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snyklez 08-16-2012 08:03 PM

Blueberry blonde questions
3sheetsEMJ recently put what looks like a great blonde recipe up. I was thinking about trying this out as a blueberry blonde (for the wife). I have two questions about this recipe. I've read what seems like every blueberry post on this site, and I still haven't come up with a definitive process on how to add the fruit. I have a primary fermenter and bottle condition, so I'm not able to kill the yeast after fermentation, add the fruit for a week then keg. So I'll have to add the fruit to the fermenter. I'm afraid that if I add the fruit (frozen, fresh, purée?) into the primary that it'll kick fermentation back up and all the flavor will be lost before I can bottle condition. Do I add all the fruit to the boil instead, or just use an inferior extract? It's maddening. Secondly, I wanted to try this in a 3 gallon batch. I don't have beer smith to recalculate it for me. Is it as simple as adjusting each of the ingredients to 60% the original recipe? Thanks for the help everyone.

4.5 lb briess pilsen extra light DME
12 oz briess wheat DME
8oz. Carmel 10
4oz Carafoam
.75 oz Glacier @60min
.75 oz Glacier @15 min
1whirlfoc tablet @12min
Yeast nutrient .5 tspn @10 min
.5 oz. Cascade @5 min
Wyeast American ale 1056 smackpack

SRM: 4

Ferment @72degrees F for 3-4 weeks, cold crash for last week, keg, drink after 1-2 weeks in keg.

kingwood-kid 08-17-2012 12:10 AM

Recipes are generally pretty scalable, so multiplying everything by 3/5 will get you close. The big difference is in boil-off rate; you'll have the same surface area for 60% of the volume. A little extra water or a little less boiling time will fix this. Boiling for 45 minutes won't really affect your recipe much, since you're going extract and low ibu. Refermentation won't eliminate all the blueberry flavor, but it will dry your beer out, leave a lot of sour acidity from the berries and raise your ABV a little. You can counter this by adding some crystal, lowering your ibus or describing the beer as "refreshing." Personally, I'd drop a half pound of extract and bitter to 15-18ibus. I'd also ferment at 65 if you can.

As far as adding the berries, add them once your airlock stops bubbling. You can buy pureed or frozen, or you can use fresh, in which case you'll want to starsan or pasteurize.

3sheetsEMJ 08-17-2012 02:16 PM

Snyklez, thanks for the shout out! I hope I can help with this, although take my advice with a grain of salt, I have been brewing for a few years but havent experiented much with fruit ales.

As we discussed in my other thread, I suggested dropping the ibus and crystal malt. The reason i said to drop the crystal malt is I was thinking you would be adding a blueberry syrup (not artificial- I mean blueberrys and sugar boiled down, with skins strained out prior to boil) and therefore the additional sugar would require less crystal. i have heard of issues with astringency (bitter, puckering sensation that RUINS beer) when people use whole fruit, since the skins contains tanins that can leach into the beer. Also with a fruit like peaches it inherently has a lot of sugar which lends a sweetness to the beer, whereas blueberrys dont have as much, so some sugar may need to be added. Sweetwater Blue is a blueberry ale, and i know they use syrup, but Im not sure if it has any sugar added to it or not.

As far as the fermentation kicking up again, you are correct this will happen, which will make the beer dry, altho some aroma of blueberrys will remain. I suggest adding this to the secondary fermentation. Also, Id reduce the aroma hops, since most of the flavor of the fruit will be sensed in the aroma.

I keg and have only bottled a few times, so im not sure how this will effect the bottle conditioning stage.

Good luck!

billf2112 08-18-2012 01:44 PM

I did a blueberry wheat. I used blueberry juice in the secondary. Blueberry was mild at best, wish I did that and added fresh blueberries. It was a bigger beer so I think the whole big wheat thing got in the way. Some said it was like drinking blueberry pie.

thecad 08-18-2012 05:00 PM

I'm also interested in this since I just found out my friend's wife has about 6lbs of fresh blueberrie sin the freezer (that we have annexed for beer making). Any idea how many berries to add? I've heard that the blueberry taste is hard to get and a lot of people say it comes out weak. This will be my first try at a fruit beer, so I have much research to do.

3sheetsEMJ 08-18-2012 08:38 PM


Originally Posted by billf2112
I did a blueberry wheat. I used blueberry juice in the secondary. Blueberry was mild at best, wish I did that and added fresh blueberries. It was a bigger beer so I think the whole big wheat thing got in the way. Some said it was like drinking blueberry pie.

Yeah try doing half wheat half extra light pale malt, it will be a little lighter and cleaner and let the blueberry come through...

billf2112 08-19-2012 12:51 PM

I learned from that brew, was my first "my recipe" still a very good beer. Bottled in 22 oz bombers at 9.5 abv it was one and done or give me your keys.

snyklez 08-20-2012 02:53 PM

Ok, so here's a tentative recipe, going off the original with some tweaks. I haven't adjusted the amount of crystal yet because I'm not sure what method of flavoring I'm going to do. But as a base, what do you guys think? This will be a 3 gallon batch.

2.5 lbs briess pilsen extra light DME
7.5 oz briess wheat DME
5 oz. Carmel 10
2.5 oz Carafoam
.45 oz Glacier @50
.3 oz Glacier @15 min
.1 oz. Cascade @5 min (maybe just skip the aroma hops altogether?)

kingwood-kid 08-20-2012 04:30 PM

With extract, you don't need an hour boil. I would add .5 oz glacier at 30 min and skip the other hop additions. That will give you about 17 ibu if you boil the whole batch. If you're doing a partial boil and topping off, then you'd need a little more. Without knowing how you're going to add the blueberry flavor or how sweet/tart you want the beer, I don't know what to say about the crystal.

3sheetsEMJ 08-20-2012 10:01 PM


Originally Posted by kingwood-kid
With extract, you don't need an hour boil. .

I dont know anout that... you still need to break down the proteins and sugars in the extract, as well as boil off the volatile chemcials to prevent off flavors. I am an extract brewing and have never boiled less than an hour, and with the exception of ready to use premade kits, nearly all recipes you find call for a full hour boil. Its better to be on the safe side. Besides, why let an extra 30 minutes of boil put all that work and a months investment at risk?

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