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Using Pomegranate

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rkausch:
I'm looking to craft a recipe with pomegranate, and am just beginning my research.  I know the basic flavor of pomegranate juice, and am looking to infuse that into a "summery" (easy drinking) beer.  My initial thought is a wheat, using the tartness of the fruit to complement the flavor of the wheat. 

So, has anyone used pomegranate before, and did it turn out?  I'm thinking of adding about a gallon of pomegranate juice to secondary fermentation, but am open to other ideas (bearing in mind costs and difficulty of "fruit extraction").  Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance!
Rob

enso:
Hey Rob,

I think your idea of a wheat base is a good start.  I am familiar with one brewery that makes a pomegranate wheat.  Saranac, I believe which is F.X. Matt brewing in NY is the brewery.

Personally I have used pomegranate in a Belgian dark strong.  Actually what I used is pomegranate molasses.  I added it a few days into fermentation.  It does not nor did I expect it to, taste just like pomegranate.  It does add a very rich extra dimension though I believe.  Also a bit of tangy flavors.  It is still aging though.

Pomegranate molasses can be gotten at Middle Eastern grocery stores or, you can make it yourself which is what I did.  It is really just a concentrated syrup made from pure pomegranate juice with added sugar (sucrose) and a bit of lemon juice.

I believe using just the juice would be fine in your case for such a light flavored base beer.  However the molasses might be an interesting option to play with as well in a future batch.  I think adding the juice towards the end of initial fermentation would be your best bet allowing the flavors and aromas to not get completely scrubbed.  As to amount I would say at least a quart of juice  a gallon might be too much?  Add it in increments over the course of a few days until it tastes where you want it.  I think a hint of pomegranate would be better than clubbing someone over the head with it!  Heat it to pasteurizing temps if you are at all worried about infections (160F) but do not boil it.  Cool it down and add to the fermenter.

I have also made a melomel with pomegraqnate juice.  I cannot comment on that at all yet though as I have not touched it at all since racking 8 months ago...

rkausch:
Hi Enso-  
   Thanks for the reply.  I delayed my response until now so that I can provide more insight into how the process went.  I went with effectively a clonebrew of the O'Dell's Easy Street wheat, but a little darker than the original.  To that, I went with your advice on the addition of the juice, adding it to secondary fermentation.  We sat down with a measuring cup, put in 10 oz of the beer before racking to secondary, and started adding the pomegranate at about a half ounce at a time, tasting after every addition.  After we hit our desired taste, calculated how much juice we needed, and poured 32 ounces into an empty carboy.  Then racked the beer (5 gallons worth) into secondary on top of the juice, capped it.

I've pasted the recipe here, for anyone else who's curious (and will happily provide the beer smith file if anyone wants it).

10 gallon all grain recipe:

Hops Used
AmountItemType% or IBU1.40 ozCascade [5.50 %] (60 min)Hops14.1 IBU1.00 ozTettnang [4.50 %] (2 min) Hops0.7 IBU1.00 ozSaaz [4.00 %] (2 min)Hops0.6 IBU

Grains Used
AmountItemType% or IBU9.00 lbPilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM)Grain48.99 %9.00 lbWheat Malt, German Red (1.5 SRM)Grain48.99 %0.25 lbCaramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM)Grain1.36 %0.12 lbBlack (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM)Grain0.65 %

Other Ingredients Used
AmountItemType% or IBU64 ozKnudsen's Just Pomegranate (http://www.rwknudsenfamily.com/products/just_juice/just_pomegranate)Othern/a
Yeast Used

AmountItemType% or IBU1 Pkgs(starter to 1.5 liters)German Ale/Kolsch (White Labs #WLP029)Yeast-Ale    

I can't give a report on final taste just yet, but will update after I keg it!

Rob

nicneufeld:
Sounds good...I have a bottle of pomegranate molasses in my kitchen but I'm saving it for kebabs.  I like the idea of a pomegranate wheat!

capozzoli:
Great flavor and great idea,

I had Georgian pomegranate wine once, it was very nice. 

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