My first raspberry wheat beer is as good as you can hope for a first beer. The raspberries dominate the beer and taste like I might imagine a raspberry Champagne would taste, but without the bubbles. One person who tried it thought the beer was very sweet, but really it was the very strong fruit flavour that tricked you in to thinking it was sweet.
This beer has been very popular with many of my non-beer drinking friends and has totally spoiled the commercially available raspberry beers that use syrop instead of real fruit.
Make the Base Beer
- Mash in at °62 C (°143 F) for 1.5 hours.
- Sparge for 1.25 hours.
- Add hops and boil for 1.5 hours.
- Cool and pitch yeast.
Prepare the Raspberries
- Squish the raspberries to a pulp.
- Freeze the raspberries for at least a day or two.
- Defrost the raspberries for one day.
When primary fermentation is done or almost done:
Combine Raspberries and Base Beer
- Rack the beer to another primary fermenter (you need the headspace when the fruit starts fermenting).
- Add the defrosted fruit.
Fermentation will restart. Leave the fruit on the beer for at least a week or two even after fermentation has stopped to get a strong fruit flavour.
- Rack to secondary.
- Refridgerate to clear the beer.
- Bottle or keg as normal.
- 2.5 kgs (5.5 lbs) 2-Row
- 2.5 kgs (5.5lbs) Wheat Malt
- .23 kgs (.5lbs) Crystal
- 28 g (1oz) Hallertau (boil)
- Wyeast 1056 American Ale
- 1 kg (2.25 lbs) raspberries
OG = 1.038
FG = 1.010
Note: The actual alcohol content is much higher because the sugar from the fruit is not counted in this calculation.
The next time I make this beer I will mash a lot higher to create a less-fermentable wort and use less fruit. I think a sweeter base beer will bring out the raspberry flavour more even with less fruit. It might also let more of the base beer flavour through.