Bill's Raspberry Tart Ale

READY IN: 721hrs 30mins


  • 3 - 3 12
    gallons pure mineral water
  • 3
    lbs plain dry malt extract (55% wheat/ 45% barley blend)
  • 12
    lb tupelo honey
  • 2
    ounces crystal malt (64 degrees Lovibond color rating; crushed)
  • 2
    ounces Belgian biscuit malt, crushed
  • 1
    ounce cascade whole leaf hop (5% alpha acid; for bittering)
  • 14
    ounce cascade whole leaf hop (5% alpha acid; for aroma and flavor)
  • 12
    teaspoon Irish moss
  • 1
    wyeast # 1272 american ale ii liquid yeast culture (or one pkg. dry ale yeast)
  • 2
    lbs fresh red raspberries (or frozen berries, thawed)
  • 13 - 12
    cup corn sugar (to prime)


  • If using liquid yeast,"smack-pack", pop inner seal and let yeast activate per package directions.
  • Sanitize a 5 gallon fermenter and airlock.
  • Steep the specialty grains (crystal and biscuit malts) in a fine-mesh grain bag in one gallon of water at 155F for 20 minutes.
  • Raise temperature to 175F, removing grains after 10 additional minutes (30 minutes total steep time).
  • Add malt extract and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Add 1 ounce bittering hops in a cheesecloth hop bag.
  • Continue to boil, adjusting heat as necessary, for 25 minutes (no further stirring).
  • Add approximately 1/8 ounce of hops to boiling wort in another hop bag.
  • Continue boiling for 10 more minutes.
  • Add Irish moss and stir in gently.
  • Add remaining hops in a hop bag.
  • Boil for a final 10 minutes (total boil time 45 minutes).
  • Add honey and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Remove brew pot from stove and chill wort using your preferred method (you may opt to set the pot in an ice water bath).
  • If using dry yeast, proof it per package directions.
  • When wort temperature reaches 100F, top up with cool water to just over 2 1/2 gallons.
  • Stir to swirl, cover, and let sit on stove or counter for 30 minutes.
  • Pour yeast slurry into fermenter.
  • Transfer wort to fermenter, using a racking cane and hose (one method to start to siphon is to fill hose with water, keeping cane and free tube end both elevated; cover tube end, place cane into brewpot, and release tube in fermenter).
  • Try to avoid the material settled in the bottom of the brewpot (this stuff is called trub).
  • Allow the wort to splash and aerate.
  • Put on cover or install drilled stopper and affix airlock, filling airlock halfway with distiller water or grain alcohol.
  • Set fermenter in a safe area.
  • Room temperature should be in the range of 60-70F.
  • Avoid sunlight on your fermenter.
  • Fermentation should be evident within a day or so; monitor activity.
  • When activity is slowing, sanitize a 3 or 5 gallon fermenter (preferably glass) and racking cane and hose.
  • Place raspberries in secondary fermenter (do not boil fruit- it will set the pectin and create a bad haze in the finished beer; if you're concerned about wild yeast on fresh berries, steep them at 165F for 10 minutes, then drain and cool).
  • Rack beer onto fruit.
  • Affix airlock.
  • Allow to sit again.
  • Secondary fermantation will be slower and less vigorous.
  • Be careful and watch the fermentation- if the fermentation is vigorous,a piece of fruit could possibly block the airlock (if this happens, remove the airlock and use a blow-off tube).
  • Leave on berries for 2-4 weeks, until they appear pale pink.
  • Fruit may sink when beer is ready to bottle.
  • Sanitize bottles (and bottling equipment) or kegging equipment.
  • Boil corn sugar in a cup of water for 10 minutes, then cool to room temperature.
  • Pour corn sugar solution into bottling bucket.
  • Rack beer into bucket, avoiding yeast sediment in fermenter.
  • Stir gently to mix well.
  • Fill bottles and cap.
  • Allow to condition and age for at least one month.
  • For any further information on homebrewing, a good reference is"The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing" by Charlie papazian; it has a good intro to basic techniques and processes.