Bloody Brambles Weizen

Here’s an example of a fruit beer, to accompany my article on brewing with fruits. The base is a German wheat beer, and it is flavored with raspberries and blackberries. I’ve included the basic extract recipe, which utilizes a small partial mash to enhance the aroma of the beer. I also give options for all-grain and a stovetop BIAB version.

 

blackberry

Blackberry. (Photo courtesy USDA.)

Bloody Brambles Berry Weizen

by Chris Colby

Extract (partial mash); English units

 

DESCRIPTION

A blood red wheat beer. The banana aroma (spiced with some clove) from the wheat beer yeast and berry aroma from the fruit blend nicely and you can taste both the fruit and the beer in this brew.

INGREDIENTS (for 5 gallons)

 

Water

for “steeping” the grains (really a small mash)

2.8 qts. distilled water with 1/4 tsp. gypsum

remainder of the water

carbon-filtered tap water

Malts (for an OG of 1.047 at 70% efficiency and 5 SRM; OG would be 1.049 with sugars from fruit figured in)

1 lb. 6 oz. red wheat malt

10 oz. Pilsner malt

4.0 lb. dried wheat malt extract

2.25 lbs. raspberries

12 oz. blackberries

Hops (for 20 IBUs)

Hallertau hops (20 IBUs)

1.4 oz. (at 4% alpha acids), boiled for 60 mins

Yeast (for an FG of 1.012 and 4.8% ABV, when fruit sugars are taken into account)

Wyeast 3068 (Weihenstephan Wheat) or White Labs WLP300 (Hefeweizen) yeast

(2.0-qt. yeast starter)

Other
10.5 oz. corn sugar (for priming to 3.5 volumes CO2)

 

PROCEDURE
Make yeast starter 2–3 days ahead of time. In a 4–6 qt. pot (not your brewpot), heat 2.8 qts. of distilled water to 163 °F. Stir in 1/4 tsp gypsum. Place crushed grains in a bag and “steep” in this brewing liquor for 60 minutes. (This is really a small mash, so follow volume of temperature recommendations as closely as is feasible.) The initial temperature should settle in around 152 °F. If the temperature drops below 150 °F, apply heat in 60–90 second bursts until the temperature returns to 152 °F. Wait at least 90 seconds before measuring the temperature and applying the next burst of heat. (This will keep you from overshooting the mark.) Swirl grain bag every 8 minutes or so. While grains are steeping (mashing), heat  3.0 gallons of water in your brewpot. Aim to reach a boil by the time the steeping is over. In a separate small pot, heat 1.4 qts. of water to 170 °F. When the steep (mash) is done, place a colander over your brewpot and lift the grain bag into it. Pour “grain tea” (wort) through the grains to filter it. Rinse grains with 170 °F water. Stir in roughly 2 lbs. of the dried malt extract and bring to a boil. You should have at least 3.5 gallons of wort. Add hops and boil for 60 minutes. If boil volume dips below 3 gallons, top up to that level with boiling water. Dissolve remaining malt extract in wort and stir in for final 5 minutes of the boil. Chill wort to 66 °F and transfer to fermenter. Top up with cool water to 5.0 gallons , aerate and pitch yeast sediment from starter. Ferment at 66 °F. When fermentation slows greatly (but optimally before it stops), rinse the fruit with water and place in a sanitized bucket fermenter. Use a (sanitized) potato masher, or similar implement, to mash up fruit. Rack beer onto fruit and let beer contact the fruit for about 10 days. By this time, the fermentation should be completely done. Bottle in heavy bottles, such as 500 mL hefe-weizen bottles. (You’ll need about 40.) Siphon the beer into the dissolved sugar in your bottling bucket and stir well enough to even out the distribution of sugar. However, don’t stir so hard as to splash or otherwise aerate the beer. Keep the bottles somewhere warm (optimally between 70 °F and 75 °F) for a couple weeks while carbonation develops. Move to cold storage when a test bottle indicates the beer is fermented. As an option, you can add a teaspoon of dried lager yeast to your bottling bucket to help with bottle conditioning.

 

All-Grain Option
Brew an all-grain hefeweizen, then follow the above instructions for adding berries. Adjust pitching rate and fermentation temperature to moderate the intensity of the wheat beer aroma somewhat. Consider brewing 10 gallons (38 L) and kegging 5 gallons (19 L) of regular hefe-weizen and 5 gallons (19 L) of fruit beer.

