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This recipe, a sour Belgian-style ale, comes from the brewing log of NB's Michael Dawson, homebrewer for 13 years and harborer of bacteria for probably a lot longer than that. The kit yields a medium-bodied wheat beer with a reddish-brown color, cherry-pie aroma, and a tart, acidic bite that comes from a combination of real cherries (in puree form) and cultured bacteria. While young, the sour character of this beer will be subdued and the cherries more pronounced, but sourness will increase with age.
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Beer Kit Yield 5 Gallons Recipe and Instructions Click Here for Dawson's Kriek Extract Kit Brewing Instructions Regional Style Belgian Original Gravity 1053 Total Time to Make 12 months
4.0 / 5.018 ReviewsCreates an excellent Kriek, with work.Brewed this a few years ago, recently bottled it after aging in secondary for over 2 years. This came out absolutely fantastic and holds its own in a side-by-side with Cantillon's Lou Pepe Kriek and other top-tier world class krieks.Some notes:- With just the Wyeast Lambic Blend it was not very sour even after 18 months in secondary. More funky than anything. Once I added some tart montmorency cherries the wild yeast had some food to start munching on, creating some real legit sourness. I ended up adding 1.5lbs of montmorency cherries a bit before the 2 year mark.- I also supplemented with dregs at the 2 year mark, using dregs from The Bruery's Oude Tart, and some krieks.- Adding more cherries later in secondary created a real nice bright fruit flavor to go with the massive funk, and sourness that would come from the cherry addition.I've used this recipe for a bunch of other fruit lambics (blackberry, apricot, raspberry, blueberry) and have had tons of success.August 11, 2015Love It!Brewed this last June. Primary for 1 month @ 64 +/- 3Transfered onto the cherries for another 5 months and Bottled. One thing to note, with the extra volume of the cherries and the 2nd fermentation of those sugars you really need a 6gal secondary. I used a 5 and WONT do that again.At 6 months, there is only a slight aroma of cherry. It's mostly delicious sourness. At 4 months there was a lot more cherry and on my next batch I'll likely bottle at that point and cellar.I bottled in 24 6oz clear champagne bottles and 22 750ml green champagne bottles, capped and waxed. Those little clear bottles have the best burgundy red color.Bottom line. Love it! Can't wait to do another batch.March 13, 2012Satisfied Sour AddictI brewed a batch of this kit about a year ago--my first attempt at a sour. I was skeptical of the delayed gratification required, but left it in secondary for three months (the minimum directed) and wow was it worth it! I did add some generic ale yeast at bottling as some reviewers have recommended because I prefer a fully carbonated brew--seemed to work well. The Kriek turned out almost completely dry, but still quite fruity when first opened. After a few months in bottles, what little was left (this was very popular in my house) definitely got less fruity, more funky, and still totally tasty. Would love to see NB expand their sour offerings, since this one turned out so awesomely!November 11, 2013Great SourI just transferred this to bottles and haven't tasted the carbonated version yet. The bottling dregs I sampled were outstanding. I almost uncapped a bottle immediately just to get more. I'm looking forward to the final version. The cherry taste is almost non-existant and the sour is in full effect. However, it was fermented for almost 9 months (3/6/11 to 12/4/11). You must love sour ales to let it go that long. If you prefer a more mild sour you should probably follow the directions and not ferment for so long.December 6, 2011Crowd-PleaserI'm not a big Belgian fan, so maybe I'm not the best guy to judge this for authenticity, but I love it. Way more character than than Lindeman's, and not near as sweet if you age it some. That said, it's still light enough that it goes down well after mowing, and not so boozy that you can't have a few. I've done a few batches, with the most recent being served as the toast at the wedding. I did 10 gallons and only let that one go 4 months so it didn't get too dry and barnyardy. I over-primed it with corn and cane sugar and put it in champagne bottles. I'm pretty sure more people liked it than if I'd served champagne (maybe that's not saying much). The only ones I have left are the handful I saved for anniversaries. Looking forward to trying them over the next few years. Oh and I second eichen when he said USE A 6 GALLON SECONDARY!!!November 2, 2012A delightful sourMy first attempt at what is without a doubt my #1 favorite beer style. I brewed this because krieks are so hard to find commercially and so impossibly expensive when you do. Don't expect Lindeman's candy lambic from this beer, it's a true lambic and will be sour, especially if you give it time. The base beer is a nice, normal blond of sorts fermented with a lambic yest/bacterial culture. It's aged atop pureed cherries for as long as you can stand it and bottled for future enjoyment. This beer is an exercise in patience, but for this you will be rewarded. I let this one ferment for a solid three weeks in primary, then sit in secondary on the cherries for 7 months. It was then primed and bottled and laid to rest for as long as I can wait (or until it's gone). The base beer was great, slightly tart, minimally funky and delicious. On bottling day, the beer was cherries