Aging with cherry

Treatment and handling of your distillate.

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bellybuster
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Aging with cherry

Post by bellybuster » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:02 am

Hey all, I put a litre of my distillate 55% on toasted charred cherry a week ago and still have absolutely no colour or flavour at all yet, it's like it's not even in there. Distillate is still crystal clear. I expected at least some colour by now.
You think I'm finding out that cherry doesn't work?
I haven't been able to find any posts where anyone tried cherry wood.

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by Bushman » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:16 am

Where did you get the cherrywood? The reason I asked is I just put some sweet feed on plum wood and cut the wood that had been down for a couple years. You only want to use the heartwood from the tree for aging is what I've been told.

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by bellybuster » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:20 am

the cherry is heartwood from trees I cut myself over 5 years ago, air dried. Very strange

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by bellybuster » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:21 am

this is what I've been using it for
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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by augiecrazy8 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:58 am

Yes please! I'll take one of those, even over a good barrel of 20 year old bourbon. That is really a fine piece of craftsmanship. You should be very proud.

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by steve2md » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:01 am

OMG!! What would you charge for an "SG" style body that would accept gibson necks? An sg is my next electric, and a hand made cherry one would ROCK!!!!!
I told the officer "I have my .45 on my hip, a 9mm in the console, and my shotgun under the seat" He said "Damn! What are you afraid of?" "Nothing" I replied...

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by Bushman » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:05 am

That is beautiful! Strange about the wood my plum wood is working great. Can you post a picture of the wood you've toasted and a picture of it on the shine? Not sure if I can tell from the pics but would be interesting dialog to start.

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by bellybuster » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:32 am

didnt mean to hyjack my own thread with the guitar. Im no guitar builder and not in the business either. There are lots that are though and many builder forums if youre looking.

I'm seeing thru the picture that i do actually have some colour coming thru, slightly. The cherry was baked at 400 for 2 hours then charred with my torch. I guess it just takes more time, that I have lots of.

Image

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by Cmdte » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:11 pm

I've been aging with Cherrywood and I've had good results, I like the flavors and the color, the sticks in the pic is light charred with a prop torch, date on jar is Dec 20th' 12 - Apple Brandy 65%.
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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by beelah » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:04 pm

nice work on the guitar...I make cigar box guitars and dulcimers/dulcitars...working on one right now while my boka is running in the background. I will post some pics when is done...will be my third since November.

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by Barney Fife » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:13 pm

What's the ABV of the product in that jar/ Maybe it's too low.

Or, baking it at 400 for 2 hours may have baked-out too much of whatever does the coloring. Do another stick, just with the torch; no need to bake it at all.

For the record, I've aged corn on charred maple a lot(one of my favorite drinks, lately!) and it begins to show color within 24 hours, and in 3 to 4 weeks is darker than most commercial whiskeys. I'd have to believe cherry would at least be similar...

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by bellybuster » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:12 pm

Ya I'm gonna char a fresh stick when I get one of those round tuit things. Had to go ice fishing all day today

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by bchristie » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:41 pm

god i wish i could figure out how to post a pic on here. but i use cherry and get great whisky. nice red amber color and a nice smooth taste. Im doing one in Alder Apple and Cherry wood Chips. I soak Them for three days then dry them out and toast them in the oven. put just about a hand full in a qt jar of raw product and let it sit in their for about a month, After i let it breath for a day and then close it back up for five more months.

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by bellybuster » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:33 am

And how about you, are you just charring or baking or both?
Thanks folks, you've bolstered my confidence that the cherry will actually work

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by Antaean » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:37 am

Forgive my ignorance but by heartwood you are referring to the center older part of a limb or tree truck correct? So you just cut the center out after the wood has dried after being cut down?

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by bellybuster » Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:45 am

When you cross section the lob or branch you'll see 3 distinct layers. The outer sapwood tends to be lighter, the the heartwood, then the very centre is the pith.

As an update,after replacing my baked cherry that had no real affect withdraw just charred it has coloured up nicely and tastes wonderful. The only problem is the litre jar now has less then half a litre in it. Couldn't have been me.

I will be doing this again for sure but for a longer period of time. I just need to build stock so I can forget about some

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by Butterman » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:42 pm

Hows the color now?
Was it that you just baked it too long?

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by SwineOnShine » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:31 pm

Butterman wrote:Hows the color now?
Was it that you just baked it too long?

Butterman
Likely not baked too long. I toast my oak @400F for 4 hours. Charred oak give color much more slowly depending on the level of char. If it's charred extensively it will give little color. I like using some charred and some just toasted. I have posted on here about using toasted and charred oak, but when I went back and looked at my aging tanks and notes, I found I used a combination of both. Granted, oak and cherry are different woods.

