I want to do a strawberry...

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

spitfire

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
222
Reaction score
1
Location
Bloomsburg, PA
I want to do a strawberry beer. Something light, crisp an all around good summertime beer. This will also be a beer I want my wife to try as she is not a beer drinker and thought this might a good beer for her to try.

Originally, i was thinking do a wheat but think I would rather do something else like maybe Liberty Cream Ale seen here Liberty Cream Ale w/ Munton's 6 gm dry yeast :: Midwest Supplies Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies

What do you think? I was just going to add strawberry/kiwi extract to the bottling bucket to add the flavor.

Would I be better off actually racking into the secondary with strawberries in it? If so, frozen or fresh and how many pounds?
 

brewmasterpa

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2009
Messages
804
Reaction score
5
Location
orange, ca
personal preference on the extract or fresh fruit. do you want it to just taste like fruit beer, or do you want to feel like you actually made it taste like fruit beer. extract in the bucket is the easiest and probably cheapest. actually using fruit can be tricky, but done right, yields great results. use frozen fruit because the cells have already burst from freezing and easily release their flavor. also, im big on boiling the fruit to prevent from spoiling beer from the wild yeast. just boil it for 10-15 minutes in just enough water to cover the fruit, then pulverize the fruit well with a potato masher, then into the secondary, then rack the beer on top of it. you want to use 1lbs per 1gallon of beer. 5 gallon batch=5 lbs fruit. dont forget to cool the fruit before you put the beer in, and also remember when you brew your beer, youre going to need to brew an extra .75 gallons because youre going to lose that much from the massive amount of spent fruit. or just live with making a smaller batch. it depends on how much fermentation space you have.
 
OP
spitfire

spitfire

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
222
Reaction score
1
Location
Bloomsburg, PA
Thanks for the info. Do you feel the Liberty Cream and strawberry would be a nice combo opposed to say a wheat/strawberry combo? I am a little worried about not getting as much strawberry flavor going the frozen route.

So how long would you say 2 primary 2 weeks secondary? or should I go 1/3
 

brewmasterpa

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2009
Messages
804
Reaction score
5
Location
orange, ca
i would actually suggest a wheat base because youre going to have a clash of flavors with the crystal malt and the fruit. if you use fresh fruit and the proper amount, youll have plenty of fruit flavor, if anything, youll lose some of your maltiness. fruit tends to mask the maltiness of the beer, and this is especially prvelant with barley base beers. try the wheat it should come out better. and by the way, when you pasteurize the fruit, youll have pectic haze in the finished product, the wheat base hides this due to the fact that wheat beer is hazy to begin with. go with 14 days primary, 10 days secondary if you use the wheat base, 14-21 secondary if you use a barley base. you dont want wheat beers to age too long.
 
OP
spitfire

spitfire

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
222
Reaction score
1
Location
Bloomsburg, PA
Ok, I will look more into wheat, I'm just not a huge fan of wheat beers and wanted to maybe try the cream ale or a blonde or something like that.

Just so I know why.......why don't you want wheat beers to age to long?
 

brewmasterpa

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2009
Messages
804
Reaction score
5
Location
orange, ca
well you can do a barley based beer, but i would stick to a pale ale or a blonde base. i did a pale ale base once and the only complaint was that i had very low maltiness when it was done because the fruit masked the flavor. this wont happen with wheat. one way to fix this would be to bump that amount of malt that you use. give it a shot. the wheat beer retains its malty flavor better when its not aged as long. the flavor of the beer tends to age out with wheat, whereas with barley beers, youre trying to mellow the hop and adjunct flavors and so you age longer. i dont know the exact science behind it, im sure somebody will responde with the exact science, but thats what i go by. my wheats always turn out great.
 
OP
spitfire

spitfire

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
222
Reaction score
1
Location
Bloomsburg, PA
Well thanks for the info you have a been a great help. I think I will go with wheat for the first crack at this. I now just have to decide between frozen or extract. Lower risk with extract so I might go with that for the first spin and maybe try frozen on the next batch.
 

malkore

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2007
Messages
6,924
Reaction score
53
Location
Nebraska
The biggest 'issue' with the extracts is they can taste very manufactured...like drinking an air freshener instead a strawberry infused beer.

