Author Topic: Hop & Yeast Suggestions for Fruit Beer  (Read 220 times)

Offline Megary

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
Hop & Yeast Suggestions for Fruit Beer
« on: August 20, 2019, 06:09:38 PM »
So I was all set to make a simple American Wheat, but skipping the long sad story, I got roped into incorporating Gooseberries from a friends back yard.  You're not interested in all the reasons why I think this is a bad idea.  Doesn't matter.  The task has been appointed to me despite my repeated protests. :)  Now I don't mind drinking a good fruit beer, mind you, but I'd rather just buy them.  For me, I find the process way more effort than its worth, especially considering I'm only brewing 2.5gal batches.

But my issue isn't so much with the Gooseberries.  There are 101 ways to add fresh fruit to a beer...and every way is either right or wrong if you ask enough people.  This I have settled.  I will unquestionably choose the method that requires the least amount of work on my part.  If in the end the fruit flavor does not come through then, underhandedly, 1) I will blame the inferior growing conditions of the bush and/or the incorrect manner and time-frame in which the berries were harvested and therefore 2) will most likely never be asked to brew this again.   ;)

No...my issue is with the hops and yeast.  I'm convinced that bittering should be kept to a minimum but should the flavor help push the gooseberries forward or get out of the way?  I read a description for Nelson Sauvin that states "Distinctive white wine “fruitiness,” gooseberry."  Seems like a win if it wasn't for that gnawing feeling that this is the complete wrong approach..that really the hops should just play a minor part and for better or worse, this ought to be the gooseberry's beer.  I mean what's the point of adding fruit if you are only going to mask its flavor?

Same for the yeast.  This is not a hefe so no banana, and I'm not looking for a sour, that's for sure.  But I can't decide if I should throw a little fruity esters at this thing or keep it clean? 

So how would you hop and ferment a Gooseberry Wheat?  Push the fruitiness "all in", or fold to the gooseberries?
 


Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 20826
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Hop & Yeast Suggestions for Fruit Beer
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2019, 06:15:13 PM »
I would pick hops and yeast that get out of the way and let the gooseberies do the talking.  I'd go for Magnum, bittering only, and WY1056
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline EnkAMania

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 229
Re: Hop & Yeast Suggestions for Fruit Beer
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2019, 07:24:58 PM »
I've been using Kolsch yeast for my fruit beers (watermelon, strawberry and pineapple) been happy with the results.
Some day we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3289
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: Hop & Yeast Suggestions for Fruit Beer
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2019, 02:15:02 AM »
IMO it would be better for you decide how you want the beer to turn out. It is possible to create some great hop/fruit combinations but that may not be your goal. If you want the fruit to express itself in a clear, unmistakable way then you want to restrain the hops and maybe only do a medium to low bittering charge with a clean hop and a neutral yeast. OTOH you could make a complex beer with an expressive yeast and blend the yeast character, hops and fruit into a complicated mix of flavors.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline wmbolling

  • Administrator
  • Assistant Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 120
    • AHA Homepage
Re: Hop & Yeast Suggestions for Fruit Beer
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2019, 02:01:04 PM »
There might be some info you're looking for in this presentation from Homebrew Con this year:

Brewing With Fruit

Or you can search the archives for other presentations that pertain to the topic: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/seminars/
Matt Bolling
AHA Events & Membership Coordinator
matt@brewersassociation.org

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 20826
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Hop & Yeast Suggestions for Fruit Beer
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2019, 02:34:35 PM »
IMO it would be better for you decide how you want the beer to turn out. It is possible to create some great hop/fruit combinations but that may not be your goal. If you want the fruit to express itself in a clear, unmistakable way then you want to restrain the hops and maybe only do a medium to low bittering charge with a clean hop and a neutral yeast. OTOH you could make a complex beer with an expressive yeast and blend the yeast character, hops and fruit into a complicated mix of flavors.

Excellent advice!  I prefer to start with a picture of the finished beer in my head and work back to how to get there rather than loom t ingredients and work my way up.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline Steve Ruch

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1149
Re: Hop & Yeast Suggestions for Fruit Beer
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2019, 04:59:22 PM »
I would pick hops and yeast that get out of the way and let the gooseberies do the talking.  I'd go for Magnum, bittering only, and WY1056
Me too. I have a WHEAT beer in the line-up to brew next month and plan to add some coconut which is fairly subtle and don't want it overwhelmed by hops or yeast.
Crescent City, CA

I love to go swimmin'
with hairy old women

Offline Megary

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
Re: Hop & Yeast Suggestions for Fruit Beer
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2019, 06:14:18 PM »
Thanks for the replies.

My goal is to make a good American Wheat Beer first, and then hope that the fruit adds a little refreshment and complexity.

Thing is, I really have no idea what I'm going to get from the gooseberries.  Could be really tart...could be moderate flavoring...could be next to nothing.  But if I don't let them do the talking, I'll never know for sure.  So I'll take a lot of notes and keep the hops and yeast in the background this time around.  Next time (if it ever comes to that) I'll have a little better idea. 

There might be some info you're looking for in this presentation from Homebrew Con this year:

Brewing With Fruit

Or you can search the archives for other presentations that pertain to the topic: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/seminars/

Thanks for this.  I gave it a listen and even though the words "hops" or "gooseberry" were never mentioned, the talk was very interesting nonetheless.

Offline Megary

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
Re: Hop & Yeast Suggestions for Fruit Beer
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2019, 04:29:58 PM »
I bottled this Gooseberry Wheat up today.  I ended up using Magnum to about 35 BU. 
Noticeably but not too tart.  Crisp.  Dry at the end.  Clean.  The crispness would play well as a Summer beer, but the tartness gives it a little fall flavor.  I drank the whole hydrometer sample (can't stop doing that).
I probably could have used a little more gooseberries, but this is promising.