Kriek (5.8% abv)
While it’s generally recommended by most places to not leave your beer in a copper vessel with the windows open, using stale hops which have been exposed to the air for three years, but some for some weird and wonderful beer styles it is. This is one of those weird and wonderful instances. Here we use a length fermentation and aging period and really, this recipe should only be attempted by ore experienced brewers. For an easier introduction to sour beers, give the lactic-fermented Berliner weisse a go first. For those of you who do feel prepared, our Kriek recipe has a dry finish with a sharp, sour kick to it which is forged from the cherries and the pleasant malt backbone. The longer this is left to age, the more brandy-like the flavours become.
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60-Minute Mash at 67°C
- 2.1 L (2¼ qt) water, with an extra gallon (3.8 L) for sparging
- 725g (1.6 lb) Belgian Pilsner malt
- 180g (0.4 lb) Belgian Wheat malt
- 115g (0.25 lb) Caramel 10 malt
- *All grains should be milled - see this page for information on milling
- 5.7g (0.2 oz) Saaz hops, split in half
- Lambic yeast blend, such as Wyeast Brettanomyces Lambicus (see note)
- 240g sour cherries, pitted and crushed
- 65g honey, for bottling
- In a medium-sized stockpot, heat the 2.1 L (2¼ qt) of water over high heat to 70°C. Combine with all the malts and stir gently. The temperature should decrease to 66°C in around 1 minute. Take the pan off the heat. Steep the grains for 60 minutes between 62°C and 67°C. Every 10 minutes or so, stir and take a temperature reading. If the temperature of the grain becomes too cold, return it to heat and stir until the temperature returns to the specified range and then take it back off the heat. With 10 minutes remaining, in a separate medium-sized stockpot heat 1 gallon (3.8 litres) of water to 77°C. Once the grains have been steeped for 60 minutes, turn the heat to high and stir until the temperature hits 77°C. At this point, take it off the heat.
- Position a fine-mesh strainer across a stockpot and pour the grains into the strainer, maintain the liquid. Pour the gallon (3.8 litres) of 77°C water over the grains. Recirculate the collected liquid through the grains once.
- Place the pot with the liquid in on the stove and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the liquid starts to foam, lower the heat to a slow rolling boil. After 50 minutes, add half of the Saaz hops. Prepare an ice bath by stopping the sink and filling it halfway with water and ice. After 60 minutes, take the pot off the heat and place in the ice bath, cooling it to 21°C, this should take about 30 minutes.
- Use a funnel and strainer to pour the liquid into your fermenter (remember, it MUST be sanitized). Supplement with water in order to fill the to the 1-gallon mark. Add the yeast using your hands (remember to sanitize those too!) cover the mouth of the jug with one hand, and shake to distribute evenly. Insert the sanitized stopper and tubing to the fermenter and place the other end of the tubing into a bowl of sanitizing solution. As the yeast activates, this solution will bubble as gas is forced through the tube. After 2 to 3 days, once the bubbling has reduced, replace the tubing system with an airlock. After 5 more days, add the cherries into a separate fermentation jug, and siphon the beer from the previous vessel, into this new one with the cherries at the bottom, attach a santizied stopped and airlock. Leave it to ferment for one month. After a month of fermentation, siphon the beer (leaving the cherries behind) into a third fermentation vessel. Let it ferment for a further 3 months. When the surface area of the fermentation vessel is free from bubbles, bottle your beer using the honey, into belgian-style bottles. Age for an additional 6-12 months.
Suggested Food Pairings
- Cheesecake, foie gras, bacon-wrapped dates
For 5 Gallons:
60-Minute Mash at 67°C
- 10.4 L (2¾ gallons) water, with an extra 5 gallons (18.9 L) for sparging
- 3.6kg (8 pounds) Belgian Pilsner malt
- 910g (2 pounds) Belgian Wheat malt
- 565g (1.25 pounds) Caramel 10 malt
- 28g (1 ounce) Saaz hops
- Lambic yeast blend, such as Wyeast Brettanomyces Lambicus
- 1.2kg sour cherries, pitted and crushed
- 340g honey, for bottling