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Cherries For Kriek

I was just wondering how important is it to use tart cherries instead of sweet cherries?

i was personally thinking of using montmorency cherries that are pitted and frozen but i wasnt sure how much better it would turn out then using say the vintner cherry puree.

any answers would be appreciated

Tart cherries are to style, but I have made good cherry dubbel with sweet cherries when in season. Depends on what you’re willing to try, based on available ingredients. I also like tart cherry juice concentrate - Tart is Smart is a tasty brand. I recently added at a rate of 18 fluid oz. per five gallons near the end of primary fermentation for a type of oud kriek, figuring the addition based on the brand’s reported ~100 cherries per ounce of unreconstituted concentrate and it is nice and not overpowering cherry flavor.

http://www.amazon.com/Tart-Smart-Cherry ... 090&sr=1-1

I used a combination of the two on my last kriek, came out fine. You get plenty of tartness from the Brett and lactobacillus.

for the time being i added 5 pounds of the oregon fruit montmorency cherries in water and plan to add approximately 3 pounds more of fresh sour cherries if i can get my hands on them if not i will just add a few more pounds of the oregon fruit puree to bring me up to about 8 or 9 pounds of cherries

The big difference between tarts (generally Montmorency,) and sweets is the level of citric acid, sweets have relatively little, tarts have quite a bit. When they’re dead ripe, tarts are have almost the same sugar level as sweets.

There’s another difference that won’t be an issue in brewing: celllulose for structure. Sweets have a much firmer structure, and won’t break down in heat like tarts do.

BTW, the Midwest’s cherry crop for 2012 is pretty much wiped out due to a very early blossom and getting frosted out.

I prefer sweet cherries when I make a cherry stout. I like the sweetness balancing the roastiness.

[quote=“jkalchik”]The big difference between tarts (generally Montmorency,) and sweets is the level of citric acid, sweets have relatively little, tarts have quite a bit. When they’re dead ripe, tarts are have almost the same sugar level as sweets.

There’s another difference that won’t be an issue in brewing: celllulose for structure. Sweets have a much firmer structure, and won’t break down in heat like tarts do.

BTW, the Midwest’s cherry crop for 2012 is pretty much wiped out due to a very early blossom and getting frosted out.[/quote]
My cherry tree has a nice crop on it, the flowers had bloomed and the fruit was set before we had a few frosts. I live in MO.

bump

Aight, here’s the deal:

After a lovely summer here in the self-proclaimed Cherry Captial of the World, I’m finally going to be returning home to the motherland. Sadly summer wasn’t so lovely for the cherry crop, but I did manage to get my hands on a several pounds of this year’s crop of tart cherries. I must sorrowfully acknowledge that they are frozen, but desperate times call for desperate measures. On the upside they’re already pitted.

Between that and the carboy sale going on right now, I’m thinkin’ it’s gonna have to be kriek time.

Now, I’m anticipating that these cherries will want to be pureed and subjected to some sanitization before going into the fermenter. And I don’t want to worry about keeping them frozen on the trip home either. And at my disposal here on the Leelanau Peninsula is a wealth of kitchen equipment, notably including a pressure canner and a food mill.

So it seems natural to mush the cherries through the mill and then process them in the canner. Anyone see any problems with that? I figure the mill probably won’t do a puree so much as a coarseish mush. OTOH they didn’t have blenders in 18th century Belgium and I’m sure their beer came out fine. What about the processing? Anyone know ahead of time if I can get away with water bath, or do I need to pressure can them?

Anybody know what the effect would be if the pits were left in? I ask this because my family has always canned cherries in a sauce…and the flavor is somewhat dependant on the pits. I wonder if leaving the pit in would enhance the cherry flavor? I have also only been brewing for 6 months, so my knowledge is quite limited when it comes to beer, yeast, etc.

I’d be cautious about it, personally. Cherry pits are full of cyanide. I don’t know how much of it would end up in the beer over the course of the secondary. Presumably not enough to do any serious harm, but it’s hard to feel sure about that.

Traditional way was to use pits, it is right in the BJCP style guideline for fruit sours.
http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style17.php#1f

[quote=“tom sawyer”][quote=“jkalchik”]The big difference between tarts (generally Montmorency,) and sweets is the level of citric acid, sweets have relatively little, tarts have quite a bit. When they’re dead ripe, tarts are have almost the same sugar level as sweets.

There’s another difference that won’t be an issue in brewing: celllulose for structure. Sweets have a much firmer structure, and won’t break down in heat like tarts do.

BTW, the Midwest’s cherry crop for 2012 is pretty much wiped out due to a very early blossom and getting frosted out.[/quote]
My cherry tree has a nice crop on it, the flowers had bloomed and the fruit was set before we had a few frosts. I live in MO.[/quote]
I have family that is very big in the cherry industry in Michigan. The crop up there was almost a complete loss. They packaged about 1%of their typical pack.
It sounds like it will be a fantastic year for grapes though.

I’d be cautious about it, personally. Cherry pits are full of cyanide. I don’t know how much of it would end up in the beer over the course of the secondary. Presumably not enough to do any serious harm, but it’s hard to feel sure about that.[/quote]
By “full of cyanide” do you mean very small amounts? :wink:

some krieks (cantillon, hannsens) that are aged on the pits have a nice almond character to them.

I’ve used whole fresh cherries with no pits. I didn’t puree or pit them. They worked fine, the only thing is they don’t break down much. I think you’ll get more flavor faster if you pit and crush or puree the cherries. I did freeze mine first to break down the cells some, but like I said after three months they looked like cherries still although some of the color had left and they were a little more dull brown.

You aren’t going to get cyanide out of a pit that isn’t cracked open.

FWIW, I’ve pitted and frozen tarts back on the farm (deep freeze at -15 F,) and put them on dry ice for the 12+ hour drive back to the Twin Cities, they arrived completely frozen in a closed cooler. You should be able (or have been able…) to get dry ice at Meijer’s or Baskin-Robins.

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