"I work like I drink, alone! Or with a monkey watching me." - Krusty the Clown

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Two-Berry American Wheat Beer

I'm making an American wheat beer, using 2 lbs of mulberries picked from the tree in front of our house, and two pounds of frozen blackberries.

It's a simple recipe based off Dan Palmer's description, using wheat liquid malt extract, northern brewer and hallertauer hops, and an American wheat beer yeast.

For some reason the beer was slow to ferment.  I think my basement temp of 67 degrees contributed to that.

After 14 days, even though the gravity dropped from an OG of 1.05 to 1.015, there was still activity in the airlock.

Anxious to get the beer onto fruit, I racked the five gallons of beer onto the four pounds of fruit.  Or at least I tried to.

I primary brewed in my 6.5 gallon carboy, so I had to use a 5 gallon carboy for secondary fermentation.  Big mistake.  I left about 2 quarts of beer in the old carboy.  (As it was all the muddy stuff in the bottom with the yeast, and the beer was still a little active, I decided not to try and bottle it.)

I had broken up the frozen fruit into pieces and got it into the carboy using a big funnel and skewer.  I didn't sterilize the fruit.  I guess I'm experimenting to see if the alcohol in the beer (4.7% so far) and freezing the fruit is enough to kill most of the bad guys.
We'll see.

The 5 gallon carboy was filled to the brim with beer and fruit.  I was stupid and put a regular airlock on it - which overflowed in about 4 hours.  I switched to an overflow tube and so far it's bubbling nicely and the beer seems to be fermenting again.
I have no idea how long this will take. 

I'll do a hydrometer reading in a week, then every few days, and wait to see when it stops.  I'm guessing the alcohol content will rise a bit more.
Next on the horizon - an all grain, dry stout.

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