I have about 8lb’s of tart cherries that i harvested from my cherry tree this year and have frozen. I have a northern brewer american wheat beer extract kit laying around.
I have a bottle of pure agave.
Anyone have any ideas/recipies on making this all work together?
I was thinking about adding the pitted cherries into a large nylon hop bag in the last 15-20 min of the boil, and then the agave at flame out. Not sure though.
I’d add the cherries in secondary… adding them to the boil is going to set the pectin in them and make it taste like cooked cherries. Unless that’s the flavor you want? A little pectinaise pitched with the yeast will take care of the haze.
The Belgian Lambic brewers add pits and all to kriek - no worries about the toxins in the pits. If you age it long enough on the cherries and pits, it extracts some almond flavor compounds.
I have brewed a cherry beer before. It tasted great, but siphoning off the cherries was a bit of a pain. I crushed the cherries then added them pits and all into the secondary or end of primary. Don’t boil them. If I was to make a cherry beer again in the future, I might just juice them and add only the juice instead of the entire cherries. It would make racking and bottling much easier. But you might lose a lot of the flavor compared with using the whole cherries. So, it’s really up to you. But add them after fermentation subsides. This will prevent too much of the aroma from disappearing with the CO2 during fermentation.
Brew your wheat ale recipe like normal, and – good idea – add the agave in the last few minutes of the boil or at flameout, that’s a good plan.
well, I have a big mouth bubbler for secondaries, but it is only a 5 gallon, I worry about the displacement of my wort if adding in the cherries to secondary. I suppose I could just use one of my standard fermentation buckets as a secondary…maybe?
You could also just add them to your primary after fermentation is over, then rack it off the cherries to clear up.
Either way, you do want some head space.
I like to have a spare gallon glass jug around for situations like this. Fill the carboy as much as you think you can get away with, definitely leave some headspace for the fermentation from the cherries, and put the surplus in the jug. Once fermentation dies down, you can top off the carboy from the jug, combine them in the bottling bucket, or just bottle them separately. Options!
But adding them to the primary bucket would work great, too. Racking out of the bucket with cherries gunking it up might be a bit of a PITA, but no worse than dealing with hop debris.
what about making a tincture then just add to taste before bottling
My advice–take 1-1/2 ounce each of your agave nectar, fresh lime juice, spring water, and good white tequila, mix well and shake with cracked ice. Enjoy in a salted margarita glass while you rack your beer onto your crushed cherries. :cheers: