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Choke Cherry Belgian Wit

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brewsumore

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Location: Eastern Washington

Post Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:02 pm

Choke Cherry Belgian Wit

I brewed this last Sunday. Any comments? I realize I'd have been closer to style to use flaked wheat instead of wheat malt, but I'm not set up to step mash (batch sparger/blue cooler mashtun), and so the wheat malt seemed fine to me.

I also realize that using a (small) portion of mystery hops is a fault, but I wanted to bring up the IBU's at least a little more than the 18 IBUs with just the 2 oz. of Tettnangers I had on hand...

This is my third variation on what previously has turned out well -- except this time I added orange peel, coriander, and grains of paradise. The wort tasted very good, and I'm getting all kinds of great aromatics during primary fermentation.

Choke Cherry Belgian Wheat Ale

A ProMash Brewing Session - Recipe Details Report

Recipe Specifics
----------------

Batch Size (Gal): 10.50 Wort Size (Gal): 10.50
Total Grain (Lbs): 27.00
Anticipated OG: 1.064 Plato: 15.78
Anticipated SRM: 8.0
Anticipated IBU: 24.0?
Brewhouse Efficiency: 69 %
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes


Grain/Extract/Sugar

% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
44.4 12.00 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row) America 1.036 2
37.0 10.00 lbs. Wheat Malt America 1.038 2
7.4 2.00 lbs. Flaked Oats America 1.033 2
3.7 1.00 lbs. CaraPilsner France 1.035 10
3.7 1.00 lbs. Victory Malt America 1.034 25
3.7 1.00 lbs. Crystal 40L America 1.034 40


Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.


Hops

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.00 oz. Tettnanger Whole 4.60 18.3 60 min.
.5 oz. leftover mixed low AA hops Pellet 6.00? ? 60 min.

Extras

Amount Name Type Time
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.07 Oz Grains of Paradise Spice 0 Days(boil)
2.50 Oz Sweet Orange Peel Spice 0 Min.(boil)
0.65 Oz Coriander Seed Spice 0 Min.(boil)
0.23 Oz Irish Moss Fining 45 Min.(boil)
0.23 Oz Irish Moss Fining 15 Min.(boil)


Yeast
-----

White Labs WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale


Mash Schedule
-------------

Mash Type: Single Step

Grain Lbs: 27.00
Water Qts: 35.91 - Before Additional Infusions
Water Gal: 8.98 - Before Additional Infusions

Qts Water Per Lbs Grain: 1.33 - Before Additional Infusions

Saccharification Rest Temp : 154 Time: 90
Mash-out Rest Temp : 0 Time: 0
Sparge Temp : 168 Time: 0

Notes
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At flame out add 12 lbs frozen/thawed macerated choke cherries. pasteurize for 20 minutes at 165 degrees, while stirring to distribute juice. Strain out seeds and pulp when transferring to primary fermenter.

2 grams GOP, and the orange peel and coriander at flameout -- they will add their flavor during the chokecherries pasteurizing process.
Last edited by brewsumore on Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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brewsumore

Master Brewer

Posts: 1887

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:37 pm

Location: Eastern Washington

Post Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:51 pm

Oh yeah... In case anybody tries this (or similar) recipe, I recommend that you start cooling the wort a little after flameout, down to about 175-180F, prior to adding the chokecherries, since pectins set at 170F, and if you add the fruit right at flameout it'll remain at well over 190F.

That's what I did and saw it was too hot, so I very quickly added a few cups of ice cubes, and then brought the heat back up to pasteurizing temp - still came within a point of my target OG, and didn't hurt the beer.

