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Old 06-29-2010, 08:34 PM   #1
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Default Strawberry Hefeweizen- The Steeping or Secondary Conundrum

***Long time brewer first time user***

As a hop-head I have primarily brewed IPAs, hoppy reds, and the occasional cider and stout for variety in the past, but I think it would be good to expand my repertoire so I've decided to brew a strawberry hefe this summer. My question/idea is in regard to when to add the fresh strawberries- Post boil steep around 165 F for ~20 min or during secondary fermentation?

I have searched through the forums and found some pros and cons of both. A major concern for steeping seems to be the danger of losing fresh, crisp flavor during subsequent vigorous fermentation. A major concern for secondary addition appears to be the introduction of bacteria.

I was thinking I would try combining the methods to see if I could get a nicely layered flavor. My plan is to add 4# quartered fresh strawberries post boil for ~20 min, then cool, strain, and rack into primary w/o the fruit. After primary fermentation subsides I'll rack over 4# fresh strawberries that have been disinfected with hot (but not boiling) water. After a week or so, I would then rack into tertiary w/o fruit to let settle/mellow for another week or two.

Has anyone tried this dual method or have any thoughts on this idea? Thanks in advance for any advice!

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Old 06-29-2010, 08:51 PM   #2
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Honestly, I'd try to find an oregon fruit puree to use. It's canned, so it's sanitary. And you can just dump it right in the fermentor. Plus, Oregon makes some great canned fruits.

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Old 06-30-2010, 12:54 AM   #3
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Strawberry Hefe Weizens don't exist, therefore, you don't have a problem...

Strawberry Wheat beers do...

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Old 07-02-2010, 05:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99 View Post
Strawberry Hefe Weizens don't exist, therefore, you don't have a problem...

Strawberry Wheat beers do...

I stand corrected... thanks for clarifying.

cheers
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Suthrncomfrt1884 View Post
Honestly, I'd try to find an oregon fruit puree to use. It's canned, so it's sanitary. And you can just dump it right in the fermentor. Plus, Oregon makes some great canned fruits.
I've used the Oregon fruit strawberries in the past and they work well. The main problem is finding the strawberries, they seem to be hard to find. All the other fruits from Oregon are pretty plentiful, but the strawberries are tough.

Ron
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Old 07-02-2010, 02:02 PM   #6
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A strawberry wheat uses a wheat yeast, a strawberry hefeweizen would use a hefeweizen yeast.

Strawberry is a delicate flavor, so I would add them to the secondary about a week before bottling.

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Old 07-02-2010, 04:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GringoDave View Post
***Long time brewer first time user***

As a hop-head I have primarily brewed IPAs, hoppy reds, and the occasional cider and stout for variety in the past, but I think it would be good to expand my repertoire so I've decided to brew a strawberry hefe this summer. My question/idea is in regard to when to add the fresh strawberries- Post boil steep around 165 F for ~20 min or during secondary fermentation?

I have searched through the forums and found some pros and cons of both. A major concern for steeping seems to be the danger of losing fresh, crisp flavor during subsequent vigorous fermentation. A major concern for secondary addition appears to be the introduction of bacteria.

I was thinking I would try combining the methods to see if I could get a nicely layered flavor. My plan is to add 4# quartered fresh strawberries post boil for ~20 min, then cool, strain, and rack into primary w/o the fruit. After primary fermentation subsides I'll rack over 4# fresh strawberries that have been disinfected with hot (but not boiling) water. After a week or so, I would then rack into tertiary w/o fruit to let settle/mellow for another week or two.

Has anyone tried this dual method or have any thoughts on this idea? Thanks in advance for any advice!

If you are doing a 5 gallon batch, 8 pounds of strawberries sounds like a lot. Assumming that the quantity of strawberries is to your liking, I don't see why a dual method wouldn't work. Me personally, I would try one or the other just to see how it tastes. That way I would only have to use one method in the future. Also, I did two batches with Oregon puree and both of them wound up getting flushed down the toilet. I will never touch that stuff again. I would strongly suggest to stick with fresh, or frozen fruit.
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:21 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by GRHunter View Post
If you are doing a 5 gallon batch, 8 pounds of strawberries sounds like a lot. Assumming that the quantity of strawberries is to your liking, I don't see why a dual method wouldn't work. Me personally, I would try one or the other just to see how it tastes. That way I would only have to use one method in the future. Also, I did two batches with Oregon puree and both of them wound up getting flushed down the toilet. I will never touch that stuff again. I would strongly suggest to stick with fresh, or frozen fruit.
Yeah, I've heard enough horror stories that I am afraid to use strawberry puree despite its obvious conveniences. Many people have successes with it though so it makes me wonder why results vary so drastically.

I agree with your logic for choosing just one of the methods- the dual method would not reveal which process was superior. I think I will reduce the poundage and introduce the berries during secondary fermentation. Thanks for your suggestions.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:12 PM   #9
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I've made strawberry wheat before, using fresh berries that I juiced. Do not boil...instead just add to secondary with a blow-off. You'll get more "strawberry soda" type flavors if you use extract, but using natural berries will be very subtle. I think I used around 5# with just a hint of strawberry as a result. Using a clean finishing yeast helps a lot too because you have less interference from phenols.

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Old 07-07-2010, 12:18 PM   #10
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I have made a succulent strawberry pale ale, and used 3lbs in he secondary. The recipe called for 8, but 3 was plenty tart. I just used frozen strawberries from the grocery store. Sanititize the mouth of the secondary before and after pushing the strawberries in, the just rack on top. Be sure to use a blow-off tube!

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