I have never been a tremendous fan of wheat beers with fruit, but I do love a great American wheat beer. My wife, however, loves a fruity beer so we agreed that I’d try my hand at making a raspberry wheat. The plan was to make a simple American wheat and then add around 60oz of raspberries once primary fermentation had finished. When picking up the raspberries at the grocery store, on a whim I decided to grab a few pounds of rhubarb as well so I could add raspberries to four gallons and rhubarb to one gallon. Doing that gave me a fun opportunity to see the difference that two kinds of fruit made on the same beer and also gave me a chance to blend two beers together for the first time.
The recipe was pretty simple.
5lb US 2 Row
4 lb White Wheat
0.5oz Hallertauer @60min
0.5oz Magnum @60min
Safale American #US-05
I did a simple infusion mash at 152F and then batch sparged at 162.8F.
Original Gravity was 1.051 and estimated FG was 1.011.
This fermented really quickly and was down to the target gravity after just 6 or 7 days. Once it reached the target FG, I split it off into a four and one gallon batch. Raspberries were added to the four gallon carboy and rhubarb to the one gallon. Considering the intense flavor and acidity of rhubarb, I didn’t expect to need very much for the final blend.
When it came to bottle, did I some quick blending to see how the raspberry and rhubarb went together and was very pleasantly surprised at just how good the blend was. The raspberry-only was great, the rhubarb-only was pretty good, but the raspberry+rhubarb was superb. It was an excellent balance of sweetness and acidity.
I did find, however, that it was exceptionally difficult to siphon off the one gallon from the rhubarb without getting insane amounts of pulp. In the end, I only got a single 12oz bottle of the rhubarb only, 14 12oz bottles of rhubarb+raspberry, and a mixture of about 20 12oz and 22oz bottles of raspberry only.