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Old 04-07-2011, 02:44 PM   #1
mcbethenstein
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Default GF fruit beer

Hi all, I'm new to this forum and fairly new to brewing. We got a kit at Christmas and quickly expanded. I'm a long time fibromyalgia sufferer and cancer survivor, and recently decided to try the GF lifestyle to see if it will improve my symptoms.... Now for the important stuff. I am looking to make a fabulous GF fruit beer. I am not big into the taste of "plain" beer, and prior to this really only liked wheats and fruity stuff. Ex. Berry Weiss and wild blue. I am hoping to come up with something so overpoweringly fruity that you can't tell it's GF. I need guidance. I live near northern brewer in Milwaukee, and have access to a few other LHBS. What I think I can get from northern is a 6 lb white sorghum syrup and 1 lb. Rice syrup solids. I've done an extract/dme batch before. I assume the process would be the same. What do you think? Tell me all the little tricks. My intention is to brew a base, then add a whole bunch of blueberry purée to the secondary. Hop suggestions? I'm not big on hoppiness. Yeast suggestion? I assume I will go with a dry yeast. Should I add DAP? How much? Any one make something similar? Thanks for all the help.

P.s. I have a cider in the bottles, but it's still way to new to drink yet. Needs about 3 more months of mellowing time. So hopefully this can fill my void.

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Old 04-07-2011, 05:14 PM   #2
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If you're more into fruit than beer, you should check out the mead forum. Although, that isn't going to help you with the 3 month void.

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Old 04-07-2011, 05:51 PM   #3
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Well, I haven't made a fruit beer yet, but the way I would approach it is to find a recipe and convert it to GF.

For example, if you can find a clone recipe for a beer that you like, post up the clone recipe and we can help you convert it.

A lot of the fruit beers I've seen are basically wheat beer recipes with fruit added, so if I were doing it, I'd do something like:

6 lbs Sorghum Extract
1 lbs Rice Extract
1 oz Hersbrucker, 60 minutes (this could be substituted for a different hop, you'd just want to aim for the same IBU)

With only a bittering addition, your fruit should be the dominant flavor.

I would think that either a wheat yeast (brewferm blanche?) or a neutral yeast like US-05 should do the trick.

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Old 04-07-2011, 06:24 PM   #4
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ive made a bunch of fruit or flavored beers.

most of them have been strawberry, because thats what im partial to.
ive done 3 batches of strawberry blonde (all came out slightly different), 1 ginger brew, and a hazel nut brew


the challenge in fruit beers ive found is that the hops and the sugars we use can be VERY overpowering when it comes to GF beer.

so the first obstacle is to come up with a base recipe that will provide us with the potency we want but not put the fruit flavors on the back burner.

personally i CANNOT STAND the taste of sorghum in about 98% of all the GF beers ive tried. i dont like the metallic citrusy aftertaste it gives off, that might explain the 4 7# jugs i still have yet to use. its just to over powering IMO.

remember that different yeasts impart different flavors, if you really like heffe's, then you might want to find a way to isolate a whit yeast and cultivate it to be GF.

we have some tips tricks and methods floating around the gf section here.

for a good base i, personally, have found the following to work well:

4# millet, toasted to a nice caramel color (this is where a lot of variation occurs, replication of malt toasts gets hard at a home scale). after you toast it let it waft for at least a week in a brown bag, THIS IS CRITICAL. steep at 150F for 1 hour ( i use a grain bag so when the steep is over i just pull the bag from the brew pot, like a giant tea-bag.

the millet soaks a lot of water up. but first i add in my sugar and maltodextrin, my brew paddle is a rubber spatula, its short. so i can make sure i can stir the wort and scrape the bottom so i dont scorch the sugar. when you add the maltodextrin, if your already boiling you WILL BOIL OVER. so thats why i add it when im coming up to temp.

i add 7# of tapioca extract (breiss)
~1# clover honey
10-14oz maltodextrin (yes this is a S..T ton, but i like it, leaves a residual sweetness, add to brewpot slowly while stirring to avoid malto-balls forming like dumplings)

bring h20 up to 4 gal and bring to a boil

hopps:
i use a total of 1.5-2oz czech saaz. 4.0%aa
i break it up like 1 oz at 60, .25 at 30min and .25 at 30min. but this is all personal decisions. do as you will just remember, over hopping will cover fruit flavor.

@ 15min i add my wort chiller, double the recommended amount of yeast nutrient, irish moss

cool to pitching temps and add yeast and pectic enzyme. ive used safale, coopers, and fermentis yeasts, but my favorite final product came from the use of a home isolated heffe yeast.

i also racked over 4# of diced fresh strawberries that i blanched quickly right before adding to to primary

my final volume for my primary is about 6.5 gal. there WILL BE A lot of trub and fruit mess left in the primary. youll lose about a gal when racking to secondary. then youll lose about a half gal when racking to bottle.

if you put the work into isolating a heffe yeast. try to brew the same day as you bottle. you can use the yeast cake you just racked off of to start your next brew.

