Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pineapple Pale Ale

Whenever I brew or talk about brewing, I have a few family members that always ask, "When are you going to brew the pineapple beer again?"  I've said in previous posts that I have yet to rebrew the same recipe.  Well, I finally gave in to the pressure.

The idea for this recipe started after a discussion about a friend's trip to Hawaii.  He told me about how there was pineapple-everything there. Pineapple wine, pineapple cakes, pineapple brandy, pineapple soaps, all sorts of pineapple-based goods.  Except no pineapple beer.  (This was before Maui Brewing Company started distributing Mana Wheat off of Maui.)  As an experiment, in my 4th or 5th batch of homebrew ever, I brewed a basic pale ale and added pineapple chunks in the secondary.  And my family hasn't stopped talking about it all year.

This recipe is pretty simple.  A few pounds of 2 row, a little 20L, and Chico yeast.  I decided to try out Safale's US-05 dry yeast on this batch.  I didn't write down how much pineapple I added last time, so I decided to follow the 2 pounds per gallon rule I've heard several times on Basic Brewing Radio.  I ended up getting crushed pineapple instead of chunked since it was cheaper and came in convenient 1 pound cans.  Big mistake.  The crushed pineapple was very fine, not nearly as simple as the chunks.  The additional sugars kicked of a second fermentation, and in less than 30 minutes I was having to punch down the fruit cap with the back of a spoon.  I ended up having to do this about 7 times in 3 hours.  Even though I replaced the airlock with a blowoff tube, the stopper was getting clogged.  Now, the pineapple flesh has settled, but it is very loose.  Not sure how racking is going to go.

Using canned pineapple makes sense to me.  This beer is all about the pineapple flavor/aroma.  Boiling/pasteurizing would cause some of this to be lost, and I'd have to process my own pineapple.


Grain Bill
2 lbs 4 oz  2-row Barley Malt
4 oz          Crystal 20L
2 lbs         Crushed Pineapple (canned)

target temp 150°F
starting temp 151°F
final temp 146°F
Batch Sparge
preboil: 2.5 gallons @ 1.028

20g "Magic Hop Dust" @ 60 minutes
10g "Magic Hop Dust" @ 13 minutes
10g "Magic Hop Dust" @ 0 minutes
("Magic Hop Dust" is Austin Homebrew's way to sell the debris leftover when they break up bales of hops. This batch was estimated to have 7% Alpha Acid)

1 packet Safale US-05 "American Ale" Yeast
//sprinkled directly into wort, per instructions

OG 1.045 (not sure why it was so low compared to preboil)

Hour long cooling rest at 98°F because I got stuck on the phone with my insurance company
Bottled one plain Pale Ale on 9/24/12 (no priming sugar, hopefully it wasn't finished)


  1. Hi,
    How was the outcome on this?
    Thinking about brewing a pineapple flawored summer ale, but some say the pineapple can make the beer sour when all suger has fermented.

    1. It was definitely more tart than I would have liked. It's been a while since I did this so I don't remember many details, but I know the "Magic Hop Dust" from Austin Homebrew was a mistake. The first time I brewed it, I used cascade and that was much better. The hop dust was much higher in AA than I expected. My recommendation would be to use very little hops overall. The bitterness from the high IBUs and the acidity of the pineapple were clashing.

      I recently did a Pineapple Saison that fit my tastes a lot more. I made something like an agua fresca with the rind and the core (you could also add some of the pineapple chunks) by putting the pineapple scraps in with all my brewing water, bringing it to a boil, then letting it cool for an hour. I used that water for my mash and sparge water, and it ended up having a nice earthy & baked pineapple flavor addition that played well with the saison yeast.

      If you use canned pineapple as a secondary addition, definitely use the chunk pineapple, not the crushed. It usually costs more, but it makes racking a thousand times easier.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...