I bottled today and the beer tasted great.
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redbeerman

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Post Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:06 am

You can use flaked wheat without doing a step mash. I have done it both ways and the results were good both ways. The extra proteins left by not doing a step mash do not hurt the style since the cloudiness is part of the style. You should not use any other grains besides pils or pale, flaked wheat and a small amount of oats. This tends to keep the flavor light. I experiment with spicing on every batch, but have found that coriander, and orange (sweet and bitter), give me the best flavor (IMHO). This style should also be carbonated pretty heavily.
"Every man has to believe in something, I believe I'll have another beer."
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brewsumore

Master Brewer

Posts: 1887

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:37 pm

Location: Eastern Washington

Post Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:58 pm

redbeerman wrote:You can use flaked wheat without doing a step mash. I have done it both ways and the results were good both ways. The extra proteins left by not doing a step mash do not hurt the style since the cloudiness is part of the style. You should not use any other grains besides pils or pale, flaked wheat and a small amount of oats. This tends to keep the flavor light. I experiment with spicing on every batch, but have found that coriander, and orange (sweet and bitter), give me the best flavor (IMHO). This style should also be carbonated pretty heavily.

thanks for the clarification about step mashing with flaked wheat. I realize this wasn't exactly true to style for a wit beer, but staying strictly to style can be tedious sometimes, although I do see your point about keeping the flavor light. Truthfully, with the pronounced tartness of the choke cherries, there was room for a bit more substantial malt background to balance, as provided by the carapils/victory/caramel additions.

I think I used a small enough percentage of oats to improve head formation/retention, rather than detracting from it due to too much oiliness that can happen with too much oats. I was thinking that with all the fruit, going a bit heavy on the oats would also be good to increase body/mouthfeel in the beer, along with the relatively high mash temp (154F).
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brewsumore

Master Brewer

Posts: 1887

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:37 pm

Location: Eastern Washington

Post Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:00 pm

Re: Choke Cherry Belgian Wit

Newest version per request from Duboman - note that instructions are for an 11-gallon batch at 70% brewhouse efficiency. It resulted in a delicious beer. The sugar listed in the recipe is actually to account for the sugar content in 8 lbs of ripe chokecherries. One of the brewers at Blue Moon Brewery in Bend, OR helped tweak the recipe back in 2006.

If you are unable to acquire the indicated amount of chokecherries, you could reduce the amount and first boil some wort, and then pastuerize the crushed berries (do NOT crush the pits!!!) at ~160F for 20 minutes in that wort while stirring, and then cool to >70F and add to secondary:

Choke Cherry Belgian Wit Ale

A ProMash Brewing Session - Recipe Details Report

Recipe Specifics
----------------

Batch Size (Gal): 11.00 Wort Size (Gal): 11.00
Total Grain (Lbs): 27.37
Anticipated OG: 1.065 Plato: 15.99
Anticipated SRM: 6.9
Anticipated IBU: 22.2
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70 %
Wort Boil Time: 70 Minutes


Grain/Extract/Sugar

% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
40.2 11.00 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row) America 1.036 2
35.6 9.75 lbs. Wheat Malt America 1.038 2
8.2 2.25 lbs. Flaked Oats America 1.033 2
3.7 1.00 lbs. Victory Malt America 1.034 25
4.6 1.25 lbs. CaraPilsner France 1.035 10
3.7 1.00 lbs. Crystal 20L America 1.035 20
4.1 1.12 lbs. Cane Sugar Generic 1.046 0

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.


Hops

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.75 oz. Tettnanger Pellet 5.90 22.2 70 min.


Extras

Amount Name Type Time
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.25 Tsp Wyeast Yeast Nutrient Other 10 Min.(boil)
1.50 Unit(s)Whirfloc Fining 5 Min.(boil)
0.90 Oz Coriander Seed Spice 5 Min.(boil)
2.00 gm Grains of Paradise Spice 5 Min.(boil)
3.00 Oz Orange Peel/Fresh Fruit 0 Min.(boil)


Yeast
-----

WYeast 3944 Belgian White Beer or Wyeast 3463 Forbidden Fruit


Mash Schedule
-------------

Mash Type: Single Step

Grain Lbs: 26.25
Water Qts: 38.00 - Before Additional Infusions
Water Gal: 9.50 - Before Additional Infusions

Qts Water Per Lbs Grain: 1.45 - Before Additional Infusions

Saccharification Rest Temp : 154 Time: 90
Mash-out Rest Temp : 0 Time: 0
Sparge Temp : 165 Time: 0


Total Mash Volume Gal: 11.60 - Dough-In Infusion Only


Notes
-----

For 11-gallon batch, at flame out add 8 lbs thawed crushed choke cherries (do not crush pits) +
orange peel without pith (could be as little as peel of approximately 3 mixed oranges an
d 1 grapefruit) at 175 or under to pasteurize for 15 - 20 minues at 160 degrees while
stirring well. Chill, let settle, and rack just beer to fermenters using racking cane from top of kettle.

