Category Archives: Fruit

Tropical Pale Ale

The Story

Tropical FruitOliver Enns is a lucky boy. He lives in the basement of our ‘brewery’. Given his prized position in the dungeon, he occasionally gets to offer his input into beers. For this beverage, his input was a “fruit salad beer”, with pineapple, grapefruit, orange, and lime. Such a  beer would be perfect for summer if it could be pulled off. Or it could be a fantastic fruity disaster.

So it was up to AJ and Robert to figure out a beer that would adequately compliment the fruit. It was settled it should be a wheat beer, with a neutral yeast to let the fruit flavour come through. Also, there should be some honey malt to add sweetness (as all the fruit we added was fairly acidic). Finally, we wanted a American Pale Ale hoppy citrus taste of Centennial. In all fairness, this beer is a total shot in the dark, because as far as we could tell, this many types of fruit in a beer is unprecedented (our research is remarkably un-thorough). Maybe it will just be an alcoholic Booster Juice. That’s cool too.

The Tasting

Appearance: Golden and slightly cloudy. Very strong and long lasting head despite all the acidic fruit in the beer.
Aroma: Faint pineapple aroma, with a strong, acidic citrus smell as well.
Taste: Quite bitter up front (it is 40 IBUs with really no ‘malt backbone’), but the flavours of pineapple come through right after. Very tart. The bitterness lingers throughout. No specific citrus fruit can be identified; it’s just tart and lemony. Maybe a little bit soapy tasting, but that might be because I associate citrus with lemony fresh soap and laundry detergent. Fairly refreshing beer though.
Overall: This is a rather strange beer. The pineapple isn’t really that noticeable (though it is definitely there). The citrus is strong, but because there are so many different citrus fruit flavours (lime, grapefruit, orange), nothing is really remarkable. It is refreshing, but it is kind of a muddled mess of fruit. We probably should have predicted that, since we added 4 different fruits.

Tropical Pale Ale

The Process

Specifics: 23 litre batch, 67% extraction efficiency, ABV 4.7%, O.G. 1.048, IBU 40, single infusion mash: 45 minutes at 68 Celsius.

Grain Bill
We wanted a fairly typical wheat beer grain bill, with mainly pale malt and wheat malt. However, we added a couple extra grains to make the beer a little more interesting. Not that we needed to do that.

Oliver Doing His Thing(Oliver’s functionality in the brewhouse is sometimes quite limited)

Gambrinus Pale Malt: 5 lb
Gambrinus Wheat Malt: 5 lb
Rye Malt: 1 lb (We thought the spicy qualities of rye malt would nicely compliment the citrus fruit)
Flake Oats: 8 oz
(Oats add a silky smooth mouth feel to the beer. We wanted that. But to be honest, we just wanted to have 4 different grains in the beer: barley, wheat, rye, and oats. We have 4 different fruit, why not four different grains)
Gambrinus Honey Malt: 8 oz (We wanted to add some sweetness because we were concerned that most of the sweetness of the fruit would ferment out, leaving just the acidic qualities of the fruit)

Pineapple and citrus peelsHop and Fruit Schedule

We selected Centennial hops because of their citrus aroma and flavour which we hoped will blend well with the grapefruit, lime and orange. As to why we selected these fruit to add to the beer? Well, that’s what Oliver wanted. Who are we to argue?

60 Minutes: 1 oz Centennial (We wanted the beer to be fairly bitter, as this is supposed to be a summer thirst quencher)
10 Minutes: 0.75 oz Centennial and 1 pineapple cut into 1/2 cubes (This hop addition to to add the grapefruit flavour. We hoped boiling the pineapple for 10 minutes would get some of the flavour out of the pineapple)
5 Minutes: Peel of 2 Oranges, 2 Limes and 1 Grapefruit (This is how long we normally boil orange peel for witbiers, so we figured this would be a good amount of time)

Pineapple, citrus and hops(All the left over hops, pineapple, lime peel, orange peel, and grapefruit peel)

