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Author Topic: Sweet Blueberry  (Read 1701 times)

Offline zak2428

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Sweet Blueberry
« on: December 31, 2020, 07:50:49 am »
Hey all,

I've been in search of an answer on how to sweeten up my Blueberry Wheat beer. I've tried lactose, both in the boil and at bottling and I really don't think it's making much of a difference. On my 2 gallon batches, I've used 1/2lb in the boil, and 1/4lb at bottling. I feel like I'm getting more of a weird flavor from it than a sweet flavor. For specialty grains, I've been using Biscuit Malt, Carastan, and Metolius.

I bottle my beer, so back sweetening might not be a good idea (unless someone knows the secret to avoid bottle bombs). Would I get a better sweetness from using Stevia or Maltodextrin? Or would adding Blueberry Juice to the wort with a few minutes left leave a sweeter flavor? I use enough blueberries in the secondary to get the blueberry flavor - blueberries are just a bit tart.

Offline BrewBama

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Sweet Blueberry
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2020, 08:00:42 am »
If you're an all-grain brewer, mashing at a higher temperature leaves your wort a little less fermentable, which will leave more residual sweetness.

Since brewer's yeast won't break down lactose very well, adding a little lactose in the boil will make your beer sweeter. ...but you already tried that.

Also, adding specialty grains such as crystal malt will add sweetness.

You could try cold-crashing while there is remaining unfermented sugar. The cold temperatures disable the yeast, and the beer remains sweet.

You could chemically disable the yeast. The correct dose of potassium sorbate and metabisulphite will knock the yeast out.


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« Last Edit: December 31, 2020, 08:02:43 am by BrewBama »

Offline pete b

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Re: Sweet Blueberry
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2020, 08:19:53 am »
I would mess around with mash temp, specialty malts, and possibly a higher gravity rather than using sweeteners or killing fermentation.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Sweet Blueberry
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2020, 08:20:10 am »
I would mess around with mash temp, specialty malts, and possibly a higher gravity rather than using sweeteners or killing fermentation.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Sweet Blueberry
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2020, 08:42:12 am »
If you want actual sweetness in the beer, my suggestion is to make a simple syrup and add some to the glass at serving time. It's going to taste way better than an artificial sweetener, it's going to actually taste sweet, and it won't just ferment dry. You can also adjust to taste that way. Short of a high-gravity barleywine, even a beer that is "sweet" by beer standards isn't actually all that sweet, and isn't likely to give you the "sweet blueberry" character that you're after.

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Offline zak2428

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Re: Sweet Blueberry
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2020, 09:22:02 am »
If you're an all-grain brewer, mashing at a higher temperature leaves your wort a little less fermentable, which will leave more residual sweetness.

Since brewer's yeast won't break down lactose very well, adding a little lactose in the boil will make your beer sweeter. ...but you already tried that.

Also, adding specialty grains such as crystal malt will add sweetness.

You could try cold-crashing while there is remaining unfermented sugar. The cold temperatures disable the yeast, and the beer remains sweet.

You could chemically disable the yeast. The correct dose of potassium sorbate and metabisulphite will knock the yeast out.


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My set up right now is only for partial mash and I do that in the 155-160 range. I'll give Cold Crashing a try on my next batch and when it comes to using chemicals to disable the yeast, I heard it's nearly impossible when bottling since you need to reactivate a small amount of yeast again to get carbonation in the bottles.

Offline zak2428

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Re: Sweet Blueberry
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2020, 09:23:43 am »
I would mess around with mash temp, specialty malts, and possibly a higher gravity rather than using sweeteners or killing fermentation.

I'm going to tweak my malts a bit and try adding in Honey Malt - I was told that this grain can actually help combat tartness from fruit. My OG for this is already 1.060 - Would you suggest going higher? In previous experiments with higher OG's, it's required more yeast to avoid stress flavors and generally produces a very alcoholy beer.

Offline Tummydoc

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Re: Sweet Blueberry
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2020, 09:57:32 am »
If you bottle condition, you won't have sweet beer without bottle bombs. Adding simple syrup at serving really is your best solution. Aiming for higher OG isnt the answer, but mashing a few degrees higher will give more non fermentable sugars and mild malt sweetness. Higher OG will just give higher ABV. Another option to cut down tartness is to decrease the amount of blueberries, or use blueberry extract. I've made nice blueberry ales with extract added at bottling.

I don't like dry ciders, and could only make acceptable cider once i could keg and back sweeten after sorbate and metabisulfite.

