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Old 08-07-2011, 12:28 PM   #1
Unibrow
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Default Mango question(s)

I just started my first experiment with fruit. I'm doing a BB Weizenbier kit and wanted to infuse it with Mango. I know everybody says to rack onto fruit in secondary, which I still might do...but for starters:

I threw in 2 pounds of frozen mango chunks at flameout, and kept in the primary fermenter. I took this advice from Papazian's book, although most people have said do NOT keep fruit in primary. The airlock activity from my Ale Pail was out of control after 24 hours! I could feel the air coming out of the little holes like an air hockey table and it smelled of delicious mango.

Questions:

1. Why are so many people against fruit in primary? Just because the fruit may ferment out and lose flavor? Or is there more to it...
2. Should I open up fermenter and remove mango pieces (in 4 days now)
3. Should I rack onto MORE mango in secondary?



Thank yinz in advance

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Old 08-07-2011, 04:20 PM   #2
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1) From what I have read/researched, people will put fruit into primary or secondary for different reasons. As a general rule of thumb fruit will go into primary if you want to add color and perhaps some very subtle flavor to your beers. Fruit will be added into secondary if a much more pronounced flavor and aroma are desire.

In my own experience, I have brewed twice with fruit and both timed I put into primary and neither time was the flavor or aroma particularly pronounced. The color, on the other hand, was brilliant!

2) My advice to you would be to allow you beer to finish it's fermentation (5-7 days) and then take a gravity reading. If you have reached your target gravity then rack into secondary leaving your fruit and sediment behind.

3) At the time when you take a gravity reading to determine if your beer is ready to move to secondary taste the sample you pulled. You will then be able to determine whether or not the mango is as pronounced as you would desire. If it is not as pronounced then you can put some mango into secondary and rack the beer onto it. Most of your fermenting has been done at this point and the alcohol will aid in extracting the flavors.

I hope this helps, mate! Good luck!

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Old 08-07-2011, 04:32 PM   #3
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I usually use a 3 step process when using fruit. Ferment base beer in primary, rack onto fruit in secondary where you will actually get a secondary fermentation from the fruit, then into a tertiary and cold crash to get all your fruit goo to drop out. That's just me though, everyone does it a little different.

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Old 08-07-2011, 04:33 PM   #4
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The reason that most people wait to add fruit until primary fermentation is up is the same reason that you want to dry hop after primary as well. During primary fermentation when the yeast are eating the wort sugars and cranking out CO2 you get a lot of aromatics being carried out of solution thanks to the CO2 off-gassing. By adding fruit and or hops while primary fermentation is still largely occurring, you are wasting your efforts if your end goal is a large amount of hop and/or fruit aroma.

If you wait until a large portion of primary fermentation is completed and then add your fruit, you will be able to preserve a lot more of those flavor and aromatic compounds in your finished beer. Like mentioned above, I would wait until your primary fermentation is completed then taste a sample. If you beer has the flavor and color you want after primary fermentation, go with what you have.

If its lacking on the aroma, you can add some more fruit in the secondary but you are going to increase the flavor and color in the beer the longer it is on the fruit. If you choose to add some more fresh fruit in the secondary just taste test it often and be ready to rack the beer off the fruit once you feel its got the right balance of flavor and aroma.

As much as I like the idea and concept of using fresh fruit in many of my beers, I have honestly been a complete convert to using extracts for all my fruit flavors. This way I can brew a perfect base beer and then using my extract can try a bunch of different levels in 12 ounce pours to find the right balance of flavor and aroma.

Good luck with the beer, a mango wheat beer sounds like an awesomely refreshing recipe!

Matt

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Old 08-07-2011, 05:51 PM   #5
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Thank you Rip, Spin and Natty! All very good advice. I know to just RDWHABH in the meantime. The primary fermentation will be done in the next couple days. I will take a gravity reading and do a taste test, then determine how much mango to put in my secondary.

I've read about people using 8# of Mango, and they only get a little hint of flavor from it. But I'm looking for a strong mango flavor. I bought 4 fresh ripe mangoes, which I will turn into puree with vodka in my food processor, then stick in the freezer to kill the germs.

I will let it sit in the secondary for 7-10 days and bottle after bubbling slows to a crawl. Then bottle and (hopefully) wait 10 days before cracking my first bottle. I will certainly let you all know how it came out. Thanks for the advice, if anybody has any other tips/tricks or advice for mango, let me hear it!

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Old 08-08-2011, 01:59 AM   #6
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Subscribed.

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Old 08-08-2011, 02:24 AM   #7
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Did you happen to use Citra hops?? Citra gives off a very pronounced Mango flavor, would have been the perfect hop for this brew!

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Old 08-08-2011, 02:47 AM   #8
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No Citra - I used low alpha Mt Hood (bittering and aroma)

The IBUs of this kit are between 6-10 which is very low, but people say the mango flavor (and many other fruits) will clash with a higher IBU level.

In another fermenter, I have an IPA going with Columbus Hops (14% alpha) for bittering - so I'm guessing my IPA will satisfy my hop cravings and the mango will be good for the lighter brew.

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Old 08-08-2011, 11:37 PM   #9
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Just an update with the mango weizen:

I racked onto 3 fresh mangoes (pureed with vodka in food processor) in secondary after 5 days in fermenter. It was mostly smooth sailing, although the siphon got stuck a few times with mango pieces. The airlock started bubbling almost immediately in the secondary, and some of the mango floated to the top. I will be bottling in about 10 days, and let you know the results after 1 week in the bottle.

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Old 08-09-2011, 01:14 AM   #10
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My two cents - leave it longer than that. The primary might have been a bit longer, too.

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