I've made blackberry/raspberry melomel with frozen fruit. I brought the fruit up to 160 F to sanitize it, let it chill outside (brewed in wintertime...), and added it in the primary. If you had a smaller quantity, put it in a bag to keep the seeds etc. contained. I thought the skins added quite a bit of color and a bit of astringency, but it's good stuff.
Going into the primary may lose you a little bit of the fruit aroma, but allows you two chances to get fruit bits out before you bottle.
Remember that the sugar in the fruit is highly fermentable but the tartness is not - real fruit will make your beer a bit more tart, whereas fruit extract probably will not. The residual sweetness to balance that has to come from the caramel malts. 8 oz of caramel in 5 gallons isn't a lot...but I would not use a gross excess of fruit. 2 qts of blueberry juice in 2.5 gallons of a wheat I tried to doctor up was enough to make it quite tart (not enough caramel malt, probably too much juice) but did give it a nice berry aroma.
Originally Posted by bhallett9
Thanks I appreciate the input. Definitely still trying to figure out how to manage to sugars properly and realize the honey could pose some problems. Will look into adding during fermentation.
Lastly, had anyone ever used a combo of racking onto fresh/frozen fruit in secondary and using fruit extract at bottling? Seems like it wouldn't work well, but thought I would ask.
Natural 20 Brewery
Yes, that *is* beer. Water, malt, hops, and yeast mean it's beer. Go ahead and try a glass...