 

Stovetop BIAB Option 

Your grain bill will be 2.5 lbs. (1.1 kg) of Pilsner malt, 5.5 lbs. (2.5 kg) of wheat malt and 0.50 lb. (230 g) of dried wheat malt extract. The assumed extract efficiency for this BIAB option is 65%. Place the crushed grains in a paint strainer bag or other suitable bag for BIAB brewing. You will have 8.0 lbs. (3.6 kg) of grains total. Heat 3.0 gallons (11 L) of water to 163 °F (73 °C) in a brewpot that is at least 5.0 gallons (19 L) in volume. Slowly submerge grain bag into brewpot. Poke around with a large brewing spoon to break up any grain clumps and mash at 152 °F (67 °C) for 60 minutes. Swirl grain bag and poke around with spoon every 10 minutes or so. Add heat if needed to keep mash temperature within 4 °F (2 °C) of target. After mash, slowly lift out grain bag and let it drip into brewpot. The grains will have absorbed about a gallon (3.8 L) of water and will weigh about 16 lbs. (7 kg) altogether. You will need heat-resistant gloves to lift the bag. Place bag in another large pot or any (clean) container that will hold roughly 3.0 gallons (11 L). Pour 2.0 gallons (7.6 L) of 170 °F (77 °C) water on grain bag, swirl bag, poke around with the spoon, and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove bag, let drip mostly dry and then pour liquid into brewpot. At this point, you should have close to 4.0 gallons (15 L) of wort. Stir in malt extract and bring to a boil. Follow the remaining instructions from the extract version to finish.

800px-Ripe,_ripening,_and_green_blackberries

Blackberries in their bramble. (Photo courtesy Wikipedia.)

Bloody Brambles Berry Weizen

by Chris Colby

Extract (partial mash); metric units

 

INGREDIENTS (for 19 L)

 

Water

for “steeping” the grains (really a small mash)

2.6 L distilled water with 1/4 tsp. gypsum

remainder of the water

carbon-filtered tap water

Malts (for an OG of 1.047 at 70% efficiency and 5 SRM; OG would be 1.049 with sugars from fruit figured in)

620 g red wheat malt

280 g Pilsner malt

1.8 kg dried wheat malt extract

1.0 kg raspberries

340 g blackberries

Hops (for 20 IBUs)

Hallertau hops (20 IBUs)

39 g (at 4% alpha acids), boiled for 60 mins

Yeast (for an FG of 1.012 and 4.8% ABV, when fruit sugars are taken into account)

Wyeast 3068 (Weihenstephan Wheat) or White Labs WLP300 (Hefeweizen) yeast

(2-L yeast starter)

Other
300 g corn sugar (for priming to 3.5 volumes CO2)

 

PROCEDURE
Make yeast starter 2–3 days ahead of time. In a 4–6 L pot (not your brewpot), heat 2.6 L of distilled water to 73 °C. Stir in 1/4 tsp gypsum. Place crushed grains in a bag and “steep” in this brewing liquor for 60 minutes. (This is really a small mash, so follow volume of temperature recommendations as closely as is feasible.) The initial temperature should settle in around 67 °C. If the temperature drops below 66 °C, apply heat in 60–90 second bursts until the temperature returns to 67 °C. Wait at least 90 seconds before measuring the temperature and applying the next burst of heat. (This will keep you from overshooting the mark.) Swirl grain bag every 8 minutes or so. While grains are steeping (mashing), heat 11 L of water in your brewpot. Aim to reach a boil by the time the steeping is over. In a separate small pot, heat 1.3 L of water to 77 °C. When the steep (mash) is done, place a colander over your brewpot and lift the grain bag into it. Pour “grain tea” (wort) through the grains to filter it. Rinse grains with 77 °C water. Stir in roughly 0.9 L of the dried malt extract and bring to a boil. You should have at least 13 L of wort. Add hops and boil for 60 minutes. If boil volume dips below 11 L, top up to that level with boiling water. Dissolve remaining malt extract in wort and stir in for final 5 minutes of the boil. Chill wort to 19 °C and transfer to fermenter. Top up with cool water to 19 L, aerate and pitch yeast sediment from starter. Ferment at 19 °C. When fermentation slows greatly (but optimally before it stops), rinse the fruit with water and place in a sanitized bucket fermenter. Use a (sanitized) potato masher, or similar implement, to mash up fruit. Rack beer onto fruit and let beer contact the fruit for about 10 days. By this time, the fermentation should be completely done. Bottle in heavy bottles, such as 500 mL hefe-weizen bottles. (You’ll need about 40.) Siphon the beer into the dissolved sugar in your bottling bucket and stir well enough to even out the distribution of sugar. However, don’t stir so hard as to splash or otherwise aerate the beer. Keep the bottles somewhere warm (optimally between 21 °C and 24 °C) for a couple weeks while carbonation develops. Move to cold storage when a test bottle indicates the beer is fermented. As an option, you can add a teaspoon of dried lager yeast to your bottling bucket to help with bottle conditioning.

Comments

  1. Jym Ferrier says:

    I’ve gotta try this as a first attempt at BIAB (all grain brewer) on my stove. I tossed blackberries on a berliner weisse recently but I suspect this will be very similar with way less time involved.

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