From the HBD Archive
From: cp@esl.ESL.COM (Tim Phillips)
Subject: Cranbeery Ale update
Date: 1989-12-19 15:48:22 GMT

I wanted to give you an update on my cranberry beer that I brewed
earlier this month. I posted a question of what to do after primary
fermentation had not begun after three days. I combined advice from
a number of people and re-pitched the yeast--only this time I used
champagne yeast. I figured perhaps the what-nots in cranberries had
moved the brew out of the ale yeast comfort zone, and maybe champagne
yeast had a better chance.

Well, sure enough, fermentation took off and everything went fine
from there on. I wanted to leave the stuff in the secondary longer
and also have more time to age in the bottles, but alas, the Christ-
mas season is upon us. So we opened the first bottles last Friday.

IT'S DRINKABLE! I was so happy! Not to say that this is anywhere
near being the best beer that I have ever had, but the beautiful
red color and mixture of cranberry, champagne, and beer tastes (in
that order) together make wonderful conversation pieces. A perfect
treat for the holidays.

In case you're interested, here is a record of my procedure. This
reflects what actually took place, so make your own mods as required:

1) Use Papazian's Cherries in the Snow recipe, substituting
6 lbs of cranberries for the 10 lbs of sour cherries.
(Have fun crushing all those cranberries! They squirt
and bounce all over the place! Get friends to help...)
2) Use chilled water to dilute, bringing temperature right to
68F (I got lucky), and immediately pitch with rehydrated
ale yeast. Promptly forget what the OG was. Oh, well.
3) Wait three days for nothing to happen.
4) Panic (in a relaxed way, of course): post question to
HBD, then add champagne yeast (dry, since you're panicked).
5) Relax a day later as fermentation takes off.
6) Wait five days, then skim off cranberries with a sanitized
strainer. Put siphon tube *inside* your hops bag, then
into the primary, and transfer to the secondary (this works
*great* at keeping out unwanted gook from the bottom of
the primary).
7) Bottle after a week in the secondary, using 3/4 cup corn
sugar. Promptly forget what FG was. Oh, well.
8) Unveil your cranbeery ale two weeks later. Enjoy! (Best
served well-chilled to the open-minded.)

Like I said, time in the secondary and in the bottles should probably
be longer. The beer is actually showing some signs of clearing, but
looks like it would take at least a couple of months. The cranberry
taste is quite dominating: I might try just 2 or 3 lbs in the future
and shoot for more of a hint rather than a blast.

Thanks for all your help, guys!

Timothy Phillips

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