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Raspberry Wheat - Did I do it wrong?

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rohovie

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Hello,

Last night I started a new batch. I am making a Raspberry Wheat. After doing it, i'm starting to have second thoughts about the whole process I used.

I used the Black Rock - Whispering Wheat kit with 1.25 kg of Light Malt Extract.

For the raspberry flavour I used 3 pounds of frozen raspberries and boiled them for 3 minutes. (reccomended by LHBS). I added the raspberry mix to the primary. (Maybe Error #1 by me, should I have boiled it? or should I have not added it to the primary? ive read of mixed procedures)

After adding the mix, I stirred the sh*t out of the batch to airate it.

By doing that it broke up all of the raspberries and only leaving the seeds behind (maybe my Error #2). This made the batch fairly red.

Before pitching the yeast I took a hydrometer reading, and only got about 1.035. Is this too low?

Please let me know if you think my batch will turn out funny, if you think i've done something wrong, or if you think it will trn out fine.

Thank you,
 

Ooompa Loompa

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That gravity reading sounds kind of low, is it possible you got a watered down sample? That's what I would guess. Happens to me all the time, even after I mixed the crap out of everything prior to pitching.

As far as the raspberries go, boiling probably wasn't the greatest thing to do. Boiling them releases pectins (thickening enzymes that make jam). But you only boiled for 3 minutes, so it shouldn't be too bad. I think by adding the fruit at the beginning of primary you'll probably lose a lot of that raspberry flavor. Fruit is usually added when initial fermentation starts to die down, or after racking to the secondary. If I were you I'd get another pound of rasberries, and add them once initial fermentation dies down. Dont' worry about the seeds, you will leave most of them behind when you rack to secondary or bottling bucket (if you don't use a secondary). Bottom line, don't worry about it, in the end you'll have beer, it will be drinkable, and probably pretty good.
 
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rohovie

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Thanks Ooompa Loompa,

As for the SG, the batch may be a little diluted, I made 5 gallons of beer, as per the directions, then added the raspberries (which broke up), so rather than having 5 gallons of brew plus some solids, I have 5 gallons of beer, some raspberry juice and some solid seeds. So its a little bit above the 5 gallon mark on the primary. Is there anything I could do now to increase the SG or to have the final product not taste watered down?

As for adding the berries to the primary, I asked the LBHS about this, he said, either way the sugars in the berries will be fermented, whether it be in the primary or the secondary. He said if you add it to the primary, your less likely to transfer over the solids.

I'm curious, what would happen to the taste of the beer if the berries did get boiled longer? Would it taste more tarty?
 

ArcaneXor

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rohovie said:
As for adding the berries to the primary, I asked the LBHS about this, he said, either way the sugars in the berries will be fermented, whether it be in the primary or the secondary. He said if you add it to the primary, your less likely to transfer over the solids.

I'm curious, what would happen to the taste of the beer if the berries did get boiled longer? Would it taste more tarty?
The sugars will be fermented either way, but the CO2 produced during the first, vigorous phase will drive off a lot of the rather delicate flavor compounds in the fruit. Adding the fruit later should result in a more "authentic" and intense fruit flavor, which is what most people are after.

I doubt boiling would make the fruit taste more tart, but it will make the beer less clear because of the pectins.
 

HBDrinker008

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i would not add anymore fruit. Raspberries are a very strong flavored fruit and you dont really need more than 2 lbs. Thats what i think anyway I added some raspberries to a stout that i had made i think it was 2 16 oz bags and i would put in half that much if i were to do it again. but it depends on how bold you want that berry taste to be
 

Ooompa Loompa

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HBDrinker008 said:
i would not add anymore fruit. Raspberries are a very strong flavored fruit and you dont really need more than 2 lbs. Thats what i think anyway I added some raspberries to a stout that i had made i think it was 2 16 oz bags and i would put in half that much if i were to do it again. but it depends on how bold you want that berry taste to be
I made a raspberry porter using 3 16 oz bags of raspberries, and the next time I make it I'll use 4 bags instead of 3. All a matter of opinion I guess. But for a raspberry wheat beer I would think you would want a pretty pronounced raspberry flavor.
 

malkore

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I too think you'd want more raspberry in a wheat beer, vs the stout which is getting a lot of flavor from dark malted grain. a wheat beer is light on malt flavor so the raspberry can step right in.

another issue with boiling most fruit is pectin, which can haze up beer.
 

david_42

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First, wheats are almost always small beers, so 1.035 isn't a problem. (You didn't say what the weight of the kit was.) Second, I'd let the batch ferment and give it 2 weeks to settle after the fermentation is done. Then taste it and decide if it needs more raspberries. If so, rack it to another fermenter and add more berries.
 
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rohovie

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David, the kit was 1.75 kg, plus the 1.25 kg of the LME.

Is there anything I could do now to make the beer stronger? Its been fermenting for 2 days now.

Thanks,
 
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