Strawberry Rhubarb

This was an interesting beer with a fun story. After brewing a fruit lambic, I felt pretty good about how quickly I was picking up fruit brewing. I started thinking crazy thoughts and thought how cool it would be to brew a beer that like a pie. I love beer. And I love pie. Especially after beer. And I had yet to brew a beer with vegetables in it. I mean, what other vegetables are ever really used to make beer? Pumpkins, yams,????… that’s all I can remember ever seeing. This was a whimsical beer that I had hopes of turning out, which in some ways it did, but ultimately turned out to be a fun experiment.

Grains

32oz Euro Pils
16oz Pale Wheat

Hops

1oz Fuggle (4.4%AA) @60min
1oz Styrian Golding (3.4%AA) @5min

Malt

3lbs Light LME
3lbs Wheat LME
1lb Maltodextrin @7min

Yeast

Safale S-04 Dry Yeast

Adjuncts

1tsp Irish Moss @15min

Fruit

8lbs Strawberries (racked onto in secondary)
1.5lbs Rhubarb (racked onto in secondary)

SG: 1.060
1wk: WHO KNOWS!?!?!?
FG(2wk): 1.012

To get the fruit and vegetable into the beer, I washed and blended the fruit together. The rhubarb was a bitch to blend because all the stringy tendrils and fibers of the stalks kept wrapping around the blade of the blender rather than be chopped. I then added 5 Campden tablets (1/gal of fruit) along with 2.5tsp of Pectic Enzyme (used to break down the pectin in fruits and vegetables and avoid the haze that can occur when brewing with fruit). I then let this pulpy, pink smoothie sit overnight and then racked onto it in secondary.

At its best, this beer tasted like a tart cider or a very sour lambic. At its worst, it tasted like someone blended up a bunch of rhubarb and put it in a beer. It kinda tasted like a vegetable. I actually liked the beer for what it was because of my love of beers that don’t fit into our standard German/Belgian paradigm of beers. Most other people didn’t appreciate it like I did. Who cares though, I don’t brew for them.

One very obvious problem with this beer was the pure amount of ebullient foam you encountered whenever opening a bottle. When the beer was relatively young, all you had to manage was some extra carbonation and head. It grew angrier with age. I opened a bottle in my parents kitchen, a kitchen with a 12’ ceiling, and the foam from the bottle spewed forth in an uncontrollable jet that struck the ceiling with enough panache to blanket the entire area in beer suds. I’m talking in between every slat in the blinds. An entire bucket full of kitchen utensils. Under the stove burners. Everywhere. I eventually had to pour the rest down the drain, but I couldn’t open any bottles without covering the whole kitchen in beer. I had to fill the sink with water and open the bottles underwater, creating little submarine explosions similar to what I imagine as a WWII underwater mine with subsequent beer sud tsunamis. Prolly won’t brew this one again.ew this one again.

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