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Old 11-03-2012, 01:57 AM   #1
jotakah
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Default Sterilizing Raisins

going to put some in a hop-sack in a keg of oatmeal cookie stout to make it oatmeal raisin cookie stout.

what method is best for sterilizing them? i've heard of...

steaming
soaking in starsan for a minute
throwing in boiling water for a minute
soaking in a bit of hard alcohol for a few minutes

All of these methods would definitely work but in my head all have drawbacks, mostly in the form of turning the raisins into mush

anybody out there with experience in this who can tell me the way?

thanks!

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Old 11-03-2012, 02:12 AM   #2
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I have no experience with raisins, (so disregard my advice) but I'm thinking that turning raisins into mush isn't such a bad thing, since that's probably the best way to extract the most raisin flavor. Since you're using a hop sack, you won't have to worry with getting the mush out of your beer. Win-win.

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Old 11-12-2013, 05:37 AM   #3
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Hey gang

I'm resurrecting this thread to a) update you on how the raisins worked out last year (so nobody makes the same mistake I did) and b) again ask, "How would you have done it?"

So I ended up going with the steaming method. I put the raisins in a hopsack, and steamed them for a while, then threw them in the keg & started a "set and forget" carbonation.

The first pint or so was VERY sweet because the sugars that left the raisins (which had sunk to the bottom) were all hanging around by the diptube

The next bunch of pints were so fantastic. About a full two weeks of delicious, delicious pints, so the raisins had been in there for about 5 weeks now.

One day I came home, had a brew and thought I tasted something... odd that hadn't been present yet.

Next evening, I came home, had a brew, and oh my god it was so awful. All of the raisins oxidized QUICKLY and totally skunked/rotted/nastified the 2nd half of the batch. SO gross and I had to wash quadruple to get the stink out

So yeah... don't use raisins that way. Gonna give this brew another shot though, how would you use raisins in a oatmeal cookie stout?

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Old 11-12-2013, 01:20 PM   #4
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Yikes. Next time, do this in primary, I'd say. Draw some wort and boil the raisins in it, then return. You will have trub anyway, the raisins will have fun in it. That doesn't sound like oxidation (pretty sure raisins don't oxidize anything, unless you soaked them in bleach!). It's easier to under-steam than under-boil, must've left some bugs alive.

Only other thing I can imagine is that the grape tannins didn't get along with your beer, but I think you'd need a lot of raisins to notice that. If that was your problem, though, golden raisins might be an alternative.

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