I have been a bit lax with my brewing lately, so for this week here is a recipe from my pre-Mad Fermentationist vaults.
The base beer for my attempt was based on a Mike McDole Eisbock, and the idea to use cherries was based on a note in Radical Brewing that cherries were popular in German Bocks before the Reinheitsgebot (which among many other things forbade the use of fruit in brewing) enveloped the country.
Since I was adding the cherries in the middle of winter using fresh was not an option. To try to get a balanced fruit character I went with four different forms of cherry: Oregon puree, sour cherry juice, dried cherries caramelized in port, and cherries packed in water (from Trader Joe's). Combined they did a pretty good job giving a balanced cherry character, and the bit of cooked flavor actually worked well with the dark malt.
Cherryator (Cherry Doppelbock) Tasting 8/16/09
Appearance – Nearly opaque, dark brown, with just a hint of amber when held to the light (surprising not to see much red). The light tan head isn't big, but the retention is great.
Smell – At first I get sweet cherries, but the deep brown-sugary malt quickly takes over. It used to be much more fruit forward in its youth. There is a hint of oxidized malt, but considering this beer is pushing four years old it is in pretty good shape (I really think the cherries' antioxidants helped).
Taste – The slightly tart cherry twang is present balancing the potent sweetness (not to say that it isn't still almost cloyingly sweet). The finish is lightly roasted coffee and caramel (the roast character is not common in German Doppelbocks, I was probably too heavy handed with the Carafa). There is a deep bready/malty character from the Munich malt and to a lesser extent the decoction mash. The alcohol is completely hidden behind the malt/fruit sweetness (FG was ~1.034).
Drinkability & Notes – A great dessert beer, disturbingly easy to drink (even on a hot August evening), it has held up well considering I brewed it in 2005. The only batch that I still have bottles of that is older than this is a double-saison that was brewed in September 2005, but it is not very good (too much dried ginger).
Recipe Specifics (All-Grain)
Batch Size (Gal): 5.00
Total Grain (Lbs): 17.33
Anticipated OG: 1.100
Anticipated SRM: 21.8
Anticipated IBU: 23.7
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80 %
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes
12.00 lbs. Munich Malt
2.00 lbs. Vienna Malt
1.00 lbs. CaraPils
1.00 lbs. Flaked Soft White Wheat
1.00 lbs. Rye Malt
0.33 lbs. Carafa
1.50 oz. Hallertauer Mittelfruh @ First Wort Hop
0.25 oz. Hallertauer Mittelfruh @ 85 min.
0.50 oz. Hallertauer Mittelfruh @ 10 min.
8.00 Oz Cherries Caramelized in port
32.00 Oz Sour Cherry Juice
3.00 Lbs Oregon Cherry Puree
12 oz Cherries Packed in Water
WYeast 2206 Bavarian Lager
Dough In 20 min @ 95
Protein Rest 120 min @ 122 (Infusion)
Sacc Rest 75 min @ 152 (Decoction)
Mash Out 15 min @ 167 (Decoction)
Brewed 11/5/05 OG 1.100, 1/2 lbs rice hulls stirred in at mashout. 8 oz dried sour cherries boiled with Port in a frying pan until almost dry then added at flameout. Wort cooled to 55 then pitched with a decanted 5 qrt starter.
12/2/05 Ramped up to room temp (~65) for a diacetyl rest.
12/6/05 1.040, transferred onto the rest of the cherries (1 can Oregon puree and 1 can TJ's cherries in water and the sour cherry juice).
1/2/06 1.039, racked off cherries to lager
Slow 2 week drop to 30 degrees
4/7/06 1.034, and pretty tasty
4/23/06 Bottled with a fresh pack of 2206 and 2 1/8 oz of corn sugar.
5/7/06 Minimal carbonation, moved to furnace room and agitated to get yeast moving.
5/22/06 Fully carbonated, cherries taste processed. Solid, but not much complexity apparent. Beer moved to fridge for further conditioning.
8/6/06 Cherry flavor has mellowed and improved, turned out to be a very tasty beer. Over time a mild sourness from the cherries emerged which is a nice counterpoint to the thick sweet malt.
Next Time: Fresh cherries (mix of sweet and sour). Simpler grainbill, drop the carapils and rye. Decoction may not be necessary because the cherries prevent the malt from really being showcased. Drop the last hop addition (no hop aroma after long aging).