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Old 06-15-2009, 06:20 AM   #1
ikelso
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Default Thoughts on how to make Bunker Hill Blueberry Ale

I spent a few years in Boston and couldn't get enough of the Bunker Hill Blueberry they make at boston beer works. The website describes it as:

BUNKER HILL BLUEBEERY ALE (sic)
A golden ale made and garnished with fresh Maine blueberries.

So, has anyone ever used fruit in a golden ale before? Wondering if the proportions are different from a wheat ale or the same. Possibly a different choice of hops than a normal golden as well? Has anyone had this beer before and have an idea of how it might be made?

Thanks for any input!

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Old 06-15-2009, 07:38 AM   #2
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From all I've seen, it's not that difficult. I've seen golden ale used for multiple things but in this case I'm guessing it means a blonde ale, which makes things simple enough - much like with wheats, light and crisp flavors make the fruit come out easily.

So near as I can tell: hops appropriate to style but usually on the lower end of the range unless you're a real hophead. As for the fruit itself, you'll need several pounds of berries, which you'll ideally want crushed and might want to just juice if you have a juicer. Some will sanitize their fruit by pouring boiling water over it or adding crushed campden tablets, but if you want a little more certainty pasteurize them at 160F for ten minutes. Don't boil though - aside from any danger to the flavor it will make pectic haze in your finished beer. Put it in your secondary - adding fruit to the primary loses more flavor and just leaves the beer tart and bitter. This will spark a potentially violent second fermentation, so make sure you have ample headspace and ideally a blowoff tube.

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Old 06-15-2009, 02:10 PM   #3
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I'm a big fan of Wachusett Blueberry, made in Wachusett, MA, which is pretty similiar to the one at Boston Beer Works. On a trip to a local brew shop here in RI the owner told me most brew houses use flavoring and not fruit, including Wachusett. I was planning to make mine using Oregon fruit puree. So I went with the blueberry flavoring based on his advice.
The recipe is basically a golden ale with blueberry flavoring at bottling, or in my case kegging. I'm on my second keg, with a third waiting.

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Old 01-23-2011, 09:19 PM   #4
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Some places will serve fresh blueberries in a pint of Wachusett Blueberry.

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