I brewed JZ's Black Forest Stout (recipe and details mentioned elsewhere in this forum) and have two major flaws I'd like to fix, if possible.
1.) Earthy/metallic off-flavor/astringency. I'm unsure if it is coming from the use of Carafa I,II, III and Chocolate malts during the entire mash (rather than cold-steeping or first runnings) or the cocoa nibs (x 2 weeks) in the secondary, or both, or neither.
2.) Hardly any cherry flavor or aroma to help balance the roast and cocoa aroma and flavor. I could not find any suitable canned cherry puree (i.e., Oregon), and used RW Knudsen's 100% Just Black Cherry juice, instead. The cherry result was barely detectable, and at the expense of thinning the body even more. In hindsight, it was not the best idea I've had. I'd like to boost the cherry flavor/aroma and body of the beer, if possible. If it leaves the finish little sweeter, that's OK, too, but it isn't a big priority (the sweetness).
Any thoughts about using:
1.) Cherry-flavored Jell-O? Any personal experience with using it? I'm intrigued by the possibility of "killing two birds with one stone," i.e., removing some of the astringent polyphenols and boosting the cherry flavors/aromas. The clarity of the beer is already very good (for a stout).
2.) Cherry-flavored Kool-Aid?
3.) Cherry extract--tried a sample on one bottle--YUCK! That imitation cherry extract is worse than just about anything.
4.) Cherry Syrup. I've found a few Maraschino cherry syrups (containing preservatives like Sodium Benzoate) and Rose's Grenadine syrup (same problem), but don't think they'd do well since they'd kill the yeast in the bottle wouldn't they? I don't want to trade one problem for another (autolysis and flat beers). It tastes great, though, when I add them to the sample, stir, and drink it.
5.) Cherry Schnapps. Can't find it--and not so wild about making it a potent beer. Though it may help mask some of the astringency.
In small samples, I've found the cherry jello and cherry syrup offer better aroma and taste, respectively. I've not had the opportunity to try the Kool-Aid option, yet.
Just wondered if anyone else has ever encountered this issue. And, how to make it better.