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Old 04-07-2011, 06:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtbagHB View Post
ive made a bunch of fruit or flavored beers.

most of them have been strawberry, because thats what im partial to.
ive done 3 batches of strawberry blonde (all came out slightly different), 1 ginger brew, and a hazel nut brew


the challenge in fruit beers ive found is that the hops and the sugars we use can be VERY overpowering when it comes to GF beer.

so the first obstacle is to come up with a base recipe that will provide us with the potency we want but not put the fruit flavors on the back burner.

personally i CANNOT STAND the taste of sorghum in about 98% of all the GF beers ive tried. i dont like the metallic citrusy aftertaste it gives off, that might explain the 4 7# jugs i still have yet to use. its just to over powering IMO.

remember that different yeasts impart different flavors, if you really like heffe's, then you might want to find a way to isolate a whit yeast and cultivate it to be GF.

we have some tips tricks and methods floating around the gf section here.

for a good base i, personally, have found the following to work well:

4# millet, toasted to a nice caramel color (this is where a lot of variation occurs, replication of malt toasts gets hard at a home scale). after you toast it let it waft for at least a week in a brown bag, THIS IS CRITICAL. steep at 150F for 1 hour ( i use a grain bag so when the steep is over i just pull the bag from the brew pot, like a giant tea-bag.

the millet soaks a lot of water up. but first i add in my sugar and maltodextrin, my brew paddle is a rubber spatula, its short. so i can make sure i can stir the wort and scrape the bottom so i dont scorch the sugar. when you add the maltodextrin, if your already boiling you WILL BOIL OVER. so thats why i add it when im coming up to temp.

i add 7# of tapioca extract (breiss)
~1# clover honey
10-14oz maltodextrin (yes this is a S..T ton, but i like it, leaves a residual sweetness, add to brewpot slowly while stirring to avoid malto-balls forming like dumplings)

bring h20 up to 4 gal and bring to a boil

hopps:
i use a total of 1.5-2oz czech saaz. 4.0%aa
i break it up like 1 oz at 60, .25 at 30min and .25 at 30min. but this is all personal decisions. do as you will just remember, over hopping will cover fruit flavor.

@ 15min i add my wort chiller, double the recommended amount of yeast nutrient, irish moss

cool to pitching temps and add yeast and pectic enzyme. ive used safale, coopers, and fermentis yeasts, but my favorite final product came from the use of a home isolated heffe yeast.

i also racked over 4# of diced fresh strawberries that i blanched quickly right before adding to to primary

my final volume for my primary is about 6.5 gal. there WILL BE A lot of trub and fruit mess left in the primary. youll lose about a gal when racking to secondary. then youll lose about a half gal when racking to bottle.

if you put the work into isolating a heffe yeast. try to brew the same day as you bottle. you can use the yeast cake you just racked off of to start your next brew.
Quick question, have you done the fruit in primary on all of the (fruit) brews you've done?
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:21 PM   #6
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That's my question too? I've seen in non-GF threads that adding fruit in the primary causes off-flavors. Or at least increases the chances of off flavors.

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Old 04-08-2011, 04:08 AM   #7
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no, i did it in secondary the first time cuz i read about the off flavors, then i had to wash out the carboy..PIA. but i read some where that the off flavors came from the seeds. so in to primary, ive diced the berries and tossed em in and ive also pureed and strained out the seeds, i didnt notice a difference.

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Old 04-08-2011, 04:12 AM   #8
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i also dont know how they are treating the fruit prior to addition. you run the risk of infection if you add it to the primary with out treating. so i do a quick blanche. add the berries to just enough boiling water to cover them. then toss the whole mess into the cold water in the fermenter waiting for warm wort.... beer with me ive had a few

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Old 04-08-2011, 06:31 PM   #9
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My strawberry hefeweizen came out pretty well. You can read mine and my GFs comments on that page.

I added to secondary, but only because it was easier. I would not hesitate to add to primary. Not sure what off flavors it could possibly cause, but I wouldnt worry too much about it. I freeze instead of Dirtbag's blanch method because a) I keep the fruit in the freezer anyway before use and b) it breaks down the fruit so that you dont need to chop it up, it becomes mush.

If you want a beer that is insanely fruity, you might look instead into graff instead, its basically cider-beer. Or...just cider. That's definitely GF. Fruit wines might interest you too, I have made a few.
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKershner View Post
My strawberry hefeweizen came out pretty well. You can read mine and my GFs comments on that page.

I added to secondary, but only because it was easier. I would not hesitate to add to primary. Not sure what off flavors it could possibly cause, but I wouldnt worry too much about it. I freeze instead of Dirtbag's blanch method because a) I keep the fruit in the freezer anyway before use and b) it breaks down the fruit so that you dont need to chop it up, it becomes mush.

If you want a beer that is insanely fruity, you might look instead into graff instead, its basically cider-beer. Or...just cider. That's definitely GF. Fruit wines might interest you too, I have made a few.

I don't think you'd really be looking at 'off flavors' from putting fruit in primary, I've just heard that the fruit flavor doesn't come through as strong (volatiles and aromatics being scrubbed out with the CO2, more of the sugars being broken down, etc etc). But, you know, that's just stuff I've heard from guys on the internet, right?

You could try making banana beer, I know I read about it somewhere online (I think the dude was doing a millet and banana beer, something about the enzymes that ripen the bananas being the right ones to convert the grain in a mash...)
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