Author Topic: Strawberry Blonde  (Read 6639 times)

Offline lazydog79

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Strawberry Blonde
« on: July 03, 2012, 08:02:13 AM »
I have been scratching at this Strawberry Blonde ale recipe for a while and was looking for some input.  I'm not usually a fruit beer fan, but a local brewpub makes a good one.  It has just a subtle hint of strawberry - just enough to know it's there but not overpowering.  I was looking to try to replicate it.  Here's what I have come up with so far:

8.2 lbs. Domestic 2-Row
7 oz. Crystal 10L
.4 oz. Galena @ 60 min
White Labs WLP 011 European Ale Yeast
1 lb. frozen strawberries - secondary for five days
OG: 1.051; IBU: 18; est. FG 1.014; est. ABV 4.7%

I am pretty confident in the base beer.  The only switch I made was to go with the European Ale Yeast to compliment/support the fruit better.  What I am unsure of is the fruit.  I wanted to go with the frozen berries because I don't like extract flavors.  Not sure of the amount though.  I don't want it to not come through at all, but I don't want to make fruit juice either.  Thanks in advance for your input!

Offline hoser

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Re: Strawberry Blonde
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2012, 08:15:00 AM »
At the very least you will need 1lb of strawberries/gallon of beer, if not 2/ gallon.  At, the very least 1lb/gallons for a subtle flavor.  You may no be able to pick up 1lb of strawberries in 5 gallons?  Strawberry is a pretty subtle fruit when used in beer.  A club member of ours a few years ago made a strawberry kolsch with fresh ripe pureed strawberries.  It was fantastic, maybe the best fruit beer I have ever tasted.  I believed he used 2lbs of strawberries/gallon, if not more?  Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels is a great resource for fruit beers.

EDIT, fixed my ratio of pounds of fruit/gallons of beer.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 08:39:48 AM by hoser »

Offline lazydog79

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Re: Strawberry Blonde
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2012, 08:18:46 AM »
Thanks, hoser, that's what I was wondering - if I needed to go to 2.  I didn't think 1 would be over-doing it, but was thinking it was under-doing it.  I forgot about Daniels - I'll give that a look.

Offline hoser

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Re: Strawberry Blonde
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2012, 08:38:05 AM »
Sorry lazydog, I wrote it wrong.  It should read 1lb/gallon and 2lb/gallon for a 5 gallon batch.  For a strawberry beer I would use 2lbs/gallon or 10lbs for a 5 gallon batch.  At the minimum 5lbs for 5 gallon batch.  Sorry.  I made the correction above in my original post.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 10:44:18 AM by hoser »

Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Strawberry Blonde
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2012, 10:39:53 AM »
Yes strawberry is super subtle. Does the brewpub claim to use real berries? If they do, and it is very subtle I would use 1 lb per gallon. So 5 lbs minimum for a 5 gallon batch.  Another option to consider may to be to get strawberry extract, which Id actually be willing to bet the pub uses that you like, since strawberries are so subtle of a flavor in beer, it can be very costly to brew a big batch with real strawberries.

Get an eye dropper and put a drop into a sample and scale it up from there. Or 2 drops or whatever you need to get your desired level of flavor.
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline hoser

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Re: Strawberry Blonde
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2012, 10:46:28 AM »
May not be a bad idea to use real strawberries and then to enhance or add back with extract if he doesn't like or wants to enhance the flavor profile?   Personally, I don't like extracts in beers vs. real fruit.  I generally can tell the difference.  Extracts to me tend to be super sweet (almost cloying) and kind of sticky.  But, on the other hand their is less beer loss.

Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Strawberry Blonde
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2012, 11:09:41 AM »
May not be a bad idea to use real strawberries and then to enhance or add back with extract if he doesn't like or wants to enhance the flavor profile?   Personally, I don't like extracts in beers vs. real fruit.  I generally can tell the difference.  Extracts to me tend to be super sweet (almost cloying) and kind of sticky.  But, on the other hand their is less beer loss.

I dont like it either hoser, but worth suggesting! As is your suggestion of doing both :)
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline lazydog79

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Re: Strawberry Blonde
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2012, 11:28:23 AM »
I tend to agree with hoser on the extracts.  The two worst beers I have ever made were with extracts.  No more for me.  NB has a "natural strawberry extract" that I find tempting, but I'm sticking with real fruit.  I'll go with the consensus and do 1 lb/gallon.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Strawberry Blonde
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2012, 11:55:04 AM »
Depending on the strawberry season in your area, you may be able to snap up some super-ripe strawberries from a local farm or farmers market. There is a huge difference in flavor with strawberries once they have gotten nice and ripe, and that will carry through to your beer. If you're using frozen strawberries from the grocery store I would really be afraid that 1 lb/gal won't be enough.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline EHall

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Re: Strawberry Blonde
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2012, 01:40:30 PM »
The extracts you buy at the homebrew shop suck! You need to find a high quality extract, here's an example:
http://www.olivenation.com/Pure-Strawberry-Extract-P350.aspx?gclid=CNrMnNyt_rACFcHb4Aod2TNPDw

I personally think real fruit is better but it can be a pain to work with, especially removal. This is much easier and will give you better control. But if you do go the real fruit route, I agree, you'll need about 1# per gallon.
Phoenix, AZ

Offline lazydog79

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Re: Strawberry Blonde
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2012, 04:11:52 PM »
O.k. - You guys are talking me back into using an extract (as long as it is the right one).  The control and ease has me thinking about it.  NB has one that says "natural extract"; not one of those "flavorings.'  I'm leaning that way...

Offline hoser

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Re: Strawberry Blonde
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2012, 04:31:43 PM »
I would go with EHall's recommendation about Olive Nation.  There is no better extract on the market than those guys.  While the Crosby Baker and ID Carlson stuff ain't bad, Olive Nation blows them out of the water.  Also, it looks like Northern Brewer's strawberry extract is out of stock. :P

Offline erockrph

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Re: Strawberry Blonde
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2012, 07:13:56 PM »
Not to thread hijack, but are the olive nation extracts a similar potency of other brands. I.e., is 2-4oz the general ballpark for a fair amount of fruit flavor in a 5-gallon batch of something light like an American Wheat?

The prices look pretty good, and I wouldn't mind snagging some just to have on hand in case I decide to get creative on a whim.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline EHall

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Re: Strawberry Blonde
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2012, 09:11:06 PM »
seriously, any extract you buy at a homebrew shop is going to be low quality, stay away from them! Olive nation, king arthru flour and a few others have really good extracts... and yes, you prob won't need as much, but taste is subjective...
Phoenix, AZ