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Old 01-23-2008, 06:26 PM   #1
heinz57
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Default Calling All Wheat/Fruit Beer Enthusiasts

I've been thinking about making a fruit beer for the past couple of weeks and after a few questions the plan is to make a mango wheat. The recipe so far is this:

6.5 lb 2-row
3.0 lb wheat malt
0.5 lb crystal 10

Single Infusion Mash at 152 F

2.0 oz Cascade 6.8 AA% at 10min (~16 IBU)

Expected OG with 75% eff and attenuation: 1.051. This is assuming no sugars come from the fruit, which won't be the case. The OG should be a little higher, but I didn't see a way to add fruit to the fermentable bill in Beer Alchemy.

I plan on using about 1.6 lb/gallon of mango (~8 lb total) in the beer since it is a relatively mild fruit.

I've been reading Daniels' book about both fruit and wheat beers and my questions lie withing how to add the fruit and what yeast to use.

In terms of when to add the fruit, Daniels talks about two methods: steeping or adding to the fermenter. Both seem reasonable to me, but adding to the fermenter seems easier to execute. He also has somewhat of a side note specifically for dealing with pumpkin, but I was wondering if it could be applied to other fruit...such as mango. He says to bake the pumpkin at 325 for two hours, puree it, and then add it to the mash. What is the consensus on when to add mild fruit to a wheat?

My other question is about the yeast. Daniels writes that it is common for both Belgian yeasts and clean ale yeasts to make their way into these types of recipes. I was looking at some fruit beer recipes on the forum and noticed some people use Bavarian weizen yeast as well. It seems like it might be a good idea because of the mild natured flavor of mango, but I don't want the flavor masked. Any thoughts?



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Old 01-23-2008, 07:04 PM   #2
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First I would say listen to the April 24, 2006 Jamil podcast - http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/jamil.php

Second, add the fruit to the secondary fermenter. Adding to the brew before is bad for 2 reasons, first if the fruit is boiled it will release pectin and essentially ruin the beer. Second, any flavoring you get prior to fermentation will be lost when the yeast do what they do best.

Finally, I plan to brew my first fruit beer this spring, and my recipe has WYeast 1187. I have recently started using this strain for a few beers and have found it has a nice place in limited styles, and want to see what it can do in the fruit arena. I know Sea Dog brewery uses the Ringwood strain for all of their beers, which include some good fruit beers, but there is a controversy over weather Wyeast's product really is from the same strain.

I imagine you could use about anything that is either neutral or has fruity characteristics.



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Old 01-23-2008, 07:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heinz57
I've been thinking about making a fruit beer for the past couple of weeks and after a few questions the plan is to make a mango wheat. The recipe so far is this:

6.5 lb 2-row
3.0 lb wheat malt
0.5 lb crystal 10

Single Infusion Mash at 152 F

2.0 oz Cascade 6.8 AA% at 10min (~16 IBU)

Expected OG with 75% eff and attenuation: 1.051. This is assuming no sugars come from the fruit, which won't be the case. The OG should be a little higher, but I didn't see a way to add fruit to the fermentable bill in Beer Alchemy.

I plan on using about 1.6 lb/gallon of mango (~8 lb total) in the beer since it is a relatively mild fruit.

I've been reading Daniels' book about both fruit and wheat beers and my questions lie withing how to add the fruit and what yeast to use.

In terms of when to add the fruit, Daniels talks about two methods: steeping or adding to the fermenter. Both seem reasonable to me, but adding to the fermenter seems easier to execute. He also has somewhat of a side note specifically for dealing with pumpkin, but I was wondering if it could be applied to other fruit...such as mango. He says to bake the pumpkin at 325 for two hours, puree it, and then add it to the mash. What is the consensus on when to add mild fruit to a wheat?

My other question is about the yeast. Daniels writes that it is common for both Belgian yeasts and clean ale yeasts to make their way into these types of recipes. I was looking at some fruit beer recipes on the forum and noticed some people use Bavarian weizen yeast as well. It seems like it might be a good idea because of the mild natured flavor of mango, but I don't want the flavor masked. Any thoughts?

AHHHH, you've taken my idea!!!
I also plan to do a Mango wheat for the spring. It seems to be a pretty rare beer but I'm curious to see how it comes out. I'll be really interested in how yours works. Good luck
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:40 PM   #4
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My second brew ever was a peach-mango wit. Freakin' spectacular---before they turned into gushers, that is. Personally, I'd add them to the primary towards the end of fermentation---and cut them up pretty well too. Otherwise, you'll get gushers like mine. I think what happened was, when I strained out the fruit it agitated the beer-soaked pieces of fruit and released some more sugar that had been hiding in there...

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Old 01-23-2008, 07:44 PM   #5
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I have not yet used mango but have done a few good fruit beers. Notably, I brewed a kiwi wit beer (the one from BYO a year or so ago) where 1lb/g of fresh kiwi was added at knockout. It created a very nice tangy wit beer with good head retention and a nice twist on a great style.

I have also done various berry wheats for my wife, I have found putting the fruit in the secondary to be the best. This way you retain the delicate freshness of the fruit.

I normally find a nice looking worker in the fruit/produce section and have them respray all my fruit with sanitizer in the back and wrap the fruit in a plastic bag. Then I just take the sanitized fruit home and dump it directly into my secondary.

Mango sounds like it would be good. I would consider adding some bittering hops at 30min and bump the IBU's up to around 20-25, but thats just me.

p.s.- has anyone used wine/champagne yeasts to ferment fruit beers, seems like it may be a strange but wonderful idea...

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Old 01-23-2008, 07:48 PM   #6
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To highlight the mango flavor, you may need to select a fairly neutral ale yeast. I fear that a weizen yeast, while great for other fruits, could overpower the subtlety you're looking for in the mango fruit.

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Old 01-23-2008, 07:57 PM   #7
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I've found that using Saison yeast works will with fruited beers. I did strawberry and raspberry.

Add to secondary, then rack to tertiary after a week or two just to get it out of the fruit and get things to settle before bottling (see notes about gushing above).

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Old 01-23-2008, 08:47 PM   #8
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Just checked Wyeast's recommendations for fruit beers and apparently Kolsch yeast lends itself well to the style as well. I like the idea of the saison yeast, I didn't even think about it. Timely too, the LHBS has the seasonal WLP saison in stock, but on the other hand I have WLP029 on hand.

I'm not worried about having gushers, I'm planning on kegging this beer.

The plan as of now is going to be to add it to secondary in small pieces. Do you think the alcohol alone should be enough to keep any bacteria at bay, or should I spray the fruit with star san before adding? Also, I was thinking that dropping the fruit in secondary, then racking on top would be the best way to avoid oxidation.

The jury still isn't out on what I'm going to do about yeast. Maybe I'll have a chat with the guys at the LHBS and see what they say. Of course I'm sure a bunch of these questions will be answered once I give Jamil's fruit beer pod cast a listen. I doubt I'll brew this weekend, but if I get antsy who knows.

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Old 01-23-2008, 09:07 PM   #9
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Instead of adding to secondary in pieces, you may consider a "potato masher" type tool. Make a "mushy goop" out of it, then rack on top, and gently agitate with a sanitized spoon?

I look forward to your results, I may be doing something similar very soon.

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Old 01-23-2008, 09:13 PM   #10
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I made a mango mead and blended the mango...really bad idea...I waited over 6 months for the mango to fall out and still bottled a lot of mango.

I was not pleased as the flavor did not comethrough as I had hoped.

Also as a purist for German-style hefe weizen beers I would not use a German yeast for the wheat, go American this time...IMO.



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