Author Topic: Brewing with raisins  (Read 1035 times)

Offline cfleisher

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Brewing with raisins
« on: November 04, 2015, 04:13:32 AM »
I'd like to add raisins to a dubbel I'm brewing. What's the best amount/technique?
Primary: Grapefruit IPA
Secondary: Berliner Weisse

Offline ultravista

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Re: Brewing with raisins
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2015, 01:55:50 PM »
I made a Judgement Day clone and flamed the raisins in a cast iron skillet until they smoked. Not burnt, but caramelized. There was so much going on in that batch that I can't tell you if caramelizing the raisins before pureeing had any noticeable impact.

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Re: Brewing with raisins
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2015, 03:15:03 PM »
There is a good chance you could mimic the flavors your searching for with Belgian specialty malts.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Brewing with raisins
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2015, 03:33:08 PM »
Raisins can get overpowering in a hurry so either brew a trusted recipe where the raisin volume is known or start small and add after fermentation until you are happy.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Brewing with raisins
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2015, 05:50:52 PM »
I've not used raisins before, but I've used dates.  I know that if not crushed, the raisins will simply swell up into grapes again but probably not do a whole lot for your beer.  I would put them through a food processor to chop, then soak in either a few ounces of vodka or cook them in a bit of wort to sanitize before adding them to the beer.

Alternatively, just use Special B malt, and get all the raisin flavors you could ever want without using actual raisins.  :)
Dave

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Brewing with raisins
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2015, 06:43:49 PM »
I used raisins in a Tomme Arthur dubbed recipe but I didn't realize that I should purée it and add it to the fermenter....so I had to stir like crazy for the last ten minutes of the boil, after I added the raisins to the late boil.  But it all turned out fine and the dubbel was later bottled and waxed for long term storage.  It has held up well!

But if doing it all over again, I would add the raisins to a small pot with a bit of water in it and bring it to a boil and purée after, then add to the fermenter at high krausen or a touch later. 

As noted by the others, Special B can get you very close taste wise, too, though slightly different in flavor.
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Offline cfleisher

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Re: Brewing with raisins
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2015, 12:50:31 AM »
Sounds like too much risk/work for the modest raisin level I'm looking to achieve. I think I'm gonna go with Special B malt.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Brewing with raisins
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2015, 01:05:11 AM »
Woo-hoo!  Special B is the easy and effective way to go.  I would call it "the secret ingredient" for dubbels, except that it's not a secret at all... "everybody's doing it, man!"  :)
Dave

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RPIScotty

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Re: Brewing with raisins
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2015, 01:24:46 AM »

Woo-hoo!  Special B is the easy and effective way to go.  I would call it "the secret ingredient" for dubbels, except that it's not a secret at all... "everybody's doing it, man!"  :)

You, Denny and a few others here swayed me back to Special B. I've got a parti-gyle BDSA/Dubbel batch I'm planning and there will be some aromatic, CaraMunich and Special B in there for sure.


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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Brewing with raisins
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2015, 01:39:37 AM »
Woo-hoo!  Special B is the easy and effective way to go.  I would call it "the secret ingredient" for dubbels, except that it's not a secret at all... "everybody's doing it, man!"  :)

Special B rocks for dubbel and BDSA !  Works well in Arrogant Bastard clones too FWIW.
Jon H.