Strawberry Rhubarb Strong Ale

Strawberry Rhubarb Strong Ale (7.7% abv)
This is one of those beers that you don’t drink. You eat it. It’s a high-alcohol burst of summer whose pillowy head is made up of bubbles popping with plumes of strawberry that fill your nose with each sip. The rhubarb provides some tartness and provides balance. You can consume this one fresh (preferably outdoors under a shady tree) or age it for a few extra months to mellow out the alcohol.
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Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr
60-minute mash at 67°C
  1. 2.4 L (2½ qt) water, with an extra gallon (3.8 L) for sparging
  2. 1kg (2.3 lb) Belgian pilsner malt
  3. 70g (0.15 lb) Belgian biscuit malt
  4. *All grains should be milled - see this page for information on milling
60-Minute Boil
  1. 2.8g (0.1 oz) Challenger hops
  2. 2 rhubarb stalks (120 g), sliced into 3-inch (7.6-centimeter) sections
  3. 5.7g (0.2 oz) Cluster hops, split into halves
  4. 16 strawberries, hulled and quartered
  5. 135g (0.3 lb) Belgian Candi Sugar
  1. Belgian ale yeast, such as Safale S-33
  2. 65g honey, for bottling
  1. In a medium-sized stockpot, heat the 2.4 L (2½ qt) of water over high heat to 70°C. Combine with all the malts and stir gently. The temperature should decrease to 66°C in around 1 minute. Take the pan off the heat. Steep the grains for 60 minutes between 62°C and 67°C. Every 10 minutes or so, stir and take a temperature reading. If the temperature of the grain becomes too cold, return it to heat and stir until the temperature returns to the specified range and then take it back off the heat. With 10 minutes remaining, in a separate medium-sized stockpot heat 1 gallon (3.8 litres) of water to 77°C. Once the grains have been steeped for 60 minutes, turn the heat to high and stir until the temperature hits 77°C. At this point, take it off the heat.
  1. Position a fine-mesh strainer across a stockpot and pour the grains into the strainer, maintain the liquid. Pour the gallon (3.8 litres) of 77°C water over the grains. Recirculate the collected liquid through the grains once.
  1. Place the pot with the liquid in on the stove and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the liquid starts to foam, lower the heat to a slow rolling boil and add Challenger hops. After 30 minutes, add half of the Cluster hops and the rhubarb. After 55 minutes add the remaining Cluster hops. Prepare an ice bath by stopping the sink and filling it halfway with water and ice. After 60 minutes, take the pot off the heat and add the strawberries along with the Belgian Candi Sugar. Place the pan in the ice bath, cooling it to 21°C, this should take about 30 minutes.
  1. Use a funnel and strainer to pour the liquid into your fermenter (remember, it MUST be sanitized). Supplement with water in order to fill the to the 1-gallon mark. Add the yeast using your hands (remember to sanitize those too!) cover the mouth of the jug with one hand, and shake to distribute evenly. Insert the sanitized stopper and tubing to the fermenter and place the other end of the tubing into a bowl of sanitizing solution. As the yeast activates, this solution will bubble as gas is forced through the tube. After 2 to 3 days, once the bubbling has reduced, replace the tubing system with an airlock. Once a further 11 days has passed, bottle your beer using the honey - see this page for bottling instructions.
Suggested Food Pairings
  1. Strawberry-rhubarb pie, freshly whipped cream, summer squash soup
For 5 Gallons:
60-Minute Mash at 67°C
  1. 12.4 L (3¼ gallons) of water, with an extra 4 gallons (15 L) for sparging
  2. 5.2kg (11.5 pounds) Belgian Pilsner malt
  3. 340g (0.75 pound) Belgian Biscuit malt
60-Minute Boil
  1. 14g (0.5 ounce) Challenger hops
  2. 10 rhubarb stalks 600g, sliced into 3-inch (7.6-centimeter) sections
  3. 28g (1 ounce) Cluster hops, split into halves
  4. 5 pints (1.2kg) strawberries, hulled and quartered
  5. 680g (1.5 pounds) Belgian Candi Sugar
  1. Belgian ale yeast, such as Safale S-33
  2. 340g honey, for bottling

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