Sunday, 20 May 2012

Apricot Beer

Apricot Beer – a surprisingly effective combination which I brewed following a request from chef Will Torrent. Will wanted a beer for a Chocolate and Apricot Beer Sponge as part of a Chocolate Masterclass.

The remainder of the beer also went to Egham Beer festival and proved very popular there.

Here is a simplified recipe if you fancy doing a homebrew version of the same Apricot Pale Ale.
As I was unable to find fresh apricots at this time of year I used about 1kg of dried for a 25litre brew
1. Chop and soak the apricots overnight in beer.
2. Mash and boil a pale ale recipe, keep it simple such that you don’t have heavy malt flavours swamping the fruit. Lightly hop for bitterness and aroma as normal.
3. In the last ten minutes of the boil add your soaked apricots.
4. Cool and transfer to your fermenting vessel and carry over some of the fruit pulp.
5. After the primary fermentation has finished rack to a secondary vessel such that the beer is off any fruit pulp.

I found the beer took slightly longer than usual to clear and initially I was a little unsure if it would be a success. However if you persevere and allow the beer to clear, add a little finings if necessary, you will be rewarded with a lovely fresh fruity beer. It has a real fruit flavour, rather than if you simply added fruit concentrate to a finished beer.

The beer was used in the following cake recipe if you fancy cooking with it as well as drinking it:

Chocolate and Apricot Beer Sponge
250g self raising flour
300g golden caster sugar
3 heaped tbsp cocoa
generous pinch bicarbonate of soda
250g butter
250ml Apricot beer
125ml milk
2 eggs, beaten
5ml vanilla extract

Sieve dry ingredients together
Melt the butter and beer together
Mix all ingredients together and bake in sheets