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Troegs Mad Elf summer edition

I know this is a “Christmas” beer but I love it and never see any available locally. I have looked at some clone recipes and they all seem to be Pilsner base with some Munich and chocolate. Belgian yeast. Honey for more ABV I guess and some kind of cherries. Cherry puree would by my way to go since my luck with using fruit has not been good.

I was thinking about a slightly toned down version 11% is cool for a have one during the holidays but it’s over the top for much else. I could even work the honey and cherries into one of my typical 20 gallon batches but only use them for 5 or 10 gallons of it for a trial in case I really don’t like it. Might tone down the chocolate because I don’t find it appealing in that style beer.

How much puree and honey do you think for a secondary addition? Ideas?

How strong is the cherry character in this beer? Also, have you considered using dried cherries? They’re a great option, although a lot of them are coated with vegetable oil to prevent them from clumping together. But if you can find them without oil, they pack a real punch and don’t eat up as much of your beer volume as fresh or puree.

My experience with cherry puree has been less than awesome. Huge amount of waste (like the bottom third of the carboy) and the resulting beer had a distinct metallic flavor that I haven’t gotten from fresh fruit. This was with the Vintner’s Harvest variety, you might have better luck with Oregon fruit puree as that’s what a lot of the local breweries use.

If I recall, since it has been a while, the cherry flavor is not up front. It’s more in the background but you know it’s there. If you have ever tasted Ommegang Three Philosophers it has Kreik added. You know it’s there.

Come to think of it, it might be worth the money to simply buy some Kreik and add it rather than screwing around with cherries. The sour from it would certainly work.

Good idea! I’d also try some tart cherry juice or concentrate. The advantage of this is you can add it at packaging to taste, and as long as you account for the sugar in the juice in your carbonation levels, you’ll be good to go. And there’s no waste to speak of. The Knudsen “Just Tart Cherry” juice works really well and is pretty easy to find.

I make Belgian cherry tart that’s pretty close to mad elf. I use two pounds clover honey late boil and 2 pounds fresh tart or sour cherries and 3 pounds cherries for seven days

Don’t discount the Cherry extract(LD Carlson?) out of hand. It’s one extract that I think is actually better than fresh or dried fruit. The Apricot extract is another

I have only used the extracts a couple of times. Once a blueberry. Can’t say I liked that much. Tasted fake. Real fruit wise I’d rather not get involved with that. It would be different if there was a free our cheap source nearby.

The Knudsen stuff seems to be available at Walmart. Is it in grocery stores too? How much to add? Assuming it has natural sugar in it, adding at kegging wouldn’t work.

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