Strawberry Blonde Ale

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Jhubba1

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Hi all,

I've decided to start a discussion on brewing a Strawberry Blonde Ale. I used the Blonde Ale Kit from Midwest Breweries which came with Belgian Wit yeast. Pitched to a starter.

In this recipe the only addition made was 4 pounds of pureed strawberries and 1 tbsp of corriander.

I added the strawberries at flame out and let pasteurize for 10 minutes before cooling the wort, aerating, and pitching yeast.

The primary fermentation required a blowout hose for 3 days. After a week and a half there was no trub when transfered to the secondary. We waited another week and transfered again finally seeing some settiling of yeast and strawberry particles. 3 days before bottling we added gelatin to hopefully clarify the beer.

Okay I know it's early, but I try one beer when bottled every week to see how it changes up to the month mark. This beer tastes great. But it is very cloudy. It tastes and has the mouthfeel of a normal ale, but isn't much to look at.

Another note. The fermentation temperature on the crystal thermometer stuck to the outside of the bucket showed temperatures nearly reaching 80 degrees. This goes with the crazy fermentation for over three days of straight blow off.

Any comments, suggestions on how to perfect and clarify the beer?
 

Stuntman

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IMHO at this point Cold Crashing seems the route to take.


I did read something about Gelatin (you have to get the right type). He stated a pan of water and some gelatin to slowly bring up temp to 155 or so. No higher, just to melt it, and then cool so that it is only warm to the touch and pour into secondary. Stirring very slowly, then cold crashing. I cannot remember where I saw it though...Someone?



Just a Side note: I am in to fruit here lately. I learned that freezing, then simmering and introducing fruit into secondary will work better (your fruit won't blow out the airlock or blow off). I have a Jack LaLayne Juicer. I ran Cherries, for one batch and Peaches and Walnuts for the second. Having to run the pulp several times to get all the juice out, I zip-locked and froze what I had obtained. In secondary, after cooling, I introduced the simmered for fifteen minutes (once frozen fruit). Cherries are prevelent with only three cans in a five gallon batch (one third of what I used last time). I sampled 1/3 pint three times (1 Pint uncarbed cherry wheat bliss) when going to keg. Man was it good! For some reason the Peaches and Walnuts still have krausen, so I am waiting.
 
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Jhubba1

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Thanks for the reply. I will follow up more on this. I did what you said with the gelatin melted not boiled. However, I did not stir it into the carboy. I poured it directly in and along the sides trying to disperse it as much as possible. Tuesday will be two weeks bottled so I'll update you with the progress of my second taste then. Cheers
 
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Jhubba1

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Okay.

Week 2 tasted the beer. It is really good, nice head and plenty of rising bubbles. So, the verdict is when strawberries are pureed and than added clarity will suffer. The taste will be good but the clarity will be muddy. The beer still looks like it is in the primary fermentation. However, this ale has a strong taste and smell of strawberries which is what I want because it tastes great!

Next batch I will try a different method of adding strawberries. Does anyone have any success in a nice clear ale with the smell and taste of strawberries still being present?
 

TipsyDragon

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i didn't see any mention of it so ill mention it. because you heat pasteurized the strawberries you set their pectin. so consequently you are experiencing pectin haze. you need to add some pectic enzyme. but seeing as its already in the bottles its to late. it would be to much of a pain to get the proper amount of enzyme in each bottle.
 

OsbornBrewing

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Nah steeping the strawberries at the end of the boil is the way to sterilize them without setting the pectins. Boiling is what sets the pectins.

Sounds like you just didn't leave in the fermenter long enough.
 

WildGingerBrewing

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I am brewing Succulent Strawberry, that I found on here, this weekend. The recipe says to brew as normal and keep in primary for one week. Rack onto 8 lbs of frozen strawberries, in secondary, for a week. Then rack back off of the strawberries into tertiary for 4 weeks. I love Pete's Strawberry Blonde so I am very excited about this brew. I'll post throughout fermentation as well for updates.
 

