Spring has sprung and we're enjoying the warmer afternoons and the extra daylight here in Vancouver Canada. So why not brew a beer to remind us of summer and to get us in the mood.
Strawberries in beer is a challenging process, strawberries like watermelon, are mostly made up of water and ensuring as much strawberry flavour as possible gets into the beer can be daunting. I did some research like I do for most of my recipes and I found some good information even if it was 10 years old, I think it's still applicable now.
The recipe is as follows for a 15 gallon batch using the Brau Supply UniBrau Pro V2.
Water adjustment 15g CaCl2 and 15g CaSO4 with a target pH of 5.2
80% Prairie Malt Pale 2 Row
20% Canada Malting White Wheat Malt
Mashed at 66C for 45 minutes and then the temp was raised for mash out to 78C for 10 minutes. Pre boil OG 1.042
60 minute hop addition using 2oz Hallertau Blanc 10.4% AA
The wort was then whirlpooled for 15 minutes with the lid on to sterilize it.
We used Fermentis S04 yeast, because we had it on hand and I hoped to take advantage of slightly less flocculation.
OG 1.050 fermented at 19C resulted in an FG of 1.010 in 7 days.
The beer was then cold crashed for 24 hours, before adding 1 pound of strawberries per gallon. It would be great to use fresh strawberries, however we choose frozen strawberries that we stewed to defrost them and to break them down at pasteurization temperature for 20 minutes.
After 4 days on the fruit, we filtered the beer with a 400 micron stainless steel filter as it was transferred to corny kegs to be carbonated and then canned 2 days later canned.
Appearance: Despite filtering it to ensure that we removed all of the fruit matter, we wanted to keep the colour as close to pink as we could. No clarification agents were harmed in this brew. So it appears quite opaque and hazy with a pinkish red hue.
Aroma: There is a really nice creamy aroma that is bursting out from the carbonation. A big hit strawberry comes through and there is a hint of white wine character. There is also a noticeable sweetness to it.
Flavour: It has a really nice thick body that is complemented by the strawberries. As you finish your sip there is a hint of tartness as it dries out.
Overall Thoughts: It turned out a lot better than I thought it would and the strawberry is much more prominent than expected. The beer still maintains good balance and is refreshing to consume.