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Old 05-01-2009, 04:36 PM   #1
MightyCow9
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Default Adding Orange Peel to Fermenter

What is the best way to add orange peel to a beer already in the fermenter?

Should I cook them at 170 degrees for a bit to kill germs?

Should I just toss them in?

Should I forget about it since the beer is almost a week in the fermenter already?

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Old 05-01-2009, 05:31 PM   #2
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I assume this is for your Sasion from last saturday. I am pretty sure that orange peel was one of the addons that was put in at the end of the boil, prior to chilling.

What I have done in the past for a fruit addition, is use pasturized juice. With oranges peels, you should be able to sanitize the orange with a dunk in Idaphor solution without causing any harm.

Using Fruits in Secondary Fermentation
For most fruits, the best time to add them is in secondary fermentation. When added at this time, the fruits are not subjected to heat, their flavors do not end up tasting cooked and their aromas are not lost. The drawback, of course, is that adding fruits in the secondary fermenter runs the risk of contaminating the beer. However, green beer generally has enough alcohol and a pH low enough to discourage the growth of contaminating organisms.

For fresh fruits, remove the stems, leaves and pits or seeds. Wash the fruit thoroughly. If you want, you can use commercial produce-washing products such as Fit, although this isn’t necessary. You should reduce the fruit to small pieces by one of several methods: Mash the fruit with a potato masher, chop it with a food processor or cut it up with a knife. Place the fruit in your secondary fermenter and siphon beer on top of it. It is also important that the fermenter is sealed tightly. If air can get in, microorganisms can grow on the top of the floating fruit. (This is what happened to my ill-fated cherry beer.) It is usually best to use a large bucket — one with some headspace — as a secondary fermenter, as some foaming may occur when the yeast begins working on the fruit sugars.

One way to minimize the risk of contamination from fresh fruits is to take a page from the winemakers’ handbook and sterilize the fruit with sulfur dioxide. Winemakers do not sterilize their “wort” by boiling it. They sterilize their “must” by treating it with SO2 (often in the form of Campden tablets). To sterilize a “mini-must,” mush your fruit into a slurry in a sanitized bucket. Add enough water so that it’s basically a thick liquid. Add one crushed Campden tablet for every gallon of your “mini-must” and let sit, loosely covered, overnight. During this time the SO2 will kill any microorganism in the “mini-must,” then diffuse away. The SO2 also acts as an antioxidant, preventing browning of the fruit. The next day, add the now-sanitized “mini-must” to your fermenter.

Adding fruits during secondary fermentation increases the volume of the brew, but some of this volume is lost when beer is racked from the remaining fruit solids. You can plan for this by making less volume of your base beer, but making it somewhat more concentrated. The degree you need to change your base beer depends, of course, on how much fruit you plan to add. (Alternately, you can choose to simply not worry about it and end up with a couple extra beers in your batch.)

To add concentrates, purées or juices to your secondary fermentation, begin racking the base beer to the secondary fermenter. Slowly pour the fruit into the secondary fermenter as the beer is racked so that the fruit and beer mix well. You may want to stir with a sterilized spoon.

The beer can be left in contact with the fruit for varying amounts of time. One week is long enough to extract most of the fruit flavors, but not prolong the batch interminably. If you want to get the most out of your fruit, let it sit longer. Keep in mind, however, that flavor extraction decreases over time. Letting the fruit sit for two weeks will not give you twice as much fruit flavor as letting it sit for one week.

After secondary fermentation with the fruit, siphon the beer away from the fruit solids into a keg or bottling bucket. You may want to use a sanitized kitchen strainer to remove floating fruit solids before racking. Bottle or keg the beer as you usually do.

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Old 05-01-2009, 05:39 PM   #3
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Using Fruits in Secondary Fermentation
Thanks! That's such a great insight on fruit additions. I've been looking for some info like this for when I rack my 15G apfelwein - I want to split it into 3 5G batches with different fruit in each.
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Old 05-01-2009, 05:41 PM   #4
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That is an excerp from an article in BYO magazine
Brew Your Own: The How-To Homebrew Beer Magazine - Recipes - Fruit Brew, Part 2: Techniques

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Old 05-01-2009, 05:52 PM   #5
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Using Fruits in Secondary Fermentation
For most fruits, the best time to add them is in secondary fermentation.
You mean In the secondary, correct? Not during the secondary phase of fermentation.