Zombie13

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Along these lines, I want to brew a strawberry blonde as well. What I was thinking of doing is following the recipe for a standard blonde into the primary, then splitting it in half and putting 2.5g into secondary with the strawberries and either bottling or a separate secondary for the other 2.5g as a 'standard' blonde.

My question is: It this a bad idea?

Z.
 

velosim

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:off: I thought adding gelatin also dropped the yeast out of a beer and wasn't usually recommended when bottling. Sounds like you are getting carbonation though, so is this not the case? Thanks all.
 

Stuntman

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i didn't see any mention of it so ill mention it. because you heat pasteurized the strawberries you set their pectin. so consequently you are experiencing pectin haze. you need to add some pectic enzyme. but seeing as its already in the bottles its to late. it would be to much of a pain to get the proper amount of enzyme in each bottle.

Yeah this sounds more like it, when do you add the enzyme? Thanks for the tip, I would like to do a Blonde as well, I don't want to burn myself out on Wheat (I looked at it as,"Wheat is supposed to be cloudy").

Along these lines, I want to brew a strawberry blonde as well. What I was thinking of doing is following the recipe for a standard blonde into the primary, then splitting it in half and putting 2.5g into secondary with the strawberries and either bottling or a separate secondary for the other 2.5g as a 'standard' blonde.

My question is: It this a bad idea?

Z.

I do it all the time, except I do ten gallon batches 2-5 gallons beer in 2-6 gallon primaries, then each 5 gallon batch goes into a 5 gallon secondary. My concern would be there is a lot of oxygen if you only put 2 1/2 gallons into a 5 gallon primary, you might get infection/oxydation since it will take time for yeast to fill empty space with CO2. Do you have 2 1/2 gallon secondaries? I would think smaller the head space on secondary is better. I may be wrong, CO2 is heavier might blanket it quickly. Anyone Again?
 

OsbornBrewing

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I did a little research and here is a good BYO article: http://***********/stories/recipes/...e-of-pectic-enzyme-in-many-fruit-beer-recipes

Compleye Joy of Homebrewing, page 89, also explains about fruits, their use and pectins.

Basically, if you use fruit some cloudiness is to be expected, so stick with wheat beer base. Sam Adams Cherry Wheat is clear because they use Cherry cough syrup ;)
 
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Jhubba1

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I added Gelatin 4 days before bottling. I was told that gelatin will drop some of the yeast. However, there will still be enough suspended for carbonation when bottling.
 
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Jhubba1

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I did a little research and here is a good BYO article: http://***********/stories/recipes/...e-of-pectic-enzyme-in-many-fruit-beer-recipes

Compleye Joy of Homebrewing, page 89, also explains about fruits, their use and pectins.

Basically, if you use fruit some cloudiness is to be expected, so stick with wheat beer base. Sam Adams Cherry Wheat is clear because they use Cherry cough syrup ;)

Thanks, very helpful.
 

weirdboy

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I did a little research and here is a good BYO article: http://***********/stories/recipes/...e-of-pectic-enzyme-in-many-fruit-beer-recipes

Compleye Joy of Homebrewing, page 89, also explains about fruits, their use and pectins.

Basically, if you use fruit some cloudiness is to be expected, so stick with wheat beer base. Sam Adams Cherry Wheat is clear because they use Cherry cough syrup ;)

I dunno, my strawberry blonde comes out crystal clear and I use fresh strawberries.
 

MrNate

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I don't think it's the yeast that causes the cloudiness. Seems to me that if you add pectin to wort, you're basically making a thin wort jelly. Be interesting to see what adding the gelatin does, though.
 

weirdboy

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If the strawberries are pureed, in my experience you aren't going to clarify that beer unless you run it through a very fine filter. I mean, one measured in microns. Even with gelatin I ended up with hazy beer when I pureed, not to mention floaties despite several attempts at racking/filtering.


Whole/halved strawberries are another matter entirely.
 