I've used plenty of frozen berries in mead making and never had any contamination issues, and never bothered to boil the fruit first either. If I had access to fresh strawberries, I'd still freeze them first to break down the cell walls, so if you go the real fruit route just get some decent, no sugar/syrup added frozen berries.

As far as how many, you'll probably want 3lbs or more to get a noticable strawberry flavor/aroma.

If you go extract, buy some first and maybe add a little bit to a bottle of boulevard wheat, just to get an idea of how that extract is gonna come across in a wheat beer that isn't heavy on hops. Then you'll know if its gona taste like strawberry kool-aid, or a strawberry blond :)
 
OP
spitfire

spitfire

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
222
Reaction score
1
Location
Bloomsburg, PA
I am going to order the strawberry extract regardless and just add some to some wheat beers I have sitting at home and go from there. I do like the fact that I would be more involved in the brewing process if I were to use fresh/frozen fruit rather than extract. If I got with frozen I am thinking 3-5lbs, leaning more towards the 5 lbs side of the spectrum.
 

katja

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
Messages
78
Reaction score
0
Location
Pittsburgh
I just made a pale ale Amarillo hops for bittering, flavor and aroma and I can definitely detect a mild strawberry flavor in it. Definitely a strong grapefruit flavor/aroma, but it's complemented by a hint of strawberry.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2008
Messages
1,176
Reaction score
53
Location
Tempe
Okay, let me chime in here. I made a rasberry cream ale which turned out great.

Make a cream ale or a blonde, just choose one you like. You don't want it to be hoppy like a pale ale if this is for a chick who doesn't like beer. Biermunchers centennial blonde with say half the hop bill comes to mind.

5lbs of fruit in a 5 gallon batch is going to raise abv significantly so keep that in mind. I would think by a % or two.

Now, add the fruit to the secondary and let it ferment another couple of weeks....a month would be better.

Bottle it and let it sit for atleast 3 months.

It's going to taste like sour strawberry or really tart strawberry if you try drinking it before then. You really have to let fruit beers with that much fruit age out a while.
 
OP
spitfire

spitfire

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
222
Reaction score
1
Location
Bloomsburg, PA
Wow, I had no idea it would take that much bottle time. I think I will do a batch of each then. One with the strawberry extract and one with the fresh fruit. That way we can drink one sooner and let the other one age. If I were to keg a fresh fruit one how long would I have to let it sit?
 

cuinrearview

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
1,154
Reaction score
7
Location
Delton, MI
Keeping the tart theme in mind one of the best fruit beers I've made was a peach ale last summer. I kept it light in ABV with only 5lbs. extract but used a lb. of honey malt to sweeten it up a bit. I've had good luck having SWMBO pick the fruit from the market and help me prepare it for secondary. If she takes some ownership she'll appreciate it no matter what.
 

cuinrearview

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
1,154
Reaction score
7
Location
Delton, MI
BTW, I refuse to use fruit extract. It's too sweet and it's so much more fun experiencing the natural process of fruit fermentation. If you follow the 1-2-3 process the fruit won't slow you down a bit in a lighter beer.
 

EcuPirate07

Beer is a food group
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
1,242
Reaction score
528
Location
Hooterville, NC
ok so I wanna do a strawberry blonde, would you say the best process would be to do 5lbs of strawberry's, freeze them then robo coup them, add to bottom of secondary and then rack beer in and then let sit in secondary for 2 weeks, then bottle and wait 3-4 weeks if not longer? I have strawberry extract is it really going to taste that off if I used the extract??????
 

monty3777

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2008
Messages
250
Reaction score
2
Keep in mind that you are going to lose a lot of volume because the fruit will absorb a lot of the beer. The last fruit beer I made yielded about 4 gallons. I would also hesitate to boil any fruit. I think if I remember right that creates some problems relating to pectins. Anyone else on boiling fruit?
 

