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Old 05-10-2010, 12:25 PM   #1
DraperyFalls
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Default Strawberry Wheat Beer Recipe?

I'm looking for a good wheat beer recipe with strawberries to brew this weekend. I've never brewed a wheat beer before and I've also never brewed with fruit so any advice would be greatly appreciated!

I've read a couple different things regarding the addition of fruit. One recipe I found had me leave the strawberries in an open container for 24 hours with pectic enzyme and a campden tablet, and then add this to the boil at the beginning. However, I've also read that adding it at the beginning of the boil can produce an off taste, almost like bruised fruit.

Other recipes I've seen call for the strawberries at flame-out. However, most frequently I have seen advice saying that I should not add the strawberries until the secondary fermentation, unless I have some elaborate system in place to prevent an explosion, as the fermentation will be very vigorous.

Anyway, I'm trying to get a little clarification and advice from those of you with much more experience than I have. I'm also looking for a good recipe, if anyone has got it. I considered just brewing a wit and racking it onto the strawberries in the secondary, but I also don't want the flavor of the strawberries to be lost to the flavor of the beer.

Any advice is much appreciated!

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Old 05-10-2010, 01:31 PM   #2
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As you said, unless you've got a foolproof way to prevent an explosion, fruit goes in secondary. The reasons for this are twofold: First, the added sugar just makes primary fermentation more vigorous, requiring added blowoff capacity. Second, and (depending on whom you ask) more importantly, putting fruit in during the more violent primary fermentation will cause many of the volatile compounds which provide the fruit's flavors and aromas. Putting fruit in during secondary fermentation allows for more of these compounds to stay in the beer, giving you more flavor and aroma, which I would assume you want.

As far as the pectic enzymes are concerned, what they will give you is a reduction in chill haze and better utilization of your fruit. By dissolving the proteins that make up the fruit itself, these enzymes liberate more fermentable sugars, more color compounds, and more flavor compounds. This also means that there aren't as many long-chain proteins to give you chill haze. If you're using raw fruit, then yes, crush it the night before, add a campden tablet, and add your pectic enzymes to it. Mix well and let sit for 24 hours to allow the SO2 to bleed off (this is what kills the yeast/bugs/etc). Then rack your beer onto the fruit (did I mention you should put the washed/chopped/campden'd fruit into your secondary first? You should) and let it go for a couple of weeks, or until the fruit mostly drops. At this point, your beer should be done, and quite tasty!

Best of luck! I'm currently making one of these myself, so we'll have to compare notes when done!

EDIT: AAH!! Forgot to ask: Are you an extract or all-grain brewer? This is important for providing a recipe.

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Old 05-10-2010, 01:57 PM   #3
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Every summer I make a Strawberry blonde per the request of my wife. I use BeirMuncher's Centennial Blonde recipe (not a wheat, but any wheat recipe you find should work). I use 5-6 lb of frozen, pasturized strawberries per 5.25 gallons. Let them thaw in the bag, smash em up real good (still in the bag), then add them to the secondary and rack your beer. I let them sit for 5 days before kegging. Make sure you have enough head space in the secondary as you will get renewed activity with the additional sugars and it will dry the heck out of your beer! (which I like). This year I plan on trying peaches. Good luck!

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Old 05-10-2010, 02:15 PM   #4
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I read campden tablets in the raspberry/peach thread. It sounds a lot making wine, which may be fine for beer, I do not know. I try, as much as possible, to NOT add "stuff" to my beers. I don't use finings, gelatin, nutrients, etc. I do use adjuncts, fruits, herbs, etc. basically if it's a tablet or chemical I'm leery about adding it. I will add a quarter campden tablet to my tap water to dechlorinate it, but I know that this boil out so I'm comfortable with that, adding it to a secondary would not sit well with me. This is me, there a MUCH smarter people here and if they are doing it with success by all means don't let me discredit them.

Oregon Fruit Company cans sterilized fruit that's an excellent addition to the secondary. It's by far the most convenient means of getting fruit into your beer. Here's my pages file when formulating a cherry wheat:
Scary Mary Cherry Wheat ( || )

1lb. Flaked Wheat
8 oz. Cara Pils
6 lbs. Wheat LME

1 oz. Tettnang Tettnanger Noble or Hallertau Hops
0.5 oz. Hallertau (Aroma)

Wyeast 1056 American Ale

Priming sugar for bottling (go LIGHT, the cherries will help)
1 oz Cherry Extract (Added in bottling bucket)

4lbs of tart cherries in the chilled secondary for a week (chilled)
OR 1 Can Oregon Cherry Fruit Puree

Mini-Mash the grains (Wheat and Cara Pils)

Add Wheat extract, and Tettnang: boil for 50 mins.
Add Hallertau, boil 10 more mins.

This cherry has been a popular beer over here, and I imagine swapping your strawberries will be very good as well.

