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Old 03-22-2009, 07:29 PM   #1
EcuPirate07
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I need your guys help. I wanna make a blonde ale and add strawberrys to it to make kinda of like a "strawberry blonde ale" Its going to be my first partial mash. My question is how much strawberrys would you recommend I use? And also should I add some to the steep, the boil, or just throw them in the fermenter? I want to taste it and be like hhhmmm that has a good hint of strawberry's to it, in other words I dont want it to overpower it.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:02 PM   #2
newbeerpig
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If you are using fresh strawberries you usually add them to the secondary after you have pasteurized and lightly pureed however since this is your first batch and trying a new method I would suggest using an extract which you add just before bottling with your priming sugar. Works great and you can make sure you have a good tasting brew before wasting the flavor agent. I have found the flavor extract is cheaper than fresh, easier and safer because there aren't any worries of infection and the people I serve it to can't seem to tell if fresh or extract was used. I used a 4oz bottle of blackberry extract from the HBS per 5 gallons of my wheat and it works out great, people killed my first 5 gallon batch in 2 days needless to say I am making another batch.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:13 PM   #3
Shawn Hargreaves
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I've never tried brewing with strawberries, but from what I've heard they are one of the harder fruits to use in beer. The problem is that strawberries are very sweet, but when you ferment them, the sugar all gets turned to alcohol, so you're left with a very sour, acidic flavor that doesn't really taste like strawberries at all!

This is why fruit beer more often uses sour fruits (raspberries, cherries) which will still taste recognizably like themselves even after the sugar is gone.

I'm totally guessing here, but it seems to me that to get a strawberry flavor you will need to keep the final beer quite sweet, but not a malty style sweetness. You could get that by sterilizing the beer after it has finished fermenting, then adding regular sugar, or (more easily and safer as they will be no risk of bottle bombs if you fail to sterilize 100%) just add some kind of non-fermentable artificial sweetener (a common technique in Belgium when blending lambic style brews).

I would guess maybe 4 or 5 pounds of strawberries for a 5 gallon batch? I would freeze them (to break down the cell walls) then add to the secondary fermenter once primary fermentation is finished (so there will already be some alcohol to protect against any bacteria in the fruit). This will kick of a secondary fermentation: wait until this dies down, then bottle, adding sweetener to taste.

 
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Hargreaves View Post
I've never tried brewing with strawberries, but from what I've heard they are one of the harder fruits to use in beer. The problem is that strawberries are very sweet, but when you ferment them, the sugar all gets turned to alcohol, so you're left with a very sour, acidic flavor that doesn't really taste like strawberries at all!

This is why fruit beer more often uses sour fruits (raspberries, cherries) which will still taste recognizably like themselves even after the sugar is gone.

I'm totally guessing here, but it seems to me that to get a strawberry flavor you will need to keep the final beer quite sweet, but not a malty style sweetness. You could get that by sterilizing the beer after it has finished fermenting, then adding regular sugar, or (more easily and safer as they will be no risk of bottle bombs if you fail to sterilize 100%) just add some kind of non-fermentable artificial sweetener (a common technique in Belgium when blending lambic style brews).

I would guess maybe 4 or 5 pounds of strawberries for a 5 gallon batch? I would freeze them (to break down the cell walls) then add to the secondary fermenter once primary fermentation is finished (so there will already be some alcohol to protect against any bacteria in the fruit). This will kick of a secondary fermentation: wait until this dies down, then bottle, adding sweetener to taste.
Hmmm, you think if I went with an extract I would have the some problem with it being too bitter?
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:33 PM   #5
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you can find strawberry essence at a cake and hobby shop if your lhbs does not have it. i don't think there is any fementable in it , just the flavor. add to the secondary or bottling/keg.
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:44 AM   #6
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Something like this would be your best bet.

Austin Homebrew Supply

 
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:53 AM   #7
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Thanks guys, with your help I picked up some extract from homebrewers and im just going to add it to my wort right before bottling.
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