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Foothiller

Interest in a Community Recipe Collaboration??

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Collaboration on recipes can be fun, build skills, and come up with ideas that otherwise might not occur to use.  Another site has collaborations that pair interested brewers, which I have really enjoyed and have some great recipes from, but I don't want to steal that idea.  What I want to suggest is that whoever is interested can put our heads together on a community recipe that we would brew and then compare our results -- probably just as descriptions, but folks' imaginations and proximities might allow more.  If this experiment works, this could be repeated from time to time.

I will throw out an idea, "Blueberry Blond", to see if others' suggestions can improve it, or we could go a whole different direction if that's what people want.  There are a couple of challenges here for us.  First is the collaboration.  The second is that the Mexican Cerveza is one HME that some folks have found disappointing, so we can see how good we can make something using it.  When I brewed my Agave Cerveza recipe, after primary fermentation and before adding the agave nectar, I thought from the fraction of an ounce of wort in my refractometer sample that it might be a good base for a fruit beer.  (The Mr Beer web site's recipe section has a couple of these, as it does for other HMEs.)  A third challenge is that blueberries have a subtle flavor in beer that needs to not get lost, but when too much fruit flavor extract is used, the result is not the most pleasant.  so I propose to use blueberries after primary fermentation to maximize the fruit's own flavor, use hops that compliment the flavor, and only add flavor extract at bottling as needed.

I have tried to keep my proposed recipe relatively simple to be approachable for new brewers, but still get beyond the most basic techniques.  My proposed starting point, to which others would add their ideas, is:

Blueberry Blond

Batch: 2.25 gal

Recipe Gravity: 1.055 OG

Recipe Bitterness: 26 IBU

Recipe Color: 4° SRM

Estimated FG: 1.014

Alcohol by Volume: 5.3%

Mr. Beer/Coopers Mexican Cerveza: 1.87 lb

Light DME:  1.0 lb

Oregon Fruit - Blueberries:  2.0 lb

Goldings pellet hops, 4.9% alpha acid:  0.5 oz in 30 minute boil (Aroma and dry hop intensely resiny, candy-like, sweet, slightly floral and spicy) (The Mexican Cerveza HME adds its own hops.)

Irish Moss (optional, for clarity):  0.5 tsp, for last 10 - 15 minutes of boil

Safale US-05 dry ale yeast

Blueberry flavor extract:  Optional.  Determine amount to added to each bottle, at time of bottling

See sanitizing, general brewing, and bottling instructions on Mr. Beer web site.  Make sure to sanitize everything that touches the wort after the hop boil.

Alternative to preparing canned blueberries, prepared as in Mr Beer's instructions for canned fruit:  1 quart of blueberry juice (100% fruit juice, pasteurized, no preservatives or other additives).

Total 9.5 quarts of liquid, assuming 0.5 qt will be lost during hop boil:  4.5 for hop boil, 4 mixed in keg, plus 1 quart of blueberry juice added after primary fermentation.

Brewing instructions:

In advance:  Boil 1 gallon of spring water, and allow to cool (in refrigerator if possible).

1.  Pour 4.5 quarts of spring water into a 2-gallon pot.  Dissolve DME (stir frequently while heating) or mix in LME, while water is heating.  Starting to dissolve the DME as you begin heating the water minimizes the "hot break" foaming.

2.  Place the hops in muslin sacks, and add to the wort when it reaches boiling.  Continue boiling for 30 minutes, then remove from heat, leaving the hop sacks in the wort.  Add the optional 1/2 tsp of Irish Moss (or equivalent amount of Whirlfloc) loose in the wort for the last 10 minutes of the hop boil, for clarity in the finished beer.

3.  Pour the HME into the wort, and stir until thoroughly mixed.  Place the pot in the kitchen sink, and fill the sink with cold water.  You may need to drain the sink and fill with cold water again, a couple of times, to cool the wort.

