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Old 08-15-2007, 01:09 AM   #1
Southwood
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Default Cranberry Ale

Hey all,

I missed my window of opportunity for brewing a big winter warmer for the holidays (too hot now), so I was thinking of going a different route for this year's holiday brew. Anyone have any opinions on a cranberry ale? I figure it won't require months of aging & I could brew it in Sept & drink it through the holidays.

Here's what I found:

New England Cranberry Ale (from The Homebrewer's Recipe Guide)

6 lbs Light DME
1 lb Crystal 40L
1 1/2 oz. Cascade (60)
1/2 oz. Mt Hood (10)

1 tsp gypsum
1 tsp Irish Moss

European Ale Yeast

Secondary with:
6 lbs. cranberries
1 c. corn sugar

What 'ya think?


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Old 08-23-2007, 05:42 PM   #2
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I plan to do one in September for Thanksgiving/Christmas. I was planning on using either cranberry concentrate or cranberry juice rather than actual cranberries. If you do use cranberries before then, let me know how it goes.

I haven't worked out how much of juice yet for that matter. Any thoughts?


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Old 12-28-2011, 11:06 PM   #3
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I know this is a CRAZY old thread...and I apologize for bringing it back to life...but I made this recipe last year for christmas (except I used 7# of LME, instead of 6#) It tasted quite tart for a LONG time...a little astringent. We drank a few, but basically, I let them sit all year. THIS Christmas, I broke them out to give it a try and they were delicious. Excellent sweet cranberry flavor...a little tart like a cranberry, very clean finish. My mother in law - who is not a beer drinker really at all - had several. My father in law who is a (BMC) beer drinker, also loved it. My wife and I - both craft/home beer drinkers only - also agreed that it was a solid beer. I did use the cranberries...I boiled them with the sugar until they popped (like you were making a jelly with them)

I'm going to make this again but AG to see if it goes any differently. Also might dial down the hops a touch more as the cranberries started to shine as the hops died down a little bit (although, there aren't many hope to begin with)

also in my recipe I had 2 oz. of roasted barley as an adjunct...not sure why/where that came from...
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:41 PM   #4
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I've made a cranberry ale 3 times. Both times I made in a 2 gallon batch it turned out well. Slighty tart/cranberry but overall a smooth beer. It was my most popular. But my last attempt, first at 5 gallons, went awry. I added the raw cranberries to the primary and my FG reading came out really high, like 1.024. I ended up bottling a case and dumping the rest in fear of exploding bottles. I don't know its going to turn out. The ABV is still technically over 4% but we'll see.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:07 PM   #5
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Cranberries in themselves are tart. What we think of when we think of "cranberry" flavor is cranberry + sugar. I would think if you want to make a cranberry ale that tastes like it has a tint of cranberry juice flavor in it, you'd want a good bit of residual sweetness in the final beer. Maybe an overkill of honey malt, munich, and enough Crystal to get a red color from there, or even a tinge of lactose along with the cranberries in secondary.

I can't speak from experience, but this just makes sense.
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:01 PM   #6
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This was my 5 gallon recipe... I had issues with the FG and no idea how the 24 bottles I bottled will be. None have exploded yet.

Cranmoor [Cranberry Ale]
5 gallon
Brew Date: July 26

Pilsen LME 3.3# added pre-boil
Pilsen LME 3.3# added at 50 minutes
Caramel 80 0.5# (steeped for 30 mins - added pre-boil)
Corn Syrup Solids 0.75# added pre-boil
Thawed Cranberries 3.5# added after yeast was pitched.
Boil amount 3 gallons.

Expected OG 1.057
Actual OG 1.054
Expected FG 1.016
Actual FG 1.025 (includes priming sugar addition so may actually be like 1.022)
SRM 7-8
IBU 16

I used Wyeast 1056 and created a Yeast Starter 48 hours before pitching. There was a yeast cake present.

Noticed fermentation within 24-48 hours. Stopped after 3 days I'd say. Airlock had vodka and noticed it evaporated over time, not completely. I let sit in the primary until August 11th.

On bottling day I took a hydrometer read halfway through bottling and it registered at 1.025. I kept the 24 bottles I bottled and dumped the rest b/c I feared exploding bottles.
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:13 PM   #7
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We just finished a chocolate/cranberry stout using real cranberries. Wife pureed them in the food processor and sanitized with some Pinnacle vodka. We have decided not use real cranberries ever again. Major problems getting rid of the debris. The strawberry stout was fine and we racked to the keg, carbed, tested a glass and then bottled. Went to the cranberry and immediately clogged the valve. Finally had to rack to another keg through a large hop bag. Of course the ABV is likely north of 15-16% with the amount of vodka my wife used to get them liquid enough to use. We'll use concentrate next time.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:05 PM   #8
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In my last 2 gallon batch I had issues with cranberry skin sneaking in my bottles. I wasn't a big fan, but the beer was good.


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