We harvested 5 pounds of gooseberries from our backyard. The fruit has a sweet and tart flavor that we thought would make a very interesting beer.
- 7 lb LME
- 1 lb DME - Pilsner
- 2 lb clear candi sugar (add last 10 min)
- 1 oz Saaz (30 min)
- 1 oz Saaz (at flameout)
- 1/4 tsp Irish moss (10 min)
- 1 pkg French saison wyeast
- 5 lb crushed and pasteurized gooseberries added after 1 week of fermentation into secondary fermenter
This beer is not for everyone's taste. One of my favorite candies growing up was Sweettarts®. So my taste-buds were happy. At 10% you think you would taste the alcohol. Actually, the gooseberry flavor hides it well.
The beer had some harsh fruit bitterness when it was young. Kind of like a cranberry juice after taste. This mellowed out after about 6 months of bottle aging. Now after a year, I love this beer and wish we had more.
Bottling this beer is not for the faint of heart. Gooseberries have very tiny seeds and lots of pulp. We tried cheese cloth, but the pulp and seeds quickly clogged the filter. We ended up pouring the beer through a filter into another bottling bucket. This aerated the beer and we were afraid of off flavors. If there were off flavors they were masked by the gooseberries.
The tiny bit of seeds and pulp sank to the bottom of the bottle after leaving it in the fridge for a day. Just pour it slowly and you will be ok. Not that I have anything against chewy beer. I am a homebrewer after all.