"Secondary fermenter" is actually a misnomer and a mistake many brewers don't grasp....the secondary has nothing to do with he process of "secondary fermentation" which is part of the normal yeast life cycle, one of the stages of fermentation.Which is done in your bucket or carboy.

You shouldn't rack a beer to secondary until fermentation is complete...

The secondary we are referring to is also called a "brite tank" it is the carboy where people move their beer to clear, or to add fruit, or hops for dry hopping... and to let the yeast and other things fall down...I

Here's John Palmer's explanation of the Secondary fermentation Phase

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The fermentation of malt sugars into beer is a complicated biochemical process. It is more than just the conversion of sugar to alcohol, which can be regarded as the primary activity. Total fermentation is better defined as three phases, the Adaptation or Lagtime phase, the Primary or Attenuative phase and a Secondary or Conditioning phase. The yeast do not end Phase 2 before beginning Phase 3, the processes occur in parallel, but the conditioning processes occur more slowly. As the majority of simple sugars are consumed, more and more of the yeast will transition to eating the larger, more complex sugars and early yeast by-products. This is why beer (and wine) improves with age to a degree, as long as they are on the yeast. Beer that has been filtered or pasteurized will not benefit from aging.

The reactions that take place during the conditioning phase are primarily a function of the yeast. The vigorous primary stage is over, the majority of the wort sugars have been converted to alcohol, and a lot of the yeast cells are going dormant - but some are still active.

The Secondary Phase allows for the slow reduction of the remaining fermentables. The yeast have eaten most all of the easily fermentable sugars and now start to turn their attention elsewhere. The yeast start to work on the heavier sugars like maltotriose. Also, the yeast clean up some of the byproducts they produced during the fast-paced primary phase. ...
It's easy to see how confusing the terms are...that's why we try to get outta the habit of saying secondary fermentation...and just say secondary...or bright tank (mostly just secondary, dropping fermenter or fermentation, since fermentation should be finished before you rack it to the secondary. After the hydrometer reading stays the same for 3 days.

So you mean, racking the beer to BRITE Tank after fermentation is complete (I usually rack any of my beers after two weeks, to add fruit or dry hop.) NOT adding it to the primary during the secondary phase of fermentation.

Otherwise the write up is dead on....

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Old 05-01-2009, 06:02 PM   #6
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The Revvypedia Has Spoken!

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Old 05-01-2009, 06:05 PM   #7
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Hey Revvy, I agree with everything you said there about secondary under normal circumstances but when you add fruit, you definitely get a secondary fermentation from the added sugars in the fruit.

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Old 05-01-2009, 06:11 PM   #8
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Hey Revvy, I agree with everything you said there about secondary under normal circumstances but when you add fruit, you definitely get a secondary fermentation from the added sugars in the fruit.
Not with orange peels which he was asking about, there's nothing fermentable in them...it's akin to dry hopping....

So are you suggesting with fruit that you move to brite tank BEFORE fermentation has reached terminal gravity, or more likely that another round of fermentation occurs with fruit, with it's own Lagtime phase, the Primary phase and a Secondary phase.

Sort of like when I add candi sugar to boost up a Belgian strong, I get a whole new krausen forming after each pound I add....so to my book that's three different complete fermentations....

I know it's semantics, but, it could be confusing to some folks....It was to me...
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:41 PM   #9
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Thanks guys. I will prolly toss a little of both peel and the fruit into the primary. It is all done now, but this way I can rack into the Brightninger (I like that name, sounds more made up) without having to carry the pulp and such with it. It is a Saison beer, so it shouldn't hurt to keep it on the yeast another week or more.

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Old 05-01-2009, 08:17 PM   #10
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I dry hopped a pale ale with some fresh orange zest, not the bitter orange peel that you buy from the homebrew store. The amount that I used only added a mere hint (about two oz, from three oranges) to my five gallons. I would double it easily the next time. Also I just poured some boiling hot water over it to get the oils soluble and sanitize it, then poured the cooled water and peels into the primary fermentor. Essentially adding some 1/4cup of water to my beer.

It took another three weeks for the bitter to fall out and the aroma to really start coming around. So I figure that I will make it again in this style, just wait a good month prior to chilling it.

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