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Old 06-11-2012, 02:39 PM   #1
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Default Help with some kind of strawberry beer

So strawberries are super cheap right now where I live. And I have great connections for cheap, local honey. So I'm thinking about making some sort of strawberry beer with honey...but I don't have any idea of what to make, hops or anything like that. I'm not used to using fruit outside of meads (and my gf blue moon clone).

Any suggestions for a summer beer with strawberries and honey? I figure I will use sorghum and brown rice syrup, but I wonder what types of hops I should use and also any adjuncts?

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Old 06-11-2012, 04:29 PM   #2
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Ever try a Dogfish Head Tweason'ale? It's a commercial gluten-free beer brewed with sorghum, buckwheat honey, and strawberries. It tastes like a fruit roll-up!

Personally, I'd recommend doing something hoppier than what they do (hops are nearly absent). Go with a clean bittering hop like Magnum or Warrior, aim to get around 20-25 IBU's out of it. For the aroma/flavor hops, I'd say Palisades would be a good choice, or maybe Willamette...add enough to get about 10-15 more IBU's. You want your final IBU's around 30-40, maybe more like 40 because the strawberries will add extra sweetness if you add them in secondary. If you want to splurge, try to get your hands on some Pacific Gem hops for finishing, they're New Zealand hops with a distinct blackberry note that would pair well with the strawberries.

For the grains, I'd say aim for something like a blonde ale, but aim for something pretty dry, strawberry beer can be really cloying when it's too sweet. Buckwheat honey would be good, but don't overdo it; maybe go for a lighter honey like clover or sage. I'd recommend adding a little bit of lemon zest, maybe 1/4 of a lemon for 3 gallons or 1/2 for 5 gallons--this will add brightness and sourness that will make the strawberry flavor "pop"--in cooking with berries, adding lemon zest or citric acid is almost ALWAYS done to keep the berry flavor from falling flat.

Lastly, I'd recommend using a yeast like T-58 or S-33, rather than Nottingham or S-05. S-04 might work alright. A little fruit and spice in the yeast will help kick up the strawberry flavor a bit.

I generally approach fruit beers with the idea that the fruit should be used to enhance flavors already in the beer, rather than trying to get all the flavor from the fruit itself. There are so many ways to get fruit flavors into beer with hops and yeast, so starting there and then using fruit to accentuate is usually better than just taking, say, a plain blonde ale recipe and chucking a bunch of fruit in it.

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Old 06-13-2012, 09:56 PM   #3
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This is a recipe another member did
My gluten free home brewing blog.

Drinking: Hopped Honey IPA
Fermenting: 2 Ciders with S-33 Yeast, Summer Pale Ale and a West Coast IPA
Planning: Belgian Triple, Blood Orange Wit and American IPA

All gluten free.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:57 PM   #4
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Cheap strawberries, cheap honey? Sounds like mead-making time.
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