7 Gallons Brewed July 13, 1993 Bottled July 19, 1993Start heating approximately 2 gallons of cold water in a brew pot. Keep in mind the fact that you will need room for the malt and the cherries.
We add 2 Tbsp of gypsum to the wort to soften our local water.
Heat the water to approximately 90 degrees F.
add: 1/2 Lb of ground chocolate malt 2 X 3.3 Lb cans of John Bull hopped dark malt extract 2 X 3.3 Lb cans of John Bull premium hopped stout extractNow is a good time to prestart your yeast (see below).
Bring the wort to a slow boil and keep it there for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Beware that boiling wort may have a tendency to foam up and boil over, making a sticky mess.
Turn off the heat.
Gradually add 1 Oz of cascade leaf hops to the wort as it cools. These hops are more for aroma than bittering since the wort is already hopped.
Add 12 Lbs of very ripe clean, pitted or sliced dark red bing cherries, preferably from Ed the Dead Head's Colorado western slope relatives :-)
Cool the wort. We take the brew pot and put it into a sink full of cold water. The idea is to get the temperature of the wort plus the water in the bucket to a decent temperature for yeast to grow in.
Pour the warm wort into a sterile brewing bucket, add cold water to get the desired volume, approximately 7 gallons in our case.
You might want to take an initial specific gravity reading here, make sure to stir up the wort before measuring. Our batch started at 1.060 @ 89 Degrees F.
Put a fairly tight fitting lid on the bucket and let 'er rip. You should have a nice brown-red foam on the top of the liquid within 12 to 24 hours.
Stir the cherry mass into the fermenting beer with a sterile spoon about once every day or so. After about 2 to 10 days, the main fermenting will have died down.
Transfer the beer into a sterile carboy. We have had good luck with putting a funnel and strainer in the carboy and scooping pans of the brew from the bucket into the strainer. Make sure to squeeze the juice out of the cherries. I put all of the fermented cherries into the compost heap. The next day I noticed tracks, I guess the neighborhood raccoons had a big party :-)
Put an air lock on the carboy and let it finish fermenting. This usually takes a week or two, the lock should virtually stop bubbling. Don't rush this part or you may overcarbonate your bottles (boom).
At this point, you can take the final gravity reading, make sure to stir up the wort before measuring. Our batch ended at 1.035 @ 68 Degrees F.
Boil 1/2 cup of water and add 7/8 cup of corn sugar to prime (carbonate) the bottles. Mix thoroughly into the beer. If you don't mix thoroughly, you may have some flat bottles and some VERY foamy or explosive bottles.
Bottle the beer into sterile bottles. Wait at least one week, open and enjoy! Our recipe is almost 3 months old and is really getting good. This stuff should last for several years but is probably best in the 1 to 3 month time frame.
wort - The sugary base that is fermented into the beer. carboy - One of those big glass bottles that are usually used for drinking water. We use cleaned 7 gallon "acid" carboys that are available from homebrew suppliers.