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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * September 2, 2003 * 20lbs of fresh Sour Cherries-What to do < Previous Next >

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Dan Grady (
Posted on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 02:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just picked up 20+lbs of sour cherries from Door County, WI. What to do? I have a mead that has been sitting since Thanksgiving. Can I dump some of the cherries in it? Any beers I could do while they are still fresh?

Aric Datesman (
Posted on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 03:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

'Morning Dan,

I asked the very same question a month or so ago and here was what I decided to do with 26# (after pitting) and the advice of the forum:

1. Chocolate Cherry Stout- 8# of cherries
2. Kreik pLambic- 7# of cherries
3. Cherry Wheat- 4# of cherries
4. Cherry Melomel- 7# of cherries

All would be 5 gallon batches. I may use the cherries for the kreik for something else since it probably won't be ready for them until I'm harvesting cherries again next year.

If I remember right, more than one person suggested making pies... :-)

As for your batch of mead that's been sitting, I'd have to defer to someone else as I've not tried it yet. It is my understanding, however, that you could simply pasteurize the cherries and add them. A packet of yeast might be a good idea as well.


Aric Datesman (
Posted on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 03:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oh, one other thing- I would't worry about using them fresh. I pitted mine and threw them in the freezer. Freezing is a good idea anyway since it breaks the cell walls and helps make the juices available for the yeast to ferment. I figured that there's really no difference between freezing overnight or a few months....


ps- I hope you either have or know someone who has a cherry pitting machine. It took me 3 hours to pit ~6 gallons of cherries using a manual pitting machine. I'd hate to think what it would be like doing it with a paring knife. probably like the time I destemmed 8# of red currants. Quite possibly the least pleasant 7 hours of my life.

Bill Pierce (
Posted on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 04:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You could add the cherries (I would use 2 lbs. per gallon for moderate cherry flavor or all 20 lbs. for a lot of flavor) to the mead. Allow enough head space for the cherry residue and fermentation. After this amount of time you may want to pitch additional yeast as well.

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