Blueberry IPA

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Jaša Ratkai

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
52
Reaction score
8
Location
Slovenia
So I've got this IPA recipe I want to try and I want to add blueberries for color and flavor.
So my question is when should I add them?
While boiling in hop bag?
Dip them in vodka and when racking beer to secondary?
Or just both?
Also I'd like to know what's the procedure for vodka sanitizing. How much vodka, how long and do I squeeze and cut berries or do that after vodka in secondary bucket at bottom?
 

JimRausch

JimRMaine
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
2,684
Reaction score
872
Location
Ellsworth
If you choose to do a secondary, then that is the time- add the berries and rack the beer onto them. An alternative is to add them to your primary late in fermentation and skip the secondary altogether. And you can get away with not going the vodka soak route. Fermented beer is an acidic, low oxygen environment filled with an abundance of yeast. Any bugs you might happen to inadvertently introduce are quickly overcompeted. I do like to freeze, thaw and refreeze the fruit, but that's mostly to help break down cell walls to increase the juice content.
 

Jag75

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
4,997
Reaction score
2,062
Location
Taft
Just did a blueberry sour that I will bottle today . Used frozen blueberries and racked beer onto them in secondary. Make sure you have enough headspace . Lesson learned lol. Color is really nice and great blueberry flavor. Jim is on the money about frozen then thaw breaking down cell walls
 

cmac62

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2017
Messages
1,129
Reaction score
274
Location
Menifee, CA
Maybe, do both. I would use frozen berries and then the risk of infection is significantly reduced. You could also do a mashed blueberry tincture and add it at bottling to taste.
 
OP
J

Jaša Ratkai

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
52
Reaction score
8
Location
Slovenia
So if I add them like day 7 in primary there shouldnt be any infection?
And I can just use frozen berries?
 

Jag75

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
4,997
Reaction score
2,062
Location
Taft
I cant speak on dumping them in the primary. I'm gonna brew a peach Blonde Ale . I'm gonna dump trub and yeast on day 7 then add thawed peaches that had been frozen. Depending on how much trub and stuff you have it might be better to just rack onto the berries . I'd rather have more space for berries.
 
OP
J

Jaša Ratkai

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
52
Reaction score
8
Location
Slovenia
So I'm planning like this:
1. Make delicious IPA
2. Let it ferment for like 7 days
3. Buy frozen blueberries, thaw them, then freeze them and again thaw before going in fermentor.
4. Rack the beer onto the blueberries in secondary.
5. Wait for 2-3 weeks then bottle.

Should it work like this? And am I pretty safe from infection that way?

Thanks for all the anwsers guys, you're awesome!
 

Rev2010

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
3,250
Reaction score
634
Location
Brooklyn
Should it work like this? And am I pretty safe from infection that way?
*Note, the following opinion is primarily if you are kegging*. I'm of the mentality that I typically A) Don't want to ferment out the fruit sugars on fruits that aren't super incredibly sweet and B) Personally feel sanitizing the outside of the fruit should be adequate enough if not added to the beer at start of fermentation.

So, I generally like to press the fruit and add the juice to the fermenter right before kegging the beer, just to have it mix a bit better than just adding it to the bottom of the keg. I did this with my Watermelon Jalapeno Wheat beer and it came out fantastic. Blueberries aren't really a super sweet fruit, I tend to think of them as medium sweet coupled with a tangy tartness. I myself wouldn't ferment out the sugars, I would just add the fruit at kegging time - but that's me. If you are bottling they you will likely want to ferment out the sugars to avoid overcarbing or possible bottle bombs. For bottling I would just add the blueberry juice one week before bottling as the yeast should ferment the sugars in one week.

I've added lots of things to my beers like habanero's & jalapeno's only santizing the outside, I've added fresh whole spices like cinnamon/nutmeg/all spice/ginger without any method of sanitizing, I've added fresh watermelon juice, etc. I've never added them to the beer for any longer than one week then kegged. Never had a single infection. Sure I guess it's possible but very unlikely as long as it's not added too long before bottling/kegging and if you can sanitize the outside of whatever it is than definitely do so.


Rev.
 
OP
J

Jaša Ratkai

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
52
Reaction score
8
Location
Slovenia
*If you are bottling they you will likely want to ferment out the sugars to avoid overcarbing or possible bottle bombs. For bottling I would just add the blueberry juice one week before bottling as the yeast should ferment the sugars in one week.
But it is possible to do it with fruit and not only juice?
I just have to wait out for sugars from blueberries to ferment am I right?
 

Jag75

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
4,997
Reaction score
2,062
Location
Taft
I just did 5#s of blueberries . I thought it ferment making a stronger abv beer. The fermentation did kick off again but when it was done I went up a gravity or 2 because the fruit contains water . This I didnt account for , so I had it filled to the top and ended up having to put a blow off tube on it.

I'm intrigued with this watermelon jalapeno beer , sounds delicious
 
OP
J

Jaša Ratkai

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
52
Reaction score
8
Location
Slovenia
So if I make like 22 litres of beer in 30 litre fermentor it should be fine right?
Or install the blow off tube just in case?
 

Jag75

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
4,997
Reaction score
2,062
Location
Taft
So if I make like 22 litres of beer in 30 litre fermentor it should be fine right?
Or install the blow off tube just in case?
Yes I believe so, I do 5 -5.5 gallon batches in a 7 gallon fermenter with zero issues . I think that's comparable
 
OP
J

Jaša Ratkai

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
52
Reaction score
8
Location
Slovenia
So you did it in secondary with racking beer onto the frozen blueberries which you thawed?
 

Rev2010

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
3,250
Reaction score
634
Location
Brooklyn
But it is possible to do it with fruit and not only juice?
I just have to wait out for sugars from blueberries to ferment am I right?
Yes you can add cutup blueberries but why not just press the fruit to squeeze out the juice?? Just adding cutup blueberries is only going to leave a barrier between what you actually want to extract (the inside juice) and its container (the flesh). You will need to use more blueberries than if you simply squeezed them to extract the juice. In addition adding the cutup solids can lead to clogging the spigot/racking cane/whatever if not contained in a mesh bag. So if you do add the fruit directly make sure to contain it to a mesh bag instead of adding it loose.


Rev.
 

cmac62

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2017
Messages
1,129
Reaction score
274
Location
Menifee, CA
If you want more of the berry flavor/sweetness to remain in the beer I recommend using the potassium meta something to put the yeast to sleep first then you can back sweeten with whatever you want and no worries about bottle bombs. :mug:
 

Jag75

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
4,997
Reaction score
2,062
Location
Taft
I haven't done it, but with frozen berries from the store it should be sanitized.
I didnt sanitize. I would think frozen out of a bag if fine , fresh a different story. I did spray the bag down before I opened it though.
 

Rev2010

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
3,250
Reaction score
634
Location
Brooklyn
If you want more of the berry flavor/sweetness to remain in the beer I recommend using the potassium meta something to put the yeast to sleep first then you can back sweeten with whatever you want and no worries about bottle bombs. :mug:
If he bottles and uses potassium metabisulfite to kill the yeast how is he going to get the beer carbed up in the bottles?


Rev.
 
Top