Greetings everyone, new here today but brewing for about 3 years. I have seen threads on this subject on different forums with a different point of view each time. I have wanted to try this but have never strayed from a kit that I purchased. “Schooldude” on another forum posted this question -
“All this talk of cherry chocolate stouts has peaked my interest. Now that all my stuff has came in i wanted to make sure my plan for Saturday doesn’t have any missteps. First I start with my NB chocolate milk stout kit. All done per instructions until 5 minutes before done adding 8 ounces of Hershey’s cocoa. (8 ounces came from another post saying if using 1 pound of lactose add half that size of cocoa). 3 days into ferminting add my can of Vintners Harvest Cherry Puree. two weeks after add 8 ounces of the nibs. now leave for 3 more weeks. at bottling time I plan to add3 ounces of vanilla extract. I also have 4 ounces of brewers best chocolate extract and cherry extract I can add to the bottling bucket if after a taste i feel some flavor needs a little enhancing. Am i on the correct path of made a major mistake somewhere.”
I think this is right on from what I had been told by another brewer. The only reply he received was not to add anything at bottling because flavor will enhance and meld during conditioning. The thing there was I had been told to taste at bottling and if no sign of flavors I expect then I could add the extract. I have the NB chocolate milk stout kit and cherry puree on the way but no extracts. Does anyone think I need to get them also.
Thanks to everyone who take their time to help on these forums.
The only help I can be is that I’ve heard the cherry extract can taste like cough medicine. Never used it myself, but have heard this several times.
A cherry chocolate stout sounds great, though!
Thanks, I have heard that also. If it came down to it I would hope I would only have to use a very small amount and with the3 pounds of cherry puree maybe not get the cough med effect. As many times as I have ran across this incarnation in one form or another I would think someone would make a seasonal kit for it.
I’m not a fan of canned fruit puree. Lots of people swear by it, but the few times I’ve used it I noticed a metallic taste. If you can, try to find some frozen tart cherries and use them instead. You’ll have a much better cherry flavor in your finished beer. Even better if you can find cherries with pits.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you could ferment with Wyeast brett lambicus in secondary, maybe with a little rye in the mash for some mouth feel. It throws an absolutely fantastic pie cherry flavor, but it’ll ferment it dry.
thanks for the info, I already have the puree so I will probably use it. adding the rye and the second round of yeast will all depend on how this first batch will turn out. I planning on this weekend. I would like to get to a point where i can venture away from kits or at least enhancing them.
I have had luck in the past with the fruit flavorings, but for this one I would say youre probably on the right track with the puree. Last year I brewed a Dark Cherry Stout (kit from NB, came with the fruit flavoring). While it was a good beer, I could not taste the cherry flavor. I had heard warnings about too much cherry flavoring resulting in the cold medicine taste, so I only used 3/4 of the bottle. If I were to attempt the beer again, I would definitely go the puree route to try to get a stronger, more natural flavor.
thanks for the reinforcement of my plan. I brewed Thursday evening and added the cherry puree this morning. My next step is to start soaking my 8 ounces of nibs in vodka on Friday and add them in next Sunday. Will keep everyone updated.