Not a big fruit beer type but i like to experiment from time to time and thought i would give this a try.
The recipe as follows for a 11.5gl batch...
10lbs American 2-Row
1lb of Honey Malt
2.5oz Kent Golding (5%aa) 60min
0.5oz Cascade (6%aa) 0min
10-13 Bright Red Prickly Pears (Pureed)
Mashed the Grain at 152
I split the batch so i could taste the Wheat Beer as is and used the other 1/2 to try out the prickly pear and both came out really nice. Prickly pear has a real subtle flavor when eating it fresh but the flavors really pop in the beer. Has a nice rosey floral nose and solid prickly pear finish and pours a purple/ pinkish hue. I'll probably use half the amount of pears the next round since the flavors is a little over powering. The only other beer i can kinda compare it too is the Watermelon Wheat by 21st Amendment, but that still has a "beer" flavor where mine is hidden behind the fruit. The wife absolutely loves it but i still want the sucker to taste like beer at the end of the day and look forward to trying this again.
I did not pasteurize any of the pears and they were frozen for over 6 months before i could clean them. To clean, i rubbed them in grass to rid them of all the spines and then gave them a thorough rinse under cold tap water. i then carefully sliced off the skin and tossed them into the wife's Vitamix (fancy jamba juice blender) and pureed them. After they were all pureed it fit in a 24oz Odwalla Bottle. DO NOT TRY TO SKIN WITH SPINES! My neighbor who gave me the fruit was the one who told me to rub them in grass before skinning but i thought i could pull it off by being careful...i was wrong! I had tons of tiny ass splinters all over my hands after skinning about 5 before i threw in the towel and called it quits.
I let the beer ferment out roughly 10-12 days at room temp then i transferred the Wheat beer to me mixed with the juice from a 6.5gl BB to a 5gl BB. I Starsan'ed the 5gl BB and then poured the pureed fruit in and racked the beer right on top of it. Fermentation kicked off for another 5 days or so and after that was complete i cold crashed for a couple days and racked into a corny.
When i was pulling hydro samples and tasting, there was a bitterniss i originally contributed to the seeds of the fruit possibly getting pulverized by the blender but it's completely subsided. I'm now left with a colorful, fruity beer that earned me some serious browny points with wifey.
The next round, i plan to slice the fruits and maybe cut them in 1/8's and rack the beer on top of that in an effort to balance the overall profile.
If you have Prickly Pears available i would highly recommend giving them a try. I was really surprised at how much flavor came through when added to beer.
I'll throw up a pick when i get home from from work this evening.
Cheers for Beers!