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Style of the Week: Fruit Beer!

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May 29, 2015 by fhsteinbart


Portland's Fruit Beer Festival, now in it's fifth year, is the only beer fest dedicated entirely to fruit beers.

Portland’s Fruit Beer Festival, now in it’s fifth year, is the only beer fest dedicated entirely to fruit beers.

While mixing fruit with beer is not a new concept, making a dedicated fruit beer is something of an anomaly. In Germany, for example, the only uses of fruit in beer is the famous Berliner Weisse style, where raspberry syrup is used to flavor the beer at the table of the imbiber, or lemonade as in the Radler. Another famous fruit and beer combination is the slice of lemon in either a Krystal Weisse beer as found in Austria, or in American Hefeweissens like Widmer Brothers fine marque. Summer Shandy’s are always popular, as are the Radler beers of Bavaria. Here locally, we have Ruby from McMenamins, which captures the flavor and aromas of fresh local Raspberries in a pleasant wheat beer. Across the pond in Belgium, however, the Lambic styles have used fruit to soften the harsh attributes of the strongly flavored acids. In England, cider was mixed with beer to make the prototypical Shandy. Here today, however, I’m going to give you a recipe based on a very successful beer that incorporates fruit to elevate it to a higher degree of flavor, aroma, and character. Technically, it’s a hybrid fruit and spice beer, but it is still nonetheless delicious, and will keep all your friends wanting more of it. Below is the recipe for my English style IPA made with Mangoes and Curry, to which the army of the Queen, stationed in India would have consumed in great quantities with Chutney, and Spice Island cuisine like Vindaloo.

Extract:

7 lbs. English Light DME

½ lb. Wheat DME

½ lb. Biscuit Malt

¼ lb. Caravienne Malt

¼ lb. Special B Malt

½ Gallon Mango Juice, or 10 lbs. fresh Mango puree

1½ oz. Target hops (bittering)

1½ oz. Fuggles or Willamette hops (flavor)

1½ oz.  Goldings hops (aroma)

5~10 grams yellow curry (to taste) at knockout

Wyeast 1028, WLP013, or Danstar Nottingham Ale yeast

Procedure:

  • Heat ¾ gallons of water to 165°F.
  • Add steeping grains to kettle and steep for 30 minutes.
  • Remove grains, and rinse with 165°F water
  • Turn off heat and add malt extract, stirring until fully dissolved.
  • Return to Heat, bring back to boil.
  • At 60~90 minutes remaining, add the bittering hops.
  • At 20 minutes remaining, add the Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss.
  • At 15 minutes remaining, add the flavor hops.
  • At knockout, add the aroma hops, and the curry then cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or use a wort chiller. Add the mixture to the fermenter, removing the hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using distilled, bottled, or filtered tap water.
  • Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well).
  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 66°~69°F for 7 to 10 days, adding the Mango juice or puree on the fourth day of fermentation.
  • Allow to age an additional two to three weeks before packaging up as usual.

All Grain:

12½ lbs. Maris Otter Malt

1 lb. Wheat Malt

½ lb. Biscuit Malt

¼ lb. Caravienne Malt

¼ lb. Special B Malt

½ Gallon Mango Juice, or 10 lbs. fresh Mango puree

1½ oz. Target hops (bittering)

1½ oz. Fuggles or Willamette hops (flavor)

1½ oz.  Goldings hops (aroma)

5~10 grams yellow curry (to taste) at knockout

Wyeast 1028, WLP013, or Danstar Nottingham Ale yeast

¾ gm. Brewing (Burton) Salts per gallon (~3.75 gms. or 1 level tsp.) in the mash and in the boil.

Procedure:

Infusion mash at 152°F for 1 hour. Sparge to 6.5 gallons of wort, and bring to a roiling boil. Add the bittering hops after ten minutes boiling. Continue boiling for 40 more min. then add Whirlfloc tablet or Irish moss.  At 45 min. add the flavor hops. At knockout, add the aroma hops and curry (to taste), then cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or using a wort chiller. Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well). Pitch yeast and ferment at 66°F to 69°F. Add the Mango juice or puree on the fourth day of fermentation. Gravity may vary depending on system efficiency, so adjust accordingly.

Package up as usual; bottled versions should use 100 gms. corn sugar (approx. ¾ cup), or kegged to 18 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 50°~55°F in a Nonic glass, share, and enjoy! This beer will continue to evolve and change over the coming months, so make enough to last you through your next brew.

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