November 2004 Replicator
I recently visited St. Louis Missouri and tasted a unique beer. A Cherry Chocolate beer by O’Fallon Brewery. I would love the recipe for an all grain version of this beer.
It’s great of you to search out these unique beers for us! I can see I don’t get out to brewpubs enough to find these new and exciting beers.
Cherry Chocolate is a seasonal beer that is fairly new in the O’Fallon lineup of beers. The idea for the cherry chocolate beer came from the owner of the brewery, Tony Caradonna. Tony asked brewer Brian Owens to come up with a beer that uses both cherry and chocolate flavors.
I talked to Brian about how to make his Cherry Chocolate beer, and what this beer tasted like. Brian said that he decided to use a base beer that is sort of a cross of Dunkle-Weizen and Mild Brown ale. Brian thought that this kind of a base beer would compliment the cherry and chocolate flavors quite well. The large amount of wheat malt helps with foam retention, and the relatively low hop bitterness and aroma hops (there are no aroma hops in this beer) allow the cherry and chocolate flavors to show through the beer. Brian says that there is a cherry flavor up front, with a chocolate finish, with the flavors overlapping. The cherry and chocolate flavors are mild and balanced, rather than strong and prominent. He goes on to say that this is an excellent “dessert” type beer.
Brian adds the cherry and chocolate flavorings to the beer after the beer is done fermenting, to capture the maximum aroma of both of these flavors. (adding them in the boil drives off aroma, as does adding them in the fermenter while the beer is actively fermenting). Brian suggests using an alcohol based chocolate extract to make this beer. I experimented with the Durkee brand Chocolate extract and found it worked well, and is available in most grocery stores. The Cellar Pro Cherry Extract is available in homebrew shops, and also works well. Since these flavors are added post fermentation, just prior to bottling or kegging your beer, you could experiment with the quantities of these two flavors to get the balance you are after.
For more information you can visit the O’Fallon Brewery web site at: http://www.ofallonbrewery.com or by calling 636-474-2337.
O’Fallon Brewery – Cherry Chocolate Beer
(5 gallon, extract with grains)
IBU’S = 15
Alcohol 5.4% by volume
3.3 Lbs. Briess (light) malt extract syrup
2.0 Lbs. Briess Wheat dry malt extract
9 oz. Carapils (dextrin) malt
9 oz. Crystal (40L) malt
5 oz. Chocolate malt
0.5 oz. Durkee Liquid Chocolate Extract (alcohol base)
2 oz. Cellar Pro Cherry Natural fruit flavoring
1 teaspoon Irish moss
2.8 AAU German Northern Brewer hops (bittering hop, boil 60 min.)
(0.33 Oz. of 8.5% Alpha acid)
2.4 AAU German Northern Brewer hops (boil 30 min.)
(0.25 Oz. of 8.5% alpha acid)
White Labs WLP029 German Ale / Kolsch yeast or Wyeast 2565 Kolsch yeast
O.75 cup of corn sugar for priming.
Step by step instructions
Steep the 3 crushed malts 3 gallons of water at 155º for 30 minutes. Remove grains from wort, add the malt syrup and dry malt extract and bring to a boil. Add the first addition of Northern Brewer hops, Irish moss, and boil for 60 minutes. Add the last addition of Northern Brewer hops for the last 30 minutes of the boil. There are no finishing hops in this recipe. Now add wort to 2 gallons cool water in a sanitary fermenter, and top off with cool water to 5.5 gallons. Cool the wort to 75º, aerate the beer and pitch your yeast. Allow the beer to cool over the next few hours to 65°, and hold at this temperature until the beer has finished fermenting. Add the chocolate and cherry flavors to the beer on bottling day when you add the priming sugar. Then bottle and enjoy!
All grain option:
This is a single step infusion mash. Your grain bill will be 6.0 Lbs Pale 2-row malt, 2.5 lbs wheat malt, 9 oz. dextrin malt, 9 oz. 40L crystal malt, and 5 oz. chocolate malt. Mash crushed grains together at 156º for 60 minutes. Collect enough wort to boil for 90 minutes and have a 5.5-gallon yield (approximately 7 gallons). Lower the amount of bittering Northern Brewer hops in the boil to 0.25 ounce to account for higher extraction ratio of a full boil. The remainder of the recipe is the same as the extract.