If you can’t eat it, ferment it

Hello Everyone,

We are trying something new with a fun column by our brewer, Anthony Stone. It’s kind of like “Deep Thoughts”, but a little lengthier. And it’s not just about brewing beer, but about whatever is brewing in Anthony’s brain. We’ll see what happens… Thanks for reading!

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“If you can’t eat it, ferment it,” this in my new philosophy regarding local fruit trees. Lately my wife has been making me go for walks around the neighborhood and I’ve been noticing how many fruit trees people have that they don’t do anything with. My neighbor’s cherries were getting ripe so I picked all I could from three different trees and now have a kriek (cherry lambic beer) fermenting in my basement. I got my eyes on my neighbor’s pear tree next and I might have to build my own apple press sometime soon. My other neighbor got me into making liquors which are super easy to make. The down side to using local fruit is that it might not be the ideal variety for what you are making. In the example of the kriek, there is no way I’m going to make a beer that is going to taste like one made in Belgium with their local cherries. My solution is to not try to copy a traditional kriek but to make one with my own local flavor or terroir. I also have some cider on tap in my kegerator made from local apple juice and some mead fermenting made from local honey. My neighbor and I are planning on making some blackberry cordial later this summer. She also makes great raspberry vinegar and uses the liquors in cooking. We are so fortunate to live in a place with such an abundance of good fruit. It makes me sad to see it rotting on the ground, so I instead put in a carboy with some yeast. If you don’t have any of your own fruit growing in your yard, ask your neighbor if you can take theirs. I think you can also give the fruit to the food bank, but mine is going to the yeast bank. Cheers.

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