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Specialty Fruit Beer Chocolate Cherry Stout

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budaboff

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Try this next time.

Soak 2 lbs of dark sweet cherries in Woodford Reserve bourbon (16 oz) for 1 month. Add all cherries and about 8 oz of the bourbon-cherry extract you just created to your secondary. With the chocolate and vanilla already in the beer, it is amazing.

Its like a meal in a bottle. You get the bourbon up front like a before dinner cocktail. A nice roasted sweet beer and the chocolate cherry hits you at the end like a nice dessert.

I also made mine a sweet stout. I still have about 4 oz of the cherry bourbon left over and I'm going to add it at bottling to a foreign extra sweet stout.
 

_the_CaverDave

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#magno... Just brewed a 10 gallon batch yesterday (plit into 2 - 5 gallon fermenters) and can hardly wait to taste it around the New Year! This was my 4th AG batch and 1st 10 gallon batch. Hoping you (or others) might comment on my questions below?

Fermented 4 days, then added cherry juice concentrate. Fermented 10 more days, then racked and added vanilla beans. Bulk aged 55 days before bottling.

The concentrate contributes a bunch of fermentable sugar, and the cherry flavor is much more prominent than when I have used whole fruit in the past.
Wondering if you noted a higher ABV or drier finish adding the juice concentrate so early in the fermentation? Seems the yeast might jump on the juices ferment-able sugars and might end up closer to Imperial levels?

What about holding the juice until later in fermentation process?

Adding the cocoa to the mash seems to infuse the beer with a "deeper" chocolate flavor than I have gotten when I added it to the secondary
I added 1# of cocoa powder in the mash, but read others saying it stays suspended in the beer well after cold crashing and causing cloudiness. Did this suspended cocoa powder cause any issues for you? I'm not concerned with clarity, but wondering if it adds any "grittiness"?

The addition at the secondary gives a different quality.
Can you comment on what that "quality" diffidence is?

:mug:
 

nrm10101

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I brewed this beer back in the beginning of October and just bottled this past weekend. Warm and uncarbonated, this beer tastes awesome! I can't wait for it to bottle condition.

I had some issues when brewing. Stupid me used the 5 gallon measuring stick for water during mash-in instead of the 10 gallon stick, so my strike water was WAY off. I made up for it by adding more water about 45 minutes in (when I realized my mistake) and let it go for another 30 minutes... then did my normal sparge. I ended up with a horrible efficiency (55%) and a very low OG of 1.048. I added DME at boil until I got to 1.058 (ran out of DME at that point). So, I was about 10 points low.

After 4 days of fermenting, the beer settled down, I added 72oz of Knudsen condensed cherry juice. Within an hour, the bubbler was going at full speed again!

10 more days, added the vanilla beans and extra chocolate. The extra chocolate got VERY messy inside the carboy, and was sticking to the sides, so after 2 more weeks I racked it again. I kept the vanilla beans in until bottling.

8 weeks after brewing, I ended up at 1.016, and I bottled it into 48 12-oz bottles. I'm going to take the suggestion of putting 6 or so of these aside until next year to compare, since I have a feeling I'll be making this my normal seasonal brew. I can't wait to drink it! Thanks for the recipe!
 

_the_CaverDave

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Just racked mine to keg yesterday and is carbonating. Interesting taste warm/un-carbonated... bitter, but not in the hops sense. Will sample a pint later tonight, then to the back of the fridge it goes until Christmas!
 

nrm10101

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Did anybody have any carbonation issues with this beer? I added 3/4 cup of corn sugar at bottling the ~4.75 gallons, and after 7 days cracked one open to see where I stood, and there was almost no carbonation. My basement temps did drop a little in the last week, so maybe it was too cool. I brought it upstairs to see if that helps. Was just curious if anyone else had this problem with this beer.
 

_the_CaverDave

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Mines kegged, so it's getting forced.

on another note, my brew bud added .5# of lactose to his (5gal) to sweeten & give it a bit more body... said it totally changed the taste and he's in love!
 

strangebrew14

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Happy brewing holidays everyone! I brewed this recipe on Sunday but sadly had to do a variation :0 ( local home brew store has been really slow and looking to open a brewery in January.

So long story short I am using norther brewer for bittering and fuggles for late addition. For yeast they didn't have much but guy recommend Wyeast 1187 Ringwood and said he did a stout with it and it turned out great.

Yeast was slow starting even with a starter which I guess is normal for this strain but now 2 days in I have a nice layer of krausen building. Plan to wait a few days and add 36oz organic tart cherry concentrate...wait about two weeks and add the vanilla beans and cocoa.