Offline denny

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Re: Sweet Blueberry
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2020, 10:11:52 am »
Since it was brought up has anyone experimented with what the difference in fermentability is with differwnt mash temps across differentbrands of malt?   My essperience is that for most malts it takes a large change in temp to make any difference at all in fermentability.  But I keep hearing people talk about adjusting mash temp for fermentability, so I'd be interested in hearing how much t3mp change for how much fermentability and with which malts.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Sweet Blueberry
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2020, 11:04:33 am »
You might try vanilla extract as it will give some perceived sweetness. Also, you may want to actually cut back on the actual blueberries and add blueberry extract (Amoretti makes a decent one) which will give you more blueberry flavor.

I'd definitely consider trying the simple syrup idea it the glass if for no other reason than to see if the sweetness is actually what you are missing or is it something else?

Offline kramerog

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Re: Sweet Blueberry
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2020, 12:59:21 pm »
Would I get a better sweetness from using Stevia or Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin is generally not sweet. Rather than stevia, I would recommend an erythritol-rebaudioside blend - I forget who sells it, but it is available in supermarkets. The blend tastes better than stevia and is "GRAS" (generally recognized as safe).  The rebaudioside is purfied from stevia.  Stevia is not GRAS. Erythritol is not fermentable and is non-nutritive (no calories - the body absorbs it but eventually you pee it out).

Offline zak2428

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Re: Sweet Blueberry
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2021, 05:43:44 pm »
You might try vanilla extract as it will give some perceived sweetness. Also, you may want to actually cut back on the actual blueberries and add blueberry extract (Amoretti makes a decent one) which will give you more blueberry flavor.

I'd definitely consider trying the simple syrup idea it the glass if for no other reason than to see if the sweetness is actually what you are missing or is it something else?

I think you and Tummydoc may be right, I might have to just decrease the blueberries and try adding in an extract. Thank you for providing an extract you've had success with too - I'll look into that.

Offline zak2428

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Re: Sweet Blueberry
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2021, 05:49:39 pm »
Maltodextrin is generally not sweet. Rather than stevia, I would recommend an erythritol-rebaudioside blend - I forget who sells it, but it is available in supermarkets. The blend tastes better than stevia and is "GRAS" (generally recognized as safe).  The rebaudioside is purfied from stevia.  Stevia is not GRAS. Erythritol is not fermentable and is non-nutritive (no calories - the body absorbs it but eventually you pee it out).
[/quote]

Interesting, have you used this in any of your brews? If so, did you just boil with your priming sugar then?

Online HopDen

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Re: Sweet Blueberry
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2021, 05:54:59 pm »
Hey all,

I've been in search of an answer on how to sweeten up my Blueberry Wheat beer. I've tried lactose, both in the boil and at bottling and I really don't think it's making much of a difference. On my 2 gallon batches, I've used 1/2lb in the boil, and 1/4lb at bottling. I feel like I'm getting more of a weird flavor from it than a sweet flavor. For specialty grains, I've been using Biscuit Malt, Carastan, and Metolius.

I bottle my beer, so back sweetening might not be a good idea (unless someone knows the secret to avoid bottle bombs). Would I get a better sweetness from using Stevia or Maltodextrin? Or would adding Blueberry Juice to the wort with a few minutes left leave a sweeter flavor? I use enough blueberries in the secondary to get the blueberry flavor - blueberries are just a bit tart.

I can't recall the product manufacturer but you can purchase wine conditioner which is invert sugar and potassium sorbate.

Offline BrewBama

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Sweet Blueberry
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2021, 07:18:12 pm »
Since it was brought up has anyone experimented with what the difference in fermentability is with differwnt mash temps across differentbrands of malt?   My essperience is that for most malts it takes a large change in temp to make any difference at all in fermentability.  But I keep hearing people talk about adjusting mash temp for fermentability, so I'd be interested in hearing how much t3mp change for how much fermentability and with which malts.
Well, I use Bry-97 in 90% of my beers and get high 70(s) to low 80(s)% AA routinely when I mash at 152*F.

However, I just kegged a Sweet Stout that I mashed at 158*F and only got high 60(s)% AA.

Granted, I used plenty of flaked oats, flaked barley and some lactose in the Stout that is not used in routine beers which certainly could have influenced the outcome.

...but: I do not notice a difference in mouthfeel.

It sounds like a good opportunity to do some side by side experiments for Brülosophy or Experimental Brewing.


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« Last Edit: January 06, 2021, 03:12:34 pm by BrewBama »