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Dark Cherry Ale

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deebee

The Bludgeon Brewery
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Well I thought this would be an interesting brew so I threatened to post my tasting notes, but I nearly didn't because it's not great beer. Still I'm bored tonight so you can suffer through it with me.

1.7kg Coopers Classic Old Dark kit
1.5kg Coopers pale liquid malt extract
650g black cherry jam
(50% by weight black cherries, grape juice concentrate, fruit pectin, lemon juice, (no sucrose))
Safale S04
20g Goldings hops flowers for finishing

Sounds ok? That's what I thought anyway. But...

It pours the colour of caramel coca cola. Smells like kit n kilo homebrew. Tastes ok - nice maltiness - but also somehow sweet and cidery. No smokiness. No bitterness. Cherries very distant background flavour. Not too horrible, but just not like a dark ale and not what I had in mind when I decided to make this beer.

Why the cider taste, with no sucrose? Got me stuffed. Won't be putting jam in beer again.
 

GMK

BrewInn Barossa:~ Home to GMKenterprises ~
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The green apple cidery smell/taste is usually from fermentation temp too high for the yeast.

Can also be a sign of autolysis from the dad yeast cells being eaten by the live yeast cells when all the sugars/primary fermentation has finished.

Suggested improvements:
Use Beermakers Old- more mellow and not as sharp/roasty as the Coopers.
You have alot of malt and not enogh fruit.
Also, as it is processed jam - can also get a pectin haze.
When i made my Merry Berry Beer - i used 95% fruit spread in the secondary and tertiary until i had the desired fruity flavour/balance that i wanted.

Hope this helps.
 

deebee

The Bludgeon Brewery
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Ken,

Good idea about adding to the secondary/tertiary.

My notes say it was brewed at 18-20C so not really too hot. I know that hot-brewed taste all too well and some might call it cidery. I think of it as fruity or banana-like. That's not it. This is more like the taste you get if you use that CSR/Coopers "brewing sugar" ie mostly sucrose.

And I racked the brew after four days so autolysis is unlikely. I don't think i have ever identified that taste, said to be like vegemite.

I just wonder whether fructose gives that same cidery taste as sucrose?

Anyone want to describe the taste of fermented fructose?
 

Linz

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Don't know about the fructose flavour, but I have encountered the autolysis. It is sooo like vegimite it is unmistakeable.
I came across an old bottle of K+K (my version of tooheys OLD) in a cupboard so into the fridge for a day or so and there it was.
Not too pronounced, as the bottle had just hit is end shelf life, but more in the after taste on the first mouthful. Then you're buggered for the rest of the night cause thats all you can detect from there on. :( :( :(
 

Backlane Brewery

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The old Russian lady who lives in our flats gave me a container of home made sour cherries the other day. She makes them by packing washed cherries in brown sugar, puts the lot in a big jar covered with muslin & leaving on the window sill for a month or so before sealing the jar. These are last years batch, and they taste fantastic, have an intense sour twang that tastes to me like lactobacillus, thought it may be wild yeast from the cherry skins. I see from checking prior threads people have had mixed success with fruits. I want to put these in a dark ale/stout, but thought I would get some ideas from the forum first.
1- if they have been fermented due to wild yeast, can I make a starter from them and add no more yeast to the brew?
2- they are fairly alcoholic- is it likely than any of the souring or fermenting yeast is still alive to use in the first place?
3- I only have about 100g of them left- do I need more for a 23l batch- maybe able to culture up some jam with them.
4- thinking of making them up in a Cooper's stout kit with 1kg dried LME & maybe a 200g chocolate malt steep/minimash.

Thoughts?
 

GMK

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i would add the cheries in the secondary.
I would de pip them and mash them up with a potatoe masher and put into secondary and rack over the top.

U could also try adding 100gms of Medium toasted aok chips in there as well.
Be careful on the lactobacillus - ie when finished realised sterlise the fermenter. As u want the sour and lacto - i would not blanch the cherris.

Also, i would make a 1/2 batch - 11 ltrs.
With the other 11 ltrs - turn that into a Russian Imperial Stout....
Do a partial mash with 1.5 kg of grain - ale, crystal, choc, black and some roast.
200gms dark brown sugar
1 kg of LME.

Optional
- 100gms of Dark Compound cooking chocolate
- oak chips
- spices - cinamon, nutmeg & cloves...
 

mikem108

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I usually use Raspberry or Sour Cherry Syrup that comes from eastern europe, Croatia or some place like that(I get it at the local supermarket), it doesn't have to much sugar in it only 5% from memory. About $6 a bottle its cheaper than frozen or tinned berries and theres no seeds to cuase pectin haze.
 

deebee

The Bludgeon Brewery
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As an addendum to those posts so long ago, I should add that this beer turned out quite nice. It was 9 months old when I took it to a Perth AHB get-together and there were a few who liked it a lot. From memory the sweetness disappeared altogether and the cidery flavours turned into a gently pleasant kind of sourness. It's a pity I drank most of it before it matured.
 