and sour and funk. Not enough funk yet, but funk. I've been tasting one every couple of weeks and it's still pretty much still (uncarbonated), but the brett/bacteria are famously slow to carbonate. A delicious beer that I only expect to get better. I'm thinking this one will be at its prime around 5 years from brew day. A couple things I'll recommend to anyone brewing this one:1) Use a 6 gallon glass carboy for your secondary, the cherries take up a lot of space2) keep your racking cane off of the bottom when packaging, quite a few of my bottles ended up with some really thick "beer" in them from the cherry/yeast/bacteria slurry in the bottom of the fermenter.November 11, 2013Great tasting beer.My second "sour" beer. Bought Dawson's Kriek Extract kit and Oud Bruin de Table extract kit when it was on sale. I brewed Oud Bruin first and while it was in the secondary I brewed Dawson's Kriek. I followed the recipe and put the cherry puree on the bottom of the carboy then put the beer on top of the puree.. I let it sit for 4month and all the while i drank Oud Bruin savoring the subtle sour taste. After the 4th month I transfered to my keg and let it sit for another 2 weeks in the keg before pouring out the brown goodness. yes, I snuck a taste and realized what I was in for. I bottled 2 50 oz, and 2 16oz grolsch beer bottles before I put the keg in the refrigerator. I go the Tornado room on Haight street where I firstgo the taste for sour beer. I would rank my beer next to the top of their beers as the cherry flavor and tart bite made this beer one of my favorite...this was a long time for make but unfortunately went down too fast.. lucky for me i have 132 oz left in my stash....May 10, 2011awesome sour ale!!!this beer was amazing! my wife loves New Glarus' wild sour ale and this beer did not disappoint her! let it sit in primary for two weeks, then added the cherries and it sat in secondary for about 2 month. i bottled half and let the rest sit (its still sitting almost 4 months later) let the bottles condition using Prime Dose tabs for another 2 months. the result was outstanding. cant wait to taste the extended aged half!June 21, 2014Decent but wanted more cherryI kegged mine after 4 months in the secondary and while it's nice and sour, I really wish it would have maintained more cherry flavor. I tried at 2 months and there was definitely more cherry so I should have tried bottling part at 2 1/2 months and then part at 4.December 11, 2012FantasticThis was my first sour kit second sour beer. I added some vanilla to this as an experiment and it turned out fantastic. If you want really robust color you will need to add items like rose pedals or hibiscus to the secondary. If you ferment longer than 2 months and want flavor vs sour....add cherry extract to bring it back...in some cases you will need more than one bottle of extract depending on how long you let it ferment.December 11, 2013
Browse 15 questions Browse 15 questions and 28 answersInstructions say up to 12 months in primary? Is that right? Is there a big benefit versus a month in primary then a long secondary?BEST ANSWER: Correct. In fact I am a couple years at this point, with additional bottle "dregs" added as well. The complexity and yeast characteristics developed from the blend of cultures recommended benefit from maturing over time.Yeast starter for the wyeast?BEST ANSWER: I've brewed this kit many times and never used a starter, always with great results. I was always worried that a starter would throw off the balance of bacteria and yeast in the culture. This kit requires patience but is well worth the wait, I usually get it into secondary and forget about it for a year or so. Yum.Is there a risk of the yeast going bad during shipping because of temperature?BEST ANSWER: I've never had yeast go bad during shipping. NB ships live yeast with cold packs. That said, if it sat on your porch for a while before you got it in the refrigerator, it is possible. Enjoy your Dawson's Kriek. Mine has been happily fermenting in a closet since November. I plan to bottle it this month. I have stolen a few ounces to taste and it seems like a winner!When racking to secondary on top of the cherry puree, what size carboy is best? I'd like to use my traditional 5 gallon glass carboy as a secondary but am worried about the added volume of cherries not leaving enough head space for a potentially active secondary fermentation. I also have a glass 6.5 gallon I could use as a secondary but I feel that would potentially leave too much head space for the amount of time it will spend in the secondary. I'd also like to keep that one free of souring microbes so I can still use it as my primary for "clean", yeast only beers. Anyone have any suggestions. I am fully prepared to rig a blow-off tube with either carboy choice. Thanks!BEST ANSWER: I bought a second siphonless 6.5 gallon just fo this batch. The cherry puree adds almost a gallon to the secondary and the fermentation in the secondary is very active and I needed to use a blowoff tube. I don't worry too much about head space since it is all co2 anyway. A 5 gallon secondary fermenter it's not even close to being enough.Should I mix the batch when racking to secondary on top of the cherry puree? I didn't get much mixing and two days later there seems to be a layer of sediment between the brew and the cherry. Also I haven't seen any activity in the airlock.BEST ANSWER: I'd give it a couple more days for the yeast to start to work. It should be fine after that. Watch for blow off. There's a lot of sugar in the cherry.Has anyone added yeast at bottling time like suggested in the instructions? If so, what kind did you use and how did you add it?BEST ANSWER: Hello Mark,