WildGingerBrewing

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I racked 5 gal of blonde ale onto 8 lbs of frozen strawberries this past weekend. This coming weekend, I will rack back off of the strawberries into a tertiarty and leave it for 4 weeks or so. My only concern at this point, is how much beer will the strawberries absorb? This smell is great so far and the taste of the beer, before fruit, was a very light blonda ale, that tasted really good. Exactly what I was looking for. If the strawberries do what I have read a few other say it does, I'm gonna have a really hard time waiting 6-7 more weeks to drink this beer!!!

More updates to come.

:mug:
 

WildGingerBrewing

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For what it's worth I leave my beer on the strawberries a lot longer than a week. More like 3-6 weeks.

As this is the first fruit beer I have ever made, I was kind of following the recipe. This is from a modifed Succulent Strawberry recipe I found on here. How is the flavor of yours, when leaving it on for that long? As an example, Pete's Strawberry Blonde is one of my favorite summer beers and that is what I'm going for. Not overpowering, but defintely there. Also, what about the aroma? Does it add more by leaving it longer?

Thanks for the help, Weirdboy. :mug:
 

viking73

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I modified Blue Line's Strawberry Blonde as well. Spent about two weeks in the primary, went from 1.075 OG to 1.020. Racked onto the berries for a week and the gravity dropped to 1.014. Smells great! Can't wait to get this into bottles!

Oh yeah, I used 6 lbs of berries.
 

mrgstiffler

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I modified Blue Line's Strawberry Blonde as well. Spent about two weeks in the primary, went from 1.075 OG to 1.020. Racked onto the berries for a week and the gravity dropped to 1.014. Smells great! Can't wait to get this into bottles!

Oh yeah, I used 6 lbs of berries.

How big was the batch? 6lbs seems like a lot!
 

Korben

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could you list exact recipe and directions? It sounds delicious!

This is Bluelinebrewer's recipe

Recipe Type: Extract
Yeast: Wyeast American Ale II 1272
Yeast Starter: No
Batch Size (Gallons): 5
Original Gravity: 1.058
Final Gravity: 1.010
IBU: 15.4
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: 4.7
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 7 @ 68
Additional Fermentation: 4 weeks
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 6 @ 68
Tasting Notes: Crisp and clean. Nice strawberry flavor.

6.5# Extra Pale LME
1.5# Wheat LME
8 oz Carapils
.5 oz Cacade 7.5% @ 60 min
.5 oz Saaz 5.8% @ 20 min
.5 oz Saaz 5.8% @ 5 min
Whirlfloc @ 15 min
Wyeast American Ale II 1272
8 lbs, yep, 8 lbs, of Dole frozen strawberries
Priming sugar

- Bring 2 gallons of water to 160* turn off heat
- Steep Carapils for 20 min with lid on
- Top up to 4 gallons, bring to boil
- Remove from heat, add LME
- Return to heat, bring to boil, start hops additions as listed
- Cool, transfer to fermenter
- Top up to 5 gallons
- Add yeast



Fermented for 1 week at 68*. Then racked onto all 8 lbs of strawberries and let it set for 6 days at 68*, then racked back off of the thawed strawberries into a tertiary. I kinda got busy and it ended up staying in the tertiary for 4 weeks, that wasn't planned and I don't know that it's necessary. Then bottled.

This was brewed for SWMBO, who wanted a "very berry" beer. That it is. I wouldn't say that it's overpowering, but you don't have to try to taste the strawberry. It's very tasty.
 

WildGingerBrewing

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Korben

Brewed this a week in a half ago. Racked onto 8 lbs of berries on Sunday. Would you say that if it was left on the berries for longer than 1 week it would make the flavor overpowering? Both of my Better Bottles have beer in them and I am out of drinking bottles. So I may end up leaving it on the berries for an additional week or so. I guess my biggest concern is whether or not the berries will go bad, or will the alcohol keep them from going bad?
 

