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Old 08-17-2010, 05:49 PM   #1
infielders3
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Default Raspberry Wheat Extract Beer Advice?

Hi everyone,

I happily have two beers going right now- My first beer ever (brown ale) is carbonating in bottles that I am itching to try(although I think I will wait out the 3 weeks recommended by Revvy on his bottling thread), and a second (Irish Red) that is fermenting nicely.

However, I am hooked. I want to brew something else and have been busy at the drawing board trying to decide what is next. I am kicking around the idea of doing a Raspberry Wheat Beer. I have become obsessed with Beer Tools and used it along with some recipes I found online to create a base recipe for a 5 gallon batch:

6 lbs wheat extract (haven't decided dry or liquid yet)
fuggles hops at 45 and 5 minutes
some Irish Moss
White Labs WLP410 Belgian Wheat Yeast.

Does this look like a solid foundation for a wheat beer? Also, my biggest question- how should I handle the fruit? I have read about using raspberry extract in just the primary or just the secondary, or a mixture of some in the primary and adding some to the secondary. In addition I have come across dozens of recipes calling for frozen fruit, purees, picked berries, or juice added in various stages of the brewing. I am worried about getting a beer that will be tart, but I definitely want the raspberry flavor. I am on a bit of a budget but want to produce a good beer.

If anyone can advise some adjustments I should consider to my recipe in general and offer any insights on the best way for a novice to handle the fruit element of a fruit beer I would be very appreciative!

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Old 08-17-2010, 05:52 PM   #2
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I have done two raspberry wheats in the past and put 3lbs of raspberry puree in the secondary fermenter. Both turned out pretty good. I wouldn't use extract it tastes nasty.

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Old 08-17-2010, 05:54 PM   #3
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I've done an extract wheat, and here's my advice:

Briess liquid wheat extract is great, it makes a very good wheat beer. Use two containers (6.6 lbs.) It is only 60% wheat or so... it also includes malt in there, which I think is important.

Also, hear me out on this: kool-aid packets. They can be used to flavor a wheat beer very well, and even non-beer fans liked the "shandy" I made with the little lemonade (no sugar included) packets of flavoring. About one packet per gallon worked for my shandy, but I wouldn't do more than that.

It's easy, and not very authentic... but it's easy. And cheap. And versatile.

So, that's my input. I'm sure you'll enjoy your wheat beer, b/c they are pretty hard to mess up.

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Old 08-17-2010, 05:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crlova2 View Post
I have done two raspberry wheats in the past and put 3lbs of raspberry puree in the secondary fermenter. Both turned out pretty good. I wouldn't use extract it tastes nasty.
My extract beer was good. Different people have different results and different palates, I guess!
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:01 PM   #5
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Seems fairly sound to me, I am currently fermenting a Raspberry wheat beer. I would, personally, add a little fresh grains to steep just to have a fresher wheat/malt flavor. And, if you are going to use rasp. extract, I was advised to add it to the bottling bucket rather than the fermentation process.

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Old 08-17-2010, 06:06 PM   #6
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Sorry if I was confusing I just realized what I said was probably misinterpreted. I meant don't use raspberry extract. I didn't mean don't use malt extract. I actually used LME for both of mine although one was partial mash.

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Old 08-17-2010, 06:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infielders3 View Post
Also, my biggest question- how should I handle the fruit?
Options are:

Whole fruit just after flameout when the temp is still above about 180F (safest in terms of sterility)

Heat fruit to at least 160F and add to primary after fermentation slows

Use Oregon puree (sterile) and add to primary after fermentation slows

I've done 6 fruit beers over the past year and I always add the fruit to the primary, either heated or puree. Then if I have serious clarity problems I will rack _later_ to secondary, but usually I just leave everything in primary. Also adding fruit later rather than earlier preserves more of the fruit flavor.

Avoid extract if at all possible. I've used it a few times, and every time I have, I'll taste the beer and think "next time, use less extract."
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:25 PM   #8
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thanks for the advice! If I decide to go with berries do you think that putting them in a steeping bag will help keep them from making a mess in the fermenter- or will that just impede their ability to flavor the beer?

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Old 08-17-2010, 06:31 PM   #9
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I used 4 oz. raspberry extract from Austin Homebrew and it was the perfect amount. Next time I'd use real raspberries boiled and pureed or simply buy raspberry puree and put it into the secondary.

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Old 08-17-2010, 06:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infielders3 View Post
thanks for the advice! If I decide to go with berries do you think that putting them in a steeping bag will help keep them from making a mess in the fermenter- or will that just impede their ability to flavor the beer?
That would work; just remember to sanitize the bag. But I hardly ever use steeping bags. If clarity is an issue, then rack to a clean bucket--leaving behind most of the gunk--for a week or so to let things settle. Then to bottling bucket.
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