puree them. I'd be hesitant to pasteurize them because you'll lose some of the delicate flavors and aromas. Just wash them as you would normally and go from there.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out! I've toyed around with the idea of a raspberry stout but haven't tackled it yet, so feedback on how this turns out would be great.

Wow, 10lbs of fruit, that's a big secondary.

I might try playing with a lighter beer and some fruit to nail down the idea. Will report back later.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:28 PM   #8
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i would go with 2 pounds of fruit in the secondary ...3 max

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Old 09-01-2011, 10:51 AM   #9
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I do a few fruit beers. With stronger flavors like raspberry in a light ale, I use about 4lbs. It comes out very raspberry. Since cherries are a bit more subtle, you will need to up that some. Since its a stout, up it some more, depending on how strong of a flavor you are going for. I would vote for ~6lbs in the secondary for one month and see how it works. You can always rack it on to more if you want more flavor. I always use the frozen kind and I hit it with a blender after its thawed to get more surface area for the flavor to come out.

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Old 09-01-2011, 11:20 AM   #10
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Try googling for Jamil's black forest stout for some guidance. I think there's even a podcast on the Brewing Network about it. Award wining recipe for a chocolate, cherry stout.

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