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Montmorency cherry concentrate/cherry beer?

I am looking to do a couple experimental batches with cherries. Probably a Belgian Golden (red) and Stout. There are basically 4 ways I am considering adding the cherry -

  • Fresh (Not really an option for me)
  • Dried
  • 100% Juice
  • Concentrate Juice

Example - http://stores.cherrylandsbest.com/-strs … gories.bok

Couple questions for anyone that has any experience with this.

1.) Is concentrate a good way to go? I am thinking it is the best way to add a lot of cherry flavor without adding 20 lbs of cherries or 2+ gallons of juice.

2.) How much concentrate to a 5 gallon batch? I want a distinctive cherry tartness ( Think New Glarus Cherry Stout for example) - not a subtle background flavor that you are wondering about.

I was thinking about going with 32 ounces concentrate in a 5 gallon batch.

3.) I was thinking about doing the belgian with 1388 Belgian Strong Ale yeast and the Stout with 1056. I was also considering breaking each batch into two fermenters and doing half just with yeast, and half with a bret. addition or lambic yeast or something of that nature. Thoughts?

Any ideas or experience appreciated.
thanks

1.) Is concentrate a good way to go? I am thinking it is the best way to add a lot of cherry flavor without adding 20 lbs of cherries or 2+ gallons of juice.

That or puree would work. They also sell extract, artificial I think but has a similar flavor.

2.) How much concentrate to a 5 gallon batch? I want a distinctive cherry tartness ( Think New Glarus Cherry Stout for example) - not a subtle background flavor that you are wondering about.

I was thinking about going with 32 ounces concentrate in a 5 gallon batch.

That seems like a lot. I’d guess half that would be enough.

3.) I was thinking about doing the belgian with 1388 Belgian Strong Ale yeast and the Stout with 1056. I was also considering breaking each batch into two fermenters and doing half just with yeast, and half with a bret. addition or lambic yeast or something of that nature. Thoughts?

Sounds fine, I love a good kriek. Just give the Brett time to work its magic, it will take several months.

Can’t help you except for saying that concentrate is definitely the way to go. I made a 1.054 stout and added Montmorency fresh juice from cherries that I picked where I work. I crushed and strained and added campden to them before kegging. I figured there was no chance of refermenting at fridge temp in a keg. Anyway, the flavor is so mild you just end up watering the beer down. I will definitely try concentrate next time.

The only one I’ve used is the puree from Oregon Fruit Products. I brewed an Oud bruin with Wyeast Roselare (5 gal), 1 yr in the carboy, brewed another,
6 months in the carboy. Then I blended them and split, 1 on cherries, 1 on whole Saaz hops for 6 more months. The cherries broke down and integrated great with the beer. Probably two of my favorite beers, brewing and drinking.

Thanks for the input guys. I will be going with the concentrate. I may scale it back from 32 oz. to 16-24. I do think I will split both batches and add a brett./lambic yeast to half of each. I will report back with results someday in the future.

I’ve used tart cherry concentrate several times and this is about what I use. I’ve been tempted to add the whole bottle but haven’t tried it yet. Remember, you can always add more if you want it.

My last Niueuwe Kriek (sour worted oud kriek), I added 20 oz. of Tart is Smart montmorency cherry concentrate for 6 gallons of beer 1/2 - 2/3 way through the ferment. I calculated that amount according to the info I could find about how many cherries used per oz. in the concentrate, and used a similar amount as the # of cherries per gallon in a famous Belgian oud kriek (I just don’t remember which one). I’m drinking one of mine now and the cherry is about right for my tastes.

A few years ago I added one can (3 lbs) Oregon brand tart/sweet cherry puree to about 5.75 gallons of Dubbel in secondary, along with 1 qt. unsweetened organic tart cherry 100% juice (available in some grocery stores, or at health food stores) for 10 days, and that also worked very well.

Thanks for the additional info. Sounds like I should at least be in the ball park as a starting point for these batches.

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