Strawberry Wheat – Brewing On The Farm

by Karl | Updated: September 5, 2021

Today we are brewing beer outside in Hernan’s farm. Yeah. Campo Chico first brew ever we’re going to do a Strawberry because this year we had a lot of strawberries.

We are, uh, in the middle of the field, 1850 house in the back, should taste good. Let’s do it.

So we are, I’m going to, first of all, get our water ready. I just bought some distilled water from the store. So we’ll, we’ll just be using that. This recipe calls for 4.5, five gallons. You’re going to for a three gallon batch, I brought 4.5 gallons. We should have good. I think we should actually cover it.

Because this is distilled water, we’re going to need to treat it. And I thought some water salts for that as well, but first of all, I’m done. Yeah. Just sticks in my holes in. First of all, we need to get this water in here. Yeah.

It goes faster. Okay. I was just going to do it the old fashioned way and that’s yeah. Oh, look at the time. Yeah. So look, here’s the thing. Now we’ve got water in the kettle. This is an electric brewing system, not using propane.

So how do we heat this water up?

So we have a generator. We’re going to try first time again, all this is first time set up outdoor and middle nowhere. Electric. Why not? 240 volt electric as well. Yeah. So we’re going to do this in style. All right. Let’s crank it up. Let’s give it a try.

We’ve got the generator running now, you can probably hear that. Nice job sound dampening. Nice job with that. So, because we used to distilled water, we need to treat the water a little bit.

So what I’ve got here is some water salts. I’ve got Gypsum calcium chloride, Epsom salt and baking soda. And what I’m going to do is we’re just going to put some water in here to solve this and add into the distilled water.

So this is a wheat beer. We’re just going to use a very simple set of hops and a very simple set of grains with this beer. And really we’re looking at the strawberries as being like the big, the big ingredient. I’m going to use the yeast that’s going to enhance that strawberry taste as well.

So we’re splitting the ingredients here 50 50 with the two ingredients. First one is just German pilsner malt as our base malt and then the other half is wheat malt as well. So that’s, that’s all we’re adding. I did add a couple of rice hulls you might be able to see at the top here, just so we don’t get any sort of stuck sparge.

When this gets up to temperature, let’s throw it in.

We’re going to get this recirculating, maintain mash rest at 152F. And I guess we need to find something to do for an hour. How about grilling? Deal.

So we have about an hour and a half for the mash in, in the meantime, beautiful day. Why not just grill something? I would expect no less Hernan. Beer. We’re making more beer. Grill. That’s it, man.

Hops

So the, the hops for this beer, it’s not a hoppy beer, right? Shouldn’t. So the only thing we’re doing is adding bittering hops at the start of the boil. We’re using like the lowest alpha alcids bittering hops I could find. So these are hersbricker hops. And going in for the duration of the boil.

So hernan, if you could do the honors? Let’s just do it. Oh, fail. There you go. All right, there we go. So yeah. Well let us do this thing. No more hop additions that’s it, just that one bitterning. So that we’re going to get any window foggy or anything. Right.

This house ended up being the oldest house in Lee county ,was built in 1815 and it needs some serious work. Donations accepted.

Strawberries

So we’ve got three pounds of fruits and strawberries. I got three pounds. Yeah. We think we need two pounds of frozen strawberries to put in, in the secondary. So we’re going to put roughly a third of this just into the last couple of minutes in the boil.

Now the, if you do that, you’re going to make a cloudier beer. So in this case we are, uh, we’re brewing a wheat beer. It doesn’t matter. We don’t care. So we thought by the interesting to see what fruit flavors we get in the boil in the last couple of minutes.

It has a little pinkish tone to it now. [How to brew Pink Beer]

Oh, so much nicer when that’s turned off. There’s a reason why this thing comes with a long extension to put it far away from the house. Close the doors.

So in the keg in the keg, come on a hint pink, but the aroma already changed right away. I don’t know. We’ll see. It reminded me of strawberry marmalade. So we’ll see. Um, if hop strawberries are called strawberries. Oh, how that works out.

Well. We’re doing both. So we’re maximizing strawberries, hot side, cold side. We still have. Yes. We still have two pounds of fresh, uh, harvest strawberries. We can do a lot more beer or daiquiris.

All right. Well, I will get this guy home and add it into the fermentor and uh, yeah, maybe it’s time to eat that lunch now? Sounds about right. Good.

That was a fun day out. Thanks Hernan for hosting me at the farm. So I have taken that keg and transferred it into my spike fermentor and the wort came out at about 118 Fahrenheit out of the keg into here.

So I hit it with some glycol and I’ve got it down to my fermentation temperature, which is 70 Fahrenheit. For the original gravity this came out at 10 49. I was shooting for 10 51. So despite taking no measurements whatsoever, it seems to have basically worked out.

Yeast

Now in terms of yeast, I was thinking originally of using some kind of traditional hefeweizen yeast, but Todd at Atlantic brew supply has helped me out here and recommended this guy. This is sundew ale from Omega yeast.

And if you think of a traditional sort of hefeweizen yeast, you’ll get some sort of fruity esters, typically banana combined with clove. This will essentuate the fruit in particular strawberry, ripe strawberry flavor. Um, but you won’t get any of that clove element to the beer.

Tasting

Smells a little bit of ripe strawberries. Can I be right? This is going to be good. I think so. I’m going to let fermentation happen now. And when the primary fermentation is complete, then we’ll come back and add the rest of the strawberries in.

All right, here we go. This is Strawberry Wheat. I have to say this has been sat at home in my brewery for awhile and I have not touched a drop waiting for this. Proud of you. Yeah, this was, this is a pretty looking beer. Isn’t it?

Well it looks wheat beer, wheaty. Yep. Definitely clear. And it has a very faint pinkish reddish tone to it. I gotta say, uh, never came across a strawberry beer before. Okay. Stop sniffing.

It smells delicous. It’s got that strawberry aroma to it. Sure. Let’s give a taste. Go for it. It’s a great beer for summer, very light. And the natural acidity of the, uh, of the strawberries is, uh, quite surprisingly well balanced because the strawberry is very present, but not like, oh, it’s a strawberry!

Not overwhelming. The aroma is very definitely strawberries.

I think we’ve done a pretty good job of balancing this between the strawberry flavor and then the wheat beer, which, you know, we picked scientifically the amount of strawberries to add in based on how many you had in the ba. We had like 70 plants. What a wonderful idea. Strawberry beer.

Cheers, man. Well Done. Wow. Yeah. Fantastic effort. Thanks for letting us brew at your farm. It’s fantastic. It’s fantastic.

Recipe for 5 Gallons:

  • 5 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Ger
  • 5 lbs Wheat Malt, Pale (Weyermann)
  • 1 lbs Strawberry [Boil]
  • 1.00 oz Hersbrucker [2.75 %] – Boil 60.0 min
  • 2 lbs Strawberry [Primary]
  • 1.0 pkg OYL-401 Sundew Ale
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