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Fruit Flavor for Wheat Beer

I’m going to make half of an American Wheat fruit flavored for the wife and some guests. Does anybody have recommendations on a favorite fruit extract to go with?

timely topic for me…

I am about 1 day away from bottling the NB american wheat and for 1/2 the batch I am adding blueberry extract from NB. I am only doing 1/2 since I have no idea how good it will be and/or if I want 46 + Blueberry beers.

I didn’t add any actual blue berries etc during fermentation, will be curious if this adds much if any flavor. I am, based on the bottle, going with I think 2 OZ for 1/2 the 5 gallon batch, but also wondering if that will even be enough.

thoughts for me and maybe dustin - should I just add the whole 4 oz?

DON’T add the full 4 oz for 1/2 the batch! Every time I have added extract, I have been very careful and still added too much. There are several brands of extract and they have different potency, but you really should pull some small samples of beer and start by adding a drop or two and tasting. Rinse palate and repeat until you get what you want. BUT, it is not that simple because the beer tastes different flat than fully carbonated and I found that carbonation brings out more flavor.

awesome, thanks. glad I asked.

I may or may not try the add / taste / adjust. My fear (right or wrong) is I try to ‘touch’ the beer as little as possible when I am bottling etc. if I am adding, stirring a bit, taking a sample, adding some more, stirring etc not sure I want to be doing too much of that. again maybe I am just being goofy. I might just stick with the 2 oz (or maybe a tad less) and see how it works.

my wife LOVES american wheat beer - one of the only ones she will drink, so I think i will be brewing more batches and doing this 1/2 batch thing each time - I might try adjusting each time a bit that way. of course if I bottle say 24 beers without the extract, what is left will vary each time between batches as well so won’t be an exact process anyway

I agree with 560sdl. Use half as much of the fruit extract as recommended and you should be okay.

Personally I don’t use the extracts anymore, and I strongly encourage anyone wanting to try a fruit beer to use real fruit puree. If you want to go this route, add it near the end of fermentation. A good amount is about 2 pounds per gallon. You will indeed lose a TON of volume due to the fruit sediment, so for a 5-gallon batch maybe you’ll only get 3 or 4 gallons out at the end. But it is so worth it for the most authentic flavor. I want to try a strawberry beer, maybe this summer, using the real fruit. Yum.

[quote=“dmtaylo2”]I agree with 560sdl. Use half as much of the fruit extract as recommended and you should be okay.

Personally I don’t use the extracts anymore, and I strongly encourage anyone wanting to try a fruit beer to use real fruit puree. If you want to go this route, add it near the end of fermentation. A good amount is about 2 pounds per gallon. You will indeed lose a TON of volume due to the fruit sediment, so for a 5-gallon batch maybe you’ll only get 3 or 4 gallons out at the end. But it is so worth it for the most authentic flavor. I want to try a strawberry beer, maybe this summer, using the real fruit. Yum.[/quote]

yep, I will try that route sometime I am sure. I had already brewed the wheat and actually am at about 2 1/2 weeks in the primary - time for me to get this thing bottled. my brother and law mentioed just last week he thought a blueberry beery would be good, so I thought I would do a quick extract add to 1/2 the batch and see how it turns out. I just stopped by a local brew shop and picked up the extract. may not be the best solution but will be fun to get a case or so to try.

[quote=“fullhousebrew”]
I may or may not try the add / taste / adjust. My fear (right or wrong) is I try to ‘touch’ the beer as little as possible when I am bottling etc. if I am adding, stirring a bit, taking a sample, adding some more, stirring etc not sure I want to be doing too much of that. again maybe I am just being goofy. I might just stick with the 2 oz (or maybe a tad less) and see how it works. [/quote]

Don’t make it that complicated. Pull about 8 oz out of your fermentor or bottling bucket and split it into 4 glasses with 2 oz each. Put a drop or two into the first one, stir and taste. Keep adding more to each one till it tastes like you want. Then with a little simple math you can figure a way to scale up the amount per 2 ounces so that it matches your 2.5 gallon batch size.

