Monks in western Europe living in monasteries first experimented with blueberries in their beer.
Especially in Germany and the Czech Republic, they live around great forests, and that’s the perfect place to seek fresh blueberries all year.
Adding blueberries to your beer mix alongside beer hops is a great tradition.
However, you need to know when you are doing it and what is the best form of berries to add.
Otherwise, you will have adverse reactions from what you expect to have.
Adding blueberries to your beer may give you a more earthy and fruity taste to your beer. In this short article, we will discuss blueberries in addition to your beer mix.
Which is the Right Variety of Beer to Add Blueberries?
The best variety of beers to start adding blueberries would be light Pale Ales and IPAs.
You can start with stout beers and bocks that have a fruity taste and need some enhancement.
However, there is no variety of beer, so you cannot add blueberries.
It’s a lot better to add blueberries after the fermentation period of maturation.
Beers are generally more stable and mature to accept blueberries as a kind addition to the mix when they are in the last phase of brewing.
However, it’s always better to ask your chemist to ensure that the pH of the beer is optimal to accept the berries without any further issues.
Special Blueberry types to Use for Brewing
Blueberries come in wide varieties, and that is why you need to be keen on the time and the maturation phase you add the berries to your beer mix.
Keep in mind that blueberries can easily react with beer hops and create a blurrier beer that is not so good to see.
That’s why many monasterial beers are placed in deep brown or green glass bottles where you cannot see if they are transparent or not.
The right types of blueberries are wild berries coming directly from the forest. If you can’t access those, you can always use blueberry puree or frozen berries for that case.
Is it Better to Add Fresh or Frozen Blueberries to Your Mix?
Fresh blueberries are the best possible selection for your beer mix. They can get smashed easier, and you can have their extract react with the beer mix right away.
However, some breweries have no access to fresh berries, and that’s no issue at all.
You can use frozen berries as a great alternative for beer brewing. First, you need to have the frozen berries at room temperature.
Then you can smash them and add them to the brewing beer barrels. Frozen berries may take some hours to start interacting and release their flavors and aromas to the mix.
But it’s better than nothing, and brewers prefer them for their wide availability compared to fresh berries.
What is the Optimal Amount of Blueberries to Add To your Beer?
The number of blueberries you need to add to your beer mix strongly depends on the type of beer you are brewing.
When adding fresh berries, it’s better to add 2 lbs per gallon of beer to ensure that your beer will benefit more from the fruity aftertaste of berries.
However, when you add blueberry puree, it’s better to add approximately 1/4 to 1/2 lbs per gallon of brewing beer.
That is because puree has a greater taste and aroma effect to ensure that your beer will not be destroyed by the strong taste of concentrated berries.
When it’s the Right Time to Add Blueberries to Your Beer?
You can add blueberries to your beer during any of the distinct phases of brewing. It’s the duty of your chemist to show you the right phase you need to add the blueberries to your mix.
Most people add blueberries during the boil to ensure that the flavors will be mixed with the wheat and the beer hops.
Others prefer to add berries during the first and second fermentation periods. It’s the only way to ensure that berries will not affect the alcoholic grades of your beer.
Brewers like to have berries for their flavor, but they also need to preserve their beer’s distinct taste and aromas.
Why Monasterial Beers Have More Blueberries Inside?
Monasterial beers have more blueberries inside since monks always liked having fruity beers to treat their visitors.
Monks used to have special barrels for the fruity beers they used as appetizers before their meals.
These beers were more earthy and fruity than others and usually more cloudy when viewing them.
However, they are very popular with consumers, and many would pay a lot more to ensure they can enjoy a bottle of such a wonderfully-smelling beer.
Can Blueberries increase the Alcoholic Grades of Your Beer?
There are a chance blueberries can increase the alcohol concentration of your beer. It can only happen when you add excessive blueberries during the boiling process.
Blueberries can get close to their melting point and start giving more alcohol to the beer mix right after the boiling time and before the fermentation process.
When you want to have a balanced beer with less than 5% of alcohol concentration, you need to be careful with the blueberries’ addition.
The more you add, the higher the chances you destroy the originality of your beer. Being careful with the quantity will allow you to have a beer that everyone will be jealous of and demand it.
Blueberries first appeared in western European beers. Today you can find blueberries in addition to IPAs and other Pale Ales or Pilsners that are popular in all world markets.
Breweries around the world have a precise algorithm to add berries to their beer barrels.
It’s a great chance to learn more about forest fruits, and there is no need to have fresh berries to experiment with your beer.
If you have a small-scale brewery, you can easily start with blueberries and adjust the algorithm according to your personal preferences for the best results.