4.  When the wort has cooled, remove the hop sacks.  Pour the pre-boiled gallon of spring water, then the cooled wort, into the keg.  Use a hydrometer to measure the original gravity, and record in notes for future reference and comparison to final gravity.  Aerate well by stirring briskly using a whisk.

5.  When the wort is about 70 F or less, sprinkle the yeast packet into the keg.  Screw on the lid, one quarter turn less than fully closed.

6.  Put the keg in a location with a consistent temperature between 59° and 72° F and out of direct sunlight.  Empty and hand-wash the muslin bag using a mild unscented soap, for re-use.

7.  After 1 week:  Add the blueberries or blueberry juice, and re-close the keg.  If the blueberries were added before primary fermentation, much of the flavor would be lost.  The fermentation will re-start with the added sugar in the blueberry, so make sure to ferment 2 more weeks before bottling.

8.  After 3 weeks:  Use a hydrometer to measure the final gravity, to compute ABV. From the hydrometer sample, check the blueberry flavor.  If desired, add blueberry flavor extract (available at your LHBS), counting the number of drops added, so you can scale up to the amount to add to each bottle.  I haven't made this version before, so I don't have a specific amount to suggest.  Bottle, and store at room temperature for 4 weeks.

My next brew day will be in 3 weeks, and I probably will brew this even if the collaboration doesn't go anywhere.  But I have no problem changing the plan to whatever the community comes up with.  Then we can compare results.

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I'm in oe concept, not the recipe, because I'm waiting on a blueberry recipe now ( bottled on 3/2 ). I want to see how that comes out before using any more blueberries. My recipe as follows:

Luv Ya Blue

Batch 2.14 gal

OG 1.085

FG 1.021

IBU 12

Color 4?

ABV 8.3%

MB Canadian Blonde 3.64 lb

Brewmax pAle DME 1.0 lb

Oregon fruit Blueberries 2 cans

Zythos pellets @ 6  1oz

Safbrew T-58 

Added 1 can blueberries with wort, 1 can after 10 days.

16 days in fermenter

21 days in bottle ( so far )

Like I said, I'd like the concept, as i havent done a collaboration yet, but let me finish with this one first.

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Everyone -- Please feel to suggest changes of any kind, including scrapping my initial suggestion and doing something else instead. 

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I was telling my Gf this morning that I wanted to do a basic draft kit with some blueberries for a crisp summer beer

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Luv Ya Blue

Batch 2.14 gal

OG 1.085

FG 1.021

IBU 12



Color 4?

ABV 8.3%



MB Canadian Blonde 3.64 lb

Brewmax pAle DME 1.0 lb

Oregon fruit Blueberries 2 cans

Zythos pellets @ 6  1oz

Safbrew T-58 



Added 1 can blueberries with wort, 1 can after 10 days.

16 days in fermenter

21 days in bottle ( so far )


 


Sounds great let us know how it turns out

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Foothiller

     This sounds interesting and could be fun and educational.  I have an Aztec Mexican Cerveza refill that I have been looking for something to do with after reading in the forum that it is not all that as a standard refill.  All my kegs are in the 2nd week of fermemtation and I have a plan to do my first all grain batch so I would probably be lagging behind on this experiment unless I buy another keg. (not completely out of the question).  Guess I will get the hops, blueberries and whatever else I don't have and monitor this conversation.

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I popped a bottle in the frifge yesterday, so I'll post some early indications on Wednesday.

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It's not necessary for everyone to brew the collaboration at the same time.  So Minn-Okie, I hope it does work out for you to join in.  Newf84, I can't be sure if you plan to join or just watch, but the more the merrier.

It seems like it will work best to have agreement on the recipe before collaborators brew their beers.  It's OK, though, to have some minor variations, so Dfwddr, if we stay somewhat close to my initial suggestion, let's consider yours a minor variation, and we can look forward to hearing your results.

