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Old 03-19-2012, 09:48 AM   #1
cm_laflamme
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Default Watermelon Beer Recipe Help

Trying to make my first recipe from scratch, need a little help to make sure I'm going to wind up with something drinkable. My goal is simple, create a summer beer that will invoke a 4th of July cookout. By that I mean I want it to be a lighter bodied beer, with a watermelon nose, and a hops "firework" finish. I've done a ton of research and this is where I'm at thus far:


Style: Fruit Beer OG: 1.053
Type: Extract FG: 1.013
Rating: 0.0 ABV: 5.24 %
Calories: 173 IBU's: 40.31
Efficiency: 70 % Boil Size: 4.00 Gal
Color: 2.9 SRM Batch Size: 5.00 Gal
Boil Time: 60 minutes

Fermentation Steps
Name Days / Temp
Primary 14 days @ 68.0°F
Bottle/Keg 14 days @ 74.0°F

Grains & Adjuncts
Amount Percentage Name Time Gravity
6.00 lbs 85.71 % Briess Pilsen DME 60 mins 1.043
1.00 lbs 14.29 % Honey 0 mins 1.035

Hops
Amount IBU's Name Time AA %
0.75 ozs 27.94 Citra 60 mins 13.20
0.25 ozs 7.16 Citra 30 mins 13.20
0.25 ozs 3.36 Citra 10 mins 13.20
0.25 ozs 1.86 Citra 5 mins 13.20
0.50 ozs 0.00 Citra 0 mins 13.20

Yeasts
Amount Name Laboratory / ID
1.0 pkg Nottingham Danstar

Additions
Amount Name Time Stage
1.00 oz Watermelon 14 days Primary


I have a couple of questions. Is the Pilsen going to be too light for the ABV? My concern is that it may come out with a strong alcohol flavor that would overwhelm everything else. Does that hop schedule look good? I have 1/2oz of both Warrior and Simcoe that I could add, but all signs point to Citra for this style. I'm adding the dram of Watermelon flavoring directly to the primary based on what I've read, and that it will help mellow out a potentially strong flavor prior to bottling. The biggest key for me is that I ultimately want it to taste like beer vice watermelon. Any help, critiques, insight, etc. will be greatly appreciated!

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Old 03-19-2012, 02:29 PM   #2
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Hmmm, I've never tried for a fruit beer with a ton of hop bittering/flavoring/aroma. With all your Citra additions I think any hint of watermelon is going to be lost. I make a watermelon wheat and only do two additions of Hallertauer (5-6% AA) at 60 and 5 (about one ounce each). Citra has an AA content of 11-13% and is known for being over the top fragrant. Your going to get quite a bit of hop bitterness with that schedule. Watermelon has fairly delicate aroma and flavor, so I think you're going to have a hard time smelling it or tasting it.

Speaking of which, I'd lose the watermelon flavoring and use real watermelon. That could be problematic right now unless the grocery stores are starting to get melons from Mexico. Based on my experience and what I've read, always go with real fruit or at the very least part real fruit and part artificial flavoring.

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Old 03-19-2012, 02:47 PM   #3
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I agree with everything microbus said. I have a go-to recipe for the summer for a watermelon wheat and use 3 small additions of perle at 60, 15, 0 min. I also highly recommend the real watermelon juice. I use 5 cups per 5 gallon in the secondary per a technique I found on here - sorry can't find the thread right now but someone did a nice write up with pics on juicing a watermelon (probably in the recipe section).

Mine is a very simple recipe with just wheat and 2-row, PM me if you want I can scale to 5 gal and convert it to extract for you.

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Old 03-19-2012, 03:39 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. How strong of a watermelon flavor will I be looking at with the hallertauer or perle hops? I'm going for something almost like a #9 type fruit flavor where the beer is more pronounced than the fruit, but slighty fruitier than that and I want to be able to detect the watermelon, but not be overwhelmed by it, that's why I went with the citra, high alpha and low cohumulone for a clean bitter. Any thoughts on how to achieve that affect with maybe a different hop?

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Old 03-19-2012, 04:31 PM   #5
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I decided on the 5 cups trying to get a mild to moderate amount of watermelon flavor, but you could go with less if you are worried. The watermelon is definitely a pretty subtle flavor/aroma compared to other fruits. I would worry about the citra overwhelming it (in my experience citra kind of hits you in the face). If you like the idea though give it a try and report back!

btw - I've only had #9 once and a long time ago, can't really remember it so that doesn't help you.

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Old 03-19-2012, 05:55 PM   #6
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I haven't had a chance to try #9, so I can't provide much feedback, but I can tell you what I do for my watermelon wheat. I was attempting a clone of 21st Amendment's Hell or High Watermelon and I usually go with an 8# melon in a five gallon batch. That gives me about 6# of fruit which I mash/puree and add tot he secondary. That amount gives you an unmistakable flavor and aroma in a wheat beer with a mild hop profile.

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Old 03-19-2012, 06:08 PM   #7
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in my exp a mild hop addition work better for a watermelon beer (and most fruit beers) - with watermelon, when i have made it, i tend to get a bit of bitterness from the rind-type quality of watermelon.... #9 is a different animal, the apricot can be more savory and stand up a bit better to the other elements - watermelon is very delicate so my rec is for a wheat beer fermented with a clean yeast and then either fruit/puree/or extract... i think wheat works better - the maltiness of a cream or blonde ale doesn't work as well with the watermelon fruit as it does with something like apricots...again, just my preference. id associate watermelon on a similar scale as strawberries - delicate and perfumed, not as richly flavored like cherries, raspberries, etc. so adapting a strawberry recipe might be something else to look at...

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Old 06-10-2014, 01:45 AM   #8
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Chicky any chance of getting your recipe scaled to 5 gallon for both all grain and extract?

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Old 06-10-2014, 02:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakey2005 View Post
Chicky any chance of getting your recipe scaled to 5 gallon for both all grain and extract?
Getting ready to fire up a batch this weekend actually. This is what I've been doing the last couple batches, below I scaled it to 5 gal at 75% efficiency. If not BIAB'ing I would throw in some rice hulls. For extract you would just replace the grain with about 5.75 lbs wheat DME.

Estimated OG: 1.051 SG
Estimated Color: 3.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 21.2 IBUs

4 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US 50.0 %
4 lbs 8.0 oz White Wheat Malt 50.0 %
0.75 oz Perle [6.90 %] - Boil 60.0 min 18.8 IBUs
0.75 oz Perle [6.90 %] - Boil 3.0 min 2.3 IBUs
American Wheat Ale (Wyeast Labs #1010)
5.00 Cup Watermelon Juice (Secondary 7 days)
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