100 Bottles of Beer – Enjoying the Fruits of Our Labor

Brewing Fruit Beers


A Home Brewer’s Personal Journey through His Craft – Part 20

Brewing Fruit Beers

Well, here we are, once again and, before those of you who read the last installment ask; yes, my last brew was disaster free with no spillage or breakage, thank you very much. I will tell you all about it when we get there. But, for now, we are back on track and I am going to talk about brewing fruit beers as promised.

Those of you that have been with me since the beginning will recall back in part 5 I did a cherry stout which did not turn out too well. Also, you may remember an Apricot Amber in part 9 which was made with apricot flavoring. This edition will be dedicated to beers made with fresh/frozen whole fruits.

The first two of these came from More Homebrew Favorites by Karl Lutzen and Mark Stevens.  You may  recall we have visited several recipes from their first compilation, Homebrew Favorites, and also from their web site, Cat’s Meow.

The first of these two is called Ripcord Raspberry Ale and is credited to Jerry Narowski of Derby, CT. My only changes are slightly increasing both the honey and the raspberries and using different yeast.

Brewing Fruit Beers - RaspberriesRipcord Raspberry Ale

  • 1 lb 60L British Crystal malt
  • 3.3 lb M&F light LME
  • 3.3 lb M&F amber LME
  • 1 lb 6 oz light clover honey
  • 1 oz Northern Brewer whole cone hops (45 min)
  • 1 oz Cascade whole cone hops (20 min)
  • 1 oz Fuggles whole cone hops (5 min)
  • ½ oz Fuggles hop pellets (5 min)
  • 1 tsp Irish Moss (15 min)
  • 30 oz Frozen raspberries
  • White Labs WLP008 East Coast Ale Yeast
  • Priming: ½ cup corn sugar & 1/3 cup DME

Heat one gallon cold water to 150°F, add milled crystal malt, cover, remove from heat, and let steep for  20 minutes. Strain the wort into the brew kettle and sparge with ½ gallon boiling water.

Add LME and honey and bring to boil. Let boil for 15 minutes before beginning to add hops and Irish  moss at times indicated for total 60 minute boil.

While boiling the wort, add raspberry in a grain bag to one gallon boiled water which has cooled to160°F.   Cover and let steep until end of wort boil.

Remove the hop bags from the wort and squeeze out as much wort as possible. Crush the raspberries in the bag in the water they have been stepping in. When the wort has cooled to 160°F, strain the raspberry tea into the kettle, squeezing as much juice from the bag as possible. Pour the wort into the carboy with cold water, topping to 5 ½ gallons with more cold water. Pitch yeast when cooled.

After 12 days in the primary and 9 days in the secondary, this was ready to bottle. I used mounded measures of the priming sugars so it was actually a little more than I listed.

How did it Turn Out?

This started off tasting a little winey. The hops were very subtle with some tartness from the berries. There was a hint of raspberry in the aftertaste. The color was amber with just a hint of red and minimal chill haze.

It did age very well. The winey flavor went away; both the hops and raspberry flavors became more pronounced and were in a nice tart balance. The chill haze disappeared and the color darkened to red amber. Overall, very good stuff! I did not take any gravity readings but the targets were OG 1.054 and FG .015 would give an ABV of 5%

Our next fruit beer is Blackberry Porter and is credited to Bryan Schwab of Panama City, FL. The original recipe oddly listed the malt quantities in cups. I took a guess and converted to pounds. I also decreased the amount of gypsum as 2 Tbsp seemed like way too much and added the Irish Moss.

Brewing Fruit Beers-BlackberryBlackberry Porter

  • 1 lb 40L American crystal malt
  • 1 lb Belgian Special-B malt
  • 2 oz British chocolate malt
  • 6.6 lb M&F light DME
  • 2 tsp Gypsum
  • 1 tsp Irish Moss (15 min)
  • 1 in Brewer’s Licorice
  • 8 oz Malto-Dextrin
  • 2 oz Liberty hop pellets (15 min)
  • 5 lb Frozen blackberries
  • 12 grams Munton’s Ale Yeast
  • Priming: ½ cup corn sugar & 1/3 cup DME

This procedure was nearly identical to the Raspberry Ale adding the Brewer’s Licorice along with the DME and adding the Irish Moss, Malto-Dextrin, and hops in the final 15 minutes of a 60 minute boil.

It was bottled after six days in the primary and 15 days in the secondary. It came out dark red with low  but adequate carbonation. Berry flavor and tartness were very obvious but still tasted like beer. The hop flavor was very mild. Overall, I felt it was a good, drinkable beer, just not great. The target gravities were OG 1.076 and FG 1.024 for about 6.8% ABV.

