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absolutbmc 03-13-2009 12:53 AM

Watermelon Ale - Need some help
Hi All -

So I am thinking about making a watermelon ale. I searched through the forums and I saw a lot of discussion about watermelon wheat. I wanted to get some advice on a Watermelon Ale (Light). I am aiming for something light and refreshing so the Watermelon can shine through. This is what I came up with so far. I would like to know some thoughts on the recipe:

4 lbs of Light Malt Extract
1 lbs of Rice extract
1/4 lbs toasted malted barley
1/2 oz cascade hops
1/4 oz Tettnanger hops
Safale Yeast US-05 (or another lager type yeast)

I would add 3-4 cups of watermelon during secondary.

So my thoughts this would be like a bud light, with the taste of watermelon. I am trying to clone a beer that Boston Beer works has every summer. Its light, crisp, and refreshing.

What does everyone think? Sound liek it could work or should I stilck with the watermelon wheat that has been discussed?

Kickass 03-13-2009 03:38 AM

My experience is still rather shallow so feel free to disregard but roasted malt sounds count intuitive to you emphasis of a light beer (rice extract and wanting a bud light and watermelon characteristics). I’d sub out the roasted malt for caramel 10L if you really want steeping grains.

Blulakr 03-13-2009 04:26 AM

+1 on not using the roasted malt if you want to keep, it light.

Also watermelon doesn't have a a strong flavor (unlike raspberries) so you might consider adding more than 3-4 cups to get the desired effect.

PintOfBitter 03-13-2009 04:30 AM

depending on how much of a purist you are, you could add watermelon flavoring extract - you can find natural stuff so it won't taste like jolly ranchers...

RICLARK 03-13-2009 05:41 AM

He is using Toasted Malt not Roasted Barley, Which I think would be quite good in this brew. However you will need quite a bit of watermelon for this brew.

AZWyatt 03-13-2009 06:08 AM


Originally Posted by RICLARK (Post 1194540)
He is using Toasted Malt not Roasted Barley, Which I think would be quite good in this brew. However you will need quite a bit of watermelon for this brew.

Yeah, you'll definitely need a lot of watermelon. I used a WHOLE, VERY LARGE watermelon in a 5 gal batch of mead once and you can hardly taste it. So I'd recommend using two whole, large watermelons. It's a PITA trying to juice the things. Don't use a food processor, you'll get too much pulp. Use a beer bottle and smash the juice out, then pasteurize it by heating it to 150 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Pelikan 03-13-2009 06:08 AM


Regarding the grain bill/hop schedule, everything seems spot on. US-05 is an excellent choice for this brew, but it's very much an ale yeast.

The watermelon addition has me a bit leery, only because the chance for contamination seems quite high from where I'm sitting. Plus, and the watermelon flavor is so delicate that any attempt to sterilize would probably ruin it.

Even assuming one could get past this, I don't know that watermelon flavor and beer flavor would/could go together. As someone above noted, watermelon isn't strong enough to come through well -- the brew would end up muddied.

Don't mean to be a negative Nancy or anything, and I could very well be wrong. Maybe someone's got a watermelon brew out there racking up blue ribbons.

RICLARK 03-13-2009 12:22 PM

I would suggest using kolsch yeast and using a crushed camden tablet in a large bowl of water to steralize the watermelon. Dont smash the melon cut it up into squares like you were serving it to guests then rack on top of it after steralized.

absolutbmc 03-13-2009 02:22 PM

Thank you everyone for your opinions. I also was concerned about contamination when adding the watermelon. From the threads about Watermelon Wheat, people just added the watermelon during secondary when the beer already had alcohol, which seemed to stem off any contamination.

I was thinking of doing a whole watermelon and basically juicing it. I wanted to cut the watermelon up into squares and just rack the beer on top of it, but I don’t think I can get the pieces into the carboy (never mind getting the watermelon out). Perhaps I can use a whole watermelon and watermelon extract?

I know the combo of a crisp beer and watermelon doesn’t sound good, but it is extremely tasty and very refreshing. If I never had this beer before, I would be uncertain of the combo too.

CnnmnSchnpps 03-13-2009 05:19 PM

Very interesting.. Next time I can find good watermelon at the store I'll have to crack open a beer and check out the combo :)

Good luck and let us know how it goes

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