From New Belgium Brewing Company’s Juicy Watermelon Lime Ale to Founders Brewing Company’s Green Zebra Gose, breweries around the country have been experimenting with the unique flavor profile of watermelon beers in recent years. It’s no wonder. Watermelon is a national favorite with a familiar and refreshing flavor that appeals to both casual and serious beer drinkers. It doesn’t hurt that we associate watermelons with summer, sun, and fun.
Why watermelon puree is the perfect addition to your next brew
Watermelon puree has a sweet, juicy, and slightly tart flavor that is accentuated by light, crisp, refreshing beer styles. The sweetness of the watermelon complements the malt sweetness in beers, while its tartness can balance out the bitterness of hops. The juiciness of watermelon can also add a thirst-quenching quality to the beer, making it a perfect summer beverage. Additionally, watermelon can add a subtle, fruity aroma to beer, enhancing its overall sensory experience.
What’s the chemistry behind watermelon’s unique flavor profile?
One key compound responsible for the unique flavor of watermelon puree is cis-3-hexenol, a volatile organic compound that gives the melon its characteristic fresh, grassy, and slightly vegetal aroma. Though it’s most commonly associated with watermelons, it might surprise you to learn that the same compound is found in cucumbers and green peppers.
In addition to cis-3-hexenol, watermelon contains various sugars, acids, and other volatile compounds that contribute to its flavor and aroma. When used in beer, these compounds interact with different ingredients and the brewing process to create a flavor profile that’s perfect for a thirst-quenching summer brew.
How watermelon puree interacts with ingredients in a wheat beer
Wheat beers are known for their light, crisp, and refreshing qualities, often with a subtle sweetness and fruity aroma. By adding watermelon puree to a wheat beer, brewers can enhance the fruity aroma and add a fresh, grassy note from the cis-3-hexenol.
For example, a brewer might use a simple recipe of wheat malt, hops, watermelon puree, and yeast to create a refreshing and unique beer. During fermentation, the yeast will consume the sugars in the watermelon puree, along with the malt sugars, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide. The combination of flavors and aromas from the watermelon, wheat malt, and hops, along with the carbonation, create a delicious and refreshing addition to your summer beer lineup.
How your brewing process affects watermelon flavored beer
Your brewing process will also affect the final flavor outcome. For example, when dry hopping a beer that contains watermelon puree, the cis-3-hexenol and other volatile compounds in the watermelon can interact with the hop oils to create a unique and complex flavor profile.
A brewer might dry hop a pale ale with a combination of Citra and Amarillo hops, and then add watermelon puree during secondary fermentation. The hop oils will enhance the fruity and grassy notes of the watermelon, while the watermelon will complement the citrusy and tropical fruit aromas of the hops. The bitterness of the hops will also balance out the sweetness of the watermelon, creating a harmonious and refreshing beer.
It’s worth noting that the timing and amount of the dry hopping, as well as the specific hops and watermelon variety used, can all affect the final flavor profile of the beer. Experimentation and careful monitoring of the brewing process can help brewers achieve the desired balance and complexity of flavors.
What beers really benefit from the addition of a watermelon puree?
Watermelon can be a versatile ingredient in beer, complementing a wide range of styles. Fruit beers are an obvious choice, with the sweet and juicy character of watermelon playing well with other fruits like raspberry, peach, and apricot. But, as noted above, the refreshing flavor and aroma of watermelon can also work well in wheat beers, adding a bright, summery twist to a traditional style.
Watermelon can even be used in more unexpected styles, like IPAs and stouts, for a unique twist on these traditionally bitter or roasty styles. The bitterness of hops in an IPA can balance out the sweetness of the watermelon, while the rich, chocolatey notes of a stout can be complemented by the light, refreshing flavor of watermelon. The possibilities are endless, and with the addition of watermelon puree, brewers can experiment with different styles to create a beer that is both unique and delicious.
Experiment with our 100% pure watermelon puree to create your own refreshing summer brew.
With the popularity of watermelon beers on the rise, the possibilities for experimenting with this juicy fruit are endless. At Puree Arete, we’re inviting brewers to create an original new summer brew using our 100% pure watermelon puree.
With its versatile flavor profile, watermelon can complement a wide range of beer styles, from fruit beers to IPAs and stouts. By carefully monitoring the brewing process and experimenting with different ingredients and timing, you can achieve a unique and refreshing beer that appeals to both casual and serious beer drinkers. In 2023, add a pint of summer to your beer lineup with Puree Arete watermelon puree.