Brew Day: Raspberry Cream Ale

This brew day started just brewing another batch of BierMuncher’s (from HomeBrewTalk.comCream of 3 Crops Ale. It’s a popular beer in my house, so I need to start a new batch before the keg kicks.  Overall the brew day went well. Had one stuck sparge, but was able to work through it. Pre-boil gravity was a couple points higher than expected, and the boil-off rate was also higher, so I added three quarts of water with 30 minutes left in the boil. Ended up with an original gravity just two points higher than expected, so I’ll take that as a win.

The following Friday my wife and I were enjoying a few beers at our local brew pub, Lunar Brewing Co., and we started talking about how much we liked their Raspberry Cream Ale that they had on tap over the summer. Then I remembered I had a batch of Cream Ale fermenting at home. Maybe this batch was destined to be racked over a crapload of raspberries? Absolutely! Picked up a large bag of frozen raspberries from GFS and added about 3.5 lbs of thawed berries to a sterilized carboy before racking the Cream Ale on top of them. Gravity before racking was 1.010. Within 24 hours there was significant airlock activity and the berries were beginning to turn white. At this rate I may be racking to keg by the end of the week.

Lunar’s Raspberry Cream Ale had a very distinct raspberry flavor and aroma, but was not sweet. A tartness/bitterness that melded well with the slightly hopped base. I did not get the impression that it was back-sweetened in any way, so I will not try that with my version.  The notes they had on their menu made mention of a slight vanilla finish.  Personally I never really picked up on it, so I will not be doing anything to impart that flavor either.  If you want the recipe, please feel free to grab BierMuncher’s original one here.  I’ve made a few changes in ratios when scaling it to 5 gallons, but in essence it’s the same recipe.  As soon as I have a chance, I will link the recipe from Beersmith to this posting.  Tasting notes to follow!