Author Topic: Cranberry Vanilla Ale  (Read 3213 times)

Offline makemorebeer

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Cranberry Vanilla Ale
« on: August 07, 2018, 12:52:04 PM »
I'm trying to write a recipe for a beer to be had around thanksgiving and Christmas.  Last year I made a very nice Vanilla Porter.  This year i'm thinking fruits.  So I started looking at seasonals and top lists and I finally ended up on Cranberry as the flavor i'd like to shoot for this year.  The problem I'm running into is when and how much cranberry to use.  I've decided that i don't want to use an extract juice.  the beer itself will be a pretty light Ale.  the original recipe i started writing from noted to boil the cranberry for 30 then add another pound at flameout.  further reading on the subject informed me of the high pectin in cranberries along with warning to not boil them due to the Pectins.  what would the people here recommend?

Here's what I've got so far

10# 2-row Pale malt
2# caramel 20
2# vienna malt
.5oz northern brewer pellets @ 60min
1.5oz northern brewer pellets @ 30min
.8oz citra @ flamout

1 vanilla bean (split and scrapped) - 7 days in secondary
*this is the same method i used for my vanilla porter, but i left it a full 14 days

have not decided on a yeast yet, and need to figure out how much cranberry to add and when.  Thanks in advance.

Offline Oginme

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Re: Cranberry Vanilla Ale
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2018, 01:15:17 PM »
I have made a cranberry wheat for summertime in the past.  I used to get premium cranberries from friends who grow them in Downeast Maine, but have not been able to see with them in a couple of years.

I chopped and mashed the cranberries then put them in a freezer bag with a shot of vodka.  I left them in the freezer for 2 weeks.  This is one of the few recipes for which I use secondary fermentation. So when ready to transfer to secondary, I took the cranberry mash out of the freezer and allowed it to thaw before dumping it into the carboy.  I racked the beer on top and allowed it to sit for another 14 days. 

My use of cranberries was 250 grams in a 10 liter batch.  This gave a nice cranberry flavor with a dry acidic tartness in the finish.  Given that you are looking to make a porter, you probably need to up that quite a bit to get some flavor contribution to punch through the malty flavors and the Citra at flameout.  I had brewed with no boil hops and El Dorado whirlpooled to about 20 IBU (which complimented the cranberry flavor nicely).


Just looked it up, and I last brewed it in April of 2015.
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Offline makemorebeer

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Re: Cranberry Vanilla Ale
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2018, 01:52:13 PM »
so, you would have used just over a pound of cranberries.  The base beer will be more of a generic ale, i was just comparing to the porter I made last year.  Cranberries are not a problem for me.  here in Wisconsin they are grown everywhere so come the right season they're easy to find and fresh.  i'm wondering about the balance of flavors with cranberry and vanilla.  the vanilla will be a much more muted flavor so maybe use two beans instead of one? 

For the yeast i'm trying to decide on a Belgian strong ale, or just one of the american ale strains.    I've never used a Belgian yeast so i'm not real sure what to expect there.

I guess what i'm going for in my head is a smooth vanilla ale with a tart cranberry finish.

Offline Oginme

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Re: Cranberry Vanilla Ale
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2018, 02:11:15 PM »
So 250 grams in a 10 liter batch is about 0.2 lbs per gallon of beer.  So, yeah, about a pound for a 5 gallon batch size sounds right. 

Belgian Strong Ale yeast may work fine, just not familiar with it.  I used WY1272 (American Ale 2) which I started at 68F  and raised it to 72F during the course of several days to allow it to produce some esters to accent the fruit flavors from the cranberries.  Looking up the WY1388, it seems to fit the same general description with some spicy phenols thrown in.

If you want the vanilla to stand out, definitely you will need more.  I would plan on adding vanilla extract before bottling/kegging to make up any shortfall in flavor you encounter.



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Offline makemorebeer

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Re: Cranberry Vanilla Ale
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2018, 08:03:47 AM »
well i'm going to do it.   i'll Freeze/thaw 1# cranberry's and add to secondary (using your below preparation method), going with the Belgian Strong (probably do a starter), and i'll use two vanilla beans in secondary.  guess we'll see how it comes out.  i'll keep the vanilla extract on hand in case not enough flavor comes through at bottling. 

Thanks for the help.  here's the recipe as i'm going to run it. 

Offline makemorebeer

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Re: Cranberry Vanilla Ale
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2018, 07:05:40 AM »
Update, Bottled this one Friday night.  Had a problem with the vanilla though.  the beans i got were rock hard and shattered when cut, so i chopped them up a bit and put them in anyway (didn't wanna mess with opening fermentor again after moving to secondary and didn't want to wait).  at bottling, the Cranberry tart I was looking for is there, but the vanilla is not.  we'll see if time brings it out or not.  the ale is fairly tasty though along the tart.  can't wait to see what comes out the bottle.  FG ended up being 1.006.

 

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