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by bellybuster » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:05 am

Butterman wrote:Hows the color now?
Was it that you just baked it too long?

Butterman
sorry didnt see this

the cherry I baked (3 hours at 400) then charred added nothing at all, no taste no colour. I then removed that and lightly charred some cherry (no baking) and put that in. It coloured up nicely and added flavour quickly. Sadly I have been sampling the delicious nectar and it somehow has disappeared
I will for sure do cherry again, the flavour is unique, not woody at all. I am not a liquor drinker really but just loved this stuff.

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by elektrosport » Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:36 am

+1 on cherry wood.

I got curious and found a log from an old cherry we took down 5 years ago. When splitting the log and smelling the wood I was amazed. A really nice almond/marcipan smell, totally unexpected - either it's cyanide or it's good? :)
Anyway I toasted a piece in the oven at 120C/250F for an hour, charred 3/4 of the stick and put it in 0.5L rum. It didn't take more than a week for the rum to flavour up, the color being a pale orange. I really think the flavours of the cherry wood matches rum perfectly. It took less than a week to empty the jar.

Now I'm off to get some cherry and stick it to my rye and rum.

Cheers,
ES

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by Butterman » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:34 am

I have a bunch of plum trees on my property and Ive hacked a few of them down and now Im wondering about the wood I have been aging for burning that maybe I should mill up a little bit and try some of it for aging likker.
What do you think? Cherry wood seems to work for you, maybe plum also? May as well give it a try and see what becomes of it.

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by bellybuster » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:05 am

I think any fruitwood is a good choice. Definitely different than oak

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by elektrosport » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:21 pm

Yes, I've been positively surprised by both apple and the cherry wood. I would suggest you chop it up and give it a sniff, if it smells good I'd say try it.

Apparently cherry wood can contain cyanide and should only be used dry (and not the bark - but then we're not). I'm not sure the same applies for plum wood? There was some post on types of wood not long ago I think.


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ES

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by Fidget » Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:08 pm

Good reading here. Wondered if anyone had had more progress with cherry wood?

Seems only a short bake then a majority char is the order.


Anyone have before /after pics of their wood?

Also, I don't want the dry wood to steal too much of the good liquid, so thought perhaps to personaI with wine or something first?

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by Smokee » Mon May 11, 2020 11:27 am

Fidget wrote:
Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:08 pm
Good reading here. Wondered if anyone had had more progress with cherry wood?

Seems only a short bake then a majority char is the order.


Anyone have before /after pics of their wood?

Also, I don't want the dry wood to steal too much of the good liquid, so thought perhaps to personaI with wine or something first?
I know this is an old thread but one I come across frequently while keeping knowledgeable on aging with Cherry.

I accidentally made an amazing quart of cherry whiskey 5-6 years ago. I apparently got every detail right somehow, I still have about an ounce or two left from that quart that I use as my "standard" for how my cherry-aged whiskey should be. I can tell you for certain that toasting too long will give you either nothing (as mentioned above) or something that tastes/smells like solvent. The trick to cherry is getting the toast just right then only using the right amount and aging for at least 6 months minimum. Because of this it's taken me years to work this out but I consistently make an all-grain cherry-aged whiskey that's really good. The 6-month wait's the killer! I would try something today that I would have to wait 6 months to see if it was right... it's literally taken years to figure this out. You def want to use black/wild cherry, the fruiting cherry trees give a less desirable flavor (Yes, I did try it). It (cherry wood) needs split and left alone for a year then cut down to cubes. Personally, I will leave my Pappy, Blanton's, Maker's, Jameson... an go straight for the cherry, it's that good. You just have to hit every nail on the head, miss one and you'll have something that seems like it would strip rust.

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by OtisT » Mon May 11, 2020 3:01 pm

Smokee wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 11:27 am
Fidget wrote:
Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:08 pm
Good reading here. Wondered if anyone had had more progress with cherry wood?

Seems only a short bake then a majority char is the order.


Anyone have before /after pics of their wood?

Also, I don't want the dry wood to steal too much of the good liquid, so thought perhaps to personaI with wine or something first?
I know this is an old thread but one I come across frequently while keeping knowledgeable on aging with Cherry.

I accidentally made an amazing quart of cherry whiskey 5-6 years ago. I apparently got every detail right somehow, I still have about an ounce or two left from that quart that I use as my "standard" for how my cherry-aged whiskey should be. I can tell you for certain that toasting too long will give you either nothing (as mentioned above) or something that tastes/smells like solvent. The trick to cherry is getting the toast just right then only using the right amount and aging for at least 6 months minimum. Because of this it's taken me years to work this out but I consistently make an all-grain cherry-aged whiskey that's really good. The 6-month wait's the killer! I would try something today that I would have to wait 6 months to see if it was right... it's literally taken years to figure this out. You def want to use black/wild cherry, the fruiting cherry trees give a less desirable flavor (Yes, I did try it). It (cherry wood) needs split and left alone for a year then cut down to cubes. Personally, I will leave my Pappy, Blanton's, Maker's, Jameson... an go straight for the cherry, it's that good. You just have to hit every nail on the head, miss one and you'll have something that seems like it would strip rust.
I’m a fan of aging with cherry but I am newer to the game than you. I have a few specific questions for you.

