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-   -   Brewing With Apples (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/brewing-apples-353999/)

djonas 09-12-2012 11:48 PM

Does anyone have any experience brewing with the actual fruit? I was thinking about washing, peeling, blending or liquefying, then finally pasteurizing a bunch of them and then adding the stuff to the primary vessel.

My original base beer was something golden or amber with a possible faint odor of cinnamon or spice. Pending on how the fruits actually taste post fermentation, the base beer could be something else. At any rate, they will be hand picked and most likely something like Fuji.

Thanks in advance.

djonas 09-14-2012 05:14 AM

Aaaaaany advice?

FastAndy 09-14-2012 05:18 AM

Hmm. Green apple flavor is usually an off flavor/fault. Maybe look into "Graff" type cider.

djonas 09-14-2012 05:58 AM

A bite! I don't want to use cider if I can help it. This green apple flavor; is it detected as apple or as something less desirable that somewhat hints at green apple?

porcupine73 09-14-2012 01:51 PM

I've made a few carboys of fruit wine, but none are ready to try yet. I put the fruit (apples, nectarines, pears, basically whatever I could find) out in the sun for a few days to get it really ripe. Then I freeze it for about 24 hours. Then I use my big stainless pot, boil water in it, and get my sugars&sweeteners disolved in it. Then I put in the frozen fruit and let it sit for an hour or two. At this point, the fruit is extremely mushy. So I get in there with my hands and work it over, squeezing it and making it into a mash/pulp. Normally it starts fizzing on its own from the wild yeasts, but when the temperature is right, I still add a yeast packet. Then I cover the pot with a bedsheet and large rubberband to keep the fruit flies out. Then I stir it twice a day for about 5 days, and then rack it into a carboy.

My last batch I added a bottle of noni juice and tart cherry extract. That batch smells absolutely amazing and tasted good when I racked it to the carboy, hopefully it still tastes great after the fermentation is complete.

TopherM 09-14-2012 05:34 PM

My brewbuddy (<---that sounds a bit fruity....I mean the guy I brew with), makes an apple saison that is one of his better house brews. He adds about 4lbs of granny smith apples, cored and cut into about 1" chunks, to his secondary. The apple flavor is completely absent for the first 8 weeks or so, then shows up nicely.

On his last batch, he roasted the apples just enough to lightly carmelize the outside, and that batch turned out even better to my tastes. Similar apple flavor, but it's a bit more complex and balanced with the malt character.

Just keep the grain bill on the lighter OG, SRM, and IBU side, and be patient with a longer conditioning period, and you'll enjoy the contribution apples make to your brew.

kingwood-kid 09-15-2012 07:26 AM

Someone else asked almost this exact question just a few days ago. I'll tell you what I told him (which is not too different from what Topherm said):

Apples have a pretty high sugar:flavor ratio, so they're not great in beer. I don't think the acid content would play well with extra-hoppy beers, and the delicate apple flavor would probably disappear in an RIS or other dark beer. My advice would be to use the apples in a paler beer that calls for a simple sugar addition, using the apples instead of the sugar. Tripel is the runaway winner in my head, but a Saison or a Belgian Calypso IPA might work too. New Glarus made a smoked apple ale, but I can't tell you if it was any good, although the idea sounds intriguing. Maybe go heavy on caramel malts and add some spices and biscuit malt to make an apple pie beer? Just about any sour sounds like it could work well too.

djonas 09-15-2012 07:57 PM

Okay great. Thanks for the advice. Oh and give your brewbuddy my regards, Topher!

HollisBT 09-15-2012 08:00 PM

I just brewed a sour apple Saison a few weeks ago.

I put about 12-16 ounces of apple juice in the wort at the end of boil, then once fermentation was competed I chunked up about 5 pounds of granny smith apples to put into the fermenter. Gonna let it age for a few more weeks to soak up some solid apple flavor and let the Brett do some of its work.

djonas 09-16-2012 03:29 PM

Alright, don't forget to let us know how it turns out!

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