Brew Dudes

Homebrewing blog and resource

Thanksgiving Cranberry Wheat Ale

Here is an extract version of a recipe I made a few years back. It was a great beer, a little too tart on the cranberries after it aged a bit. So either cut the berries by one third or be sure to drink it up while it’s fresh. (The latter being preferable to the former).

Here is the recipe reproduced here with a few modifications I had to make for local ingredients. The original version of this appeared in the October 2005 edition of BYO magazine!!! We love that mag.

1.5lbs Muntons wheat dried malt extract
3.3 lbs Coopers Wheat liquid malt extract
2.0 lbs of golden clover honey
3.0 lbs of whole cranberries
2 medium navel oranges (seedless)
2 medium apples (Granny Smith)
1/4 tsp. of yeast nutrients
1/2 tsp. of pectic enzyme (dissolved in a little beer before racking)
5 AAU Williamete hops (30 mins) (1.0 oz pellets/23g of 5% alpha acids)
Safale US-05 dried ale yeast (2 packages, formerly US-56)
1.25 cups corn sugar for priming

Brew this up adding the liquid extract late (20 miutes left in boil). Add yeast nutrients right at the end of boil before your kill the flame. Ferment in primary for 7 days. Blend all the fruit in a food processor to make a rough relish; rinds, peels, seeds and all!!!. Put that in the bottom of a secondary fermentor. Rack the beer on top of it. Save a little 8oz of beer and dissolve the pectic enzyme in it.  After it is dissolved, dump it in the fermentor. I let mine sit in the primary for ten days, seven may be better to avoid over tarting from those berries.

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13 Comments

  1. Ben

    What a great Thanksgiving beer recipe!

  2. Steph

    Is there any chance you can send me the original recipe? I’d like to compare the two and come up with a recipe for the holidays. Thanks!

  3. We’ll have to dig it up, Steph.

  4. ryan

    Is this for a 3 gal batch?

  5. Tim:
    This is for a 5 gallon batch. If you have other questions about it let us know.

  6. ryan

    you say to add clover honey—in the boil or in secondary?

  7. Rich

    Ryan, I haven’t made this beer, but you don’t want to boil honey. You could pasteurize it if you wanted, I just add it to primary.

  8. SJP

    Someone may be able to explain to me why Rich thinks this is wrong, but when I have used honey in extract brewing in the past I have added it to the boil without issue, though usually not for the duration of the boil (i did 30 minutes in a honey hefeweizen). My understanding is the shorter the boil, the more aromatic the honey will be, while a longer boil will yield subtle honey flavors in the beer.

  9. I think the main issue about boiling the honey is the effect it has on the aromatics. I don’t think it is necessary wrong to boil the honey, it’s more about what you want to have in your final product.

  10. Thomas

    I appreciated this recipe, I left my brewing bible at work and needed a recipe for thanksgiving brew.
    Unfortunately my brew supplier didn’t have wheat extracts, so I have done about a 5# wheat mash with 3lbs barely extract to try and stay as close to the recipe. I did overdo the barley extract to compincate for only using a lb of honey. Other than that, I’m following pretty close, hopefully it’s a good batch. Thanks for your post.

  11. Thanks Thomas. Good luck with the brew.

  12. TOM

    IF I WERE TO USE WHOLE LEAF HOPS AS OPPOSED TO PELLETS HOW MWNY oz WOULD I nEED? iVE GOT SOME Willamette ON THE bINE READY FOR PLUCKING! 🙂

  13. Hey TOM,

    Leaf/pellets – same amounts should work

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