Subject: Cherries lost in the snow
Date: 1992-06-19 17:35:00 GMT
Regarding the article on fruit in the latest Zymurgy, which suggests
0.5 to 2 lbs of cherries per gallon, I have another data point. I
used a 96 fl. oz. can of Cherry Wine Base split between two 5 gallon
batches. The net weight was not given, but the gross weight of the
can was 6.5 lbs. The cherries were whole with pits included. There
was a medium, dark red "syrup" in the can along with the whole cherries.
There was no indication as to the composition of the "syrup."
I hypothesized that if this can was meant to make 5 gallons of cherry
wine, then it should have enough flavor to add some subtile cherry notes
to two 5 gallon batches of beer. Not so.
The first batch was a sweet stout with 6.6 lbs of John Bull unhopped
Malt Extract syrup and some crystal malt. I added the 48 fl. oz. immediately
after turning off the heat. The resulting beer had no cherry flavor or
aroma. In fact, I entered this beer in the AHA Competition and it scored a 38.
Suspecting that the CO2 produced during fermentation scrubbed the cherry
aromatics out of the beer, I decided to add the second half of the cherries
(stored in a glass jar in the fridge for 10 days) in the secondary of
a lightly hopped (by midwestern standards :^) pale ale. I boiled up two
quarts of water and then added the cherries to it to "sanitize." The resulting
beer had a slight tendancy towards an orange color, clarity was fair-to-poor,
a little bit of cherry aroma at bottling time (none after conditioning at 65F
for two weeks) and the cherry flavor was so slight, that if you didn't know
it was supposed to be a cherry ale, you would blame esters for the fruity
My contention is that, at least with canned Cherry Wine Base, 0.6 lbs/gallon
is not enough and even 1 lb/gallon may not be enough either.
I'm off to Michigan tomorrow morning to pick *fresh* cherries, if the
blasted birds haven't beaten me to them.
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