I reread Mike’s post on brewing fruit beers and I dreamt up this all grain blueberry ale recipe that balances sweet (from the malt), spicy (from the hops), and tart (from the berries) flavors into one beer. You’ll need a secondary fermenter for this recipe.
8 lbs. American 2-row
0.25 lbs. Honey Malt
0.75 lbs. German Vienna Malt
0.50 oz. Perle (Pellets, 8.25 %AA) boiled 60 min.
0.50 oz. Saaz (Pellets, 5.00 %AA) boiled 15 min.
2.5 lbs Oregon Fruit Puree – Blueberry
Yeast: White Labs WLP051 California Ale V
Mash grain at 150 degrees for 1 hour. Boil for 60 minutes and ferment at 68 degrees for 2 weeks. Add fruit puree to secondary fermenter and rack beer on top of it. Let beer condition for 1 week. Prime and bottle or rack to a keg and force carbonate for another 2 weeks of conditioning.
Original Gravity: 1.047
Final Gravity: 1.010
Color: 4.69 °SRM
Bitterness: 21.5 IBU
Alcohol (%volume): 4.8 %
January 17, 2017
I brewed this beer again last summer, 9 years after I formulated the recipe. Today I was asked if I could write up some tasting notes and maybe finally get to posting a photo of the beer. Hey, better late than never.
Thankfully, I had two bottles stashed away so I opened one up to do a proper review.
Appearance: As you can see, you can get away from the blueberry color in the beer. The first impression show a reddish-purple but with some amber highlights. The head is reddish-white with a good bubble structure.
Aroma: The aroma is very fruity, almost wine-like in its bouquet. It’s like a really floral honey. It’s reminiscent of lilacs – a real sweet smelling flower.
Taste: Big fruit right up front – a lot of real Main blueberry flavors. It gives way to some caramel maltiness and then finishes with some pleasant hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel: I am surprised that the mouthfeel is medium since the aroma sets me up for a real thin beer. The malts bring the body and it brings the experience up a level.
Overall Impression: This is a real fruit ale. Your notions of fake blueberry flavors should be abandoned before you take a sip. What you are given instead is a great representation of the berry which is backed up with hops and malt in the aftertaste.