I’m brewing my first flavored beer- a Raspberry Wheat at my wife’s request- and I’m curious to hear how and what other people have done, as the instructions are a little vague. The little bottle of flavored extract says to add 1-4 oz at bottling. First of all, that seems like a pretty general number, and since I don’t want an overkill of flavor or not having any at all, what kind of amount is the best for a 5 gallon batch? It also says to add at bottling- do you add it to the bottling bucket as you’re transferring from the fermenter?
From personal experience add it to the bottling bucket after all the beer has been transfered. A couple ounces then taste, it’ll be flat ,but you will get a good flavor profile. If you want it stronger add more, remember it’s what you want.
My wife wanted fruit beer too after making my first ever batch. I bought a bottle of natural strawberry extract (I tried the artificial stuff and it tasted like cough medicine) and added 2ml to the bottom of a pint glass before pour in the bottle. It works well.
I just ordered a few other bottles of natural extract, however this time I am going to add a a bit to each bottle before adding the beer.
The reason they instruct you to add “1-4 oz” is so you can adjust how much flavor is present, from something that is suble to overpowering. Personally, I would recommend going light on the extract, as too much can end up giving a medicine taste.
Something I could recommend is adding a can of raspberry pie filling (make sure there are no preservatives added) into the fermentor, and then add about 2 oz of extract just before bottling. The pie filling will give you a much better flavor than the extract, but the extract will bump up the aroma for you.
I made the Bavarian Hefeweizen kit, and then bought the raspberry flavoring. Added the flavoring along with the priming sugar to the bottling bucket. I used the whole bottle (4 oz?) and the raspberry flavor is there along with the banana/apple/clove from the wheat yeast, very well balanced. If you try really hard I can barely detect an artificial note to it, but that was only in one bottle out of a lot so far.
I made a different batch of raspberry wheat last year and used a whole can of the vintner’s puree ($$$ cha-ching) and it gave a lot of raspberry flavor but it was really thin. For that one I added to secondary, but I wouldn’t do that again. I think I’d add it to the primary carboy but later in the fermentation.
If you are looking for a wheat beer that is fruit flavored and slightly sweetened then as others suggested you could get the coffee syrups and add those at the time you serve them. I’ve been to a couple of brewpubs that did that and it worked great.