homebrew

Messing with a pair of melons

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The hop boil that became part of Melon Miser, which could become the crappiest watermelon wheat beer the world has seen.

So, with summer here, I had this idea that I wanted to brew a watermelon wheat beer.
I like watermelon, find it quite refreshing and, though I’ve never had it in a beer before, I thought it would taste nice.
So, inspired by this recipe from Bryan’s fantastically named blog This is Why I’m Drunk (that name makes me think the name of this blog is even more stupider than usual. Maybe I’ll blog one day about all the other stupid names I rejected before I alighted on ‘‘Beer is Your Friend’’. Or maybe I won’t. It could be boring. But I digress – a lot) I had a crack at it.
And screwed things up pretty early. His recipe called for something like six litres of watermelon juice. So I spent $20 on two watermelons (that shit’s expensive) only to get about two litres out of them.
There was no way I was going to cough up an extra $40 for more melons on top of the extract, hops and yeast I needed as well (though my cheapness regarding the fruit did inspire the beer’s name, Melon Miser). So I decided to work with what I had and revise the recipe.
Which I had partially done anyway, opting to make a wheat beer base through a Coopers wheat beer can and and malt extract can.
I did stick with the Hallertau hops at Bryan’s recommended pacing of 60, 15 and 5. But I chucked the two litres of juice in at flameout. Why? Well, because I juiced those melons too damn early I couldn’t leave it to pour into the fermenter after four days, I had to use it now.
Besides, I figured flame-out might give me the best chance of some watermelonyness in the beer. But I could be wrong (like that’s never happened before).
I’ve also kept some pulp in the fridge which I plan to use dry-hop style as per Bryan’s recipe.
And after that, I plan on hoping, really, really hard that I can taste watermelon at the end of this.
If not, at least I hope I’m left with a decent wheat beer.
But in the end, experimentation is half the fun of homebrewing.

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5 replies »

  1. My fingers are crossed for you! I really had no idea what I was doing when I came up with my recipe (just playing/experimentation, as you note) so hopefully your brew will come out OK as well. Depending on how well you squeezed the juice from the watermelon, there still might be a good deal of juice left in the pulp. If that’s the case, it will help impart more flavor to the brew.

    Using watermelons was definitely a downfall of this recipe, cost-wise. During my research most people opted to use liquid flavoring or candy, but I couldn’t do it. I think I ended up spending about $25 total on watermelons, but saved extra pulp or unused fruit for smoothies and snacks. A bonus, at least.

    I’ll be excited to see how this one goes. Cheers!

  2. Good luck with that watermellon beer, its a tough gig getting fruit flavors into beer, especially the subtle ones like watermellon or strawberry, I think its that they lack acid and dont really ping in the beer.
    I’ve got a preference for putting it into the ferment about 3 days in, the beer has plenty of active yeast and co2 to blow off any wild bugs, and you dont cook the fruit flavors. I’ve done this with peaches to good effect, and I threw some grapes into a funky beer a few weeks back, not sure how that’s turned out yet.

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