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Old 07-31-2013, 06:39 PM   #1
tothemaxx
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Default Help with watermelon

OK, so I know that there are a lot of Watermelon recipes on this site. Most people use mayyybe half a gallon of juice in secondary. But what if, for competition reasons, I need to use 50% or more juice in my beer?

I am making a Watermelon Saison and need some advice on my juice additions.

Basically I'm using a Fantome as the base to make 2.5gal of wort with Wyeast French Saison. I am then planning on adding 1gal of watermelon with maybe a pound extra of corn sugar dissolved into it at flameout. This will make a pretty dry beer.

After week 1 I will rack into 2nndary and add .5 gal, adding .5 more gal of watermelon juice at the end of week 2, and finally .5gal juice before bottling.

I'm trying to balance dry and citrusy with sweet and delicious. I know this is kind of a frankenstein and wacky but that's kind of the point.

Any thoughts on the juice additions will be appreciated!

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Old 07-31-2013, 09:11 PM   #2
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Wow. I've found the sweet spot for my tastes in a watermelon wheat is 4.5 cups per 5 gallons, tried everything from 3-6 cups. Can't imagine what 10 times that would be like. I'm all for a good experiment though, as long as it's someone else's!

Is this some kind of graf competition or something? You don't mention the rest of the recipe but I think the extra sugar plus the 3711 is going to make this extremely dry.

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Old 07-31-2013, 09:13 PM   #3
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Best thread title ever.....

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Old 07-31-2013, 09:22 PM   #4
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Strangely, mint and watermelon work well. Given the vague title (but a fine one, no criticism) I would do a hint of mint.

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Old 08-14-2013, 02:18 AM   #5
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So my recipe was as follows:

2.5 gal AG
5# Belgian 2 row
.5# Belgian wheat
.25# Aromatic

90 minute mash @ 155F and 90 minute boil

.5oz Hallertauer @45 min
.25oz Kent Goldings @15 min
Wyeast 3711 (French Saison)

At the end of the process I added 1 gallon of fresh watermelon juice. I got lazy and had cooled it and hadn't pasteurized it. I was willing to take the chance.

OG was 1.060 for the 3.5 gallons of beer-juice mixture.

I racked after a week into secondary and added half a gallon of watermelon juice that I had pasteurized at 180F. I was a little concerned because the flavor profile of heated watermelon juice was much more nutty (in the direction of a butternut squash) than the unheated/ non- pasteurized juice.

When I tasted it in secondary there was a bit of diacetyl that stuck out, though not overbearing, and there was a nice, dryness to the beer. The watermelon was definitely not overpowering at that point. I haven't tasted it since last week when I added the 2nd addition of watermelon juice.

At this stage I'm kind of curious about the last .5 gallon addition. I'm taking part in a competition that happens in my town every 2 months and usually things get kind of weird. The stipulation was that 50% of the beer needed to be made of fruit. Hence the crazy amount of watermelon juice. I still need to add a gallon to the carboy and am kind of curious what opinion may be in terms of timing.

I will make one more half gallon addition this week and wait one more week to bottle the beers. One option is to add the half gallon at bottling and count on the sugar to prime the beer. However, I'm concerned that I will over-carbonate the beer. The second option is to add the last addition 2 or 3 days before bottling to let the yeast do its work and then prime with some Wheat DME. I think best scenarios are that the beer comes out either like a watermelon shandy or that it will be a cross between a dry watermelon cider/ beer.

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Old 08-14-2013, 02:36 AM   #6
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I agree, I would worry about getting the carb right with juice though I know folks do it. I'd just add it now to secondary. I never pasteurize, just sanitize the utensils that I use to juice the watermelon. I've done it about 10 times and never had an infection. Please post what the finished product tastes like. Where do you live that they do funky brew competitions every 2 months?

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