Changing the hops and yeast, and using a somewhat similar extract such as Canadian Blond instead of Mexican Cerveza, are among the types of changes in the recipe that are certainly invited, as changes to the recipe or variations.  Suggested changes in hops can result in ideas to combine different hops, such as Goldings' sweet floral and spicy character with Zythos' tropical, citrus, and pine flavors.  For myself, I would need to wait for our temperatures to warm up some more before I could use T-58 yeast.  Canadian Blond and Mexican Cerveza HMEs should both produce good results

Suggestions for changes or variations from my initial suggested recipe are most welcome -- that makes it a collaboration.  I believe my recipe suggestion is workable, but surely it's not perfect.

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Tried one of mine last night, still too new... poor taste, although it seemed like the blueberries were trying to come through. It'll be a few more weeks before this one is ready. Because of the extra malt, I should have cooked the hops a little longer/added more. Also, I'm thinking adding fruit before fermentation is a waste, add 1 can at the 10 to 14 day period, assuming 3 weeks in LBK.  Live, learn, and have a homebrew.....

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dfwddr said:Also, I'm thinking adding fruit before fermentation is a waste, add 1 can at the 10 to 14 day period, assuming 3 weeks in LBK.  Live, learn, and have a homebrew.....

Fruit additions tend to hold more flavor when added when the primary fermentation slows down.  However, from that point you will still need to wait 2-3 weeks and not just the week that remains as the yeast still need to do their business and clean up after themselves.

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Note in the procedures for my initial suggested recipe that I would add the fruit after one week of fermentation (after primary fermentation would be complete) to avoid losing the fruit flavor, and wait two weeks after that before bottling.

Thanks, dfwddr, for noting the similarity to what you're already brewing, and continuing to let us know your results.  I can try to get some Zythos hops to mix with my Goldings, and see whether the temperature here is warm enough in 2 weeks when I will brew mine for T-58 yeast will work well.  Of course I will report on my results, although that will be in a couple of months.

I haven't seen other ideas suggested for variations yet, but another way a collaboration can work is to have a basic idea presented, then people can try their variations when they are able to try them (even much later), and compare reports of the results.  If anyone else tries this approach, please let us know and report on the results.  I'll look forward to whatever exchange of ideas results from trying this.

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Ok, today I brewed Foothiller's Blueberry Blonde. Followed hid directions but steeped a half pound of Carapils and used whirlfloc instead of Irish moss (1/2 tablet). Hit og right on the head. Pitched yeast at 66 degrees. Will puree blueberries and add next Friday. Plan on racking beer over them in another LBK. Will post progress 

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I had a bit of delay but brewed mine last weekend.  I was intrigued by Dfwddr's use of Zythos hops, so I added 1/4 oz of Zythos to my planned 1/2 oz of Goldings hops in a 15 minute hop boil.  The Zythos added enough alpha acids to reduce the length of the hop boil to keep the same bitterness-to-malt balance, with the shorter hop boil.  (I plan to try something like the same recipe later this summer using Saison yeast, like Dfwddr used.)  Since the malt is extract instead of all-grain that would have needed a longer boil, adding the Zythos hops made this a very fast brew:  20 minutes to bring the wort to boiling, then 15 minutes for the hop boil, then the addition of the HME and cooling to the fermentation temperature at 65 F, where I pitched the yeast.  From actual OG=1.051, it reached 73% attenuation after 5 days, when I added the blueberry juice, and a day later it was at 78% attenuation at a specific gravity of 1.011.  The in-progress gravity readings are from my refractometer, calculated to account for the alcohol content, but the refractometer usually turns out pretty close to the hydrometer that is my official original and final readings.  The refractometer is very handy for monitoring like this, since I only need to put one sip into a bowl, which is more than enough to get the few drops that the refractometer needs.  Tasting that sip of wort lets me check the progress of the flavor, which is going well but as expected still has initial yeast byproducts that will the yeast will deal with in the next two weeks before bottling.

As others try variations, please let us know so folks can learn from each other as a collaboration.

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I have my beer cold crashing right now. I will batch prime and bottle prime either Thursday night or Friday morning. I will post a report on early taste after bottling. 

