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Rhubarb Beer

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  • Rhubarb Beer

    Hi everyone,

    We are considering a rhubarb red ale for our august seasonal. Anyone have any thoughts/experience using rhubarb?



  • #2
    Originally posted by H.Raftery View Post
    Hi everyone,

    We are considering a rhubarb red ale for our august seasonal. Anyone have any thoughts/experience using rhubarb?
    Have never done beer with rhubarb but have worked with it in other alcoholic beverages (coolers). It is full of oxalic acid. It may destabilize the oxalate already found in quantity in beer, I don't really know but it's worth thinking about and maybe trialling a small batch. You should also know that no one should consume more than about 1 kg of rhubarb at any one sitting. It becomes pretty toxic at that level of consumption.

    It is a very unique and tasty thing though.


    Liam McKenna


    • #3
      Perennial Artisan Ales has brewed with it before. Their website is under 'reconstruction', but don't let that stop you.
      Fighting ignorance and apathy since 2004.


      • #4
        I was at Blind Pig Brewpub in Champaign, Illinois over the weekend and they did a Rhubarb Wheat. Turned out quite good. Maybe send a note over to them and they can give you some info on it.

        I don't know what kind of scale you're brewing on, but they've got a 4bbl system.


        • #5
          I've brewed an APA with rhubarb. The oxalic acid was a definitely a concern I had. You can use heat to neutralize the acid. I threw it in during the last 10 of my boil and got a little bit of flavor, but not much aroma. So i boiled some more rhubarb for about 15 minutes and then put everything in a hop bag and put it in the bright. I also, threw the liquid in there, then just filtered on to it. I got a lot more flavor and aroma that way. I used 30lbs in the boil for a 30bbl batch and about 27lbs in the bright. The flavor was definitely subdued. I would add more in the bright next time. The heat also did just fine pasteurizing the rhubarb. The hlp tests on the bottles came out squeeky clean. Hope this helps, and happy brewing.


          • #6
            I was asked to brew a rhubarb beer for a local rhubarb festival. Rather than brew with it, I simmered chopped up rhubarb in just enough water to make them float, along with some chunks of nutmeg, and a cinnamon stick. After about 20 minutes the "stew" showed that the rhubarb solids had lost most of their color. The liquid was a bright pink, like florescent pink lemonade. I strained the solids out using a hop bag, then dosed a pitcher of our Belgian Blonde with a measured amount and adjusted to taste. Then scaled that up for dosing each keg. It ended up being somewhere in the 16-20oz of liquid per keg. Tasted great, just a little tart. We also added strawberry puree so it tasted like a strawberry rhubarb pie.
            So long story is, you will get more accurate results by dosing post fermentation so you can adjust the amount if need be.
            Good luck!


            • #7
              We're onto our second season brewing with rhubarb. Lots of learnings from last year...

              If you're going big, you can get the fruit processor to give you exactly what you want. We are using single strength juice that has been de-pectinized, centrifuged and flash pasteurized. It has a great colour and good acidity and flavour. We're using it as a direct kettle addition at a little over 10%. Really nice addition to a bone dry table-saison.


              • #8
                Strawberry rhubarb pie is always a big hit, wonder how some strawberries would work to counteract the bitterness? I'll bet if you brewed some up in the summer you'd find some takers.


                • #9
                  Rhubarb is not bitter, it's just sour. Adds a nice tartness without using bugs or fake additions if you can get your RE low enough (in our case 3.0, AE 1.2, abv 5.4).


                  • #10
                    I added strawberry and rhubarb (from my yard) to a keg and filled it with Hefeweizen. We have Sanke Select kegs that make this really easy. Boiled the rhubarb and it turned to mush, I might try to figure out a better way. Next time I will try blanching. People loved the beer, but I can't say it was my favorite.


                    • #11
                      5 gallon test batch

                      I brewed a 5 gallon test batch, actually 10 gallon Saison, I added about 2 lbs of Rhubarb that I roasted in the oven for about 15 minutes and about 3 lbs of strawberries blanched all to secondary in half the batch (5gal.). It's was a huge hit! people loved the sourness and I like that it was tart but not from wild yeast so no upset stomach. Both the strawberry and rhubarb flavor came through nicely and the table saison allowed the flavors to be the showcase!