Coarsely crushed coriander and GOP added last 5 minutes of boil, and you could use even more coriander.



Optionally toast flaked oats ~350F until light brown and smell nutty.
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brewsumore

Master Brewer

Posts: 1887

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:37 pm

Location: Eastern Washington

Post Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:04 pm

Re: Choke Cherry Belgian Wit

just in case anyone tries making this beer. Be aware that the flavor typically changes some over time, especially if berries weren't 100% ripe (you want them big, juicy, dark purple, here in the West usually harvested late September, and you'll be in competition with birds). It's happened before that a batch took a while for the flavors to blend and mellow, and went from a bit rough to excellent after a few weeks.

Also, absolutely don't crush the pits, since they have a poisonous center, prussic acid I think, like arsenic. Still, I find that the best way to macerate the berries to extract their juice when added to the kettle (at flameout) is to fill my food processor maybe 1/4 full with whole, thawed berries (the tiny per-berry stems can be left on), and with the standard blade pulse for about 15 seconds. If you do it just enough and carefully, it will tear the flesh from the pits without breaking any of the pits, which are very hard. You will have to repeat pretty many times, collecting all into a large mixing bowl, but this is much quicker and will completely separate fruit from pit, than crushing with your hands or other method.
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Shahivann

Posts: 4

Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:15 am

Post Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:42 am

Re: Choke Cherry Belgian Wit

I plan to brew a Belgian blond with what I think is called bird cherries (I am not a native English speaker), Prunus Padus. If I am correct, chokecherries are Prunus virginiana. My bird cherries are smaller than chokecherries, do you think I should increase the amount of berries per gallon, and if so, how much?
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brewsumore

Master Brewer

Posts: 1887

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:37 pm

Location: Eastern Washington

Post Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:28 pm

Re: Choke Cherry Belgian Wit

Shahivann wrote:I plan to brew a Belgian blond with what I think is called bird cherries (I am not a native English speaker), Prunus Padus. If I am correct, chokecherries are Prunus virginiana. My bird cherries are smaller than chokecherries, do you think I should increase the amount of berries per gallon, and if so, how much?


I had never heard of it. A brief search via Wiki shows that it eaten east of western Europe, so I guess you know the fruit well enough to say if it is fit for human consumption. The Wiki article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_padus

says that it is astringent due to tannins, so it sounds similar to prunus virginiana, and you are correct, that is what I use. If indeed you know that what you will use is non-poisonous for humans, I would use the same amount of berries as I used for chokecherries.

welcome to the forum!
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brewsumore

Master Brewer

Posts: 1887

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:37 pm

Location: Eastern Washington

Post Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:29 pm

Re: Choke Cherry Belgian Wit

Shahivann wrote:I plan to brew a Belgian blond with what I think is called bird cherries (I am not a native English speaker), Prunus Padus. If I am correct, chokecherries are Prunus virginiana. My bird cherries are smaller than chokecherries, do you think I should increase the amount of berries per gallon, and if so, how much?


I had never heard of it. A brief search via Wiki shows that it eaten east of western Europe, so I guess you know the fruit well enough to say if it is fit for human consumption. The Wiki article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_padus

says that it is astringent due to tannins, so it sounds similar to prunus virginiana, and you are correct, that is what I use. If indeed you know that what you will use is non-poisonous for humans, I would use the same amount of berries as I used for chokecherries.

welcome to the forum!
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Shahivann

Posts: 4

Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:15 am

Post Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:33 am

Re: Choke Cherry Belgian Wit

Thanks for the answer! You can make a very tasty liqueur with bird cherries, which most certainly would be just as good with chokecherries. http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/misce ... gbarslikor

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