Enjoy the beer that you deserve.
What it does :
Remember that, for many of the centuries people have been brewing beer, the exclusive use of hops to balance beer's malty base is relatively recent. Brewers have long added special flavorings like fruit to make unique brews, and that tradition continues today. The craft brewing and homebrewing movements provide daily examples of this inventiveness. If you are reading this, you are likely looking to broaden your beer and brewing palate. You can make use of raisins to express your own brewing creativity and make a beer that is uniquely yours. Raisins are an interesting addition to seasonal styles like summer wheat beers or autumn ales, or as an addition to specialty ales. Fruit flavoring is easier to brew with than whole fruit, but some can claim they can taste the difference.
When designing a beer recipe that will include raisins you must carefully consider the malt, hops, and yeast base that will best complement this specialty ingredient. When brewing with fruit, many brewers choose a strong malt base, with bittering hops only. By avoiding the addition of aroma hops, this allows the added fruit to complement, and not conflict with the beer's other ingredients.
What it is:
Raisins are grapes that have been dried. They can be produced wherever grapes are cultivated. Raisin can be added to your brew either in natural form from the whole fruit or as a processed flavoring.
The amount of whole raisins needed for brewing can vary depending on the source and the desired beer flavor, but can be 5 to 7 lbs per 5 gallons, added to the secondary fermenter. With raisin flavoring, use up to 1 teaspoon and add during bottling. Finding the right amount of raisins to use will depend on your particular recipe and your vision for your beer. As always, keep good records of each beer that you make, be willing to experiment, and you will converge on the ingredient mix that yields the flavor and aroma result that you like best.
Brewing with whole raisins complicates the brewing process. They should not be added during the boil because haze-causing pectins will result. So care must be taken to pasteurize them before addition to the secondary fermenter.
When adding whole raisins, lightly crush them. Then, heat at 145 F for 30 minutes, quickly chilling to 40 F before use. Just as cooking with fresh fruit makes your culinary dishes taste superior, so will using the same quality of ingredients to your beer. So, for that extra impact on your finished brew, reach for fresh raisins. You should be able to obtain it in your local specialty grocery store or shop.
Related LinksVolume Conversion