Ideas for a "blue" beer...?

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Rob2010SS

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With my wife expecting our first kid in May, my mother in law is throwing her a baby shower and asked me to brew 2 beers for the shower - 1 that is pink and 1 that is as close to blue as I can get. The pink is easy - I'll either do our cranberry kettle sour or our strawberry rhubarb gose. Both are pink or at least very close to it.

The blue one I'm having a hard time with. I don't want to dye it, but I'm thinking something with blueberries...? The 3 examples that pop into my head are a blueberry blonde, blueberry wheat, or a blueberry stout so that the head of the beer picks up the color from the blueberries.

I know there's some examples in the recipe section but anyone have any success stories with blueberries? Is there another fruit I should be looking into using for the "blue" color?
 

z-bob

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Blackberries? You may need to add a little food coloring too but go lightly with that. Whatever you do, I'd do a 1-gallon practice brew first.

Congratulations on the new arrival, and on a cool MIL.
 

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Every "blueberry beer" I've had (and I'll admit it's very few), have been regular colored beer with a few blueberries added and I think blueberry flavoring.

I make a pink beer once in a great while- a watermelon wheat- and it's light pink. But I think blue would be tougher. Maybe use blueberry juice for some of the water? I dunno.
 

kh54s10

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Tried it with food coloring made from boiling down red cabbage and a full bottle of blue coloring. IMO, it can't be done. There is a really strong blue food dye but I have read that in the concentrations needed it would be bad for your health.

Yellow and blue makes green. Mine was really green!, even with a lot of dye in it.
 

Northern_Brewer

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Blue beer comes up periodically on HBT - see this thread for beer coloured with Clitoria flowers. They're interesting as they may allow you to do pink and blue depending on pH - there's a commercial gin using them that starts blue but turns pink when you add tonic, which I assume is a litmus-type response to pH.
 

treacheroustexan

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I brew a blueberry ipa which is a very light in color beer to begin with because it just uses base malt and flaked oats. This is the beer with 5# of blueberries added. Following this post to see what you end up doing.
tapatalk_1541600397652.jpeg
 
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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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I read through that. Interesting thread... I'll definitely add it to the list of possibilities.

I brew a blueberry ipa which is a very light in color beer to begin with because it just uses base malt and flaked oats. This is the beer with 5# of blueberries added. Following this post to see what you end up doing. View attachment 596577
Thanks for the pic. Is the head on that tinted from the blueberries or is it my imagination?


Blackberries? You may need to add a little food coloring too but go lightly with that. Whatever you do, I'd do a 1-gallon practice brew first.

Congratulations on the new arrival, and on a cool MIL.
Thanks. Not sure who's idea it was, my wife's or my MIL's, but either way, I'll take it!

I did a Blueberry Blonde it turned purple on me I considered it a failure and never tried again I used a can of Puree
Thanks for this. I would have been tempted to use puree before this, but now I think I'll steer clear of it.
 

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Haven't tried it myself, but Gel food colouring is amazing stuff - particularly look for one with a name like "Electric" Blue. The ones that start with electric I've foudn will colour almost anything.

If you don't want to brew a batch, just try putting 1 drop in a commercial lager and see.
 
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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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Thanks @Cameron Gray. I'm trying to avoid food coloring but in case I can't get anything else to work, I'll keep it in mind.

In regards to the Clitoria flowers, I'm thinking I may try a 1 gallon batch of that and see if I can make it work. I've never done one gallon, only done 5 gallon batches.

In a 1 gallon all grain batch, you would have such a small amount of water. Can I just go BIAB style with a 1 gallon batch in a 5 gallon pot? Or am I better off doing this in my 10 gallon cooler mash tun?
 

Northern_Brewer

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You can do 1 gallon just with saucepans - for these purposes you might as well do a quick and dirty brew with extract if all you're doing is putting your toe in the water. There's nothing magic about a gallon either - you could do just a few bottles with different colourants, or in the first instance take an existing beer and just colour it up. Or just divert 1 gallon from another brew - I split batches all the time.
 
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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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Do you have a 2 gallon stainless steel pot in your kitchen already? A spaghetti cooker or a Revere stock pot?
Yeah I believe so... I'm not 100% sure on the size of it but it's gotta be in the 1-2 gallon range. If that doesn't work, I have the cheapo 5 gallon pot that comes with NB's starter brewing kits.
 
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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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You can do 1 gallon just with saucepans - for these purposes you might as well do a quick and dirty brew with extract if all you're doing is putting your toe in the water. There's nothing magic about a gallon either - you could do just a few bottles with different colourants, or in the first instance take an existing beer and just colour it up. Or just divert 1 gallon from another brew - I split batches all the time.
Guess I didn't think about this.... Yeah, could just do a 1 gallon batch or a half gallon batch with extract and use the flowers in it to test it. That's not a bad idea actually.
 

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Because blue is going to be hard in beer because of the yellow+blue=green, and it is so hard to find 'true' blues in nature to make it turn blue without food coloring, would you consider making the blue batch something other than beer? An alcoholic sparkling beverage or something based off of lemon wine (skeeter pee) that you can brew fairly clear then work the blue in somehow?

Also for pink.....be careful with strawberries. I've seen a lot of stuff with strawberries in it turn brownish and look really gross.
 
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Rob2010SS

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Because blue is going to be hard in beer because of the yellow+blue=green, and it is so hard to find 'true' blues in nature to make it turn blue without food coloring, would you consider making the blue batch something other than beer? An alcoholic sparkling beverage or something based off of lemon wine (skeeter pee) that you can brew fairly clear then work the blue in somehow?