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Popped another one in the fridge last weekend and tried it last night. Not overly happy with it. Needed more bittering hops to balance, and would use a different type if brewing again. I liked the T 58 yeast. No real blueberry flavor, as I said earlier, I would use extract next time. 

As this is a higher gravity beer, I'm going to give more time before I render any final descision. July 4th ???

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ff0ad61f-a2c4-46e5-b1c2-75ea6d30b92e.JPG


I bottled my beer today.  Nice color.  Hydrometer sample had a blueberry flavor to it actually tasted quite nice.  I got a 5.8 ABV with this brew.  I batch primed with corn sugar and bottled in 16 ounce blue flippy bottles.  Had about 13 ounces left over so I bottled that in a clear bottle to show off the color.  Kind of a reddish, purplish color.  See attached photo.  Will taste test around the 1st of June.   

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It's good to see the reports, guys.  I'm still a week away from bottling mine, letting the yeast hopefully complete a clean brew.  Minn-Okie, I love your label.  I have fun putting my labels together, but it's no contest compared to yours. 

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Wonder how do they take the enjoyment, as right now that is my only profit.  That and the feeling when someone says that the beer is pretty good and ask for more.  Good beer or cheap friends, I wonder?

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How do you make the neck labels ? I have a good system for the main label, but no necks. That really makes yours stand out.

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I ordered the labels can't remember the name of the brand.  They have templates on their website for each product.  Only problem, you get access to the templates free for 3 months, then it is like 12 dollars a year.  Oh well, nothing is free. 

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My batch of Blueberry Blond is finally ready for sampling, and has turned out well.  I had ended up using 1/2 ounce of Goldings hops and 1/4 ounce of Zythos hops in the 15-minute hop boil, and used 1 quart of blueberry juice from Whole Foods Market (100% blueberry juice, pasteurized, with no preservatives), added after 5 days of fermentation.  (The full recipe is at the start of this thread, using the Aztec Cerveza HME.)  At bottling time, the blueberry aroma and flavor were subtle, so I added an ounce of Blueberry flavor extract in the sugar syrup that I use for bottling.  (I heat 1.5 cup of water to boiling, dissolve 4 tbsp of table sugar, and add 1 tbsp of the syrup to each bottle before filling with the beer.  This is equivalent to 1/2 tsp of sugar per bottle.  In this case, I also included the flavor extract.)

Both the aroma and flavor are pleasant, and more complex than I anticipated, fruity with grainy support, and medium-low hop aroma and flavor.  It has good clarity, with a bright amber color.  I had previously used 2 quarts of blueberry juice in a similar recipe, which had turned out darker than I had wanted.  That's why I stopped with one quart this time and added a bit of flavor extract when I wanted more fruit flavor in the end.  The head was initially low, as I have heard is common with the Aztec Cerveza, but it persists with a thin residual head and some lacing on the glass.  This will be a nice refreshing beer to enjoy this summer.

If others try variations in the future, it will be interesting to hear your results.

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The door is open for anyone to suggest an idea.  I suggest starting a new thread, labelled as a community collaboration, for ideas that depart from the general theme that someone starts, while staying within the same thread for minor variations.  This one can continue for variations on this theme, for example. 

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I tasted my first bottle last night.  Nice color, like a watered down grape soda.  Poured with a 1/2 inch head that lasted until about half the 12 oz glass was empty.  Aroma was nothing special.  First sip reminded me of fruit cocktail.  Took a full mouthful.  Can't really say that I tasted any blueberry. (I only used the fruit after one week in primary, racked over fruit in secondary for two more weeks).  The taste was ok, I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either.  Had a bit of bitter aftertaste.  If I was to do this again I would probably still use the fruit, but then look at using juice and or extract for more flavor.  Nice experiment and I learned a bit.  My next project will be a chocolate stout. 

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Minn-Okie said:If I was to do this again I would probably still use the fruit, but then look at using juice and or extract for more flavor. 

I tend to use extract for that very reason and helps greatly for batch-to-batch consistency.  Plus no worries about getting fruit bugs infecting the wort.

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