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04/30/07 12:06 PM  
Fermenting with cherries
I have a couple of brett beers fermenting right now, and am interested in adding some cherries into the fermenters. Can people recommend the best means of doing so?

Is it best or easiest to buy dried tart cherries and rehydrate them? And if so, what should they be rehydrated in?

Does anyone know of a source for whole, non-dried, tart cherries? I haven't found one yet.

I've read Jeff Sparrows' Wild Brews, and so I have a sense of the amount of cherries to use - I just need to get my hands on them.


Al B
04/30/07 01:00 PM  
Re: Fermenting with cherries
One thing about died cherries - some makers have vegetable oil on them to keep them soft.

There is a tart cherry concentrate but I haven't used it.

04/30/07 01:11 PM  
Re: Fermenting with cherries
The best results I ever got came from going to an orchard for cherry season (BTW that's like a week or two long in June) and picking pie cherries. I picked a lot and froze some. Months later I thawed out a freezer bag to make a pie. When they thawed they released a lot of juice. I made the pie with the fruit (which still turned out great despite all that juice being gone) and poured the juice into a Flanders style red.
04/30/07 01:21 PM  
Re: Fermenting with cherries
This is what I use, a sour cherry all natural concentrate. I've used it twice now and I highly recommend it.


Mike T
04/30/07 01:35 PM  
Re: Fermenting with cherries
I added a pound of dried tart cherries (rehydrated in 160 degree pinot noir, heated wine drained off, and then pureed with fresh wine) to 2 gallons of Brett C beer a few months ago. Ended up being really tasty (a mild hint of sour cherry), but the color is not as red as I had expected.

I have also had good results with combinations of cherry products (puree, fresh, and juice).

Jim Denier
04/30/07 02:39 PM  
Re: Fermenting with cherries

How does this natural cherry conc. compare w/ the Oregon concentrate sold in cans, and approx how much are you typically using in batches (wheats, wits, sours...)


04/30/07 02:46 PM  
Re: Fermenting with cherries
Wow Mike, cool idea. For what its worth the juice you get from freezing fresh cherries is VERY red. But rehydrating in Pinot Noir, cool man!
Mike T
04/30/07 03:31 PM  
Re: Fermenting with cherries
That beer is going to be my contribution to the Brett swap, so Iím looking forward to getting plenty of feedback on the idea/results. It was just half of a batch (so like half of it is going to the swap), so Iím probably going to do another batch of it when I finally get settled in my new place. This time around I will be using a B. anomalous instead of the claussenii used in the first batch.

I dumped the soaking wine because I thought it would help to get rid of any small amount of vegetable oil (listed on the package) and I thought heated wine would have lost some of its character, the downside being that some of the cherry color/flavor was probably lost in the process. If I can find fresh sour cherries this summer I will probably use those instead. The cherry concentrate Cisco linked to also appeals to me.

04/30/07 04:20 PM  
Re: Fermenting with cherries
The sour cherry concentrate I use is a much better quality than the canned version. So far I used a quart in a wit recipe and a quart in one of my year+ old Roesalare. The color is beautiful as well as the flavor and aroma. I thought the one quart in a 5 gallon batch was fine but a couple of the other guys in my mini club thought they would add more.
05/01/07 03:02 AM  
Re: Fermenting with cherries
I have done a few cherry beers.(no wild yeast or brett yet) I have a on going recipe now that im trying to get perfected. The first was just with the store bought frozen dark cherries. at 1lbs. per gal. It had a nice color but not much cherry flavor coming threw in the beer. The next one is half dark sweet cherries for the color and half tart cherries for a little more flavor. It will be ready in a 2 weeks I will let you know how it turned out...
05/01/07 12:42 PM  
Re: Fermenting with cherries
Frozen tart cherries can be bought at some (better) grocery stores. Check the frozen fruit section or the pie crust section. I know Trader Joe's carries them. They also have dried cherries, including tart. Given cherry pickin' season is soon, might be more amusing to pick some with a brew or baking buddy - even if they don't make this batch, you can freeze them as Steve did for future use...that is of course if you're in a cherry-growing area. Can usually find local orchards online.
05/01/07 03:07 PM  
Re: Fermenting with cherries
I mailoredered these and then turned out great:


Fairly reasonable - I used 5 cans in a 3 gallon batch of belgian ale.

05/01/07 03:07 PM  
Re: Fermenting with cherries
I mail ordered these and then turned out great:


Fairly reasonable - I used 5 cans in a 3 gallon batch of belgian ale.

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