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Old 07-30-2011, 08:50 PM   #1
steev23
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Default brewing with saguaro fruit

I'm wondering if anyone has had any success here brewing with saguaro cactus fruit. I've done some searching here on the forums and there was a little discussion somewhere but nothing really about how the final result tasted (or looked). The guy at a local brew store said he had failed the one time he tried, though i didn't get to ask exactly what he meant by "failed".

What i've tried is a belgian saison that I added a pound and a half of the fruit to, that we had just harvested a week earlier and frozen. I heated it up so it melted, then to just barely boiling temp to pasteurize it, then immediately turned off the heat and let it cool down to room temp, then added it to the secondary. That kicked off a whole new fermentation that has been going on for over 2 weeks now, though the bubbling is down to once every 90s or so. The SG is down to only 1.004 (!) (the predicted FG of my saison recipe, w/o the fruit, was 1.011) and the taste is quite alcoholic, almost medicinally so (and the color is a deep cherry red). my fear is that saguaro fruit is so sugary that i basically made the equivalent of a rum ale or something. which is too bad because the fruit is super delicious when it's fresh. I'm also just wondering how much longer I should wait to bottle.

Anyway, just wondering if anyone else has any similar experiments to share.

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Old 08-15-2011, 05:03 PM   #2
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well, just an update - I went ahead and bottled this batch and it's a totally drinkable beer. there's really no trace of the original taste of the saguaro fruit, and it's a very "dry" beer, but that's part of the saison style anyway, as i understand it. It is a very attactive ruby red color. i'd say it's a success, although perhaps not something i'm going to do again any time soon - although I am thinking about doing a Prickly Pear Porter this fall.....

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Old 01-08-2012, 05:17 AM   #3
brewdude25
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Hey thanks for the update. Finally, someone actually sticks around the thread to say how the beer turned out! Hey do you know of any other way to get the fruit other than harvesting it your self? Can you buy some sort of syrup or jam? If so, where?
Thanks in advance!

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Old 01-09-2012, 04:25 PM   #4
steev23
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That's a good question. It's such a low-yield fruit and commercial gathering is prohibited on public lands, while only tribe members can gather on reservation land. So it makes sense that there would be very little out there available for sale. You might find some syrups and stuff at farmers markets around arizona, but I can't say that I remember ever coming across it for sale. Native Seed Search has some saguaro teas and might have suggestions of where else to look.... Native Seeds/SEARCH

btw, I heard New Belgium just released a Prickly Pear Saison. But I have yet to find a bottle anywhere around here.

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