Definitely excited to get this beer on tap :0)
 

nrm10101

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I'd suggest you would need more than a week to carb up. I'd simply give it more time before being concerned.
It's been about 5 weeks now sitting at 70 degrees and it still is barely carbonated. I resorted to filling a keg up with CO2 and dumping the bottles into it to avoid oxygenating the beer while it pours. It's now in a keg and is carbonated just fine.
 

nrm10101

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How is the cherry in this recipe? Is it sweet, on the sour side?, overly sweet?...
It is not sweet. The sugar gets completely eaten up by the yeast. It's more of a tart cherry taste like a dry cherry wine would have. The tartness seems to cut down as it ages.
 

FloydB

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trying this but still wondering about the cherry juice, it sounds great.
 

Owly055

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I'd been planning something very similar since my last chocolate stout...... which didn't' have actual chocolate in it,but half a pound of chocolate malt and a quarter pound of roast barley (2.5 gallon brew).

The real innovation with stunning results was Nelson Sauvin as the sole hop (IBU 38, SRM 36, ABV 6%) The flavor profile of the Nelson Sauvin fit the stout perfectly, and it just begged for the addition of cherries. I'll be shopping for cherry juice concentrate. The tip on adding cocoa to the mash sounds like a good one......


H.W.
 

EggsInMalta

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I used Black Cherry Juice Concentrate. I got it from the grocery store juice aisle.



I have not tried this recipe with any other fruit. In fact the only other fruit that I can think of having fermented off-hand is prickly pear fruit that I put in a mead.

Is there a difference between this brand of "juice concentrate" and another brand of cherry juice that is "from concentrate"? For example, would this juice from Trader Joe's be an appropriate substitute?
 

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H20ENG

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Brewed this 1/27/19 and used 6oz Hershey's dark cocoa powder at 5 min rather than in the mash. Fermentation stalled at 1.040 after around 4 days. Pitched an old Us-05 cake and kept temp at 64-68.
I added 3- 32oz bottles of cherry juice- 2 tart and 1 black cherry (could not find concentrated at any local grocery store) when I took a gravity reading, along with some more fresh US-05. Fermentation seemed to take off again after that.
That was probably 2/2/19. Just checked gravity today and added the last 2 oz cocoa and 2 tbsp vanilla extract. Now the gravity is only down to 1.034.
Any tips to get it down some more?
Thanks!
 
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magno

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Brewed this 1/27/19 and used 6oz Hershey's dark cocoa powder at 5 min rather than in the mash. Fermentation stalled at 1.040 after around 4 days. Pitched an old Us-05 cake and kept temp at 64-68.
I added 3- 32oz bottles of cherry juice- 2 tart and 1 black cherry (could not find concentrated at any local grocery store) when I took a gravity reading, along with some more fresh US-05. Fermentation seemed to take off again after that.
That was probably 2/2/19. Just checked gravity today and added the last 2 oz cocoa and 2 tbsp vanilla extract. Now the gravity is only down to 1.034.
Any tips to get it down some more?
Thanks!
Are you sure that the juice you added was preservative free?

Is there a difference between this brand of "juice concentrate" and another brand of cherry juice that is "from concentrate"? For example, would this juice from Trader Joe's be an appropriate substitute?
I would try to stick with concentrate if at all possible. The juice will be much more dilute (obviously) and may contain preservatives.

I think it's great that this recipe is still getting this much attention! It's still one that I make now and again.
 

H20ENG

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90% sure no preservatives. Will need to double check. I cold crashed the sample and it does taste great. Looking forward to this one.
I wanted to do a chocolate cherry stout and found your recipe among others and seemed like a great one. Thanks for sharing!
 

BongoYodeler

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Trader Joe's sells both cherry juice "from concentrate," and also "not from concentrate." I enjoy drinking the "not from concentrate" juice, and even put an ounce in my pint glass and poured a HB milk stout over it. Tasted awesome. My question is, can "not from concentrate" juice be used in this recipe?
 
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magno

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It could, as long as it has no preservatives. I opted for the concentrate because I figured I was diluting it in the beer anyways...
 

SanAequitas

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For anyone still reading this, "concentrate", "from concentrate", and "not from concentrate" are all very different things.

- Not from concentrate is juice that has been squeezed out, pasteurized, and bottled.
- From concentrate is juice that has been squeezed, concentrated, stored, then water (maybe other stuff) added back in, then bottled.
- Concentrate is juice that has been run through a process (mostly heat/vacuum) to remove water from it, leaving a high-gravity syrup that is not meant to be consumed directly, it's supposed to be re-watered down before consumption. This is what Magno lists in the recipe, and in his picture posted earlier.

Either of the first two are mostly the same, depending on other added preservatives/etc. The third, the juice concentrate, is equal to adding the others if you also add water as per the jug's directions to get to the juice's original gravity. Concentrate is likely preferred for most brewers, as it's a stronger flavor/sugar per unit added, whereas adding the first two juices adds 3-4x the water as it does the cherry/raspberry/whatever flavors.
 
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