Hello all. I'm relatively new to brewing (5th batch is in the fermenter now), and sticking to extract brewing for now (Going to make the switch to AG later on in the year). We've done a few kits and one recipe that I put together myself so far (a cherry-wheat, that came out AMAZING). Since a friend of the family has a blueberry patch that opens this weekend, we want to due a blueberry ale next week (Not a wheat beer, but a pale ale).
I've searched the Internet, and really have not found much in terms of Extract recipes (well, that had any kind of positive comments from the brewer). So I think I'm going to tweak my own. What we're looking for is a relatively light ale with a recognizable but subtle blueberry flavor and aroma. I've based this recipe off of: this recipe
3.0 lbs Amber DME
3.3 lbs Light LME
1 lbs Crystal 10L
0.5 lbs CaraPils
Northern Brewer 1 oz - 60 mins
Fuggles 1 oz - 10 mins
Whitbread WYeast #1099
Whirlfloc Tablet added at 15 minutes in boil
4.5 lbs Fresh Blueberries added to secondary
My recipe program (QBrew on Linux) shows the following with it:
Bitterness: 30 IBU
Color: 11* SRM
Now, I'm planning on doing exactly what I did with the cherries with the blueberries. Basically, wash them well, cut them open (I pitted the cherries), and then freeze them for 24 - 48 hours. Then add to a muslin bag and pasteurize at about 155* for 30 minutes prior to adding to the secondary. It worked really well with the cherries, so hopefully it'll work here as well...
I know the blueberries will add some fermentable sugars, and also increase the color. So I'm guessing an adjusted OG of around 1.060 or so for the sugars, and a final color of around 15* or so.
Here are my reservations (and primary reason I'm posting this here):
1. Hops amount. The linked recipe used 2oz of the Northern Brewer. When I put that in, it gave me 57 IBU. That seemed really high, so is there some other reason that I shouldn't reduce it to 1oz?
2. Hops type. The profile of the Northern Brewer is listed as aggressive. Since we don't want the bitterness or aroma to overpower the blueberry, do you think that we should try substituting a slightly milder hop variety for the bittering hops (Such as Willamette or perhaps Perle)?
3. Acidity. I know the blueberries will impart both a tartness and some acid to the final brew. I'm just wondering if there will be enough other flavors to balance this out (Yet another reason --unless I'm miss-understanding-- to possibly tone down the hops).
Obviously the only way to know for sure is to try it (and we will). I just would like some insight from people with far more experience than me to see if my reservations are justified (or if I'm just over thinking it). Either way, we'll brew it and see what needs to be tweaked later on.