What you see here are the remnants of blueberries and trub at the bottom of my secondary fermenter after bottling a blueberry wheat ale over the weekend. It’s my second fruit-based wheat beer – the watermelon wheat turned out great.
I used a basic wheat beer base for the beer and added 4.5 pounds of blueberries when I moved the beer over to secondary. I bought the blueberries fresh during a sale at my local Whole Foods and froze them to break down the cell walls, making it easier for flavor extraction while the blueberries sat in the fermenting beer. A week before I used them I defrosted them a bit and smashed them up to make sure more juice would be available to seep into the beer. I refroze them and defrosted them again before adding them to the beer.
After I was done bottling I tasted a few of the berries, which didn’t seem to have any of their natural flavor left. They mostly tasted like beer. I took this as a good thing that as much blueberry flavor was taken out as possible.
The one downside to this was during my research for the beer a common theme was how hard it was to get good blueberry flavor by using real blueberries. Most homebrewers seemed to suggest you’d need a 2:1 ratio of berries to beer, meaning I would’ve needed almost 10 pounds of blueberries in my batch to get the best taste. Mine was about 1:1. I think the beer will turn out fine, but the blueberry flavor may just take a backseat to the wheat. We’ll see.