You are only touching your beer once to do this

[quote=“560sdl”][quote=“fullhousebrew”]
I may or may not try the add / taste / adjust. My fear (right or wrong) is I try to ‘touch’ the beer as little as possible when I am bottling etc. if I am adding, stirring a bit, taking a sample, adding some more, stirring etc not sure I want to be doing too much of that. again maybe I am just being goofy. I might just stick with the 2 oz (or maybe a tad less) and see how it works. [/quote]

Don’t make it that complicated. Pull about 8 oz out of your fermentor or bottling bucket and split it into 4 glasses with 2 oz each. Put a drop or two into the first one, stir and taste. Keep adding more to each one till it tastes like you want. Then with a little simple math you can figure a way to scale up the amount per 2 ounces so that it matches your 2.5 gallon batch size.

You are only touching your beer once to do this[/quote]

maybe I will give it a shot (no pun intended… ). Of course I could see me doing a bunch of taste tests, and my wife coming down to find me half lit with 30 dixie cups tossed about and only 11 bottles of beer left filled :smiley:

seriously that is a good idea, I might try it. one comment thought is since I am filling the first 24 or so bottles first, I am not sure I will have exactly 2.5 Gal left. I could always siphon from fermentor just 2.5 gal, do the extract, clean bottling bucket then do the rest and go the other way.

regardless the main point is not to use it all, which I definately will not do now.

Just did an American peach wheat beer. Two weeks primary, then racked beer on top of 8 lbs of peaches (5.5 gallon batch). Two more weeks ten added 2 oz of peach extract to the keg before racking beer. It is quite refreshing and delicious, although there is a bitter presence provided by the peaches in the finish. Maybe it will mellow over time?

4lbs of Kiwi. Added at the end of fermentation. Either in the primary, or a secondary if you are saving the yeast.

I have not been a fan of beers made with the flavor extracts. Seem to have a medicinal taste to them.

I’d disagree with the medicinal qualities; if used in small amounts its fine. Always use less than intended, and you can always add more if desired. It could be specific extracts, as I’ve only experimented with peach and apricot. Always used real fruit too though.

I brewed a blueberry blonde for my son-in-law a few years ago. I used actual blueberries and just a touch of extract at bottling to round out the flavor. I’ve never been happy using just extracts in a “fruit” beer.
The last fruit beer I brewed was a coconut honey American hefe that turned out pretty good.

awesome, thanks. glad I asked.

I may or may not try the add / taste / adjust. My fear (right or wrong) is I try to ‘touch’ the beer as little as possible when I am bottling etc. if I am adding, stirring a bit, taking a sample, adding some more, stirring etc not sure I want to be doing too much of that. again maybe I am just being goofy. I might just stick with the 2 oz (or maybe a tad less) and see how it works.

my wife LOVES american wheat beer - one of the only ones she will drink, so I think i will be brewing more batches and doing this 1/2 batch thing each time - I might try adjusting each time a bit that way. of course if I bottle say 24 beers without the extract, what is left will vary each time between batches as well so won’t be an exact process anyway[/quote]
I love the American Wheat in the summer. I’ve done one each of the last two springs, and this year I’m going do do two back to back while flavoring half of one of them. Nothing more refreshing after doing some yard work or getting home from some golf or softball.

go with real fruit extracts are nasty. Blend and taste to your liking and then do the math for how ever much you want bottle or keg.

I went with the strawberry natural extract. I’ll let you know how it goes.

[quote=“Nighthawk”]4lbs of Kiwi. Added at the end of fermentation. Either in the primary, or a secondary if you are saving the yeast.

I have not been a fan of beers made with the flavor extracts. Seem to have a medicinal taste to them.[/quote]

Kiwifruit is not something I have ever considered for beer, but it sounds like it would be killer in a wheat beer. Have you tried it? How did it turn out?

[quote=“erockrph”][quote=“Nighthawk”]4lbs of Kiwi. Added at the end of fermentation. Either in the primary, or a secondary if you are saving the yeast.

I have not been a fan of beers made with the flavor extracts. Seem to have a medicinal taste to them.[/quote]

Kiwifruit is not something I have ever considered for beer, but it sounds like it would be killer in a wheat beer. Have you tried it? How did it turn out?[/quote]

Yes I have made it a couple of times.

The “Ex” picked up a BYO magazine that had the recipe. I was going to brew a wheat soon. So I just subbed the fruit into my recipe. Turned out great. Many ladies like it.

I’ve made it by cubing the fruit and puree. I preferred the puree route.

But it can be an expensive beer. Kiwi isn’t the least expensive fruit out there. :wink: If you have access to a Sam’s or Costco, that will usually be the best place for the lowest price. Unless you can find some “aged” fruit at the market.

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