Adding fruit beers to your arsenal at home often takes trial and error if you’re building a recipe from scratch. However, when used well, they can elevate your beer to a whole new level. I’m here to help you step it up a notch with this detailed tutorial on how to use fruit and spices when brewing beer.
Most homebrew recipes give us a clear indication of when to add the hops: the start of the boil for bittering, later in the boil for flavour and the end of the boil for aroma. But we can also add hops before the boil. Or after the boil, or after primary fermentation. Get to know all the hopping methods available to you.
I was inspired to write this guide after a reader wrote in to complain that despite following my recipe to a tee, his original gravity reading came in very low. As all-grain brewers, we have all had this problem eventually. It has happened to me on more than one occasion, and it is beyond frustrating to experience. But the good news is this: it’s pretty easy to fix your OG! Let me show you how.
I have seen few breweries in Canada brew with these two herbs, but one brewery—Beau’s—does it so well. When I first had one of their bog myrtle gruits, I was enchanted. This was my first attempt at making my own, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. This beer is beautifully herbaceous, sweet, and peppery. It’s one of my favourite recipes. You can order these special ingredients online. I get mine here.
If you’re looking to showcase and enjoy a malt-forward beer, this is a user-friendly recipe. The grains really shine in this recipe, giving you the chance to explore the pronounced cereal and biscuit notes of this particular grain bill. With a low ABV, you can have a couple of these in a session and properly explore this under-appreciated style. If you want to have fun with this one, taste the specialty grains and adjust the ratio to your liking. Be sure to keep 85% of the grain bill for the pale malt.
This is by no means a clone of the famous Breakfast Stout made by Founder’s Brewing Company. But it it’s a similar beer in spirit. I love coffee stouts and when the original Breakfast Stout finally hilt the store shelves in Toronto, I couldn’t get enough of it. This is my own version of this recipe which has strong notes of coffee and chocolate, with the smooth mouthfeel that only oats can provide.