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Cherry Ale Question

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:58 pm
by herbalholly
Can anyone help me with this please?

I'd like to try this recipe that I've found in a book called 'Country Wines' by Mary Aylett.
The recipe says to take three or four pounds of morello cherries, prick each one with a needle and put them in an earthenware tub. Sprinkle them over with sugar, two or three pounds as liked. Then fill up the jar with old beer, or draught ale, cover and leave to ferment. Cork down when fermentation has ceased and keep for at least 6 months.

What constitutes 'old beer' or 'draught ale'? I don't want to cover my cherries with the wrong thing.

many thanks

Re: Cherry Ale Question

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:30 pm
by MKG
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee..........YECHHH!

That is an extremely old recipe, HH, and very typical of such (ie it probably doesn't work at all). The pricking by needle, the earthenware tub, the total lack of added yeast and the rather frightening use of "old ale" all attest to that. To say nothing about the vast amounts of sugar used, which would have been necessary to disguise the foul, disgusting mess that this would probably turn into.

Of course, when the recipe was written, ale was "live" - it had quite a bit of active yeast still hanging around. That's the only reason for its use, unless it's for a touch of bitterness (which would be silly 'cos that wouldn't stand a cat in hell's chance of facing up to four pounds of sugar.

If I were you, I'd look for a more modern recipe for a cherry wine - even a morello cherry wine.

Mike

EDIT: Just checked. Mary Aylett probably included the recipe in 1953. Even in 1953, the concept of "old beer" would have caused screwed-up faces. I would take a bet that the recipe's much older than that, Mary Aylett got hold of it from her great-granny, never once tried to make it, but was prepared to foist any old crap onto her readers.

Re: Cherry Ale Question

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:11 pm
by gregorach
Depends on whether you're looking to make cherry wine, or cherry beer... I do quite like a Kriek in the right circumstances, but it's not an easy beer to reproduce properly.

Re: Cherry Ale Question

Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:51 am
by Pumkinpie
What about making some cherry brandy or vodka. I made some last year and it went down a treat with my visitors at the week end. It can turn a cheap spirt into something delicious.

Re: Cherry Ale Question

Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:04 am
by MKG
... or take your pick from these.

http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/reques61.asp

Mike

Re: Cherry Ale Question

Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:46 am
by Pumkinpie
The wine looks great. Now all I have to do its wait a couple of years for my crop of cherries.

Re: Cherry Ale Question

Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:28 pm
by herbalholly
Thanks for your input everyone. I'm going to try it anyway because I'm curious. It does sound rather outlandish but I'm interested in what will happen.

Re: Cherry Ale Question

Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:38 pm
by Crickleymal
Here, have this sick bag I prepared earlier