There are traditions of making fruit beers all over the world. Raspberries, cherries, peaches, pumpkins, grapes, blueberries, juniper berries- just about any fruit you can think of has made it’s way into a wirt kettle at some point. However, I have never seen a cantaloupe beer.
I love the sweet musky flavor of cantaloupe and was very curious to see how that would translate. I chose to make an IPA because my hops had come ripe just as the cantaloupes were getting good, fat, and sweet.
• 2 large Cantaloupes
• 1-Pound Crystal Malt
• 6 Pounds Light Malt Extract
• Steeping bag
• 6-12 ounces of hops (I grow Cascade and Nugget)
• 1 pack of Ale Yeast
• Big stockpot
• Something to ferment in
• Flip top bottles
• Priming Tablets
* You can get all these supplies on Amazon or better yet at your local homebrew store.
To make a traditional IPA wort (pronounced wirt), first steep the Crystal Malt between 160-170 degrees for 30 minutes. Then turn off the heat and stir in the Malt Extract until all of it is dissolved. Bring it to a boil and add in the hops every 30 minutes for the next 1 1/2 hours.
Next, blend and strain the meat of the two cantaloupes and add it to the wort. Bring the mix back up to 160 degrees, and then let it cool (I like to use an ice bath to speed things along).
Once cooled, strain the wort into the fermenter and add water until it reaches about 3.5 gallons. Add in the yeast and let it ferment for about 7 days.
After one week, it’s time to bottle. Drop the Priming Tablets in sterilized flip-top bottles and fill them up with the fragrant amber beer. Store at room temperature for another week, then chill the bottles down and enjoy a new flavor sensation!
When it came to the bottle label I took the cantaloupe’s middle-eastern origins for inspiration and found a look that suits it‘s bright and exotic aromas.
- Beer Labels • I chose the “Kashmir” style in Gold.