PostModern

Iron Wolf Brewery
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GMK said:
<snip>

U could also try adding 100gms of Medium toasted aok chips in there as well.
Be careful on the lactobacillus - ie when finished realised sterlise the fermenter. As u want the sour and lacto - i would not blanch the cherris.

<snip>

Optional
- 100gms of Dark Compound cooking chocolate
- oak chips
- spices - cinamon, nutmeg & cloves...
If the lacto is still alive, it will consume all of the sugars in the wort. You really do need to boil the cherries to kill it before it enters your beer.

Ken, always with the oak chips!
 

GMK

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u should try it...just did an oak cider - extremely good.

For centuries they use oak as fermentation vats (pilsner Urquel use un lined open aired oak vats) and lagering vessels.

Adds a nice depth & complexity.....
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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i agree, kenneth. Have a strong ale in my oak barrel, will bottle that soon. six months in an oak barrel should do wonderful things to the beer!

JM
 

Asher

Junctyard Brewing
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Fruit can also be added to a finished beer. Try a cherry & some of the syrup in a dogbolter for example... would be pretty tasty

Asher for now
 

kook

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GMK said:
u should try it...just did an oak cider - extremely good.

For centuries they use oak as fermentation vats (pilsner Urquel use un lined open aired oak vats) and lagering vessels.

Adds a nice depth & complexity.....
Actually Pilsner Urquell used pitch lined barrels Ken, to keep the beer away from the wood. They've used stainless for quite a few years now too (over 10!).

All the standard brewers that use wood vessels for fermentation and storage use pitch lining. Its near impossible to ensure sanitisation without lining. Even the "society for the preservation of beers from the wood" no longer rallys for their namesake cause, rather just for the preservation of cask beer in general (regardless of the vessel type).

The one exception is lambic brewers. Purely because the wild yeast thrives in the nooks and crannys of the wood. However lambic varies from batch to batch...

There is a very popular trend in the US at the moment of oak aging beers. This is however using barrels that were previously used for wine or spirit aging purposes. The previous alcohol in them has killed any wild yeasts, and its generally only done with high ABV beers such as imperial stouts.

All that said, I intend to play around with oak chips myself when i get back into brewing. It'd be interesting to soak a few in whiskey for 6 months then put them in secondary of a stout.
 

ausdb

Copper kettles don't kill people....
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mikem108 said:
I usually use Raspberry or Sour Cherry Syrup that comes from eastern europe, Croatia or some place like that(I get it at the local supermarket), it doesn't have to much sugar in it only 5% from memory. About $6 a bottle its cheaper than frozen or tinned berries and theres no seeds to cuase pectin haze.
[post="44411"][/post]​
I saw the sour cherry syrup in the shop today and bought a bottle, how much do you use normally in a batch and do you add it in primary or when?
 

Goat

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I bought a bottle of that too after talking about it yesterday ausdb. I would think that used in the primary, the flavour in the final product would be fairly understated.

I base this on listening to a talk by Brad Rogers a while back where he discussed the amount of honey he used in Beez Neez - can't remember the percentage but it was quite considerable with most of the honey flavour going with the reduction in sugar levels in the primary fermentation.

The oak thing sounds good too I have to admit...
 

Vlad the Pale Aler

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...all this interest in cherries would'nt be related to a gertain comp in December would it?
 

ausdb

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Vlad the Pale Aler said:
...all this interest in cherries would'nt be related to a gertain comp in December would it?
I wonder :p but as they say you've got to be in it to win it!
 

Wortgames

'Draught' is not a beer style - it's a lifestyle
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In my experience, adding any fruit will nearly always make for quite a dry cidery beer. Fruit and honey both suffer from the same problem - they need a certain degree of sweetness to taste the way they are supposed to taste, but they both ferment out really dry and create a cidery taste (for obvious reasons).

I have tried a good prune stout, which worked well because the stout itself was quite sweet (use of lactose and high mash temps I suspect) and I suspect the prunes were added prior to the boil or at the least boiled separately.

Another option you could try would be using an artificial sweetener as per certain cider recipes, but this doesn't appeal to me very much.

I wouldn't use any fruit without boiling it (unless it came in a sealed jar), and I certainly wouldn't add the product of any wild fermentation to my beer unless I was deliberately going for a lambic style and I was fairly sure what I was likely to end up with!

Don't forget that even lambics are traditionally served with sugar cubes or syrup for taste.
 

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