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Old 03-03-2013, 06:32 PM   #1
fknizner
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Default Blueberry Hefeweizen

I'm brewing a wheat beer this weekend and many of my [female] friends have expressed an interest trying a "blueberry-y/citrus-y" beer. I figured this wheat beer would be a good base to incorporate such a taste.

For the citrus flavor i'm just going to add an ounce or so of sweet orange peel and maybe some clementine peels in the last 10 min of the boil.

How should I get the blueberry taste? Specifically, what method (secondary on top of the fruit, add blueberries to the boil, etc) and what amount of blueberries [or blueberry extract (?)] should I use?

I'd prefer a noticeable but still palatable/not overpowering blueberry taste. (To put it into context, I'd consider Sam Adam's Cherry Wheat to be a little too much cherry. I'm trying to get something less than that...)

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Old 03-03-2013, 06:57 PM   #2
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I use 2 oz of blueberry extract in the last 30 min of the boil. This gives a blueberry hint in the aftertaste. Then when you go to bottle. You add just a little bit at a time to the bottling bucket and taste. This will give you the upfront blueberry taste. Be careful, the extracts are strong and you can always put more in but you can't take it out.

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Old 03-03-2013, 07:36 PM   #3
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I've used 3-5 lbs of blueberries in secondary for the batches I've made. 3 gave just a hint if blueberry while 5 turned the batch red and had a much stronger flavor. Still good, but it took a little time for it to mellow a bit. If I make another one, I'm going to split the difference and go with 4 lbs.
Both batches were well received BTW.

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Old 03-03-2013, 10:35 PM   #4
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StompingClover: do you know if you can purchase blueberry extract at major grocery chains (e.g., Safeway) or is it something I would need go to a Nutrition store or pharmacy for?

SpacemanSpiff: what steps do you take to prepare the blueberries before siphoning the beer over them? (i.e., do you soak them in vodka to sanitize them? do you crush them? etc.)

Thanks for the quick responses! Adding fruity flavors [intentionally] to my brews is a new to me.

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Old 03-03-2013, 10:43 PM   #5
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Not sure about the chain stores. Some nutrition stores have it. I get it from midwest supplies. They happen to be my local shop.

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Old 03-03-2013, 11:05 PM   #6
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I bought a bunch fresh in the summer when they were cheap. Gave em a wash, vacuum packed them (which helps crush them a little), and them froze them.
Then when it was time I let them thaw so they would pour and just added to secondary and racked the beer over. My philosophy is anything that survives the freeze is still going to have to deal with 5.5% alcohol and most beer spoiling critters just can't do that.

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Old 03-04-2013, 06:30 PM   #7
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Thanks guys. I'm going to use both methods: Secondary over ~3 lbs. of blueberries, taste before bottling, and add extract to the beer in the bottling bucket as is necessary to get the desired taste.

Did you secondary over the fruit when the SG was, say, 3/4 of the way to FG, or did you wait until after it totally fermented out? I've never secondaried over fruit before.

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Old 03-05-2013, 01:15 AM   #8
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I wait until its done. Usually two weeks or so just depending on my schedule. The sugar in the fruit will kick off a secondary fermentation so just keep that in mind also.

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Old 03-16-2013, 02:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpacemanSpiff
I've used 3-5 lbs of blueberries in secondary for the batches I've made. 3 gave just a hint if blueberry while 5 turned the batch red and had a much stronger flavor. Still good, but it took a little time for it to mellow a bit. If I make another one, I'm going to split the difference and go with 4 lbs.
Both batches were well received BTW.
Would you mine sharing your grain bill and hops? I have been wanting to try a fruit wheat.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:27 PM   #10
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Here's a good base recipe for a berry weizen.

Hefe-Weizen and Berry Weizen

makes 5 gallons

1 - 3.15 Lb. container of Wheat Liquid Malt Extract
1 - Pound Light Dry Malt Extract
1 - Pound Wheat Dry Malt Extract
1 - Pound Flaked Wheat
1 - Ounce Tettnanger hops (boil 60 minutes)
White Labs WLP320 American Hefeweizen Yeast
3/4 cup corn sugar for bottling

Original gravity 1.044
Ending gravity 1.011
Alcohol 4.4% by volume

Optional: Add fruit extract of your choice to make a fruit ale.

Steep 2 gallon of hot tap water (about 130) with 1 pound of flaked wheat for about 30 minutes with the heat on low. (150 is the preferred temperature) After 30 minutes, strain out most of the flaked wheat, leaving some to give the beer it's cloudy appearance. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Remove the pot from the burner and add 1 cup malt extract. Return to burner and hops and boil for 60 minutes. Then add remainder of malt syrup and dry malt extract and stir to mix, wait 10 minutes to sanitize. When boiling is done, transfer the beer into 2 gallons of cold water in your sterilized carboy, then top off to the 5 gallon mark with additional cold water.

Add yeast when beer is cooled to under 74º, then ferment at 68º. This yeast tends to produce a clove and sulfur aroma at fermentation temperatures above 72º.

If you want to make a fruit beer, add the Natural fruit extract at the same time you add your bottling sugar. Raspberry, Apricot, Marionberry and Boysenberry are great and you can find them at your local homebrew store. Transfer the beer into your bottling vessel, then add the fruit extract to satisfy your personal taste. (one bottle will give a hint of fruit flavor, 1 1/2 bottles will give a strong flavor. You may also bottle a few gallons with out the fruit flavoring, then add the fruit extract and bottle the rest.

If you want to use raw fruit, the best way is to add 3 to 5 pounds of crushed fruit into the wort when you are done boiling, and let the fruit steep for 15 minutes to extract color and flavor. You do not want to boil the fruit since it will tend to give a very cloudy beer. You then strain out the fruit as the beer goes into the carboy. Adding the fruit will dilute your final ABV slightly. Cheers!

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