Pineapple Floating in Beer

We just used rinsed Nottingham yeast. Nottingham yeast ferments very clean, and allows hops and fruit to come through clearly without any esters.
Primary Fermentation: 7 days at 18 Celsius
Added 1 pureed pineapple when racking beer to the secondary.
Secondary Fermentation: 14 days at 18 Celsius
Added 1 pound of unpasteurized honey for carbonation


(Blood) Orange Hefeweizen

The Story

OrangesFor Christmas, AJ’s cousin bought him the book Extreme Brewing, by Sam Calagione, the owner of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. It provided interesting information about using spices, fruit, and other unconventional ingredients in beer, but most of the book is targeted towards to extract brewers, so we didn’t pay much attention to the recipes. However, when summer rolled around, two recipes stuck out to us that we simply had to brew: Blood Orange Hefeweizen and Kiwit.

Our recipes are not carbon copies of what is in the book. We needed to changed the recipe to account for our all-grain brewing. Also, we did not have hop varieties required by the recipe, so we used varieties we had in our freezer. Finally, we increased the amount of fruit and lowered the alcohol level to allow fruit flavours to come through more. Our local organic grocery did not have blood oranges, so we used naval oranges. (Though AJ did cut himself grating the peel of the naval oranges).


The Tasting

Orange HefeweizenAppearance: Cloudy and light, as a hefeweizen should be.
Aroma: A noticeable citrusy smell. Plus a little bit of spicy aroma from the Saaz hops, but very minor.
Taste: A slight orange taste, that is tart and refreshing. There is no real aftertaste, adding to its refreshing quality. There is only a slight hop bitterness. The body is rich and sticky, similar to most other wheat beers.
Overall: This beer turned out very well. The orange comes through quite nicely, but doesn’t dominate the beer. It is light and refreshing, and perfect for summer. If we remade the beer, we would not change anything. It is most certainly the best hefeweizen we’ve ever made. In fact, it’s one of the best beers we’ve made. Perhaps this beer will be made again over the summer, because it is bound to run out fast.

The Process

Specifics: 23 litre batch, 71% extraction efficiency, ABV 4.7%, O.G. 1.048, IBU 14, single infusion mash: 90 minutes at 69 Celsius.

Grain Bill

Original Grain Bill

Our Grain Bill

Light liquid wheat extract (55% wheat malt and 45% barley malt): 6.6 lb
Gambrinus Wheat Malt: 6 lb
Gambrinus Pale Malt: 5 lb

Our grain bill is 54.5% wheat malt, and 45.5% barley malt. Very similar to the contents of the extract in the original recipe.

Hop and Fruit Schedule

Original Boil Schedule

Our Boil Schedule

60 minutes: 0.5 oz Hallertau hop pellets
20 minutes: 0.5 oz Saaz hop pellets
10 minutes: 0.5 oz Hallertau hop pellets
60 minutes: 0.25 oz Ultra whole leaf
20 minutes: 0.5 oz Saaz whole leaf
10 minutes: 0.5 oz Ultra whole leaf

Fairly similar, aside from using Ultra instead of Hallertau (we also used less because our Ultra is 9% while Tettnanger is normally around 4%).

We used 6 navel oranges (the recipe called for 4 blood oranges) in the beer. All the oranges were peeled and cut in chunks, then added to a pot. Then the peels from half the oranges were grated/zested and added to the pot as well. We then added 2 litres of water and heated it up 72 Celsius and then turned off the heat and let it cool down. Once it was cool, we added contents of the pot (orange flesh, orange peel and the orangey water) directly to the primary fermenter.

Steeping Oranges

(The oranges and orange peels in the pot)

The recipe offers 4 suggestions for yeast: WL300, WL380, Wyeast 3068, or Wyeast 3638. We used WL380 because we already had it in the brewery.

For length of fermentation, the recipe says about 10 days in the primary fermenter then bottle it. As any good homebrewers, we were busy and got sidetracked, and forgot to bottle it at 10 days.

