Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Throwing Cherries in the Crick

 Pages: Brewday - Cherry Addition

Last night we threw 10 pounds of frozen, tart cherries (pitted) into the partial sour-mash beer affectionately known as "Crick" fermenting in the corner.  It was a week and two days since primary fermentation began, and the initial speedy bubbling had died down.

Our 10 lbs frozen pitted tart cherries came in two 5 lb bags.  We cut these open, poured the contents into our brewpot, and turned the heat on medium, stirring occasionally.

You don't want the cherries to boil for numerous reasons, including the extraction of bitter tannins and the destruction of delicate aromatic compounds.  We heated them to 180 degrees Fahrenheit and turned the pot off, holding the temperature for 20 minutes.  This pasteurizes the cherries without boiling or chemical additions.  After turning the burner off and letting the cherry slurry cool to 80F, we poured it, cup by cup, into the beer.  Get a load of the color!  And the goop!

These yeasties really love me!

Then we popped the lid back on, fit it with a fresh airlock, and set it back in the corner.  When we woke up, it was bubbling as fast as it had 3-4 days into primary fermentation.  Preferably you should use a blow-off tube, but alas, our tube is the wrong size.  No worries though, because no beer has come up through the airlock.

Pre-cherry addition, this beer already smelled like a fantastic fruity wheat beer.  The color was darker than expected, probably due to the oak cubes.  The sourness wasn't apparent in smell, but then again, it's still fermenting.

We can't wait to taste this one!  It's definitely our most out-there brew to date...

-Myles and Carla

 Pages: Brewday - Cherry Addition

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