Passion Fruit Sour Wheat Beer cover

Passion Fruit Sour Wheat Beer

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Passion fruit is one of the few fruits that is almost always used as a flavoring rather than consumed straight; passion fruit mousse being the classic example. This is largely because it has a potent flavor and loads of seeds. I was at the supermarket a couple months ago and happened to see fresh passion fruit for $3 each. Many brewers (and chefs) skip the actual fruit and opt for purée, but I bought two with no plan of what I'd make with them.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars on 2 reviews

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Passion Fruit Sour Wheat Beer

Surprise Ingredient

Passion fruit is one of the few fruits that is almost always used as a flavoring rather than consumed straight; passion fruit mousse being the classic example.

This is largely because it has a potent flavor and loads of seeds. I was at the supermarket a couple months ago and happened to see fresh passion fruit for $3 each. Many brewers (and chefs) skip the actual fruit and opt for purée, but I bought two with no plan of what I'd make with them.

Seedy Business

Seedy Business

Not a New Idea

I’m certainly not the first brewer to add passion fruit to beer.

I've enjoyed Breakside Passionfruit Sour, Jolly Pumpkin-Maui Brewing Sobrehumano Palena’ole, and Tired Hands’ Such Passion (Simcoe IPA "Conditioned on heaps of passion fruit purée"). J. Wakefield Brewing's neon-pink Dragon Fruit Passion Fruit Berliner gets plenty of hype, although I’ve yet to try it.

When I got home and opened one of them, that pervasive tropical aroma reminded me that I had a gallon of leftover base sour beer from Atomic Apricot. I scooped the pulpy interiors, seeds and all, into the jug for infusion.

Passion Fruit Sour Wheat

Appearance

After a few cloudy but delicious beer reviews, I thought it was time for something a bit more visually transparent. Faint haze, but I’ll take that in exchange for the beautiful head retention (thanks to both wheat flour and pre-acidification of the wort).

Smell

The passion fruit comes through nicely, although nothing approaching the intensity of the apricot (which was over 2 lbs/gallon). The Brett doesn’t come through distinctly, a hint of rubber behind the fruit. Glad I added the fruit, it shines on a bland canvas.

Passion Fruit Sour Wheat

Taste

Bright lactic-citric acidity, much mellower than the apricot. Nice tropical fruitiness, but I could see doubling it to four passion fruits per gallon. Beyond the fruit and acidity not an especially interesting beer. Maybe a hint of pale maltiness. The ECY Dirty Dozen seems reliable for primary fermentation, but sadly having 12 Brett strains didn't provide 12 times the aromatic complexity.

Mouthfeel

Light and crisp, but not thin and watery as even my favorite Berliners can be. Carbonation could be a notch higher, but I didn’t want to risk gushers.

What a Beauty!

What a Beauty!

Passion Fruit Sour Wheat

Drinkability & Notes

A fun gallon of beer, glad I answered the calling of the eternal thought “I could ferment that!” I have the yeast/bacteria I harvested from this batch at work in something resembling a Berliner weisse with oat malt; it will be interested to see how it does as a mixed rather than staggered fermentation. Chad Yakobson's research suggests Brett produces less of several interesting esters when starting at a low pH, so that may account for the blandness.

The Mad Fermentationist

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