Blueberries in a Wheat beer

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injen69

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I baught a Wheat beer kit today ..... I was gonna add 5 pounds of blueberries to the initital stage of fermentation in the bucket. Has anyone ever tryed this? I also got a lil bottle of concentrate blueberry stuff I was gonna add before I bottle.
Suggestions?
 

snailsongs

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I have never made a fruit beer per say, but I have read enough to know that you should add the fruit to a secondary vessel after fermentation completes, especially if you want to retain as much fruit flavor as possible. Primary fermentation is too violent and will chew up most of the fruit flavor.

I have seen recipe's on this forum for blueberry wheat beers, and others seem to like them. If I were going to make a fruit beer, it'd probably be a wheat. good luck.
 

Clonefarmer

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I would choose just the berries or concentrate both may be a little much.
Everyone seems to have differing opinions on how much fruit to use so if it's not enough flavor you can always add concentrate at bottling.

Don't forget to pasteurize the berries to avoid infection.

I add fruit to the primary after fermentation slows, than rack to secondary after the fruit is fermented.
 

chode720

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ross3648

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I made a blueberry ale with some extracts years ago.

5lbs DME Wheat
1lbs wildflower honey
2lbs Blueberrys
1lb German Lt Crystal 3 Degree
1.5 oz Styrian Goldings 60 min
.50 oz Kent Goldings 10 min Flavor
.25 oz Liberty 5 min (home grown) Aroma
1 TSP Irish moss
1056 American Ale Wyeast

I steeped the fruit in 140 degree for 40 min and added it to the primary.
The beer turned out good, most of my friends liked it, but it lacked a strong blueberry flavor. You could try adding some of the concentrate to some of your bottles and find out which ones you like better.
 

brrman

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I made a blueberry Porter with 6lbs of blueberries in the primary. Came out fantastic. I added the berries o the secondary and racked to a tertiary to clear it. With a wheat I would not use so many blueberries - I used 6lbs to overcome the rich malt profile of the porter.
 

SteveM

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Don't use both. It will overpower your beer. Normally, you would add the berries in a second stage, or the extract in the bottling bucket.

Check the recipe data base - I have a raspberry ale recipe that has a lot of discussion about how and when to use fruits or extracts that will probably be helpful.
 
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injen69

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They berries have been frozen ... should that have killed anything in them .... or should I boil them first do you think.
some say primany some say secondary .... interesting !! I will have to do more reading on those links!
THanks!
 

Eves

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I made a raspberry wheat a few months ago. No secondary. Just poured the wort over the 1 single pound of frozen raspberries (didn't want a large fruit flavor...just a hint) in the primary. The flavor was pretty good. Shame I screwed up the priming and the carbonation was extremely weak.
 

Clonefarmer

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They berries have been frozen ... should that have killed anything in them .... or should I boil them first do you think.
some say primany some say secondary .... interesting !! I will have to do more reading on those links!
THanks!
Freezing won't kill things it just makes them dormant. Fruit has to be pasteurized to kill any bacteria or wild yeast. And even if it is pasteurized theres no telling how it was handled or if the temp dropped during transport/storage It's usually better to be safe than sorry :).

Don't boil fruit it will turn to jelly. Just bring it up to 160f for about 60 seconds (the fruit must be 160f not just the liquid).
 
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injen69

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I think I will add 5 pounds of blueberries and no concentrate.
If I dumped the 5 pounds into the boiling wort and take off the heat I think it should be safe!
 

Clonefarmer

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I think I will add 5 pounds of blueberries and no concentrate.
If I dumped the 5 pounds into the boiling wort and take off the heat I think it should be safe!
It might be safe but you will probably loose a lot of aromatics if you don't wait till the main fermentation is over. Although I haven't done this so I am just speculating.
 
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injen69

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Noble Grape thinks I should add the berries to the primary ferm. What if I added 3 pounds to primany and then siphoned off in seconday process and then added maybe 2 more pounds ? I just think not having any berries in the seconday process , the flavour might be weak so why not both primany and seconday will that work?
 

LaurieGator

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Another problem with adding your fruit to the primary is that you will ferment the fruit and the beer and it may give it a "wine" taste.

I would suggest berries in the secondary for more fruit taste.
 

boydak

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Made a great Blueberry wheat a few years back. I juiced a whole flat of them and added to the primary with a little concetrate. If I do it again I would skip the concentrate.

The wife and her friends loved it as it was though.
 

jbolte1976

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I'm going to make a fruited wheat beer after my primary is empty (currenlty making my first batch of wine). Thanks for all the useful info everyone. I'd like to do either a cherry wheat or a rasberry wheat.
 

rsmith179

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You should really look into the fruit purees they have available on most homebrew supply sites. Won't have to worry about infections or wild yeast with those. As clone said, you don't want to boil them. You can blanch them before adding them in to make sure you kill anything bad. The alcohol will also inhibit the growth of anything that remains on the fruit after that.
 

Joker

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I have done blueberry wheat with extract and they have always been well received. I haven't tried using fresh berries yet but plan to at some time. The 4oz or 5oz (whatever size it is) was just right for a 5 gallon batch. Just a hint of blueberry without being to strong.
 
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Puree worked great for me. I used a simple wheat recipe and added a Apricot Puree into the secondary when I transfered it. I had great results -good flavor but not overwhelming you can only smell a little hint of it but the aftertaste leaves a nice flavor on your tounge urging you to sip some more. BECAREFUL THOUGH - I went out to the mountain for a day after I transfered it into the carboy w the puree - when I got back it was bubbling out of my airlock. I put on a fresh airlock on and I ran my siphoning hose from that two a pot of water to help avoid a mess or possible explosion ( like the one seen on you tube ). It ocntinued to rip away for several days - if you do it this way keep an eye on it. ABV was pretty high without that strong taste. I was pleased.
 

nebben

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Just curiously, if using fresh/frozen fruit, why not treat it a day ahead of time with a campden tablet, a-la-vintning style?
 
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injen69

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Using fresh frozen blueberries .... campden tablet is?
 

drinkabeergle

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Made a Cherry Wit with frozen cherries, added half to primary and half to secondary. Didn't cause any problems and tastes great.

Just do what you want, that's part of what makes homebrewing so great.
 

SeamusMac

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Using campden tablets is a good idea, but you might have a hard time getting them to mix with the blueberries well enough to ensure sterility... The solution could be as simple as using a French Press to remove the juice from your blueberry slurry. You'd loose whatever sort of flavours the skins and seeds might impart on the beer but that might not be a bad thing in a wheat beer, which shouldn't be bitter to begin with. This would also avoid the need to sacrifice any beer to the mess of fermented fruit bits on the bottom of the secondary.

I'm not sure if it's a good idea, but that's how I'm going to do my raspberry wheat when local raspberries are in season here. For the time being I'll just pour extract into my bottling bucket :eek:
 
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injen69

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I think I will add 2-3 pounds to primary after pasturizing ...... then pasurize another 2-3 pounds for the seconday. (I wonder if I should thaw before pasturizing or how much water to boil first?) Why go with concentrate or puree when you have the real thing and access to lots of it cheap!!
 
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