From the HBD Archive
From: rogerl@Think.COM
Subject: Fruit Beers, Mead and the AHA National Conference
Date: 1989-06-14 20:46:35 GMT

Well, it has been a while since I've participated in this great forum.
Now that the world has settled down to a dull roar and I'm back from
the AHA Nation Conference (more on that later) it's time for me to add
my $.02 to all of this brew-ha-ha >|-)

Subject: Brewing with Fruit.
How much fruit do I use and when do I add it to the boil? The liquid yeasts
I have access to are the W'yeast products. Which yeast should I use? Anything
special I need to do to brew with fruit?

As for the amount of fruit to use, that is pretty much up to the
palate of the drinker/brewer. I've seen as little as 1/2lb. per
gallon of wort to as much as 2lbs. per gallon of wort. As an example
'Kreik' (pronounced 'creek') a Belgium cherry brew uses almost 7lbs of
cherries per 5 gallons (based on by calculations). It is very sweet
and wonderful as an aperitif to a meal. I've also hear of currents,
raspberries and plums being used. As for the condition of the
berries, mushy makes no difference as long as they are not bad. The
fresher the fruit the better, obviously. Boiling them in the wort is
the safest. I've also heard and seen where the fruit is added about
the second or third day of the ferment. By putting it in later you
can get a full fruit flavor without worrying about infecting the brew.
This has to do with the microbiology of the ferment. I'll save that
for another discussion. By all means try fruit in the brew it makes a
great change and in a light brew is really refreshing.

As for yeast type, most of the good yeasts will do fine. You'll want
to use a yeast that leaves a clean flavor. Edme is a good dry yeast
the Wyeast is also very good liquid but it is expensive. If that cost
is not an issue try the Alt yeast or I believe they have a Belgium Ale
yeast, either of these would be great.

Go for it Bryan, you won't regret it!

From: Dave Sheehy <dbs@hprnd>
Subject: Mead et al.
Full-Name: Dave Sheehy

The Papazian recipe for mead does make a dry almost wine like mead. I
made mine with cranberries and orange, thinking it would last until
Thanksgiving, I don't think it'll make it. Oh well. Other mead
recipies that I have range is honey usage from the 1.5lbs per gallon
as in the Papazian recipe to 5lbs to 5lbs per gallon from the Brewing
Mead book, available from the AHA. The more honey the more alcohol
and the sweeter the mead will be.

>which were boiled for an hour. I used champagne yeast and clover/wildflower
>honey from a friend's bees.

Some recipes I've read do not boil the 'must' at all. To sterilize
the 'must' metabisulfite (?spelling) is used to control wild
yeast/bacteria growth. Raw honey will yield more flavor that
pre-pasturized honey like the kind you buy at the local grocer.
Getting honey right from the hive is wonderful and I would suggest the
non-boiled method of processing to minimize loss of allthose subtle
flavors that boiling the 'must' would kill.

As I said before, half of my batch is basic and the other half has some
cinnamon in it. Although it's only 6 months old I wouldn't describe it as
undrinkable. It will be interesting to see what another 6 months aging does
for the flavor. I sampled a bottle of each and must say that I probably didn't
put enough cinnamon into the second half of the batch.

Cinnamon might be a bit harsh of a spice to use. (at least for my
taste.) Clove, nutmeg or the other sweeter spices might do better.
Again this is a personal decission. I suspect that at 12 months your
mead will be extremely drinkable and enjoyable.

Now for the Conference report. (the Reader's Digest version) Yes, it
was a lot of money. Yes it was in a wierd place, (but Kentucky is
really beutiful this time of year). But boy was it a good time.
There was tremendous amount of information transfered during the
conference from what makes an Ale an Ale to How to build a 70bbl a
year microbrewery on a shoestring budget. To how to culture yeast,
what to look for when formulating recipes and on and on. Hops growing
and analysis, producing clear beer, a pig roast for club night....
The preceeding that will be published will be well worth the cost of
the book. And then there was the infomation exchanged with all of the
other home brewers there. It was 3 1/2 days of tasting homebrew from
around the states, sharing of ideas and techniques, and generally a
great time. All you west Coast folks will be happy to hear that the
conference will be held in the San Francisco Bay Area next year and
all you in the NorthEast it's our turn in 1991. (or so they are
planning at this time)

Since it was held a the Oldenberg brewery in Fort Mitchell, KY there
was several activities held at the brewery. Complete with as many
homebrewers that could get up at 6am the morning after the awards
ceremony. This turned out to be one of the highlights. Us
homebrewers were able to actually 'run' the brewery and help in the
production of 2 batches of their premium lager. Everyone there has a
great time. I could spend pages writing about, but I've been a bit
windy already. So I'll stop for now if you have further interest drop
me a message and I can continue.

Roger Locniskar

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