Author Topic: Sour Cherries....to wash or not wash  (Read 324 times)

Offline Herminator

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Sour Cherries....to wash or not wash
« on: July 22, 2014, 09:31:41 AM »
So I have a co-worker who has a booming sour cherry tree in her yard.  We made a deal on me taking the cherries for an upcoming brew day. 

My plan is to make a sour cherry ale (not sure what kind yet).  I plan to freeze them until I decide on a recipe and ensure they keep until I brew. Because I am freezing them, I am sure that most of the wild yeast and micro-organisms will be killed off.  This is a good and bad thing for me as I am interested in the wild yeast. 

My question.  Would you wash them  and freeze or freeze unwashed?  Any suggestions? 

Cheers.
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Online klickitat jim

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Re: Sour Cherries....to wash or not wash
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2014, 09:49:32 AM »
I'd probably wash, pit, and freeze.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Sour Cherries....to wash or not wash
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2014, 09:51:17 AM »
I would wash them with just water to knock off dirt, bird poop, whatever and inspect them to eliminate fruit that is going bad.  Pit them, but you may want to keep some of the pits for almond flavor.  There should still be a lot of microorganisms on the cherry skins.
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Offline Herminator

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Re: Sour Cherries....to wash or not wash
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2014, 10:04:35 AM »
Great suggestions (especially about the bird poop...ha).  Thanks!
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Sour Cherries....to wash or not wash
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2014, 10:14:44 AM »
yeah, rinse is good enough. I wouldn't bother pitting them cause it's a huge PITA even with a cherry pitter when you are talking about 10 + pounds. I did 2.5 pounds last time I got fresh cherries and it was a mess and took too long. the other 7.5 pounds that were not destined for pie went in the beer with pits and stems and all.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Sour Cherries....to wash or not wash
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2014, 10:54:02 AM »
...Because I am freezing them, I am sure that most of the wild yeast and micro-organisms will be killed off...

Freezing won't 'kill' most microbes. It may lower the viability, but you'll eventually get wild yeast/bacteria growth when you bring it back up to temp.

If you want to utilize the wild yeast, wash with cold water and use them whole/fresh. If you have to store them, get a culture going before freezing: drop a few fresh cherries into a quart of starter wort.

If the starter isn't to your liking, or if you decide against a mixed ferment, puree and sulfite after thawing.

Don't worry about pitting. I would take the stems off, though.
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