Hi. To start, please don’t crucify me for this post. I haven’t brewed a fruit beer before, but I’ve poked around in the posts thinking about it. But, my daughter is visiting at the end of August, and she has asked me to brew a cherry wheat. There’s really not enough time for me to do this (with other commitments), BUT, I just so happen to have a batch of American Wheat sitting on my bench waiting to go into the kegerator. And it’s been ready to go in for about 3-4 weeks now, so it’s probably nicely conditioned. Is there any way I can make this a ‘decent’ cherry wheat without it tasting like syrup has been added? If not, it is what it is. Thanks for any advice.
I have an American wheat I’m thinking of adding some orange zest at kegging. I’ve never tried it but since your kegging maybe add some juice from fresh crushed cherries to the keg. Go light and add more if you need to. The cold temp will keep it from re fermenting I believe.
Already ready to keg, eh? Hmm…
One thing I do know is that the cherry flavoring sold at most homebrew shops makes the beer taste like Robitussin cough syrup – not good. But I do have an idea…
What if you were to add like 1.5 gallons of tart cherry juice (Montmorency) from a local orchard or your supermarket? Try to find some without preservatives. I wonder if they make frozen concentrate with no preservatives – probably not. But then anyway, the idea is if you add that in there, it will probably only take like 3-4 days to ferment out. Then keg and you’d be ready to roll. And if the juice makes the beer taste too tart, you could also add 0.5 to 0.75 lb lactose or maltodextrin to sweeten it – these sugars are not very sweet but are also not fermentable, so they’re safe to add after fermentation is complete.
Old Orchard frozen concentrate has no preservatives. I’ve used the apple cherry in cider with great results.
Trader Joes sells frozen cherry concentrate, I don’t think it has preservatives.
Maybe mash up some cherries and cover with vodka, then add the liquid to the beer. Basically make your own extract.
Thanks for the replies! I think I’ll split the batch and try it (my daughter won’t drink the whole thing anyway…maybe ). I’ll post back the results when it’s done. Thanks again!
That’s a good idea, don’t want to ruin the whole batch. Let us know how it turns out.