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General Category => Beer Recipes => Topic started by: Drew_C on October 25, 2017, 10:11:19 AM

Title: Holiday Cranberry Ale help
Post by: Drew_C on October 25, 2017, 10:11:19 AM
I am looking to tweak a cream ale for the holidays. I bought an all grain cream ale kit (from Northern Brewer if it helps) and I would like to add cranberries to it. I have read several things about adding whole cranberries, adding puree or juice. I do not want the cranberry to overpower the beer. I am doing a ten gallon brew and will split into two five gallon carboys to ferment and again in secondary (if necessary). So my questions are:

     - What type of cranberry do you suggest?
     - How much?
     - When?

Thank you for any help you all can provide.
Title: Re: Holiday Cranberry Ale help
Post by: Stevie on October 25, 2017, 11:04:59 AM
I would use something like the Just Cranberry Juice from RW Knudsen. Can’t say on the amount. Frozen and smashed berries would work, but extra effort and time.

http://www.rwknudsenfamily.com/products/single-fruit-juices/just-cranberry?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIv9WT-K2M1wIVDWx-Ch0O3wBcEAAYASAAEgI8iPD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CMqZ_4GujNcCFUWuTwodC-APOg
Title: Re: Holiday Cranberry Ale help
Post by: kramerog on October 25, 2017, 12:08:20 PM
Since you don't want to overwhelm your cream ale, I would try 12-16oz/5 gallons of frozen berries.  The exact time during fermentation to add and the form of the cranberry is probably not that important as cranberry isn't particularly fragrant.  I would add right after krausen peaks and then taste a few days later.  Add more if you like.
Title: Re: Holiday Cranberry Ale help
Post by: erockrph on October 27, 2017, 08:35:05 AM
Fresh cranberries will give less character than would expect compared to other berries. Cranberries just don't break down either by freezing or by soaking in beer/cider. Concentrate or good quality 100% juice will gie you a lot more control over your end result.

If you do choose to use berries, put them through 2 freeze/thaw cycles and crush them after each thaw to help them break up better. I am always amazed at how well my berries hold up after a hard frost, and even after a year in the freezer they are pretty firm after thawing (just ask my ducks lol).
Title: Re: Holiday Cranberry Ale help
Post by: Nathan on October 31, 2017, 09:37:20 AM
Since you don't want to overwhelm your cream ale, I would try 12-16oz/5 gallons of frozen berries.  The exact time during fermentation to add and the form of the cranberry is probably not that important as cranberry isn't particularly fragrant.  I would add right after krausen peaks and then taste a few days later.  Add more if you like.
I would add 4 to six ounces of table sugar with the fruit IME adding fermentables with the fruit really helps to preserve fruit flavour


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Title: Re: Holiday Cranberry Ale help
Post by: pete b on October 31, 2017, 06:15:50 PM
I use fresh cranberries in mead. Just pulled them in a food processor and put them in a mesh bag in the fermenter and they give all their flavor and color.
Title: Re: Holiday Cranberry Ale help
Post by: erockrph on November 01, 2017, 05:50:24 AM
I use fresh cranberries in mead. Just pulled them in a food processor and put them in a mesh bag in the fermenter and they give all their flavor and color.
Why have I never tried this instead of my convoluted freeze/smash/freeze/smash procedure?  ???

This makes me wish that my chickens didn't eat all my cranberries this year. I have a cider ready to keg and cranberry cider is awesome.
Title: Re: Holiday Cranberry Ale help
Post by: pete b on November 10, 2017, 12:15:39 PM
I use fresh cranberries in mead. Just pulled them in a food processor and put them in a mesh bag in the fermenter and they give all their flavor and color.
Why have I never tried this instead of my convoluted freeze/smash/freeze/smash procedure?  ???

This makes me wish that my chickens didn't eat all my cranberries this year. I have a cider ready to keg and cranberry cider is awesome.
The robocoup 450 turbo Bermixer is a good way to prepare 2 crates of cranberries. (https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171110/dbb42b9bb27ac48f15d88662588828b3.jpg)

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Title: Re: Holiday Cranberry Ale help
Post by: brewsumore on November 10, 2017, 07:52:15 PM
Sounds good - cranberries in beer, cider, and mead.  FWIW, I've made cranberry liqueuer from fresh food processed cranberries and that too is outstanding!