Also for pink.....be careful with strawberries. I've seen a lot of stuff with strawberries in it turn brownish and look really gross.
Im definitely open to it. I'd like to stick to the beer approach but i don't want food coloring. I think to get some experience with it im going to try a couple of test batches with the flowers mentioned above and see what that gets me. If im not happy with the result, i'll toy with making something else
 

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Blue beer comes up periodically on HBT - see this thread for beer coloured with Clitoria flowers. They're interesting as they may allow you to do pink and blue depending on pH - there's a commercial gin using them that starts blue but turns pink when you add tonic, which I assume is a litmus-type response to pH.
Google Lone Tree Brewing Mood Ring Saison and look for the images of this beer which is made with Clitoria flowers
hope this helps
homebrudoc
 

treacheroustexan

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Google Lone Tree Brewing Mood Ring Saison and look for the images of this beer which is made with Clitoria flowers
hope this helps
homebrudoc
Note to everyone else out there: if you're trying to Google what a clitoria is, make sure you get the spelling 100% correct... Especially if you're at work.
 
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Kealia

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What about brewing a light-colored blonde/kolsch and adding some of that food-grade glitter? I'm not sure if it comes in blue or not, just tossing out the idea
 

Velnerj

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Here's a couple of ideas. You could make a malted fermented beverage. I've seen recipes that use sprite or Mountain Dew added to a wort before pitching yeast. You could try this with blue Gatorade assuming your wort was as pale as you could get, it may work....

The other idea is to scrap the blue pink concept all together and brew a "manly" beer and a "girly" beer. Or a beer for a boy and hard lemonade for a girl... Just trying to think outside the box.
 
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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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Here's a couple of ideas. You could make a malted fermented beverage. I've seen recipes that use sprite or Mountain Dew added to a wort before pitching yeast. You could try this with blue Gatorade assuming your wort was as pale as you could get, it may work....

The other idea is to scrap the blue pink concept all together and brew a "manly" beer and a "girly" beer. Or a beer for a boy and hard lemonade for a girl... Just trying to think outside the box.
That's an interesting take on it! Thanks. I'l definitely take it into consideration.
 
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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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Note to everyone else out there: if you're trying to Google what a clitoria is, make sure you get the spelling 100% correct... Especially if you're at work. Pointing out for a friend.
LOL i didn't google it for that reason. I thought it was a funny name for a flower and then i saw a picture of the flower. The name makes sense now!
 
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Haven't tried it myself, but Gel food colouring is amazing stuff - particularly look for one with a name like "Electric" Blue. The ones that start with electric I've foudn will colour almost anything.
Have you tried it in beer yet? The one and only time I tried to add food coloring to beer(red), the coloring sank to the bottom and colored the yeast, but did not color the beer. I added it at bottling time. However, it was liquid food coloring, not gel.
 
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Rob2010SS

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Have you tried it in beer yet? The one and only time I tried to add food coloring to beer(red), the coloring sank to the bottom and colored the yeast, but did not color the beer. I added it at bottling time. However, it was liquid food coloring, not gel.
I've used green food coloring in the keg before and it worked quite well.

EDIT: Actually I think I used blue. It was to dye a beer green for St Patty's.
 
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Blue is difficult because of the pH of beer. Blueberries at beer pH levels turn reddy purple.
Interesting. I never knew the reason, but I can confirm that my 'Blueberry Moon' (American wheat with blueberries) is a pinkish-purple. And that's with 3 lb. of blueberries in a 2G batch. Using nothing but the best Maine wild blueberries, of course!
 

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This is a blue beer that I am working on for the Michigan vs. Ohio State game. The Ohio fans will have a choice of yellow or blue beer. Anyway, this is my yellow fizzy beer with what works out to about 1/4 oz of Wilton royal blue icing color in the keg and imparts no flavor. Everything else I tried ended in green or purple beer.
 

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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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This is a blue beer that I am working on for the Michigan vs. Ohio State game. The Ohio fans will have a choice of yellow or blue beer. Anyway, this is my yellow fizzy beer with what works out to about 1/4 oz of Wilton royal blue icing color in the kegand imparts no flavor. Everything else I tried ended in green or purple beer.
Wow! That is an awesome blue! What style beer is that? You say fizzy yellow but it's dark like a stout..
 

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Blue spirulina-based food color can stay blue even at low pH.

I made a 0.2% by weight solution of EXBERRY "Majestic Blue" in deionized water, then split into two beakers. The solution on the left I buffered to pH ~7 with sodium citrate, on the right I acidified to pH ~3 with citric acid. Both managed to retain a nice baby blue hue.

Blu1.JPG
Blu2.JPG


You'd still need to go with the absolute lightest-color base beer possible (to avoid going green), plus I can't say for sure that it wouldn't get pulled out by falling trub and such, so I'd suggest adding the blue spirulina in the keg or the bottle. But at least the pH won't kill it.

I've heard you can get blue spirulina (powder) on amazon, etc.
 

MT2sum

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I hope this isn't too late for you ...... Maybe this will give you some ideas!
It's "Blue Violet" but maybe it's blue enough. The Butterfly Pea Flowers are available on Amazon. I'm going to get some seeds for this Spring/Summer and grow my own! If you also look up the seeds, it will show you what the flowers look like up close.

If you have BeerSmith, you can scale the 5 liter batch up to 1, 2, 3, 5 or 10 gallons if you want to.
Also, I think he made a mistake on the temp mashing at 170F doesn't sound right to me, so if you brew this use your best guess 152(66.6C), 155(68.3C), 158 (70C). I believe that 78C for sparge sounds about right (173F) at least it's in the neighborhood :>).
 
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