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Old 05-26-2009, 07:17 AM   #1
z987k
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Default Rhubarb

I was given a bunch of rhubarb, a lot of which is going in a few pies... but i was thinking beer as well. First thoughts are rhubarb wheat or strawberry-rhubarb wheat, or maybe make a blond with it. The what would be rather straight forward basically being an american wheat with rhubarb in it.

I was thinking making a Belgian blond with a nice estery/phenoly yeast and adding the rhubarb (I'm thinking secondary with all the rhubarb.)

But then I was thinking well hell, if I'm going to make a Belgian rhubarb, shouldn't it be a lambic? Not something you can go buy that's for sure, and the tartness of the rhubarb would not be out of place of off-putting in a lambic. Only thing is, should I freeze the rhubarb and save it until next year when the lambic get close to being done or should I add it to the primary? Or should I use the rest in a pie and get more rhubarb next year?\

Ok well after some research apparently Cantillon already makes a rhubarb lambic. Or did last year anyways.

So the more I think about this the more I think it needs to be a lambic. Traditional grain bill 65% barely and 35% unmalted wheat. I only have American 2-row on hand so I might use that instead of the Belgian Pils I should use. But this does give me a chance to do a turbid mash, which I've been waiting to do for awhile. Probably go with wlp655 as I have a few vials of that on hand, everything else is brett or lacto exclusivly.




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Old 05-26-2009, 07:30 PM   #2
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Well I have not done a lambic, but either way you probably should freeze the rhubarb before adding it to the primary/secondary. That helps break down the cell walls and allows more sugars/flavor to come out.



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Old 05-26-2009, 10:16 PM   #3
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Yeah, I'm actually brewing this right now. I just need to figure out what and when with the rhubarb. It's in the freezer now. I read something on chopping it up fairly fine like in a pie and boiling it in a bit of water and then add the water and fruit to the secondary, although I won't have a secondary here, I guess I'll just wait a few weeks for the majority of the fermentation to be over and then add it.

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Old 05-27-2009, 03:51 AM   #4
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Here's the recipe:
6.5lbs American-Pilsner
2lbs Unmalted wheat
1lb Flaked Oats
.5lb Biscut (cause I liked the idea)
Mashed in .3qt/lb at 113F 10mins, step to 138F which brought the mash to about .45qt/lb 5min. Draw off 1qt turbid wort and heat to 180+ leave in different pot. Step to 150, rest 30mins. Draw off 1 gallon turbid wort, combine with the other turbid wort and heat to 180+. Step main mash to 162, rest 20mins. Now collect the liquid in the MLT, add 180F turbid wort to top of MLT, drain off as well. Sparge normal to collect 6.5gallons.
OG: 1.052, which is surprising because I figured I'd get a lot lower efficiency considering.
Pitched wlp655.

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Old 05-27-2009, 05:54 AM   #5
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With rhubarb you should always flash boil it to remove the laxative properties . All you have to do is cut it up, throw it in boiling water for 10 seconds, then throw off the boiling water. Even for pie you should do this, it improves the flavor and removes the bitterness.

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Old 05-27-2009, 11:10 AM   #6
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We used to eat green rhubarb raw. Rinse off the dirt, grab a bowl of sugar, then bite, dip, bite, dip. None of this flash boil silliness!

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Old 05-27-2009, 07:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oberon567 View Post
We used to eat green rhubarb raw. Rinse off the dirt, grab a bowl of sugar, then bite, dip, bite, dip. None of this flash boil silliness!
And I am sure you were quite regular. And, flash boiling is a quick way to sterilize, bring out other flavors, etc.
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:26 PM   #8
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I have a massive rhubarb plant growing in my backyard. I just harvested about 8lbs of it to make some wine. Never thought about putting it into beer though. I may have to try that as well.

One thing I've been reading about people doing is treating their rhubarb with calcium carbonate to neutralize the oxalic acid (as well as some of the malic acid).

Also leaching out rhubarb juice by crushing the pieces of rhubarb and covering it with about a pound of sugar, not sure if doing so would be beneficial for your wort or end up making it too sugary.

Let us know how it turns out!

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Old 05-28-2009, 07:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutedog View Post
I have a massive rhubarb plant growing in my backyard. I just harvested about 8lbs of it to make some wine. Never thought about putting it into beer though. I may have to try that as well.

One thing I've been reading about people doing is treating their rhubarb with calcium carbonate to neutralize the oxalic acid (as well as some of the malic acid).

Also leaching out rhubarb juice by crushing the pieces of rhubarb and covering it with about a pound of sugar, not sure if doing so would be beneficial for your wort or end up making it too sugary.

Let us know how it turns out!
Yeah the oxalic acid is in the leaves. You don't eat those.
As far as sugar, that would just get fermented out so...
I think I'm going to chop it up somewhat fine, flash boil it in a small amount of water and add that to the carboy after the main krausen drops, then just leave it until the whole thing is done. Maybe 3-5lbs.
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:09 AM   #10
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I loooove raw rhubarb! dipped in sugar OM NOM NOM NOM!

I reckon a hefe would be good with rhubarb juice added when serving



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