Strawberry Hefeweizen

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Suminorudder

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So while at my local grocers yesterday, we saw that strawberries were on a really deep discount right now. This morning my wife suggests I plop some into my hef I have that's finishing up its primary fermentation. My questions are, how much should be enough to get a strawberry flavor without being to much? How much alcohol can I expect it to produce from the fruit sugars? And is there any risk of infection from spoiled fruit, and can I minimize the risk of that?

Cheers!
 

aiptasia

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After looking at a few recipes, 5 quarts or so in a secondary, mashed to a pulp, for a 5 gallon batch. You can search the site for sanitizing fruit but most people do a combination of freezing and soaking in everclear or vodka for 15-30 minutes or so. Cooking the fruit will release pectin which you don't want in your beer.

As to the alcohol level that results from a secondary fermentation and a vodka soak, you can only estimate but it will be minimal, unless you pour the vodka from the soak into the beer, too. You will definitely get a secondary fermentation and you'll need a way of straining out the fruit chunks when you rack to a bottling bucket.

Two alternatives:

  1. Use an organic strawberry extract and add it to your bottling bucket along with priming sugar.
  2. Use late additions of Belma hops, which taste and smell like a strawberry starburst candy square. I'd suggest an ounce of pellets at 15 and then two ounces at flameout with a 45 minute steep before cooling the wort.
 
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Suminorudder

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Hmm, very interesting. Eventually I want to do a Belma IPA or a pale ale.

Would adding a puree at bottling time make it overcarbonated perhaps? Though hefeweizen is usually a lot more effervescent than most styles, so it may not be an issue.
 

Jay1

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I would add the strawberry into the secondary and let it sit for a couple weeks before you decided to bottle. If you added it at bottling time Im afraid it would be hard to get your sugars calculated right.

Funny, Im drinking my Belma Pale right now. Its definitely got some strawberry flavor but its just not my style for an IPA or Pale. Im thinking of making a strawberry cream ale with it. I read somewhere that 1lb per gallon was a good starting point for adding strawberry.
 
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Suminorudder

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I've kind of thought that Belma would work great alongside citra, I want to dovsomething hopbursted, especially since belma is so inexpensive right now.

The thing I would wonder about is trying to get the timing right since i want the hefeweizen to be nice and fresh without sitting for to long, you know? I would think 2 more weeks or maybe three would be alright.
 
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