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Old 07-04-2010, 03:41 AM   #1
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Default Which Cherries to Get?

I want to add cherries to my lambic http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/fir...esults-184124/

What type of cherries should I get? I assume I want cherries that have good, strong cherry flavor. I've not used fresh cherries before, should I prefer tart or sweet?
We're going to be out in the gorge in a couple of weeks, here's the list of cherries - http://www.packerorchardsandbakery.com/fruitStand.html


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Old 07-04-2010, 05:55 AM   #2
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Sour cherries for sure. Montmorency and morello are the best bets. Their "pie cherries" might be the former; ask. Sweet varieties aren't great for brewing.


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Old 07-06-2010, 01:53 PM   #3
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I've made a couple very good beers with sweet/dark cherries, but sour/pie are more cherry-y. One of the brewers at the Lambic Summit said that the traditional “kriek” cherries (schaerbeek) are not as sour as American sour cherries (and gives more color). I was also told by a great homebrewer, who does terrific fruit lambics, that a blend of sour/sweet is a good way to go, but I haven’t had a chance to try it yet.

Good luck.
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Old 07-06-2010, 04:10 PM   #4
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One thing to consider is that it's easier to use processed concentrate because it adds more cherry without displacing so much beer. It's also already sterile.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
One thing to consider is that it's easier to use processed concentrate because it adds more cherry without displacing so much beer. It's also already sterile.
Certainly a decent option off-season, but this time of the year Id go fresh if you can get them. For a sour beer sterility really doesn't matter, you also miss out on all the subtleties added by the pits and skins.
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:52 PM   #6
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I have also read great things about using them fresh and the complexity that you can get by using the pits and skin. Plus from the skins you might get an interesting wild yeast or not.
I would get several tart and sweet cherries and freeze the rest. It is recommended about 2lbs/gal. So what I did was added 1/2 now and then I will add the other half a couple months before bottling. And this way you can taste the beer and decide the ratio of cherries you want to add near the end.
I'm jealous, in San Diego, fresh tart cherries do not exist.

Let us know how it ends up
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Certainly a decent option off-season, but this time of the year Id go fresh if you can get them. For a sour beer sterility really doesn't matter, you also miss out on all the subtleties added by the pits and skins.
That's a good point. I'm always working in a barrel so I'm concerned with putting the fruit in there and making a mess. Do you have the same opinion about red raspberries? What about the cost difference? I can get a gallon of 65brix concentrate for $100. That's like 100 pounds of berries.
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:22 AM   #8
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I do not think concentrates give off the same flavors as whole fresh fruit.

In the past I have brewed several beers with fresh vs. extracts/ concentrate. The fruit ones seem to have more subtle fruit and the extract/ concentrate have a crisper and more clearly defined fruit flavor.

You can't beat the ease of concentrates though.

It really comes down to what you want and how much work you want it to be.

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Old 07-10-2010, 02:53 AM   #9
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Young and nubile?



Sorry, couldn't resist...


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