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Raspberry Beer - Counteracting Tart Flavours

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Luxo_Aussie

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G'day All,

I've been trying to create some fruit beers and noted that even a few months after bottling there is still a tart flavour from my first attempt with 1kg of raspberries in a 23L batch (purchased frozen, thawed, added to secondary). The flavour is a little mild as well so wanted to up the amount to 2kg in the next batch, but this would inevitably increase the tartness as well.

It seems the best way to counteract the tartness would be to make it sweeter & found the below strategies for adding sweetness :
1) Having a fair amount of Cara malts as part of the recipe (15-20% of CaraPils / CaraHell)
2) Higher mash temperatures -> 68-70 degrees
3) Low BU:GU ratio (IBU's ~12 against a OG of 1055)
4) Use a lower attenuating yeast - I'm using wyeast 3638 (Bav Wheat) for this batch, 70-76%
5) Use Pilsner / Vienna over pale malt.
(I'm not keen on adding lactose or maltodextrin to add sweetness)

Is there anything else I am missing here? Is the best way to counteract the tartness by trying to increase sweetness or is there another path to be taking?

Cheers!
 
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MHB

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Just did a quick Google, says frozen Raspberry's have a pH of 3.2 give or take a point or so. Fully matured beer usually has a pH in the 4.0-4.3 range.
The acidity in Raspberries appears to mainly come from Mallic Acid, it would be possible to adjust the pH up a bit with some Potassium Bicarbonate.
You could even try this with the beer you have, use some BiCarb (in most kitchens - Sodium Bicarbonate), just add a pinch to a glass of beer (will foam), adjust to taste, see it that gets rid if the tartness.
I would use Potassium Bicarbonate for any serious adjustments as it doesn't leave as salty a tasting residue as does Sodium Bicarbonate.
Done exactly this with some Cider that was just too tart, funny as the pH raises the apple flavour and the body of the cider come to the front.
Mark
 

MHB

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Pretty much any acidic fruit, I think it may be Citric Acid in the case of Cherries.
pH plays a big role in how we taste food, next time you are in a supermarket, have a read of the ingredients on some beverages, Acidity Regulator is pretty conspicuous, manufacturers do this to make their products taste appealing.
For beer the sweet spot is that 4.0-4.3pH range.
Mark
 

Luxo_Aussie

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Pretty much any acidic fruit, I think it may be Citric Acid in the case of Cherries.
pH plays a big role in how we taste food, next time you are in a supermarket, have a read of the ingredients on some beverages, Acidity Regulator is pretty conspicuous, manufacturers do this to make their products taste appealing.
For beer the sweet spot is that 4.0-4.3pH range.
Mark
Really appreciate the new direction to explore, thank you very much!

I'll give the sodium bicarbonate a crack on a pre-prepared brew to see the effect. Also keen to grab a few ph test kits from the local HBS and test earlier batches (one with raspberry and two without) to gauge the effect of the fruit on the acidity.
 

ABG

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This thread is exactly what I enjoy reading on AHB! Thanks @Luxo_Aussie for the Q & @MHB for the A.
x2. Makes it nearly as civilised as another forum I know. Shame that @MHB doesn't frequent there as well. The punters and the moderators are much more grown up, as are the conversations.
 

Bellyup

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I made a raspberry wheat beer some time back, it was so dry it could have been a sparkling wine.....it was interesting but not that enjoyable.
 

Luxo_Aussie

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I made a raspberry wheat beer some time back, it was so dry it could have been a sparkling wine.....it was interesting but not that enjoyable.
I'm curious, what was the recipe & quantity of raspberries on for this batch?
 

Bellyup

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Gee it was a while ago.......
Something like :
Grainfather
2.5 kg Pilsener
2.5 wheat
1 kg frozen raspberries
Wheat beer yeast- can't remember if it was Safale or Lallemand
64deg mash for 60 min
30 g of Halleutaur? @ 60 min
Added raspberries at 4 days...... remembered that it didn't effect the gravity or ferment much.

As I said , very dry , more like a sparkling wine than a beer....would have been good with smoked salmon or roast turkey
 

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