Our third fruit beer

An attempt to replicate Strawberry Daze Ale from  Glenwood Canyon Brew Pub in Glenwood Springs, CO. This was a seasonal ale they produced in conjunction with the city’s Strawberry  Festival. Currently, their website makes no mention of it so, I do not know if they still produce it or not. I decided to make a batch because Debbie, who does not like beer, liked this one. I based my recipe on the Ripcord Raspberry recipe.

Brewing Fruit Beers - StrawberryStrawberry Springs Ale

  • 1 lb 40L German Light Crystal malt
  • 6 lb M&F Extra Light DME
  • 1 lb M&F Light DME
  • 1 lb 8 oz light clover honey
  • 1 oz Cascade hop pellets (60 min)
  • 1 oz Fuggles hop pellets (5 min)
  • 1 tsp Irish Moss
  • 6 lb Fresh Strawberries
  • White Labs WLP008 East Coast Ale Yeast
  • Priming: ½ cup corn sugar & ¼ cup DME

This procedure was identical to the Raspberry Ale with the exception of having to first clean and quarter the fresh       strawberries.

I bottled after 15 days in the primary and 18 days in the secondary. This was excessively long but the cloudiness just would not settle out.

After three weeks in the bottle it was still completely flat. I waited another week and it was still flat. OK, my yeast must have died during the long wait in the secondary and the summer heat.

I sanitized the top of each bottle before removing the cap and removed a measured amount of beer by dipping in a filler tube, covering the top and withdrawing the filled tube. Then I added a measured  amount (about 2” in the filler tube) of rehydrated EDME yeast to each bottle and recapped. I inverted the bottles in the case to mix the yeast in and left them for four weeks.

Hey! No longer flat!

It was less carbonated than I wanted but was OK. It was not bad, had an acidic strawberry fruit tartness. Unfortunately, Debbie did not like it because it was too bitter compared with the original from Glenwood Canyon. I did not measure any gravity or make any further notes on this one so we will have to leave it there.

Well, there you have it, three somewhat similar yet different fruit beers. I have made one more beer containing fruit, raspberries, although I do not consider it a fruit beer. This utopian effort pushes the boundaries of what beer can be and will be left for another edition of our story. There, chew on that teaser for a while.

OK, that’s three more down, 28 beers left to pass around.

Until next time…Keep on Brewin’

To be continued…


Karl F. Lutzen & Mark Stevens, More Homebrew Favorites, 1997


I am the HomeBrew Guru… My name is Bob Archibald. Some of you may remember me as the grumpy old man behind the bar at Bristol Brewing (bristolbrewing.com) in Colorado Springs where I had been pouring beer for over 12 years. They finally decided I was getting too old or didn’t have enough tattoos or something and replaced me with younger hipper bartenders. Oh well, it was time I moved on anyway. At least they kept my home brew recipe for the annual Christmas Ale! I have been home brewing since late 1994 and have brewed over 150 beers to date. Although I am not a highly technical brewer (its more of a ZEN thing) and still brew on a stovetop, I have created many different styles of beer and have gotten rave reviews for some of my creations. I have also dabbled with mead and wine to equal degrees of success. My latest endeavor is to try my hand at distilled spirits. I have found the basic stovetop method of brewing to be economical and in no way limiting in the quality and variety of beer which can be produced by the home brewer. I also still bottle condition my brews because I like the flavor of a good bottle conditioned beer. It is also more economical than the expense of kegging and the necessary draft system, just a little more time-consuming. A LITTLE MORE ABOUT MY BACKGROUND I am originally from Montana. I went to high school in the little town of Plains and later to an electronics school in Missoula, which eventually lead to a career in the telecom industry for about 23 years. First with Mountain Bell where I did everything from Operator Services to Central Office Installation to Outside Plant. From there I went to Northern Telecom, better known as Nortel, where I did Central Office Installation, Engineering, Grounding, Fiber Optics, and finally Sales Engineer. The telecom industry had a bit of a melt-down after the events of 9/11 and I found myself looking for work. I tried a couple of customer service jobs and ran my own retail business for 5 years. During that time I picked up the part-time gig with Bristol Brewing and I guess it sort of stuck, for a while anyway. 100 BOTTLES OF BEER I began writing my Home Brew Blog, 100 Bottles of Beer, about 9 years ago. It was hosted on Associated Content and then moved to Yahoo Voices. Both of those venues have shut down and I have now moved to WordPress. I went about two years without writing a new one but, I have now revived it here. The blog chronicles my fermentation adventures from how I got started in home brewing, my very first brew through my 100th brew and beyond. All recipes and instructions are included as well as related brewing history, brewing basics and advanced methods, personal experiences, successes, and failures. The most important thing to remember is… KEEP ON BREWIN’

View all posts by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *