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Old 10-07-2009, 05:20 PM   #1
deyoung
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Default Blueberries in my hefeweizen

I'm a relatively new brewer and am currently doing partial mash recipes. My latest batch is a repeat of an earlier hefeweizen that turned out really great. But this time I was planning on adding blueberries in the secondary. I am racking tomorrow so was hoping to get some last minute advice on my chosen approach.

I have experimented with soaking blueberries in water and have noticed that blueberries do not leach much without some "encouragement", i.e. boiling and/or crushing. Even then, blueberries appear to be quite a bit less flavorful than other berries such as raspberries.

I have 8 lbs of blueberries that are currently frozen. My plan is to boil them in a small amount of water and then crush in solution. This would have the added benefit of sterilization. I was then going to add the whole mess into the carboy and rack on top (this is a 5 gallon batch).

I currently expect the secondary fermentation may go on a little longer due to the added sugar, but I'll watch the airlock closely and delay bottling if necessary.

Anyone else tried something similar and have any suggestions? I'd love to hear any thoughts.

Cheers,
Joel

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Old 10-07-2009, 05:51 PM   #2
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I simply crush my frozen blueberries in a big ziplock, let them thaw and add them straight to the secondary. I do this in a porter and I get lots of flavor. (7 lbs for 5 gallons). Done it twice now and both times it came out great.

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Old 10-08-2009, 01:57 PM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback. I'm racking tonight, and will post the results here when we taste it!

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Old 10-08-2009, 04:12 PM   #4
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I look forward to hearing how this comes out for you. I have been interested in trying something like it myself.

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Old 10-25-2009, 01:30 AM   #5
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This batch has been in the bottle about a week, so I thought I'd post a follow-up.

The flavour of the hefeweizen on which we based this is overpowered by the blueberries for sure. So any concern I had about a lack of blueberry flavour has been mitigated. I think the biggest lesson here has been that blueberries simply don't have a lot of fruity, sweet flavour. This beer is drinking like a crisp, dry cider. So it's good but quite different from what I was expecting.

The yield was only 16.5 litres (on a normally 23 litre batch) because of the massive amount of fruit trub. Because of the low yield, and because the local blueberries cost about as much as the other ingredients, this beer is about 3x as expensive as usual. Oh well.

The whole experience makes me want to put about 5 pounds of raspberries in a porter or something next summer when those are in season around here. I'll post about that then. In the meantime, time for another Blue Harvest!

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Old 10-25-2009, 03:07 AM   #6
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Just to let you know about putting fruit into a porter, I recently brewed a robust porter. In the secondary I added three lbs of frozen (and thawed) peaches, let them sit there for 2 weeks, and at bottling time, I added 2oz of peach extract. Holy rusted metal batman, this beer is gooooood. The frest peaches gave it a tart peach taste (like your blueberries did) and the extract gave it a nice sweet and aromatic character. I brewed this for my brother in laws wedding, and it was a huge hit. At 6.7% it also kicked some ass in return

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Old 10-25-2009, 08:19 PM   #7
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Thanks for the notes Deuce! I'll have to remember the idea of using whole fruit and extract.

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Old 10-26-2009, 12:20 AM   #8
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A peach or blueberry porter? Sounds interesting lol

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Old 10-26-2009, 01:16 AM   #9
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The peach porter was fantasic.... my brother in law and I came up with it when we were hammered, so I brewed it for his wedding day. We called it "Earls Peach Karma" I used a robust porter base recipe, steeped some earls gray tea in the boil, and used peaches in the secondary, and extract at bottle time. I enjoyed one of those tonight, man are they good!

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Old 10-26-2009, 01:35 AM   #10
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Earl grey tea in the boil eh? I would have thought that would throw off too many tannins. Sounds interesting.

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