Fruit Beer

Surprising though it may seem, beer and fruit do make a good match and their harmonious relationship is nothing new.

While some beer styles invite the imbiber to put fruit slices, juices, or syrups into their beer just prior to drinking. A real fruit beer is one in which the fruit is added long before the beer leaves the brewery.

Fruit beer is not a common style because making it can be a real pain in the mash! To begin with, fresh fruits can not be boiled with the rest of the beer, because boiling can cause the fruit to release pectin, a carbohydrate which yields a gel. If this pectin “sets,” or congeals, it creates a cloudy beer that is difficult to clarify. On the other hand, if the fruit is not heated in some way, there is the risk of contamination from the natural bacteria that reside in or on the fruit. One way to produce fruit beer without the headache is to use fruit extracts instead of the real thing. This is a more sensible and relatively risk free method of making fruit beer. Most craft brewed fruit beers are found on tap rather than in bottles, since they are still somewhat of an anomaly to regular beer consumers.

The Belgians are widely recognized as the masters of brewing fruit beers. The spontaneously fermented lambic beers from the Senne River Valley have macerated fruit sitting in the aging vessels along with the fermenting beer. These beers undergo a long secondary fermentation and are aged a full two years before being bottled – certainly not a viable option for small brewers with limited tankage.

Recipe

  • 2.7kg NFP Superfine Malt
  • 15g US478 Hop Pellets
  • 30g Halletau Hop Pellets
  • 300g Glucose
  • 2.5kg Sweet Cherries
  • 1 x Safale Beer Yeast
  • 1 x Beer Yeast Nutrient
  • 1 x Brewing Salts
  • 1 x Finings

Start S.G Approximately 1044
Final S.G 1006

Simmer Cherries for 30 minutes in 4-5 liters of water for 30 minutes, and strain liquid to remove the solids. To this water add your hops in a stocking and simmer for 15 minutes, leaving the hop stocking in the pot add the malt, beer yeast nutrient & brewing salts. Stir constantly to prevent the malt from burning & simmer for 30 minutes. Place the glucose in the brewing bucket & pour the pot of wort into the brewing bucket. Mix thoroughly and fill up to 22 liters in total. Wait until the temperature of the brew drops below 20 degrees Celsius and take a S.G reading. Add the yeast and leave to ferment. . When final S.G reading is reached boil finings with 150ml water and pour gently over the brew. Leave 48 hours and bottle.


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