Raspberry Wheat Beer

rasplusb

I like raspberries, and I like wheat beer. I also like brewing beer, so it was inevitable that the two should someday meet.

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I started with a basic wheat beer kit. I got mine from highgravitybrew.com, but any basic wheat beer recipe should be fine. These pictures were from the first time I made this beer.

Red Raspberries3lbs Frozen Red Raspberries (4 12oz bags). I used frozen because they are much cheaper than fresh and the normal disadvantages of frozen fruit would actually be a plus for our purposes.  When you thaw out frozen raspberries, they pretty much turn to mush and for adding to a carboy that is a good thing.

For this batch, I decided to pasteurize the berries to prevent contamination so I heated them on the stove to 150f for 15 minutes or so. Then strained them into a secondary fermentor and racked the fermented beer on top of the juice.

Raspberry Juice

Let it go in the secondary fermentor for another week or so and you’re ready to bottle or keg.

Raspberry MushThis is what I was left with after straining the raspberries. It too forever to strain the juice out and I never got it all. This seems kind of wasteful and was also a lot of extra work so I decided to do it differently the second time.

This time I took the more relaxed approach. I didn’t pasteurize the raspberries and I didn’t strain them. I sanitized a pan and a funnel, thawed the raspberries in the pan and then used a funnel to pour them straight into the carboy (seeds, skins, and all). You could also just throw them into a secondary fermentor and rack the fermented beer on top of them. I decided to just add them to the primary right after fermentation slowed down and give it a few more days to integrate and settle out. That’s one of the advantages of a wheat beer, it doesn’t really matter if it clears or not.

Using this method, you may get a few skins that make it through, so if that’s a problem, you could deffinatly move to a secondary to let it clear a little more. If you kegging, the skins all come out after the first couple of glasses. They don’t effect the taste at all, but some people may be afraid of “floaties” in your “basement beer”.

So far, I’ve made this beer twice and everyone loves it. It’s a little sweet and easy to drink.

Recipe for 5 gallons

5 lbs Muntons Wheat LME
0.50 lb. 2-Row Pale Malt
0.25 lb. Light Wheat
1.25 lb. Flaked Wheat
.20 oz Magnum pellet hops (bittering)
1 tsp. Irish moss
3lbs of frozen Raspberries
Wyeast 1056 or White Labs WLP001

5 comments to Raspberry Wheat Beer

  • Jack

    Would this be possible using a wheat beer kit? I have tried making it with a kit and adding the raspberries to the primary fermenter. It then fermented for 11 days and now tastes like terrible wine. Any ideas for my next attempt.

  • Brakk

    Yes, I used extract kits for both my batches. Try adding the raspberries to the secondary fermentor so the yeast can finish the beer first. This also lets you control the amount of time the beer is in contact with the raspberries. Leave in the secondary for two or three days, then taste a sample and if you like it, rack it off the berries and bottle (or keg). If there’s not enough raspberry flavor, leave it for another day or two.

    Also, how much did you use? I used about 3 pounds for a 5 gallon batch. You can try varying the amount you add.

    To experiment, you could pick up some small 1 gallon fermentors and split up a single batch after primary fermentation is done and try different amounts and times.

    Good luck.

  • Jack

    I meant kits from a can! I know heresy. But I’m a newbie. I used about 800 grams. I think I will add after the primary ferment next time. I think I added to much sugar as well as the ferment seemed to go on for ages. I’m sure I will try again! After I have brewed some drinkable stuff to tide me over.

  • Brakk

    There is no reason it shouldn’t work with a canned kit. You might try adding raspberries to just part of a batch. After primary fermentation is done, bottle half or 3/4ths and add raspberries to the rest in a secondary.

  • Dan

    I use both raspberries and the raspberries flavoring at time of keging. If it’s getting wineish try a lower alpha hops like Mt. Hood. Also keep in mind the longer it sets in the keg or bottle the better it becomes. NEVER BOIL your raspberries. As far as the “Waist” and corn sugar in it warm up and it to pancakes. Kids love it and its still less sugary than maple syrup

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