Its blackberry season and I love to have blackberry pie, cobbler, and jam. Why not some blackberry beer? I looked around and compiled a couple different recipes to come up with this Blackberry Wheat Ale. I have high hopes for it, and I’m excited to try something new with adding fruit to beer.
I went picking and collected around 6.5 pounds of blackberries. I then froze these a couple days until I was ready to brew. On my brew day I began heating my steam juicer with the 6.5 pounds of frozen blackberries loaded in it. This steamed for 60 minutes and the juice was collected stored in the fridge until ready to use. I ended up getting about 14 ½ cups of juice from the berries (a little over 3 ½ quarts).
At the same time that I started my juicer going, I heated up 1 gallon of water to 155 F and added the steeping grains for 45 minutes. After the grains finished steeping I rinsed the grains with another 1.5 gallons of water. The wort was then heated to a boil as the liquid malt extract was added and dissolved.
When the boil began the 2 oz of Hallertau hops were added for bittering at 60 minutes. At 30 minutes I added a Whirlfloc tablet, something new for me. It is an enhanced Irish Moss tablet, and is for clarifying the beer, so I thought I would give it a try. At 5 minutes the 0.5 oz of Saaz was added for aroma.
When the hour of boiling was done, I strained the wort as I poured it into my primary bucket. I cooled the wort down with added ice and cold water. When the temperature reached 75 F I added my blackberry juice from the fridge and pitched my Bavarian Wheat Ale yeast into the brew.
8-26-10: Put into primary, OG measured at 1.063 (8.0% potential alcohol).
8-27-10: My first foam over. Read about the blow-off tube I made here. I think I have the fermentation activity under control now, though it was a late night keeping an eye on the beer to make sure it was stable.
8-30-10: A very active fermentation helped get this brew get kick-started. Racked to secondary carboy and attached a normal airlock. SG measured at 1.024.
9-7-10: SG measured at 1.018. Racked to a bottling bucket, and added 6 oz priming sugar to get a carbonation of 3.6 volumes. Bottled into 55 12-ounce bottles and marked the caps with a dot of red paint.