Fruit Beer Watermelon Wheat

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DubbelDach

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Recipe Type
All Grain
Yeast
WLP320
Yeast Starter
Yes
Batch Size (Gallons)
5
Original Gravity
1.049
Final Gravity
1.012
Boiling Time (Minutes)
60
IBU
11.7
Color
3.06
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
1 week @ 65F
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
2 weeks @ 65F
Tasting Notes
Yes, you can use watermelon juice and it retains flavor!
5 lbs. German 2-row Pils
4 lbs. German White Wheat Malt

0.5 oz. Mt. Hood (Pellets, 5.00 %AA) boiled 60 min.

1 lbs. Wildflower Honey
4 cups Watermelon Juice (fresh squeezed, not pasteurized, added to 2ndary)

1 vial. White Labs WLP320 American Hefeweizen Ale

Pictures of adding fresh pressed watermelon juice then racking beer on top.

This beer definitely retained watermelon flavor... Don't let anyone tell you that there's too much water in watermelon. It was awesome.

:rockin::ban::rockin:
 

FishinDave07

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Simple, I love it. On a scale of 1-10; 1 being non-existant, 10 being IN-YOUR-FACE!!! how is the flavor and aroma?

*Subscribed* and soon to brew!
 
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DubbelDach

DubbelDach

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Simple, I love it. On a scale of 1-10; 1 being non-existant, 10 being IN-YOUR-FACE!!! how is the flavor and aroma?

I'd say 5-6? It's there, but it's not a wine cooler. Definitely still a beer. Definitely noticable that it's watermelon as well.

Just curious..Why the honey?

Started out as me adjusting my Orange Honey Hefe recipe... Changed a few things here and there. Knowing a little more about honey, sugar, and fermenting now than I did then, I'd probably go 5 lbs pils, 5 lbs wheat and ditch the honey next time.

But since this is how I last proven-brewed it, that's how I listed it.
 

homebrewer_99

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Nostalgia and I shared a couple of his WW last week.

Very similar recipe, but I don't remember him mentioning honey.

The melon flavor was there and tasted good, but so was a greenish pithy odor on top that could have come from the white part of the melon of the hops. We weren't sure.

But in any case very much worth the while...I tried to find some watermelon today without any luck.
 

Issius

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I did a similar recipe to this and bottling is coming up in a few days. I added 4 cups of watermelon juice (diluted with water so my blender could get started) to the secondary.

I was thinking about using watermelon juice as a bottling sugar. Do you think it would be worth doing? Or should I just use 1-1/4 cups of my wheat DME?
 

FishinDave07

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I did a similar recipe to this and bottling is coming up in a few days. I added 4 cups of watermelon juice (diluted with water so my blender could get started) to the secondary.

I was thinking about using watermelon juice as a bottling sugar. Do you think it would be worth doing? Or should I just use 1-1/4 cups of my wheat DME?

Im sure DD will comment on this, but i don't think you can measure how much sugar is in watermelon juice to get adequate carbonation.
 
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DubbelDach

DubbelDach

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Im sure DD will comment on this, but i don't think you can measure how much sugar is in watermelon juice to get adequate carbonation.

I just added to 2ndary and let it ferment out again (see the cool pink and white trub rings in my pics above...), then went with the priming sugar for the bottles. Would hate to not know and then get bottle bombs.

If the concern is not getting enough flavor from the juice, thus trying to eek out more by using at the last possible minute (as a priming sugar)... Don't worry. Plenty of flavor from the juice even if it ferments out in 2ndary.

Not enough flavor/too much water in watermelon juice = urban myth!!!
 

Issius

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Thanks for replying. I've decided to use some of my left over wheat DME as a priming sugar rather than add more watermelon juice, mainly for the reason you gave. There doesn't seem to be any real understanding of the amount of fermentable sugars in watermelon juice and I'd rather not have my bottles explode.
 

Issius

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I'm guessing you're asking the poster, but I got the juice by pureeing the watermelon in a blender and then straining through a cloth. You can squeeze out a lot of juice that way, just avoid getting too much pulp, its a pain in the ass because it'll just be more mess in your primary and it doesn't contain as much flavor.

My beer is about a week old in bottles (used DME for priming sugar, if it means anything) and it tastes sweet in the middle and finishes with an almost cucumber taste. Very smooth. I think its going to turn out really nice, though I don't really get any watermelon right now so maybe I did something wrong?
 

cercueil

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Me being still somewhat new to conversions - is there any way that we could convert this recipe for those of us who only do extract?

