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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Blueberry Brew
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:23 PM   #1
BlackAtack
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Default Blueberry Brew

I wanted to make a fruit beer, with of chocolate, with notes of honey and slight red coloring. I have an idea of how to do that, but I want it to be a high gravity beer with a strong head retention.

I know I can add honey, extra malts, certain sugars, etc. for increasing gravity, but I also heard that rice increases gravity without really affecting the flavor. How would I use rice in a brew to get my desired results? As for head retention, I read that wheat can help with head retention with minimum flavor changes. What could wheat possibly do to the flavor profile of a fruity chocolaty beer?

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Old 01-12-2013, 01:37 PM   #2
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Flaked rice will lower the body of the beer and dry it out a bit, so those are some potential issues with using it. Wheat will also add some flavor that you may not want in your flavor profile. Why not just increase the amount of base malt and specialty grains you're using (be it grain or extract) until you get your desired OG?

If you're concerned about head retention and doing a partial mash you could add some cara-pils/dextrine malt (about 5%) to your grain bag with some 2-row (to convert the other grains) to both increase gravity and head retention without affecting body/flavor or adding other variables you may not want.

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Old 01-12-2013, 02:11 PM   #3
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What kind of an OG are you looking for? I use oatmeal for mouthfeel and head retention. For a big beer, maybe 16-20oz.

Blueberries, blackberries, ect... will get you a reddish/purplish color. I like about a lb per gallon. Good luck!

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Old 01-15-2013, 12:09 AM   #4
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I want it to be 9-10% ABV so I think I need like a 1.10-1.20 OG

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Old 01-15-2013, 12:23 AM   #5
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zzARzz:

I was told and read wheat wouldn't alter the flavor very much. The guy that runs the shop where I get my supplies from said a pound would help with the head and not add flavor. Have you tried wheat for head retention? What are the flavor profiles like for cara-pils and dextrine malts have? Will they affect flavor/body at all considering they're malts?

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Old 01-15-2013, 01:16 AM   #6
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This has my attention. I was thinking along the same lines here in a stout with a high abv. Black Berries are in the freezer waiting on a recipe.

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Old 01-15-2013, 08:44 AM   #7
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Try a protein rest at 122-125 for head retention, it is debated whether or not this actually works to aid in head retention. As far as chocolate and honey goes, use some chocolate malt and a small amount of honey malt as well. For coloring add 5-10% of a medium range caramel/crystal malt to get some res coloring into it. Also, you can try to add cocoa powder, let it secondary on cocoa nibs, or add some chocolate flavoring at bottling from your LHBS. As far as high gravity you just need more malt or could add sugar during the boil which will dry your beer out due to the increase in fermentable sugars. As for the blueberry I agree on the pound per gallon theory on this one. I pasteurized mine at 170 for about 8 minutes and then puréed them and racked onto the blueberries. You will be introducing more sugar into the secondary and could see a some activity in your secondary from this as well. Hope this helps and good luck.

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Old 01-15-2013, 11:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackAtack View Post
zzARzz:

I was told and read wheat wouldn't alter the flavor very much. The guy that runs the shop where I get my supplies from said a pound would help with the head and not add flavor. Have you tried wheat for head retention? What are the flavor profiles like for cara-pils and dextrine malts have? Will they affect flavor/body at all considering they're malts?
I've used carapils on my last few brews at around 3-5% and it does help with head retention and body. Carapils doesn't alter flavor or color at all, so that's why I use it in small quantities in pretty much any style I want to thicken up a bit (It's replaced any need for me to add powdered malto-dextrine).

You can use wheat, of course; Carapils is just another option.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzARzz View Post

I've used carapils on my last few brews at around 3-5% and it does help with head retention and body. Carapils doesn't alter flavor or color at all, so that's why I use it in small quantities in pretty much any style I want to thicken up a bit (It's replaced any need for me to add powdered malto-dextrine).

You can use wheat, of course; Carapils is just another option.
Thank you, I will look into that option as well.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:05 PM   #10
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Another question, it's actually a two parter. The first time I tried brewing with fruit/berries (used raspberries) I did the boiling thing and I THINK I messed it up. I know that a vodka soak does the trick too, but do I still need to do any of the sanitizing treatments (freezing, boiling, soaking) if I'm just going to add them to my secondary anyway?

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