Fruit Beer Brewing Tips

Written by Damon on September 1, 2008

I’ve made quite a few fruit beers since I started brewing. Some of the beers have been unmitigated successes, other beers, well… But even when I was just starting, I didn’t mind playing around.

I’m kind of lucky compared to most brewers because I get fresh, home-grown fruit in season. I can throw in some fruit without worrying too much about wasting the fruit and, now that I’ve set up my new experimental brewing platform, I can add fruit, or anything

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Quest for the Perfect Belgian Blanche

Written by Damon on August 30, 2008

Summer is pretty much over here in Vancouver, it’s been cold and rainy for two weeks now and I’ve sort of lost hope for a return of the sun.

Vancouver Summer | Photo Credit: Simone Hudson

Summer may be over, but I’m just starting to brew my first wheat beer of the season. I was in Belgium earlier this summer and sampled a lot of Belgian Blanche beers (well, actually, I sampled a lot of beer). Since, coming back home I’ve

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My New Experimental Brewing Platform

Written by Damon on August 29, 2008

One thing that I noticed at recent cask nights and the Dix Caskival, was how many of the special cask beers bore a striking resemblance to the micro-brewer’s regular beers except with something funky added.

Now that I’ve figured it out, it seems obvious. They make a big batch of beer. Then they syphon off a little at the end to use with different hops, add fruit to, cask condition, or whatever. And  done.  A large vat of boring, generic beer,

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Winter Chanterelle Belgian Ale Recipe 2008

Written by Damon on August 27, 2008

Earlier this year I made my first two mushroom beers based on Randy Mosher’s Nirvana Chanterelle Ale from Radical Brewing (predictable Amazon affiliate link).

I kept the same grain bill and used the same yeast varying only the hops and the procedure for getting raw mushroom flavour in to the beer for both batches.

Image Credit: Colris

Warning Before Brewing with Mushrooms

All raw mushrooms are poisonous to some extent. You can eat some raw mushrooms without any noticeable effect, while others

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Experimental Brewing for Beginners

Written by Damon on August 22, 2008

I estimate I’ve done about 50 batches of beer and every beer has been an experiment. Some of my beers have been obvious experiments (mushroom beer anyone?). But adding strange ingredients doesn’t help you become a better brewer.

Other experiments have been more subtle: changes to one small element of the process while otherwise using the exact same recipe as a previous beer for example. And these are the experiments that have really helped me become a better brewer.

A couple of

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Red-Currant Beer? Think Again

Written by Damon on August 19, 2008

When you add experimental ingredients to your beer, sometimes you’re going to have some heroic failures.

I made a red-currant wheat beer last summer that I’d call a heroic failure. I added about 2 lbs of red-currants to a wheat beer that I fermented with hefeweisen yeast.

The final product was terrible. Fermenting removed some essential element from the red-currant. I can’t think of anything to accurately compare the comparison that really does it.

Anyway, I wanted to share this so that

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Dix Summer Caskival 5

Written by Damon on August 10, 2008

Dix Summer Caskival is a showcase of cask conditioned (experimental) beers from many of the local microbreweries put on by Dix Brewpub and the local chapter of CAMRA. The event featured a number of experimental beers that the brewers can’t normally make because the beers are either too unconventional or too expensive to sell. There were a few flops, but even the flops were educational for an experimental homebrewer like myself.

My sister and brother-in-law, who are both know how to

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Raspberry Wheat Beer Recipe 2007

Written by Damon on August 10, 2008

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

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