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Old 02-22-2009, 06:09 AM   #1
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Default Blueberry Maple tips?

Tomorrow I want to make a blueberry maple beer.

I have a pale ale extract kit i bought from the local liquid hobby shop, along with two cans of Oregon's Blueberries and some blueberry extract( also from the shop).

I've got a bottle of maple syrup (the real 100% maple canadian stuff) too.

Do you guys have any advice? this is only my #3 batch, so i'm a little shaky about using fruits and syrup.

Any tips would we appreciated.

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Old 02-22-2009, 11:43 AM   #2
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My understanding is that you want to add the maple syrup really late in the boil if you want any flavor from it; boiling it for a while volatilizes a lot of the flavor. Search around the recipe forums to see how others handle the syrup.

As for the fruit, I have no really good advice, but Jamil's show (downloadable) on the topic should give you a method you can trust.

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Old 02-22-2009, 03:34 PM   #3
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thanks elkdog!

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Old 02-22-2009, 04:41 PM   #4
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The fruit and syrup will make a nice cider or mead but YMMV. Add the syrup to the primary or secondary (or both) if you want even a smidge of taste from it. You won't taste a thing if you boil it IMO. Also add the fruit to secondary.

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Old 02-23-2009, 05:14 AM   #5
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How much fruit should i add to secondary? i'm doing a 5 gallon batch, so one can of Oregons Blueberries or two?

I did the wort today, and I added a cup of maple syrup to the last 3 minutes of the boil.

I plan in 2 or 3 days to move to the secondary fermentor carboy and add the blue berries. When I do this, vigorous fermentation will be over, right? Do i need to add more yeast, or just pick some yeast off the bottom of my primary fermenter vessel?

Thanks for all the good replys!! I listened to that Fruit beer podcast today and it gave me alot of good tips. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried for such an ambitious 3rd Batch, but you'll never learn unless you try!!

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Old 02-23-2009, 05:21 AM   #6
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Why rack in two days? Let the beer decide when it's time to rack! When fermentation slows down to a crawl or stops, then it's time to rack. May take 2-3 weeks. When done, add a can (48oz?) of fruit to the secondary and rack on top. There will be plenty of yeast left for another fermentation. Leave the old stuff behind. When fermentation stops again (another 1 or 2 weeks) give it a taste. If more fruit is needed, add some. If not rack it again. Let it settle for a few days then bottle or keg.

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Old 02-23-2009, 01:47 PM   #7
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I agree with Poobah58; let it finish fermenting before moving it to the secondary, and there will be plenty of yeast left to ferment the fruit as well. Good luck with it! If you look at the process, you're not really adding that much onto a basic beer, so I wouldn't worry about being too ambitious here. Make the beer you want to make.

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Old 02-23-2009, 02:20 PM   #8
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I have seen many time people say you should not boil the maple syrup or you will drive off volatile aromatics. However that just doesn't make any sense. The process of making syrup involves hours long boil that boils off 95% of the water in the maple sap. If anything was volatile it should be long gone.

However, there is no need to boil the syrup. It is sanitized in the container. Adding it at any time should not be a problem.

I just made a maple brown ale yesterday. I added a quart of local maple syrup (made by a friend who makes it as a hobby) to the wort as it was cooling. This allowed me to be sure it is well mixed. I will sample the beer after a few days to see if I want to add more.

As far as making a blueberry maple beer. I really think that a new brewer should be sure they can make a good basic beer before they try off the wall experiments. If your blueberry maple experiment does not taste good do you have enough confidence in your process to say that your beer making skills were not the reason it didn't work well? Especially since the blueberries and maple syrup is very expensive. Also remember that the taste of fruit and sugars changes drastically once fermented. Do you have a good picture in your mind what you expect the finished beer to taste like? Maybe making proven recipes with the blueberries and maple separately would be a good starting point. If you get too many things going on in a beer the tastes can become muddled and lost.

Craig

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Old 02-24-2009, 02:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
As far as making a blueberry maple beer. I really think that a new brewer should be sure they can make a good basic beer before they try off the wall experiments. If your blueberry maple experiment does not taste good do you have enough confidence in your process to say that your beer making skills were not the reason it didn't work well? Especially since the blueberries and maple syrup is very expensive. Also remember that the taste of fruit and sugars changes drastically once fermented. Do you have a good picture in your mind what you expect the finished beer to taste like? Maybe making proven recipes with the blueberries and maple separately would be a good starting point. If you get too many things going on in a beer the tastes can become muddled and lost.
haha.. yeah.. the podcast said being able to make a good basic beer is paramount before you start adding stuff to it.

I guess maybe I'm a bit overconfident.. My first batch was terrible.. hah.. completely undrinkable. My second batch was awesome! Well.. awesome by the first batches standards. I'm really on the fence about whether I really want to try the blueberries thing. If its just adding it to the second fermentation, maybe i should try it. If it's crazy harder than that, maybe i should hold off.
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:50 PM   #10
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Its not hard to add fruit to beer, its is just more difficult to make a beer that tastes great when adding unusual ingredients. Trying to find the right balance of flavors can be tricky if you are unfamiliar with how ingredients affect the final beer. Maybe a good experiment to help your understanding would be to split the batch after primary ferment. Leave half as a straight beer, and put half on blueberries. Or even better make several small batches putting 1 on blueberries, 1 with the addition of maple syrup and another with a combination of maple and blueberry, being sure to keep an original beer to compare against. This will give you a very food fell for how the beer flavors interact with the blueberry and maple. Its quite an ambitious undertaking but you should learn alot.

Craig

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