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Hello and a question

First off I just wanted introduce myself and say hello. I am new to this forum and new to all-grain brewing. I just brewed my second all grain batch yesterday ( Oatmeal Stout ) and I have never enjoyed doing something so much in a long time. So along with my enthusiasm and inexperience I will have some questions that might be no brainers. Like , I was thinking of makeing a light , crisp , IPA with a zesty hop finish and also I wanted to have a slight fruit ( apple ) taste in the middle. Is it a good idea to put some cubed fruit in with the mash? Or should I put in the boil or dry hop it or even do it at all. Also what is a good dry " zesty" hop. Thanks

I wonder if it would be a better idea to put some apple juice concentrate into the last few minutes of the boil. It’s really high in sugar but IPAs are commonly done with a “table sugar” addition. If you find an IPA recipe with a table sugar addition, substitute the table sugar for apple juice concentrate. Be sure to get one with no preservatives.

You may need to be more specific by what “zesty” means to you.

Acetaldehyde (apple flavor) is considered a flaw in beer. You might start with a hard cider, and then try blending it with beer.

Zesty hops, maybe a nice citrusy Centennial, Citra or Sorachi Ace. You’ll get fruity flavors this way, no apple required.

For an apple ale I’d go with a floral hop like Kent Goldings, or something berry like Polish Marynka or Whitbread Goldings.

If you want apple, go for apple. Adding it to the mash or boil will only add some gravity. The apple flavor will ferment out. If you want to add apple flavor, add some cut up apples to the secondary. So after fermentation is done, cut up some apples and toss them in a secondary container. Rack your fermented beer on top. Let it sit for about a week then keg or bottle. Note that fermentation will kick up again for a day or two once you rack the beer over the fruit. And I’d go light on the fruit for your first batch. Then adjust up or down on the next batch to your own tastes. Also look at hops. There are hops that can add an apple flavor… I believe Calypso hops.

I wouldn’t put any fruit in the boil of a beer I didn’t want to be hazy as boiling will set the fruit’s pectin.

I made an apple ale recently this way. I made a pale ale and a hard cider and just blended them to taste in the keg. It turned out well.

Otherwise I would go with this method. This is how I usually add any fruit to a beer. I haven’t used apples this way but most fruits I freeze and then thaw (to help break down cell walls), then puree and add to the secondary to age.

Oh and welcome to the forum.

Thank you all for the help. I am usually not particular to fruity beers however with the spring coming up I would love to have a " lighter " IPA with a SLIGHTLY apple/berry center and a “zesty” ( dry, floral, piney ) hop finish. I will get to drawing up a recipe and I will let you guys know how it comes out and would love your insight on it. Thanks again for your help. I will post recipe in a day or two.

ok here is what I was thinking.
5 gallon batch. Mashing at 149 degress , sparge at 170.

                   9 lbs : 2-row
                   2 lbs : Briess Crystal 20L                                
                   1 lb  : Flaked Barley                                     
                   1/4 lb : Cara Amber
                   1/2 lb : Biscuit
                   1/2 lb : Cara Pills 

                   1oz : Chinook ( 60 mins )
                   1/2oz : Simcoe ( 40 mins )
                   1/2oz : Simcoe ( 20 mins )
                   1oz :  Citra  ( 5 mins )
                   3oz : Whole Citra ( Dry hop after 3 days in primary )

                    White Labs 001 California Ale yeast
                    1/2 lb cut up ripe fresh strawberries ( in secondary )

You’ve got a decent IPA recipe there. 16% crystal, that’ll make the beer sweet but I think thats OK for a strawberry ale. Just the ounce of Chinook will give you 40+ IBU and its an assertive bitterness, I think thats going to run all over the strawberry flavor/aroma. Add the Simcoe and I think you might as well not add the fruit.

If you want a strawberry ale I’d use 1/4oz of Chinook at 60, maybe 1/4oz of Simcoe at 15 and go for more of a cream ale base for your fruit.

You might also consider a shandy type of beer, that seems to better fit the bill for what you’re describing.

Many fruit-beer recipes I see call for 1/2 - 1 lb per gallon. It doesn’t sound like you want a strong fruit flavor, but 1/2 lb. of fruit in a 5 gallon batch is a very small addition. Considering the hop profile in your recipe, I’d be surprised if the strawberry were noticeable at all.

Would Amarillo be a good base/bittering hop at 60 mins?

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