Brewing with cranberries

Sorry I hadn’t posted much for the first week of this month—my in-laws were in town and we were celebrating a birthday, so we had a busy week in the real world. Anyway, I still have a bunch of pumpkin in the freezer that I’m going to brew with, and since I mentioned it the other day, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about using cranberries in one of the batches of pumpkin ale I’m going to make.

The plan would be to add 5 to 10 pounds of cranberries to the secondary, rather than at the end of the boil. Why? Well, if I added during the boil, there’s a good chance the heat would set the pectin in the fruit and create a haze in the beer. And if I added during primary fermentation, the vigorous fermentation process would scrub away a lot of the character and aroma of the fruit.

Of course, I’d have to find fresh cranberries. Or frozen, I suppose, but fresh sounds so much more appealing. I haven’t really decided if I’d make this an "Imperial" beer, though… do I really need to get that carried away?

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