Before Xmas a friend and I decided to brew up some rhubarb-based beers. The concept was fairly simple: brew a batch of wheat ale, then split it into three beers after primary fermentation. Each of the three would have a rhubarb-something mixture added to it for flavour.
The beer recipe was a simple wheat ale:
Pre-Boil Wort Volume: 47.00 l Post-Boil Wort Volume: 40.00 l
Pre-Ferment Batch Volume: 40.00 l
Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.046 SG Expected OG: 1.054 SG
Expected FG: 1.013 SG
Expected ABV: 5.3 % Expected ABW: 4.2 %
Expected IBU (using Tinseth): 23.6 IBU Expected Color: 6.7 SRM
Mash Efficiency: 85.0 %
Boil Duration: 60.0 mins
Fermentation Temperature: 19 degC
Yeast: Alley Kat House Ale Yeast
Ingredient Amount % When
Alley Kat 2-Row Pale 4.30 kg 55.6 % In Mash/Steeped
US White Wheat Malt 3.20 kg 41.4 % In Mash/Steeped
German CaraRed 0.20 kg 2.6 % In Mash/Steeped
UK Black Malt 0.03 kg 0.4 % In Mash/Steeped
The black malt was just to add a slight reddish colour... not that it mattered after adding the rhubarb.
Variety Alpha Amount Form When
US Cascade 6.5 50 g Pelletized Hops All Of Boil
US Cascade 6.5 25 g Pelletized Hops 5 Min From End
So, after fermentation was complete, the following rhubarb solutions were made:
In all cases 2 kg of frozen unsweetened chopped rhubarb was added to a few L of water. (next time only add 1 cup per kg of rhubarb!)
3x28 fl oz of unsweetened apple sauce.
approx 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
approx ½ tsp ground nutmeg
dash of ginger
2 x 341 mL beer cups of dextrose
Brought all to boil then covered and simmered for ~20 min. Put in fridge and cooled to ~55 C. Poured into carboy, racked beer on top, final temp 29 C. Put into fridge for 10 more min. Stirred and added ~125 ml AK yeast slurry.
Gravity of apple solution: 9.3 P
Volue of apple solution: about 8 L
pH of final mixture: 3.4
341 ml Summerland Sweets blueberry syrup
approx 250g frozen wild blueberries
approx 250g frozen saskatoon berries.
Hint of cinnamon
1 x 341 mL beer cup of dextrose
Brought to boil, dumped to carboy, racked beer on top. Final mixture temp 24 C. Added AK ale yeast ~125 ml, stirred.
Gravity of berry solution: 9.2 P
Volume of solution: about 7 L
pH of final mixture: 3.4
28 g dried orange peel
1 tsp ground ginger
About 5 L. No dextrose added. Added to 11 L carboy.
So far, the fermentation completed a long time ago (more than a month, as this was done Dec 22!). We haven't got around to racking the beers off, but they are sitting in a nice temperature controlled room at about 2 degC, so they should be ok.
Lessons learned so far:
-Don't add more that 1 cup of water for the 2 kg of frozen rhubarb, as it contains water as well and makes the beer reallly watery.
-The yeast will ferment the sugars from the rhubarb solutions, and the rhubarb strings will plug up the outlet of your carboy, causing a messy beer explosion...
Anyway, we're going to rack these off tomorrow. Hopefully they taste ok enough. I need to figure out a way to clear up the beer as there is SO much shit in it from the fruits.
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