1) What toasting temp are you using, and define toasting “too long” (or possibly what is just the right time.)?

2) How much cherry wood/volume is right for your aging method?

3) Is your whiskey aged only on cherry? If not, tell me about the oak aging parts of your whiskey aging protocol.

I have had some luck aging with cherry. Most of my notes on it are in the Fruitwood link in my signature below, though also some stuff spread out in a few panela rum and a bourbon threads. I’m excited to learn more from others.

Otis
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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by Smokee » Tue May 12, 2020 5:58 am

OtisT wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 3:01 pm

I’m a fan of aging with cherry but I am newer to the game than you. I have a few specific questions for you.

1) What toasting temp are you using, and define toasting “too long” (or possibly what is just the right time.)?
I've been using 400*F since I started but I think this is something that needs experimented with. I've toasted both Cherry and Oak at the same time, the cherry will be black long before the cherry, as you already know. I'd like to try 300*f for an hour next time. At 400, I try to pull it as it just starts to darken. I no longer use a toaster over, I think I saw that on your link. Never got good results, I use the kitchen oven now. I use the "roast convection" setting. It circulates the air inside the oven and seems to toast very evenly. My toaster oven was too intense for the surface of the wood and didn't penetrate like my kitchen oven.
OtisT wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 3:01 pm
2) How much cherry wood/volume is right for your aging method?
I use what I call "2 stix", which is two 3/4" x 3/4" x 5". I cut each stik into 5 pieces. 2 of these cut up per quart.
OtisT wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 3:01 pm
3) Is your whiskey aged only on cherry? If not, tell me about the oak aging parts of your whiskey aging protocol.
I no longer have anything but cherry to age on. If you get it just right you won't want anything else, at least I don't.
Fidget wrote:
Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:08 pm
I have had some luck aging with cherry. Most of my notes on it are in the Fruitwood link in my signature below, though also some stuff spread out in a few panela rum and a bourbon threads. I’m excited to learn more from others.

Otis
Good luck with it, Otis! To be honest, this was a long journey. I've only really started getting what I wanted from cherry within the last year or two, that's cranking out a gallon a month, 5 quarts after cutting to 120p and aging in 5 different ways and waiting 5-6 months to see how it turns out.... years of doing this. I'm still rerunning stuff I made that turned out like solvent.

I'd suggest spreading out what you're trying over as many different containers u can - 5 different levels of toast, 1 jar of each. Let that age then try it, and make notes of what you like. Does that make sense? I can explain that if it doesn't. I've got to where I take very detailed notes but also make a video of the jars explaining what I did with each. I can go back 6 months later and see what the wood looked like and how much I put in. I usually see things that I didn't write down as well.

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by OtisT » Tue May 12, 2020 3:53 pm

Thanks for the details smokee. I agree with you, my next series of Fruitwood tests should address a range of toasting temp. I have played with different wood types, amounts/vol, and durations so testing a spectrum of toast temps is a logical next step.

Most of my past Fruitwood tests were toasted at 360F or raw. I really like the results of raw Fruitwood aging, and toasting give a very different result. I think I will need to start my toast range really low, maybe mid-high 200s up to the high 300s.

As you noted, toast time is important and different wood types seems to transition at different rates. Cherry does toast up much faster than my plum and slightly faster than my Apple. I typically shoot for a toast that does not fully reach the center of mass I am toasting. I pull one stick from a batch at a time when I think I am close, and I cut that stick in half to gauge how done the batch is.

Damn, you use a lot of wood. Way different that my experience has taught me. That said, I have never aged a whiskey on fruitwood only, so that could explain some of the big difference in the amount of wood used. Different strokes.....

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Re: Aging with cherry

Post by Smokee » Tue May 12, 2020 6:54 pm

Image

This is about 1/4 of what I have aging - February til now. I'm splitting each run up with different cherry and toasts. I pulled a few pieces of cherry from the 3 cords of wood I got for this winter, this is my typical source. Over the last couple years the quality of this cherry has been hit and miss, it really complicates aging whiskey. Last year I found a local guy that was selling the bottom half of an old cherry tree he had cut down in his yard. From what I've seen over the years, this should be good for whiskey. I split it last August, it's been aging, It should be ready this fall.

Have you tried pear? My neighbor's Chanticleer Pear tree split and he had it removed, I took the wood. I'm going to check out your link as well.

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