Author Topic: Cherries  (Read 1752 times)

Offline brewtopia

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Cherries
« on: August 11, 2010, 09:14:54 AM »
What is the best way/method to add cherries to my wort? I was thinking about crushing them, putting them in cheese cloth and letting them soak in the wort....But maybe someone with prior experience can give me some advice.

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Re: Cherries
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2010, 09:21:53 AM »
Add them to the secondary, you don;t ant to add them to wort. Add them to the finished beer. You can freeze fresh cherries which will cause the fruit membranes to rupture. If you are concerned about sanitztion blanch them in boiling water before freezing.

You may actually have to use a tertiary fermenter because when I have used cherries in the past it was very difficult to rack off the beer without picking up bits and pieces. Another option might be to use a puree.
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Offline denny

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Re: Cherries
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2010, 11:37:12 AM »
Do I recall cherry pits being a source of arsenic?  Seems like in the distant past I remember someone saying to pit them before you use them.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Cherries
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2010, 11:39:34 AM »
Do I recall cherry pits being a source of arsenic?  Seems like in the distant past I remember someone saying to pit them before you use them.
Pretty sure it's cyanide, but in any event, you might want to pit them if you are using lots of cherries.  Small amounts is no big deal.  I don't know where I'd draw the line though, so I'd just pit them all.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline denny

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Re: Cherries
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2010, 11:40:24 AM »
Right you are, Tom (as usual!).  I knew it was something I'd rather not ingest!
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Offline brewtopia

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Re: Cherries
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2010, 11:41:10 AM »
I was thinking about pitting them, then putting them in.....

Offline bluesman

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Re: Cherries
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2010, 11:41:32 AM »
Yes...Cherry pits contain small amounts of cyanide and can cause poisoning if eaten in large quantities. However, there should be little problem if accidentally swallowed.
Ron Price

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Re: Cherries
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2010, 11:55:51 AM »
Good point, Denny. Then ones I have used have always been pitted.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Cherries
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2010, 11:58:03 AM »
I was thinking about pitting them, then putting them in.....
I'd pit them then freeze them, then thaw them, then put them in.

Freezing helps break down the cells, so you extract the cherry goodness more easily.  And thawing helps keep you from crash cooling your beer :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline tom

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Re: Cherries
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2010, 01:02:57 PM »
I know apple seeds have cyanide, never heard about cherry pits though.

Some actually advise leaving the pits in which add more flavor. I believe there is a spice called "malherb" or something made from cherry pits that adds some almond-like flavor.
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Re: Cherries
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2010, 02:24:29 PM »
Some actually advise leaving the pits in which add more flavor. I believe there is a spice called "malherb" or something made from cherry pits that adds some almond-like flavor.
I haven't heard of that spice, but cyanide supposedly smells like almonds so . . .
Tom Schmidlin

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Re: Cherries
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2010, 02:26:05 PM »
Found this:
http://www.worldspice.com/spices/0130mahleb.shtml

Mahleb

Prunus mahaleb

The pit of the black cherry with a slightly sour, bitter flavor. Used primarily in Turkish and Armenian breads and pastries we've had success adding a couple of tablespoons (crushed) to our normal sugar cookie recipes. It adds a faint floral note that pairs well with tea.

There's a wikipedia entry on it too:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahlab

<edited to add wikipedia reference>
Tom Schmidlin

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Cherries
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2010, 02:37:18 PM »
Just about all of the stone fruits have cyanide or prussic acid.  Even almonds have trace levels.

One of the guys in the club makes some very tasty meads with mahleb.

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Offline susanr

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Re: Cherries
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2010, 02:37:50 PM »
Most pits/seeds have small amounts of cyanide in them - not a problem tho since an acid environment will eliminate the toxic effects.

More what you need to decide is if you want the flavors that go along with the Cherry Pits - generally will add the almond/vanilla flavors - in Meads will give an almost Chocolate flavor after aging altho most beers won't be around long enough for this to develop.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Cherries
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2010, 04:12:24 PM »
Most pits/seeds have small amounts of cyanide in them - not a problem tho since an acid environment will eliminate the toxic effects.

That is good to know.  Thanks.
Jeff Rankert
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