The Great Brewing Adventure

It is no secret that I enjoy beer. Lots of good stuff locally, and when I travel I like to sample what the local microbrews are like. For the last year or so, I have also been contemplating getting into homebrewing. In October last year, I met the local homebrew club and started hanging out with them. A few of them have offered to brew with me to show me the ropes and whatnot, and last month I finally managed to do so.

My friend Kyle had mentioned a Hefeweizen he had done earlier this year, which he had divided up into several flavors (regular, lemon, orange, blackberry). Of those, only the blackberry had been really good, but I loved hefeweizens and he was willing to give it another go, so we began brainstorming. We wanted to try out several flavors again, and we agreed on raspberry (I love raspberries) and blackberry (he loves blackberries), plus a regular one as a control. During a friday drinking session, where the IPA had some pineapple flavors, Kyle also decided we should do a pineapple version as well (more on this in a bit). On the day of, we also decided to try out blueberries.

The Recipe

We added all the wheat extract at the beginning and did a 90 minute boil, rather than a regular 60 minute boil.

After primary fermentation, we split the batch into 5 carboys. We added roughly of berries for all the berry batches. For the pineapple, we skinned and boiled a whole pineapple for ~30 minutes, and then added it to the secondary.

Gravity readings were only taken of the plain hefeweizen. Original gravity was 1.070. Final gravity was 1.014. That puts it at about 7.5% Abv. Original gravity was supposed to be 1.050, which would have put at a much mellower 4.8%

The Results

I am pretty glad with the initial results. The hefeweizen is a little strong, but has that banana flavor I enjoy. Color is a little dark, which is possibly due to the length of the boil and us putting all the extract in at the beginning.

Blueberry is a bit disappointing. Color is there, so is flavor, but the later is somewhat weak.

Blackberry is one of the better blackberry brews I have had. Unfortunately, not the greatest fan. Kyle really enjoys it though, so I traded mine for the..

Raspberry! I enjoy this one quite a bit. Not exactly what I was hoping for (more sweetness, less bitter), but it is a nice balance between the sweetness and the tart flavor. One of the better raspberry wheat beers I have had (the best being from Rogue’s Roost).

The pineapple ended up a bit of a surprise. The initial tasting almost had no pineapple flavoring, unless you really looked for it. After two weeks though, it has mellowed out a bit and the flavor has become clearer. Noticeable in the middle, fades out for a bit, and then returns in the end.