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Old 03-12-2010, 08:00 PM   #1
fellbrew
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Default Cherry Ale Recipe Advice

SWMBO asks for a Cherry beer. I have not made a fruit beer before (I am not all that crazy about them to be honest), but I thought I would try to pull one together for her. Here is what I came up with for a 5 gallon batch, let me know what you think...

9 lbs American 2-Row Pale malt
1.5 lbs Munich malt
1 lb Wheat malt

0.75 oz Northern Brewer - Whole leaf, 10.8% (60 min)
0.5 oz Willamette - Whole leaf, 5.6% (20 min)
0.5 oz Willamette - Whole leaf, 5.6% (10 min)

WLP002 English Ale Yeast

Planning on mashing around 152 for 60 min, collect 6.5 gal. wort.

I found a recipe calling for 10 lbs of crushed fresh tart cherries. Unfortunately, they are out of season, but I did find canned Oregon Fruits Red tart Cherries (only ingredients are cherries and water, no sugar or preservatives) so I thought I would use these. I cleaned out the store with 6 cans, and was planning on putting all of them in the primary, but I am not fully confident on the quantity.

Oh, I also got pectic enzyme because I read about it. I usually don't like using any additives, but thought it might be necessary here.

Calculated stats assume my typical 70% BHE and 72% AA for the yeast. I didn't factor in any additional sugar from the cherries...

OG: 1.058
FG: 1.016
IBU: 39

That probably seems like a high IBU number, but I was thinking I will need something to balance the sweetness of the cherries (although the cans do say they are tart cherries).

Let me know what you think. I also have Chinook and US Goldings in the freezer that are options in this brew.

Thanks!
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:03 PM   #2
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Not a lot of advice to give, but I wouldn't necessarily be trying to counter the sweetness of the cherries with IBUs. The sugar in them will ferment and won't be sweet in the beer.
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker View Post
Not a lot of advice to give, but I wouldn't necessarily be trying to counter the sweetness of the cherries with IBUs. The sugar in them will ferment and won't be sweet in the beer.
Agreed, I would reccomend bittering hops only, skip the willamette completely, the flavors from the hops will conflict with the cherries IMO. I've made a few fruit beers (Used cherries once, and raspberries twice). I always wait until initial fermentation is done, then toss in the fruit, and fermentation starts up again. I let it go for another 10 days or so then rack to secondary for about 2 weeks then bottle (or keg if you prefer). For the first 3 or 4 weeks the fruit flavor will seem sour. At 6 weeks the sourness will wear off and the flavor will be awesome. In my experience the peak time to drink is from 6 to 14 weeks, after that the fruit flavor starts to fade away. YMMV

Edit: In my cherry beer I only used 3 lbs and it didn't have enough cherry flavor. Not sure how much your cans weigh, but I'd shoot for 6 lbs minimum for a nice cherry flavor, and I can see where using 10 lbs would be very nice. Raspberries were a different story. I used 2 lbs in one batch (porter) and 3 lbs in another (brown ale), and both had very nice raspberry flavor.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:47 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot. I think I will take your advice. The cans are 14.5 oz. so I should have a little under 6 lbs.

Brewing today, about to fire up the strike water.
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:31 PM   #5
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sounds like your doing cherries in the snow recipe, I have one sitting in the sencondary right now. I used 10lbs of tart cherries like the recipe said at the flame out. I took my temp down to about 175. The recipe says to try and filter out the hops before you put t into the primary, which is hard to do completley. When i tasted the wort, it was awsome, very sweet and tart. When I taste a sample when transfering, even better. 1st beer i can say my wife is excited about. Taste alot like a cherry wine right now.

The recipe said to leave the cherries in for 5 days, then transfer off them to 2nd. thats from the joy of homebrewing. this is suppose to be one of his favorite recipes. good luck sure you will love this one
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