Fat Guy Brewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2008
Messages
203
Reaction score
1
Location
Kansas City Metro
Biermunchers centennial blonde with say half the hop bill comes to mind.
+1 to Brandon, BM's centenntial blonde seems like a good backdrop for a fruit beer and I definitely plan to try it. Also, read some of the fruit recipes on HBT, why re-invent the wheel. And...go with fresh fruit, I have heard some people say the fruit extract tastes like plastic. Here is a recipe I liked and will make again.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f75/raspberry-ale-55316/
 
OP
spitfire

spitfire

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
222
Reaction score
1
Location
Bloomsburg, PA
Yeah I decided fresh fruit is the way to go. I put my order in nad decided not to order the extract so fresh fruit is the only option now.
 

syd138

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2008
Messages
538
Reaction score
4
Location
Chicago, IL
just boil it for 10-15 minutes in just enough water to cover the fruit, then pulverize the fruit well with a potato masher, then into the secondary, then rack the beer on top of it. QUOTE]

Actually, you do not want to boil it. In order to pastuerize it, heat a few cups of water to between 155-160F. This will be enough to kill wild yeast, etc. Then smash it down with a potato masher.

But if you boil it above about 170 it is going to cook it.. you don't want that.
 

Jason1971

New Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Toronto
So this was the thread I was looking for! I hope people are still following it...

I'd like to make a fruit beer but my big question was whether you need to compensate the sugar you add when using fruit or do you just add the normal amount and the fruit?

I also didn't know you want to let it sit so long. Basically the gist I'm getting is to do my primary then rack it to the secondary where I have my fruit concoction (5 lbs of fruit with very hot water poured on it and then mashed) and then let that sit for a longer period of time. Am I on the right path? It will be my third batch of beer.
 

Barc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
669
Reaction score
10
Location
NC
So this was the thread I was looking for! I hope people are still following it...

I'd like to make a fruit beer but my big question was whether you need to compensate the sugar you add when using fruit or do you just add the normal amount and the fruit?

I also didn't know you want to let it sit so long. Basically the gist I'm getting is to do my primary then rack it to the secondary where I have my fruit concoction (5 lbs of fruit with very hot water poured on it and then mashed) and then let that sit for a longer period of time. Am I on the right path? It will be my third batch of beer.
Fruit, unless it is something like a wine grape, generally doesn't contain a heck of a lot of sugar (by weight). Of course, some fruits contain a lot more sugar than others. There are sites out there that list the % by weight of sugar in various fruits and you can go from there. Adding 5 lbs to a 5 gallon batch wouldn't require much, if any, modification to your original recipe unless you are trying to keep the abv below a certain threshold or it were a very high sugar content fruit.

I've found that fruits can be tricky. A batch of wheat on raspberries may be totally different in time to glass than the same batch on strawberries. The varibles go up exponentially when adding fruit to a recipe as the fruit may take days, weeks, or even months to mellow, meld, etc. with the beer, and, of course, the type of beer involved will be a major player in how long the process takes. Plus, your individual tastes may come into play. Fruit tends to mellow over time. So, if you want a fruity kick, you'll probably want to drink it eariler than if you want notes of the fruit blended with the beer.

You don't have to mash your fruit in secondary or even heat it but this is highly dependent on what fruit you have and where you got it. If you're working with blackberris you hand picked, you'll probably want to take more precautions than you would if you were working with pre-frozen blueberries or pre-pasteurized, canned pie cherries. Also, if you've got something like a raspberry, you don't have to do a lot of mashing and heating as this will release pectin and may cloud your beer but something like a plum may require some mashing to get at the pulp (and all the good flavors). Also, freezing helps this "pulping" in all fruit and is generally recommended as this will help break the cell walls within the fruit and allow more of the good stuff to get out.

You've got the gist down pretty much. Basically, I brew and ferment a beer as usual, get the fruit ready by the means above and put it into a secondary container, rack the beer on top of it and just let that ferment. This can take a few days to a few weeks. A lot of fruits will turn pale and fall out of the beer but others will just hang out on top and float. I've found I am able to bottle from this point but some will rack a third time and allow the beer to clear without the fruit before bottling. And like I said earlier, it may be ready to drink in a couple of weeks or it may be a mess, it really depends on the fruit and original beer recipe.

In the end, these are just my experiences and what I've learned. Others may tell you differently and that's the joy of this hobby. Everyone can do things entirely differently and we all wind up with good beer! :mug:
 
Top