The Ruby Moon is my all-time favorite homebrew ever.
It highlights one of the coolest things about homebrewing – you know, besides actually making your own beer and having a keg in a converted chest freezer in your garage): you can recreate just about any commercial beer at home and make it better – or at least produce a very reasonable clone.
Really. Google “[your favorite beer] clone recipe.” See?
That’s actually how we got started in homebrewing. Before a visit to Breckenridge Brewery on a ski trip a few years back, we were novice beer drinkers and strictly a Shiner household. After a hard day of skiing, we limped over to the brewery for dinner and a bunch of “weird” (not Shiner) beers and came home with a new-found interest in
We printed out the description of Breckenridge Brewery’s Agave Wheat, marched it into the local homebrew store we found with a quick Google search, and left with a trunk full of goodies. It was really that easy.
You can probably guess by the name that our Ruby Moon is largely based on its commercial cousin, Blue Moon. Orange and coriander give the commercial wheat ale its citrusy profile. But down here in Texas, in the late fall and throughout early spring, our supermarkets are flooded with wonderfully inexpensive 18-20lb bags of grapefruit from the Rio Grande Valley. And while you wouldn’t know it strictly by poking around in the beginnings here, I have quite the crazymadlove for Texas grapefruit.
We simply took the same Blue Moon Clone recipe that we made last summer, omitted the orange peel, and added ~2 1/2 cups of fresh-squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice (reduced a bit to kill off anything that might trash our brew) when we transferred it to secondary.
What we got was a really refreshing brew that could almost dial back the thermostat by 15 degrees all on its own this summer. It’s an easy-to-drink ale with plenty of grapefruit aroma and flavor, but not overpowering enough to deter my less-than-grapefruit-obsessed husband – as long as I didn’t drop a strip of grapefruit zest into his glass.