Monday’s Brew: Strawberry Summer Ale

This brew day happened on August 10th. Yeah, I’m a slacker.

I know August is an odd time of year to brew a summer ale, but honestly, it’s finally starting to feel like summer around here and I felt compelled to honor the warm weather. For those not in the northeast US, the weather throughout July can be summed up as follows: rain with intermittent thunder, lightning and wind, chance of sun 10%.

Earlier this year I discovered a delicious Strawberry lager by Abita and wanted to try my hand at brewing a strawberry beer of my own. Since I don’t have lagering capability (yet) I had to go with an ale recipe. I thought about using a wheat beer base, but then changed my mind at the last minute to a summer ale. Good thing, because that same day my brew buddy Angelos also brewed a strawberry beer using a wheat beer base.

The ingredient list:

  • 8 oz. oats
  • 1 lb. Carapils malt
  • 1 lb. Vienna malt
  • 12 oz. Wheat malt
  • 8 oz. Lager malt
  • 3 lbs. Golden dry malt extract
  • 3/4 oz. Hallertau hops (4.8% A)
  • 1 oz. Tettnang hops (4% A)
  • 3 lbs. whole frozen strawberries, pureed
  • 1 lb. sliced frozen strawberries in sugar
  • Windsor dry brewer’s yeast

The process:

Steep oats, Carapils, Vienna, Wheat, and Lager in about 2 gallons of water at 160 degrees for 20 minutes. Strain grain bags, move “tea” to boil pot, add water to 3-4 gallons. Bring to boil, add dry malt extract and Hallertau hops, bring to boil, set timer for 50 minutes.

Meanwhile… bring all strawberries to 180 degrees and simmer at 180 for 20 minutes to kill off any bacteria that may be hiding in the fruit. Bacteria at those levels are fine to eat, but will multiply in the fermenter into something quite nasty, thus the cooking.

When the 50 minute timer goes off, add the Tettnang hops to the boil and set a timer for 10 minutes. When timer goes off, remove from heat, remove hop bags and transfer to primary fermenter with the cooked strawberries. Add clean water to 5 gallons, chill to 70 degrees, aerate well, pitch yeast and seal the fermenter.

Original gravity was a low 1.044, which should produce about a 4-4.5% ABV beer unless the sugars from the strawberries don’t factor into the gravity. We shall see.

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2 Responses to Monday’s Brew: Strawberry Summer Ale

  1. cwylie0 says:

    it will be interesting to hear how strawberryish this turns out. it takes an awful lot of fruit from what i understand.

  2. darknova306 says:

    Interesting. Should be a nice ‘down like water’ summer beer. 🙂

    I’ve heard lots of different ways of adding fruit to a fermentation. Curious to see how this works for you, as I’d like to try adding cherries to my mocha porter sometime.

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