Korben

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Korben

Brewed this a week in a half ago. Racked onto 8 lbs of berries on Sunday. Would you say that if it was left on the berries for longer than 1 week it would make the flavor overpowering? Both of my Better Bottles have beer in them and I am out of drinking bottles. So I may end up leaving it on the berries for an additional week or so. I guess my biggest concern is whether or not the berries will go bad, or will the alcohol keep them from going bad?

To be honest I am no really sure about time on the berries. I just copied and pasted his recipe in that message for you. I have read on here some people leave it on the berries for up to 3 weeks and seem to have no ill effects. I am not sure how much it increase the berry flavor or if it increases it at all.
 

viking73

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This was the first time I've brewed this. Bottled last night, I'll let you guys know what it tastes like in a week!

I only left it on the fruit for a week.
 

WildGingerBrewing

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I broke down and bought 4 cases of bottles today. So this weekend I will be bottling 10 gal and racking the beer off of the strawberries. I'm going to leave it in terrtiary for 3-4 weeks then bottle. So unlike viking 73, I'll let you know in about 2 months! dammit!

Can't wait to hear Viking.

:mug:
 

mrgstiffler

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Got a Strawberry Blonde kit from my LHBS that I'm going to brew up tomorrow. First time I've done an extract in quite awhile but I needed a short/easy brewday.
 

WildGingerBrewing

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Update...just racked 5.5 gal off of the strawberries and into terrtiary. The strawberries did NOT soak up any beer!!!!! I got all 5.5 gal into the terrtiary. It tasted really good. I don't know if I can wait 3 weeks before bottling and then another 2-3 weeks to drink it! It is truly going to be hard to wait.
 

Korben

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Update...just racked 5.5 gal off of the strawberries and into terrtiary. The strawberries did NOT soak up any beer!!!!! I got all 5.5 gal into the terrtiary. It tasted really good. I don't know if I can wait 3 weeks before bottling and then another 2-3 weeks to drink it! It is truly going to be hard to wait.

How strong was the strawberry taste Jason?
 

WildGingerBrewing

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You can defintiely taste strawberry but it is not overpowering. The aroma is really strong though! Smells amazing. I think that after 3 weeks in terrtiary, it is going to mellow out a little. So far, it seems perfect.

I don't think I would leave the beer on the berries much more than week though. The berries looked pretty bad. My wife and son thought they looked moldy. There was no mold on them, for the record. They had turned a whitish-gray color though and although the alcohol may preserve them, I think one week is plenty.

:mug:
 

viking73

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So I bottled this and let it sit for a week, tried it and it appears that I picked up an infection of some kind. Has a funky medicinal aftertaste to it. Tried it again after a week and its still there.

I'm guessing that I didn't get the strawberries pasteurized well enough. Next time I'll use Oregon fruit...
 

WildGingerBrewing

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That sucks viking! Did you use frozen strawberries? How did you attempt to pasteurize them?

I have had mine in terrtiary for 2 weeks now. I'm going to move it to the fridge and cold crash it today for another week. I hope to bottle it next weekend. I hope I don't have the same issue as you. I have been looking forward to this beer for a long time!

:mug:
 

weirdboy

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Did you use commercial frozen strawberries from the store? Some of those don't do the best job washing the strawberries, and use chlorinated water which you definitely don't want in your beer. Could be a possible cause of the off flavor.
 

viking73

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I used frozen strawberries from Costco. And I only use bottled non-chlorinated water in my beer so that shouldn't be a problem. Sanitation isn't an issue, everything gets cleaned and sanitized before use.

I'm going to leave it for a month or two before I throw it out.
 

WildGingerBrewing

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Update...After two weeks in terttiary I cold crashed at 46 degrees for 5 days. Brought it back up to room temp and bottled today. The aroma is still great and it has more strawberry flavor than I expected. I will probably test one or two next weekend but not expecting it to be complete for at least two weeks.

:mug:
 

kawickstrom

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Jason

How did you prepare your strawberries? I will be making a strawberry beer here soon and am following the succulent strawberry blonde recipe. As from what I read you just racked on to the frozen strawberries. Is that right?
 
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