Strawberry Lager Comments Please

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Hi all'

Planning on making a strawberry lager this weekend, could anyone with experience in fruit beers have a gander at my recipe and comment please.

Thank in advance

Strawberry Lager
Brew Type: All Grain Date: 19/08/2004
Style: Fruit Beer Brewer: Andrew Clark
Batch Size: 21.50 L Assistant Brewer:
Boil Volume: 23.57 L Boil Time: 60 min
Equipment: Andrew's Mash Equipment Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.0 %
Taste Rating (50 possible points): 35.0

Ingredients Amount Item Type % or IBU
3.50 kg Pale Ale Malt Maris Otter (5 EBC) Grain 92.1 %
0.30 kg Cara-Pils (4 EBC) Grain 7.9 %
20.00 gm Pride of Ringwood [10.0%] (60 min) Hops 21.9 IBU
30.00 gm Saaz [3.2%] (5 min) Hops 2.1 IBU
2.00 kg Strawberries Fresh (Boil 1.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs Czech Budejovice Lager (White Labs #WLP802) Yeast-Lager

Beer Profile Estimated Original Gravity: 1.039 SG (1.030-1.110 SG) Measured Original Gravity: 1.010 SG
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.009 SG (1.006-1.024 SG) Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Color: 7 EBC (10-99 EBC) Color [Color]
Bitterness: 24.0 IBU (5.0-70.0 IBU) Alpha Acid Units: 1.2 AAU
Estimated Alcohol by Volume: 4.0 % (2.5-12.0 %) Actual Alcohol by Volume: 0.6 %
Actual Calories per 12 oz: 32 cal

Mash Profile Name: My Mash Mash Tun Weight: 3.50 kg
Mash Grain Weight: 3.80 kg Mash PH: 5.4 PH
Grain Temperature: 22.2 C Sparge Temperature: 75.6 C
Sparge Water: 28.38 L Adjust Temp for Equipment: No
I would use pilsner malt instead of marris otter. IMHO the marris otter will dominata and not allow the strawberry to come thru enough.

How are you putting the strawberries in - in the boil or in the fermenter after you blanch them for a min.

i would put them in the kettle - then you can allways add some more strawberry friut to the secondary if need be.

Hope this helps...
Thanks for the reply GMK.
I am using marris otter for the maltiness as I thought that the strawberries might be a bit sharp and acidic and I have seen some recipes for fruit beer with a fair bit of xtal added to conteract this. If I am wrong about this please let me know and I will go pilsner malt.

The 2 kilos of fresh strawberries are going in 1 min from end of boil unless anyone has a better idea or suggestion, I really want the strawberry flavour and aroma to come through.

Andrew, I am no expert on fruit beers as I have only done a Bavarian Weizen with peaches. I did ask lots of questions though. I ended up fermenting the beer out and then racking it onto the peach fruit in secondary, I used 2kgs for 10 litres. I boiled the peach fruit for 5 minutes to get rid of any nasties. I let this sit for 7 days and then racked it off of the fruit. The peaches left a very peachy flavour and aroma but the beer was also dry. I think if you put the strawberries into the primary the yeast may strip away some of the flavours/aromas.
IIRC MAH has brewed a Strawberry Lager so he may be able to help some more.
Good luck.

This is another one of those, "I haven't done it but..." statements:

One of the last couple of BYO magazines interviewed professional brewers who brewed fruit beers. I think that the general statement was to pulp all fruit, but I can't remember when they added it.

I'd check it for you but I've lent them out to Jayse, and I've think they've been passed on to someone else from there.

Any other BYO subscribers??
boots, your a life saver mate.

last issue of byo has fruit beer details, and also july-august 2002 issue as well.
I'm up for some reading

This is another in the "I haven't tried it myself, but", chorus.

Randy Mosher Radical Breewing (2004, Brewers Publications) has a few things to say about using strawberries in beer. Basically he reckons they lose flavour and colour pretty quickly and the best type of beer to brew is relatively light in style, to be drunk young. Suggests use 2 pounds of fruit per gallon or more, and that the best way to incorporate fruit into the beer is to add it into the secondary.

Just another 2c worth, even if it is someone else's.

The lager is in secondary at the moment and has been for about 2 weeks.
Fermentation lasted about 7 days and I was surprised that despite mashing fairly high (68c) the beer fermented to a low 1.010. I was hoping for a higher fg to give a bit of sweetness.

At racking the beer exhibited a fair bit of sour bitterness, more than expected as my IBU calcs were around 17 IBU's. Strawberry aroma is high but not overpowering.

Just tasted again and the bitterness/sourness is still strong and is most prominent on the back of the tongue and throat. This beer could certainly use some sweetness to balance, however I will not pass judgment until it has beeen kegged and gassed.

The look of the beer is a bit disappointing as it is extremely hazy and has not cleared at all in the last 2 weeks at 4c. no red or pink hues at all.

will post more details in a couple of weeks when it should be kegged.

thanks for the interest

The fructose and other simple sugars within fruit tend to make beers quite dry. I've done a peach blonde ale and a plum lager that I won't comment on at all. If I was to try my hand at fruit beers again, I'd use a yeast with low attenuation.

Just read this thread for the first time. Sorry that my comments are too late to help with this batch.

I've made quite a few Strawberry Lagers (but not anymore as I've lost interest in this style) and I always used 100% pils malt because I wanted to let the fruit come through. Like you I aimed for low IBU's, usually around 20, again to let the fruit come through. I never made any late additions because I thought this would mask the strawberries.

I always put the strawberries in the secondary. I washed them, pulped them, whacked them in the fermenter, and left them there for the duration of the lagering. You should have no problems with infections at this stage of fermentation. Any colour will come from this process. By leaving the beer in contact with the skins, you will get a slight pink hue from the pigment of the fruit.

The cloudiness is likely not to clear and is probably from boiling the fruit. Fruit contains pectin which when heated goes gummy. It's one reason you boil fruit to make jam, because the pectin goes gummy and you get a nice thick product. Different fruits have different levels of pectin, hence the need to add extra pectin when making some jams. The boiling process is also likely to drive off some of the more subtle strawberry aromas and affect the flavour.

The biggest problem I found with is style of beer is seperating the fruit from the beer. If you keg it's not as big an isue, but if you bottle it's a real PITA. If you get any seeds etc in the bottle they act as a nuccleation site when you pop the top and you often end up with gushers.

thanks MAH and Kai
I actually added the washed and pulped fruit to the primary fermentor and did not boil them.

It surprised me how low it fermented to because I usually mash my lagers at 64c and when I use this yeast they drop to about 1.010-1.012, so I thought mashing at 68c would give it a lot more body. I wil probably keg and carb high and call it a Chambeer if I can get away with it.

Mark Why did you stop brewing this style, did you have a lot of failures or do you just not like fruit beers???

The novelty wore off. I've been concentrating on recognised styles trying to get better at these. The strawberry lager was for my partner but she now prefers malty ales like a Scottish 70/-.

Plus the other all-grainers I catch up with made me sit in the corner for making such girly brews ;) . It looks a bit whimpy when you bring it out for tasting at the same gathering that Jason has brought his Demon Ale.

andrew -

if u have any fruit in the secondary - run the beer thru a GMK In-Line filter - that should keep the seeds and fruit stuff out...