We moved to a house with room to grow a few things a year ago, so I decided to brew a beer with some ingredients harvested from our backyard.
The beer started as a five gallon batch brewed and dry-hopped with homegrown Cascade hops. Then I split it into three smaller batches. I added one pound of peaches to two gallons of beer, one pound of apricots to another two gallon batch, and jalapeños to a one gallon batch.
The base recipe is loosely based on the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale recipe from the Clone Brews book:
11 lb. American 2-row pale malt
4 oz. 60°L American crystal malt
1 oz. Palisades hops at 90 minutes
1 oz. Palisades hops at 70 minutes
1.5 oz. Cascade hops at 5 minutes
1.5 oz. Cascade hops at 0 minutes
Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast
2 oz. Cascade hops – dry hopped in secondary
OG: 1.058 (I way overshot this)
ABV: 5.5% (After secondary it was closer to 4%. I don’t know how adding fruit changed this)
The malt, Palisades hops, and yeast were purchased at my local home brew shop. After secondary I split the beer into the three batches described above. I sliced the fruit into quarters, removing the pits, and let them sit in the oven at 180° for 15 minutes to kill off contaminants.
I sliced up two green jalapeños and one red jalapeño, removed the seeds, and soaked them in vodka to kill off contaminants.
I put the batches in three small fermentors and let them sit for another week. There was a bit of bubbling coming from the fruit batches, but not as much as I had anticipated. I didn’t bother to put an airlock on the one gallon batch with the jalapeños. After the week was up my assistant and I bottled the beers.
After a couple weeks in the bottles I gave the beers a try. I’m very pleased with how they turned out. All three batches are under-carbonated as I was very conservative with the amount of bottling sugar added. The apricot batch if my favorite of the three. It has a bright, tart apricot flavor, a fantastic aroma, and good balance.
The peach batch looks like mud, isn’t quite as bright, and is sweeter than the apricot batch, but it’s still tasty. The jalapeño batch, other than being a bit flat, came out exactly as I imagined…but a pint of it is a bit rough, as it is fairly hot. I’m glad that was the smaller batch.
This is my first attempt at adding any kind of adjunct (aside from an Oatmeal Stout) to a beer. I’ve previously focused on very straight forward recipes to make sure I had the process down, so it’s fun to start branching out. The only things I would change about these beers:
- More bottling sugar to increase carbonation.
- Figure out some way to clarify the fruit beers, they’re pretty muddy looking.
- A bit less jalapeño.