Thanks!

3.75 lbs liquid pilsner extract or 3 lbs dry pilsner extract
3 lbs liquid wheat extract or 2.4 lbs dry wheat extract

If you know the liquid is fresh I would go with that but if not I would use dry malt. There are no specialty grains to steep so this recipe is nice and easy. The rest of the process remains the same.
 

k1200rsvt

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I am just starting all grain so I am a little new on the mashing process...Do you have notes on what temperature you mashed at? And how long you mashed? Thanks. :mug:
 

CaptKiRkLeS

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Dubbel, how much watermelon did you need to get the 4 cups?
I am brewing this saturday and transfer to secondary the next week so I just need a ballpark on how many melons i need.
 
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DubbelDach

DubbelDach

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One meduim-ish one? Was probably about basketball size... That actually gave me 6 cups, so volleyball size for 4 cups?

I brewed v.4 of mine this past weekend... It's rockin' away in primary. This time I went with 5 lbs pils, 5 lbs wheat, and .5 Mt. Hood. I left out the honey. Going to go with 4-6 cups of whatever I get out of my wife's food processor. Not sure I'm up for mashing and straining by hand again!

No real need on my part to change it up, but will experiment until I dial a perfect one in.
 

CaptKiRkLeS

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Thanks. I'm doing a extract w/specialty grain version.

And what about sanitation...any precautions I should take prepping/fermenting the watermelon?
 
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DubbelDach

DubbelDach

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Thanks. I'm doing a extract w/specialty grain version.

And what about sanitation...any precautions I should take prepping/fermenting the watermelon?

I washed the outside of the watermelon before I cut it with sanitized knife. I also sanitized the cutting board and such. But I didn't pasteurize the fruit or anything. There's alcohol in the beer at that point, so RDWHAHB.
 

RandalG

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Racked this to secondary tonight.This pics about 10 minutes after I racked so as you can see it took off within minutes. I just noticed your pic says 6 cups ( not to mention a few posts above ) but the recipe says 4. I wish I read the thread first as mine doesn't seem as pink as yours. I did 5 but it only took 1/2 a basketball size ripe melon so I could have done 6 no problem. Hope the taste comes through.
DD,
Have you done both amounts? If so which do you prefer? It's probably a matter of preference I guess but I love watermelon.I did 5 lbs pils, 5 lbs wheat, and 1 hallertau.

IMG_4929.jpg
 
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DubbelDach

DubbelDach

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I actually did 6.... But wished I did 4. What will I do for this batch? No clue.... I just kind of go with my gut when it comes time to add stuff. No right or wrong answer.

Part of why I was thinking to go with only 4 cups was the issue of head retention. My 6 cup batch was carbonated, but no head. I figured that 4 cups might be better. This current batch however, will be force carbed on draught. So.... Might I do the 6 cups again? Maybe? Game time decision.

Side note, I have read that there are enzymes and such in pineapple that affect head retention... Anyone officially know if there is such a thing in watermelon? Because that's the only thing that bugged me about the last batch.
 

RandalG

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Thanks for the input. I'll let you know how mine turns out. This morning there was pink krausen bubbling out of the top of the airlock. I never would have thought I needed a blow off on a secondary. Although I wish I would have on the primary as the same thing happened. Next time for sure.

Side note, I have read that there are enzymes and such in pineapple that affect head retention... Anyone officially know if there is such a thing in watermelon? Because that's the only thing that bugged me about the last batch.

This happened to me on the last blueberry blonde I did. Most of the batch was carbed with no head. I thought it was from not having my priming sugar mixed well enough but now I'm wondering if this is why because it bugged me too.
 
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DubbelDach

DubbelDach

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OK, just added melon to Watermelon Wheat v.4.

Due to time constraints and needing my 6 gallon fermenter on Saturday, I racked the beer to 2ndary then and now, on Tuesday night, added the watermelon juice. Here are some pics to illustrate how I obtained and added the juice:

This was about a basketball sized melon:

SDC16484.jpg


I cut it in half and went to town with an ice cream scoop. Real nice for scooping and scraping.

SDC16483.jpg


One half of a melon filled a stainless bowl that I had. I did sanitize the bowl, pitchers, and all utensils with Starsan (you'll see the foam in pics)

SDC16485.jpg
 
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DubbelDach

DubbelDach

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Then I went to town with a potato masher. Didn't get everything real fine, just released the juice.

