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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Strawberry Wheat Recipe Help
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:44 PM   #1
Brett3rThanU
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Default Strawberry Wheat Recipe Help

So after brewing several batches of beer I like, SWMBO wants me to brew something she would like and I'm thinking a strawberry wheat. I've been been doing some reading and thought I'd work off a local homebrew shop's recipe, what do you think? Comments, suggestions?

7.5 lbs. wheat malt extract (upped this from 6 lbs)
1/2 lb. wheat malt grain
1/2 lb. six-row pale malt
1/4 lb. cara-pils malt
1 oz. Hallertauer hops (bittering 60 minutes of boil))
1 pkg. Safbrew T-58
5 lbs Strawberries (Secondary)

Than rack onto 5 lbs of strawberries. Should I buy frozen and simply put them in the carboy? Or buy fresh and put them in heated water at 180F to pasteurize them? If I go frozen, I won't need any sort of sanitization because they've already been pasteurized?

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Old 06-18-2008, 11:16 PM   #2
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I dont understand the point of the 6-row in there but someone else might. Frozen yeah you can put them right into the carboy most of the natural yeasts will be killed by the cold.

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Old 06-19-2008, 06:29 PM   #3
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What if one had fresh berries that were then frozen. Is it the cold that pasteurizes them or another process before freezing (commercial frozen berries)??

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Old 06-19-2008, 07:03 PM   #4
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Freezing doesn't clean the yeasts off the strawberries or anything else, but you do want to freeze them. It causes the cell walls to rupture, making the fruit more accessible to the beer.

Usually by the time something goes into secondary, like a fruit, the beer is alcoholic enough that you don't have to worry too much about what's on it. If you buy frozen packets of fruit, those are probably already pasteurized. Fresh fruit, I'd just give them a good thorough cleaning then freeze them.

If you're really worried about it, though, you can always use a much smaller amount of fruit, crush it up, and soak it in some vodka for a few weeks to create your own strawberry extract.

But I wouldn't really worry about it.

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Old 06-21-2008, 03:47 AM   #5
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I just bottled something almost the same as you (well, close) Went for no-wheat, a little more (wild) hops, same yeast strain. I used 2 lbs of strawberries crushed, and since I was out of money (and brains probably) 4lbs of harris teeter strawberry jam. I know, wtf, but I cannot back no anyways.

Crushed the strawberries really well, heated it up till about 80 C together with the jam, and threw that in a cleaned carboy. Smelled really good actually, and It contained per jar 250 grams of sugar so a lot extra there.

I Let it cool till hand warm and then put beer on top from the first fermentation. the fermentation went trough the roof almost in that carboy. Left it till it cleared out for 2 weeks, and bottled it. It smelled first really well (the yeast also smells really nice, I like that strain) and the berries smelled awesome the first days.

Had some just now (from the carboy during bottling), and its tart like hell. I hope the tartness goes away a little bit, I would definitely see what other people did to make sure that would not happen. Its almost undrinkable, I never had that experience before that beer just before bottling tastes, well, not very nice to say it euphemistic. Maybe the jam, who knows

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Old 06-21-2008, 02:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaapie View Post
Had some just now (from the carboy during bottling), and its tart like hell. I hope the tartness goes away a little bit, I would definitely see what other people did to make sure that would not happen. Its almost undrinkable, I never had that experience before that beer just before bottling tastes, well, not very nice to say it euphemistic. Maybe the jam, who knows
The sugars in fruit are totally fermentable, if you add a ton of extra sugar in there, it'll dry things out. What was your final gravity? I'll bet the jam had even more sugar than strawberries normally do.

Still, it's a good lesson - fruit in beer often has a different flavor than the base fruit does because the sugars get fermented out. I think that's why only mildly sweet fruit like raspberries seem to work so well - the flavor of a raspberry isn't drastically altered by losing its sugar.
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Old 06-21-2008, 02:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Blow Leprechaun View Post
The sugars in fruit are totally fermentable, if you add a ton of extra sugar in there, it'll dry things out. What was your final gravity? I'll bet the jam had even more sugar than strawberries normally do.

Still, it's a good lesson - fruit in beer often has a different flavor than the base fruit does because the sugars get fermented out. I think that's why only mildly sweet fruit like raspberries seem to work so well - the flavor of a raspberry isn't drastically altered by losing its sugar.
Gravity was low, but not too low (1013 after ferment). I don't know what sugars are present in raspberries compared to strawberries. I only know lactose is not a suitable carbon source for yeast. I think also that soluble bitter compounds in the fruit itself give the tart taste. What is the non-fermentable sugar in strawberries, do you know? And, some people have been successful with using strawberries - but of course no harris teeter jam .

I will let you know how it tastes after being bottled for a while, I remember reading somewhere that the tart taste disappeared.
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Old 06-22-2008, 01:22 AM   #8
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I have no idea about the sugar breakdown within specific fruits. I imagine it's mostly fructose, which I think is fully fermentable. A chemist, I am not.

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Old 06-22-2008, 02:53 AM   #9
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No 6 row and watch out for the wheat extract. I think different ones have different wheat contents. I would use more wheat. I was not happy with my extract wheat. I plan to do AG for my next one.

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Old 06-23-2008, 09:26 PM   #10
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So the tart taste of the beer disappeared a lot. This is only after a few days in the bottle, but I primed the 12oz bottles with 1mL Rochefort yeast grown for a few days in rich yeast medium (YPED), so they kicked in quick. Taste is slightly wine-like though - reminds me of Duchesse de Bourgogne. Hoppyness is quite low, probably due to the hard fermentation (degassing of volatile stuff) after adding strawberries+jam.
Definitely not bad after all, but its almost no beer anymore.

I would be careful with strawberries after this weird delusional beer experiment of mine. If you use some, use well ripened, frozen/thawed ones (I would do a few cycles of freeze thawing to lyse the plant cells even better), or go for the Oregon fruit cans (raspberry as The Blow Leprechaun suggested), or stick to someone's well defined successful recipe. And stay away from Harris Teeter jam

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