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Style of the Week: Fruit Beer!

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July 28, 2016 by fhsteinbart


mango ipa

Here we see my Mango IPA which turned out well, and was received just as well from all those who tasted it. Try it at least once!

While not a specific style per se, adding fruit to a beer can make for a very refreshing and interesting compliment to your brewing armamentarium. Today I’m going to show you how to make a fruit beer work with what has been described as the most intensely flavored of all beers: IPA. Yes, I said India Pale Ale, and it “can” work as a basis of a fruit beer, you just have to pick a fruit that goes well with the kind of hops you’re using in your beer. I like Mangoes, and it’s the major ingredient in Chutney, the British condiment used in Spice Islands cuisine like Vindaloo (Vindalho for the purists out there), which was paired with the IPA’s being sent out to India. So while historically correct, we have to make this beer also flavor correct, which means a lot of Mangoes to make an impact on this noble style of beer. I generally use two pounds per gallon of fresh Mangoes per gallon of wort turned out, and if using juice (watch out for the label, as most Mango juices are adulterated with other cheaper juice products like apple and white grape) use one quart per gallon of wort. I find this works with most early and late hop additions, just use a clean bittering hop, and tropical fruity hops like Citra and Nelson Sauvin to match the tropical flavor of the Mango. Below is a recipe of mine that will be sure to please anyone’s palate, even those who dislike the style will appreciate this beer!

 

Extract:

  • 10 lbs. Pilsen Light LME
  • 1 lb. Medium British Crystal Malt
  • 2 oz. Magnum Hops (Bittering)
  • 1 oz. Crystal Hops (Flavor)
  • 1 oz. Magnum Hops (Flavor)
  • 2 oz. Citra Hops (Aroma)
  • Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss
  • ¼ oz. Brewing Salts in the boil.
  • 10 lbs. fresh Mangoes minced, or 5 quarts pure Mango juice.
  • Wyeast 1056, WLP001, Imperial Flagship, or Safale US-05 yeast

Instructions:

Heat 2½ gallons of water to 155°F.
Turn off heat and add LME, stirring until fully dissolved, and steep specialty grains for 20~30 minutes.
Add water to volume, return to heat, bring to boil for 10 min.
Add bittering hops.
At 20 minutes remaining in the boil, add the flavor hops.
At 15 minutes remaining in the boil, add a Whirfloc tablet.
At 7 minutes remaining, add the aroma hops.
After boil has finished, turn off heat, then cool wort by placing kettle in an ice bath or use a wort chiller (0 min).
Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using non-distilled bottled water or filtered tap water.
Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well).
Pitch yeast and ferment at 68° F until completed (about a week). Add Mango in the primary about 4~5 days after pitching the yeast. Rack off the fruit when going to secondary for aging and possible dry hopping.  I like to use Nelson Sauvin when I dry hop this beer. Two to four ounces per 5 gallons will usually suffice in this beer!
Allow to age an additional four to six weeks before packaging up as usual.

All Grain:

  • 13 lbs. Pale Ale Malt
  • 1 lb. Medium British Crystal Malt
  • 2 oz. Magnum Hops (Bittering)
  • 1 oz. Crystal Hops (Flavor)
  • 1 oz. Magnum Hops (Flavor)
  • 2 oz. Citra Hops (Aroma)
  • Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss
  • ¼ oz. Brewing Salts in the mash and in the boil.
  • 10 lbs. fresh Mangoes minced, or 5 quarts pure Mango juice.
  • Wyeast 1056, WLP001, Imperial Flagship, or Safale US-05 yeast

Procedure:

Infusion mash at 152°F for 1 hour, using a standard (1.33 qt./lb.) mash. Sparge to 6.5 gallons of wort, and bring to a roiling boil. Add the bittering hops 15 minutes into the boil. At 20 minutes remaining, add the flavor hops. At 15 minutes remaining add the Whirlfloc tablet or Irish moss. At 7 minutes remaining in the boil, add the aroma hops. At 0 minutes (knockout), 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 68°F. Gravity may vary depending on system efficiency, so adjust accordingly, using malt extract if needed. Add the Mango 4~5 days after yeast pitching into the primary fermenter. Rack off the fruit when going to secondary for aging and possible dry hopping. I like to use Nelson Sauvin when I dry hop this beer. Two to four ounces per 5 gallons will usually suffice in this beer!

Package up as usual; bottled versions should use 100 gms. corn sugar (approx. ¾ cup), or kegged to 20 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 45°~50°F in a Nonic glass, or in a dimpled pint mug, so 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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