Thank you for choosing Northern Brewer! I would most definitely add yeast at bottling time for this beer due to the long secondary period. I would go with champagne yeast, or Danstar CBC-1 yeast. This is a great yeast for bottle conditioning as it is flavor neutral, can handle high ABV, and does not digest maltotriose, so it will only consume the sugars added when priming. I would add 2 grams (~1/2 teaspoon) to your bottling bucket when you add your priming sugar. I hope that this is helpful, have a great day!If I buy this kit for use with the "small batch" 1 gallon brewing equipment kit, can I use only part of the ingredients at a time? Or once I open the packaging, will I need to use all the ingredients right away?BEST ANSWER: I wouldnt recommend doing that. This can only be done if you can precisely measure the amounts you wish to divide up. Also, how soon will you make the other divided portions? This is important because the only yeast option is a liquid Wyeast and you dont want to wait too long due its shelf life. It seems you will be giving yourself too much of a hassle procuring small multiple batches of the same beer. You should just a 5 gal bucket and carboy.I brewed this in April and it has been in secondary since late that month. The carboy was left covered in the basement. One thing I never thought of was that the airlock water would go dry. Checked out the beer and it looks like it has mold all over the surface. Before I go any further, is it safe to assume that the loss of water in the airlock allowed mold into the beer and I may as well pour it down the drain? Hate to waste the time and effort to bottle if it's trashed. Of course, maybe that mold stuff is normal?BEST ANSWER: Haven't made this Kriek kit yet but I wouldn't toss yours just yet. Could it be some yeast on the surface that has grown some mold? I would transfer to tertiary and get a sample. See how it tastes. My other krieks have been tart but not bitter, even before bottling. No moldy flavor or other off flavor. If it seems drinkable follow the rest of the directions regarding time in fermenter and bottling.so doesn't bottling stop the souring process? Or does after bottling no conditioning and moving it to the cool cellar do that? Or does it keep getting more sour until you drink it? ThanksBEST ANSWER: I believe that this is a "Tart" and not a sour. The tartness comes from the cherry puree that is added to the wort. There is not a culture used in this which is what makes a "sour" beer. I have been enjoying this recipe very much and have not noticed a difference in taste from the first bottle to the most recent. I believe that the length of time the puree is left in the wort will make a difference in the taste. Hope this helpsI didn't get very good mixing when I racked the beer onto the cherries so I couldn't get a good gravity reading. I don't want to swirl the carboy up too much to get an reading for fear of the oxygen turning this to vinegar. How many gravity points should I expect the cherries to add?BEST ANSWER: Not much if any at all. The cherries add sugar, but the purée also adds water.If my basement and carboy get to 70 degrees or a little warmer in the Summer, is this too warm? I'm in Seattle and thinking about brewing this starting in April. I have no way of cooling my carboys however I can warm. The basement stays pretty cool however I have no idea what sort of hot spells we'll have. Or I could wait until Fall but then it's Fall plus 4 plus months...BEST ANSWER: Just go for it!I'm thinking about brewing this now in May in Seattle. I have no way of cooling my carboys yet. I can warm them. It it gets a bit over 70 a few times in the basement is this ok with the yeast and brew? I'd rather keep it constant but unsure how warm the Summer will get. Best to do it in the Fall/Winter or can I pull this off in the Seattle Spring/Summer? thksBEST ANSWER: The warmer temp will be fine for this. It may cause it to sour more quickly and for the brett character to develop as well.I brewed this and let it sit in secondary for about eight months before bottling. At the advice of my local HB store, I did not re-yeast and am regretting that now as there is very little carbonation. However, the flavor, color and everything else about the beer is fantastic. Can I attempt to re-yeast at this point bottle by bottle, or should I just leave it be and learn my lesson for next time?BEST ANSWER: After I brewed mine I noticed that the carbonation was lacking as well. The longer I let it sit the better carbonated it got.I brewed this beer, and let it sit in secondary for about eight months before bottling. At the advice of my local HB store, I did not re-yeast and am regretting that now as there is very little to no carbonation. However, the flavor, color and everything else about the beer is fantastic. Can I attempt to re-yeast at this point bottle by bottle, or should I just leave it be and learn my lesson for next time?BEST ANSWER: I have added Champaign yeast to each and every bottle of a stuck stout and it managed to carb up nicely. Kind of a pain and there is some risk involved. Use a sanitized tweezer and just add a couple of grains to each bottle.What kind of FGs are people getting? I hear this will dry out and sour but no one provided FG readings.BEST ANSWER: The FG on that beer should end up around 1.009-1.012 +-0.002 depending on overall fermentation conditions.