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Berliner Question

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by codysjb, Mar 20, 2013.

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  1. codysjb

    codysjb Jun 16, 2010 Prince Edward Island (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Does anyone know how to go about creating a Fruit Berliner? I'm particular interested in attempting a PFDF clone but I have no idea where to add the fruit and how to go about it.
  2. stakem

    stakem Feb 20, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Do you have a firm grip on a base berliner recipe? If so, the later you add the fruit addition in the process, the more vibrant it will be. (This is a blanket statement that goes for any style really.)

    It is not uncommon to add fruit additions in secondary or make a syrup/puree to add directly to your glass separately.
  3. pweis909

    pweis909 Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    I have no idea what PFDF is, but I made a sour grape Berliner weisse beer by pitching Wyeast lacto and some other strain (maybe it was S-04, US-05, or Nottingham, I don't have notes with me) into a wheat beer wort (possibly from extract; again, my notes are not handy, but I often use extract for wheat beers). After primary fermentation, I wracked onto 1 quart of pressed grape juice and 5 lbs of previously frozen/thawed grapes (grapes and juice from from my backyard grapes, which might be Cabernet Franc). The grapes were not wine quality (acidity and sugar out of balance) so I have a really sour fruit beer.

    If you want sweetness with that fruit, you may want to stop fermentation, backsweeten, and force carbonate. Or, just add some sweet fruit juice to an unfruited Berliner weisse. I might have prefered this, as it leaves your options open - fruit or no fruit, type of fruit, etc. I feel like we homebrewers should do this sort of thing more (post fermentation blending of fruits and spices and the like, in the glass) rather than screwing up a whole batch to some wacky idea.
  4. TBCHopscotch032

    TBCHopscotch032 Feb 6, 2012 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Passion Friut Dragon Fruit. It is a Jonathan Wakefield berliner.

    I know that both Passion Fruit and Dragon Fruit can get expensive. You might be able to get them at Whole Foods.
  5. pweis909

    pweis909 Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    Thanks. That and some googling helped me understand this a little better. Unfortunately, I don't foresee tasting this one.

    To the OP: From some of the BA reviews, it sounds like it accomplishes both tartness and sweetness to give a fuller impression of the fruit. My grape Berliner weisse described above does not do this well. It got too sour and left no residual sweetness. It's not easy to create a fermentation environment where the lacto sourness goes to town but leaves some sugar behind. The commercial beers that I have had that do this well are restricted to New Glarus fruit beers. They (NG) have been pretty hush-hush about their process but there have been suggestions on-line and in Zymurgy that one could accomplish something like this with a sour wort approach, in which a wort is soured to a desirable level before being boiled, which kills the lacto and prevents further souring. You could add more malt at boiling too to help get you where you want to be. Then the wort would be fermented with a non-souring strain, and then fruit could be added in a secondary fermenter. Blending beers post fermentation might also be helpful for getting a desired level of sweetness and sourness. I never did anything like this and am reproducing the approach from memory, so you might look up the Zymurgy issue. I also have no idea if this is the approach used by Cigar City/Jonathan Wakefield for the Passion Fruit beer.
  6. ColForbinBC

    ColForbinBC Sep 9, 2005 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I did a berliner a few months back in which I split out the final product into five 1gal batches. I did Mango, Pineapple, Cranberry, Blackberry, and left one plain. I let them primary for around 2 months, and then a secondary for 2-4 months (don't have my exact notes in front of me). I split them out for the last 7 days and added around 1lb per each gallon jug. The cranberry and pineapple came through the best. The blackberry was good. The mango was awful; way too acidic (in a bad way.)
  7. Thorpe429

    Thorpe429 Aug 18, 2008 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I've done similar experiments. I've had the best fruit results with pineapple, passion fruit puree, and a raspberry/lime zests combo. I generally stick at about 1lb/gallon as well, as I don't like the fruit to completely overwhelm the base. Pineapple is also great to use when the base beer doesn't get quite acidic enough. I generally use fruit when the base beer isn't quite where I want it for one reason or another, which could just be that it hasn't had enough time yet. I then take the better batches of base and bottle them.
  8. ColForbinBC

    ColForbinBC Sep 9, 2005 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    ***I should also note that I chopped the fruit and froze them in freezer bags, except the cranberry. The cranberry I actually put into a food processor because chopping them was going to take too long. I just needed the chunks small enough to fit in the mouth of the gallon jugs. Make sure to chop them small enough before freezing.
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