First batch I used fresh Michigan cherries, pitted, crushed and steeped at the end of the boil for 15 mins. Primary was VIOLENT, definitely use a blow-off tube your air lock will be spoiled.
Second batch just poured the puree in the secondary racked onto it, refermented for about 2 days, and did just fine. MUCH easier then the fresh cherries.

Third batch I will up to 6 lbs of puree or mix the puree and some fresh cherries. In an effort to chill out the primary fermentation I will sterilize the cherries, chill and pour into the secondary and rack onto it.

Steeping the fresh fruit is necessary to sterilize it. Don't want any nasties entering your beer. The trick is if you boil the fruit then you will set the pectins creating off flavors and starting jelly. So holding it at 180 deg F for 15 mins will sterilize without setting off anything that you do not want. The Oregon Puree is sterilized in the can, so a swab around the lid and you are good to go! I have done this successfully at the end of the boil by just letting the boil cease, adding the cherries letting them steep and then chilling, pitching yeast and racking. Like I said initial fermentation will be nuts, so be ready to blow off.

Hope that helps!

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Old 05-10-2010, 02:58 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies!

I have note done an all-grain recipe yet. So far, extract and extract/grain only.

I appreciate you sharing the recipe as well! I have a couple of wheat beer recipes in a book and from the iBrewMaster app as well. I'll let you know what I end up going with and again, I am grateful for the words of wisdom!

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Old 05-10-2010, 08:11 PM   #6
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I have brewed this recipe http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f70/american-wheat-75279/ a few times now. I think it's a pretty good recipe just as is so I have added strawberries and just did a strawberry blueberry blend which just got kegged.

I recommend using 5lbs of frozen strawberries, let them thaw, smash them up, and they I rack the beer on top of them in another ale pale and let them sit for about 2 weeks.

One thing when using fruit is when you go to siphon your beer I like to use a sanitized paint strainer bag on the sucking end of the auto siphon so you keep out all of the fruit bits. If you don't it may become clogged which is extremely frustrating.

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Old 05-10-2010, 11:39 PM   #7
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Wow. Great advice on th paint strainer! I can see that causing a lot of headache! Thanks!

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Old 05-11-2010, 12:54 AM   #8
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I'd strongly recommending tasting your fruit before using it in your beer. Depending on how sweet and how strong of a flavor modulate your hops. Also if you ever brew darker beers and add fruit given the flavors involved you may want to increase or decrease the roast of your grains. I did a guava amber that I should either decreased the amount or used a lighter grain than I did (1lb of Special B = a really dark amber).

I've noticed that adding flavor in primary/secondary/bottling changes where the additive flavor will peak while drinking. For example, for highly aromatic flavors (ie passion fruit) I'll use extract and throw that in at bottling so you get a generous aroma and initial taste but it will fade quickly and let the hops finish nicely. For guava, whole fruit and primary, you'll get a nice heavy guava/tart flavor that will creep in as you are tasting the body of the beer.

I'm not sure what access to hops you have and your personal tastes but I generally try to make certain flavors to certain fruit. Tropical fruits usually get a hop with a contrasting flavor (I generally use Rikawa for tropical fruit beers) and Crystal for berry. Basically I try to get a full range of flavors encompassing the grains, a fruity flavor and a floral flavor. Then just mix and match fruit/hops so I vary what is the main flavor and what is the main aroma.

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Old 05-11-2010, 01:20 AM   #9
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I have yet to do a fruit beer, but I was reading in Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher this week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosher
Strawberries: Strawberries rarely live up to their promise. The familiar flavor fades quickly along with the color, leaving an orange-hued, vaguely fruity beer behind. The best strawberry beers are those made in a light style, to be drunk in their youth. Absolutely ripe fruit is essential... Unless you can get out in the fields and pick them yourselves, frozen strawberries are your best bet... Use two pounds of fruit per gallon or more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosher
Peach: Peaches have been, in my experience, a terrible disappointment...Apricots produce a much better beer in fact, they make a fine peach beer!
Mosher, R. (2004) Radical Brewing. Brewers Publications PO Box 1679 Boulder, CO 80306-1679
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:26 AM   #10
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Thanks again for everyone's advice. I ended up going with a pretty simple recipe, as some friends and I were brewing 3 beers (this, a saison, and an IPA) in an afternoon and time was short. Depending on how this turns out, I might tweak the recipe and try some grains next time.

3.3 lbs of Muntons Light Malt Extract
3.3 lbs of Muntons Wheat Malt Extract

1 oz Willamette (90 min)
1 oz Fuggles (30 min)
.5 oz Hallertau (15 min)

Whirlfloc (15 min)

2 pkg Wyeast 1010 American Wheat

Pretty straight forward and produced a beautiful dark gold color. Can't wait to splash a bit of red in from these strawberries!

I'll let you know how it turns out!

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