Primary Fermentation: 20 days at 18 Celsius

Rozay Raspberry Hefeweizen

The Story

RozayRaspberry wheat beers are a fantastic summer beer: fruity, sweet, refreshing, pink. AJ, being a man nervous about close associations with traditionally feminine colours, was not comfortable making a pink beer. But there had been endless requests from friends to make a raspberry beer.

To overcome his fear of emasculation, AJ looked for inspiration from Rick Ro$$.  Normally, AJ only looks to Mr. Ro$$ when it comes to driving Maybachs and dramatizing life, but this was an exception. Look at that picture of Rick Ross. It just oozes masculinity: oversize man-glasses, an oversized man-timepeice, oversized man-fingers, face cloaked in man-beard. Yet Rick is a man of balance. Too much man is never good for a photoshoot. So there he is, holding a bottle of rosé, perhaps not the most manly of wines. The feminine bottle in the delicate yin to Ross’s huge yang. If Rick Ross can proudly drink rosé and go by “Rozay”, AJ could certainly make a pink beer.

Most raspberry beers use a very neutral ale yeast, to let the flavour of the raspberries dominate. While that does make a very refreshing beer, it is also somewhat simple. So we wanted to use a hefeweizen yeast. This will add some banana and spicy flavours to the beer, and make it a little more complex.

We assume the final product should be consumed while listening to this.
However, if your favorite rap song is “Changes” by Tupac, then listen to this instead.


Just Ross looking boss.

The Tasting

Raspbeer HefeAppearance: Dark pink (some might say red). Strong head, fairly cloudy, and strong signs of carbonation
Aroma: A tart, raspberry aroma. There is also a slight hint of hay. Don’t know where that came from, but it’s there.
Taste: It strikes right away with a tart raspberry flavour. Most of the sweetness of the fruit fermented away. Then comes an almost smokey taste. It’s difficult to describe. Somewhat like the smell of walking past wooden crates full of fruit (if you have ever had such an experience).  There is also a very complex taste of spices from the hefeweizen yeast. Most notable is the clove taste, but it is also peppery, with a lemon taste as well. The high alcohol content (7%) is well hidden. The body is very heavy.
Overall: This is not your typical sweet raspberry wheat beer that manages to convince a subset of the population they like beer. This beer is heavy, tart, complex and spicy. This is most certainly not how we expected the beer to turn out, but we like it. It is not a thirst quenching beer, but it would be the perfect beer to enjoy on a summer evening while enjoying the orange and red colours of the sky (and listening to Rick Ross).

The Process

Specifics: 23 litre batch, unknown extraction efficiency, ABV 7%, O.G. 1.058, IBU 11, single infusion mash with 120 minutes at 65 Celsius.

Grain Bill
The grain is very simple. But it also huge: 30 pounds. This is because we did a parti-gyle brew with a wheat wine. The mash was also very long (120 minutes) at a low temperature (65C) mainly to help the yeast ferment the wheat wine.

Gambrinus Pale Malt: 15 lb
Gambrinus Wheat Malt: 15 lb

Full Mash Tun

(AJ stirring mash with 30 pounds of grain in it)

Hop Schedule
Fairly simple hop schedule, designed to let the raspberries come through, but provide a little bit of citrus bitterness as well.

60 minutes: 0.25 oz Columbus (Columbus is a bittering hop that keeps it citrus flavour when boiled for 60 minutes. And we wanted that citrus flavour)
5 minutes: 0.25 oz Columbus (We  just wanted a little extra citrus flavour/aroma, so we did a very small 5 minute addition as well)

Washed WL380 yeast. Third generation.
Primary Fermentation: 5 days at 20C
5 pounds of raspberries added to secondary during racking. From what we read, about a pound of fruit per gallon of beer was recommended. The fruit was frozen when it was added to the secondary.
Secondary Fermentation: 20 days

Left image: 2 days of raspberries in the secondary. Right image: 20 days of raspberries in the secondary.
Notice the change in colour of the berries and beer between the two pictures.

Raspbeer at 2 daysRaspbeer at 20 days