SDC16487.jpg


Side note: Seedless watermelon is not seedless!

SDC16488.jpg


Then, I added a little bit at a time to a fine strainer and used the masher to squeeze the love out of it.

SDC16490.jpg
 
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DubbelDach

DubbelDach

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Did this and got a little less than 6 cups from half the melon. Started on the second half to get me 6 cups (yes, after all that talk about 4 cups... I did 6 again. Game time decision!

SDC16492.jpg


Here's my wheat beer, already in 2ndary in front. A light summer ale (based on a cream ale) is behind it.

SDC16493.jpg


Used a funnel to pour in my 6 cups and BOOM: Pink beer!

SDC16495.jpg
 
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DubbelDach

DubbelDach

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And now the fun part... I had leftover juice in another pitcher. Usually, my daughter (15 months) and I split a freeze pop at night... I decided to make a different treat tonight. Ice, strawberries, watermelon juice, and some sugar in a Magic Bullet. PS: Magic Bullets are the tits!!! Easy to clean and use... Just everything the infomercial says and worth the money! Also made a popsicle for tomorrow night!

SDC16497.jpg


My wife and her hitting the smoothie on the new deck:

SDC16498.jpg


Luckily she just started using spoons last week!

SDC16501.jpg


Annnnnnnnnnd the watermelon juice was fermenting within 2 hours:

SDC16502.jpg
 

homebrewer_99

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Looks good. I have to try this one soon. ;)

As for the person who wanted an extract version, just use 6 lbs of wheat DME versus grain.

Wheat DME is about 50% wheat and 50% barley. ;)


I think I would place the watermelon in a grain sack to crush and go from there...
 

ColoradoXJ13

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Like this post a lot, I am inspired now. Going to take 5 gallons of the wheat I made a couple weeks ago and rack to a keg, add 4-6 cups watermelon juice along with a few sprigs of mint leaves chopped in a hop bag and quickly sterilized in a bit of water. I did just the mint last year and it was really nice, I think a watermelon/mint wheat would be excellent. I'll let the watermelon ferment out in the keg (and carb the beer) and just purge or carb further if necessary.
 
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DubbelDach

DubbelDach

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Colorado, that sounds fantastic... Watermelon usually needs a little something to go with it (thus the strawberries in the smoothie), and a touch of mint sounds pretty good!

24 hours and my watermelon juice is still fermenting like crazy...
 

beerbque74

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Fantastic recipe! I am still relatively new to brewing, and was wondering if there would be an issue with using a clear alcohol to sterilize the watermelon juice, to make it like more of an extract? I know I saw that the alcohol in the beer should be good, I just want to make sure I keep it clean :)
 
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DubbelDach

DubbelDach

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Fantastic recipe! I am still relatively new to brewing, and was wondering if there would be an issue with using a clear alcohol to sterilize the watermelon juice, to make it like more of an extract? I know I saw that the alcohol in the beer should be good, I just want to make sure I keep it clean :)

I just really wouldn't.... This is my 2nd time using real juice and it's more than fine. And the beer is only about 5% abv. Just make sure you wash that melon's outside really well so that your knife cut doesn't track any crap inside and you should be fine. Sterilize anything that will touch the fruit.

But the juice is fine... We don't get infected by eating watermelon, right? ;)
 
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DubbelDach

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Also, I mentioned I changed up the recipe a bit before... Here is exactly what I did this time:

Watermelon Wheat v.4

Notice a bit of watermelon extract at kegging... If I was going straight extract, no juice, I would have used the whole 4 oz bottle... I used an eyed-up ounce.

This is my best batch of this ever. :ban::rockin::ban:
 

beerbque74

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I just really wouldn't.... This is my 2nd time using real juice and it's more than fine. And the beer is only about 5% abv. Just make sure you wash that melon's outside really well so that your knife cut doesn't track any crap inside and you should be fine. Sterilize anything that will touch the fruit.

But the juice is fine... We don't get infected by eating watermelon, right? ;)

Thanks for the advice, I am definitely going to be trying this one out for a summer beer.

Watermelon is good for us...especially with alcohol :mug:
 
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DubbelDach

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Of all the beers I've made, this one is a pet project for me... I love the idea of watermelon in a wheat beer, and I'm secure enough in my masculinity to be an avid proponent of fruit beers. It's my summertimes mission to craft the perfect watermelon wheat.
 
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