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Old 03-17-2011, 04:05 PM   #1
rigglet
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Default Blueberry-Vanilla

So my mother calls me the other day to see how the "brewing thing" is going. After a short talk she tells me about a blueberry-vanilla beer that she had and that she really liked it (she's not a beer drinker by any stretch). Of course she couldn't remember the name of the beer which would help me out a bunch for research.

Anyway...the way she talked hints that she would like me to try and make something similar to bring to the lake house this summer. So I'm coming to the brain trust for some suggestions.

First things first...I'm only set up for extract brewing at the moment. But I'm thinking I could start with a cream ale as a base. Then rack it onto some blueberry puree for the blueberry aspect. The only part I'm not sure of is how to deal with the vanilla. I'm thinking it is something that would best be added at bottling, but I'm not sure.

So any suggestions are welcome. I'm not set on a cream ale either. I only chose that because I know it tends to be on the "sweeter" side. As I said, she doesn't necessarily like that "beer taste". Her words...not mine. So any suggestions need to be on the low hop side.

Thanks all!

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Old 03-17-2011, 04:25 PM   #2
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I'd brew your beer as normal & then add thawed Frozen blueberries & vanilla (split & scrapped) to the secondary. maybe splt the batch in two so you can play with the ratios.

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Old 03-17-2011, 04:31 PM   #3
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Quick google search had a couple hits of commercial examples
http://www.jasperbrewingco.ca/Blueberry-Vanilla-Ale.page
http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/2308/15563/?ba=tigg924

I couldn't find the second breweries website. It could be a good place to start.

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Old 03-17-2011, 04:38 PM   #4
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Since you're using all extract, I would probably go with a wheat beer base. Cream ale would require mashing some flaked corn.

Just pick up enough wheat extract, which is really a combination of wheat and 2-row malt extract. Lightly hopped (15-20 IBUs probably - maybe even less, but I would hesitate to go that low) and, like mentioned above, add blueberries and a vanilla bean to secondary after fermentation is complete.

I'd go with 0.5-1 lb of blueberries per gallon.

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Old 03-17-2011, 04:46 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick advice all. Any suggestions on how much vanilla to even start with? I'll probably do a batch this weekend as a test so I'll have time to brew another, if needed, before summer ends.

And I assume vanilla extract is a no-no.

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Old 03-17-2011, 04:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rigglet View Post
Thanks for the quick advice all. Any suggestions on how much vanilla to even start with? I'll probably do a batch this weekend as a test so I'll have time to brew another, if needed, before summer ends.

And I assume vanilla extract is a no-no.
I'd use 1 whole vanilla bean - split it, scrape the seeds out and add them along with the pod itself to the beer. I'd add it along with the blueberries for a couple of weeks (but your taste will tell you when it is done)
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:10 PM   #7
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I think there was a recent basic brewing radio podcast on blueberry beer. you might want to check it out before hand. I think he used like 8lbs of blueberries

http://www.basicbrewing.com

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Old 03-17-2011, 06:56 PM   #8
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For vanilla usage I suggest steeping the vanilla bean/beans split and chopped in ~ 1/2 C of vodka for as many weeks as you ferment. You can even heat the mixture in the microwave to a moderate temperature and agitate. Do this several times throughout the steeping time. Vanillins are alcohol soluble. I used this method with two beans for a chocolate stout recently and had really good results. Add the mixture right as you are going to bottle/keg. Depending on how much flavor you are wanting to add I would also suggest to start with two beans. The berry will quickly overpower the vanilla.

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Old 03-18-2011, 11:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rigglet View Post
Thanks for the quick advice all. Any suggestions on how much vanilla to even start with? I'll probably do a batch this weekend as a test so I'll have time to brew another, if needed, before summer ends.

And I assume vanilla extract is a no-no.
Riglet, Let us know how this turns out.
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