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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > Fresh fruit or fruit purée??
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:16 PM   #1
Brewfill
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Default Fresh fruit or fruit purée??

I want to try brewing a fruit beer but can't decide between fresh fruit or purée. I read so much about contamination with fresh fruit I'm not sure I should do it. On the other hand I'm worried the purée will not give me as good an effect on the beer. Thoughts? Also i read it's about a puns of fruit per gallon of beer. Is that true and what is the equivalent to that in oz of purée.
Thanks for the help.

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Old 01-27-2012, 01:04 PM   #2
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Fresh fruit will always be better, just make sure to remove any pits, crush and freeze before adding. Freezing will help break down the cell walls and make it easier to ferment. Removing the pits prevent off flavors such as an almond taste when the pit is left in cherries.

Last time I did a cherry Belgian strong I soaked the cherries in brandy to help kill some of the germs although I should have soaked them in an alcohol of 150 proof to effectively sterilize the fruit. This was an option as I was all ready brewing a dark strong beer.

If you are adding to the secondary, which you should as this will preserve the most amount of flavor, then your chance of infection is reduced by the lack of oxygen and presence of alcohol that make it difficult for bacterial cultures to grow.

For my cherry ale the amount of fruit I pitched was 2 pounds per 1 gallon of beer, I also added fresh cherry juice as well. It does take a lot and how much depends on the fruit you want to use. Sour fruits yield the best result and in fact some fruits when fermented take on the characteristics of other fruit. You do want to have a good ratio of sour and sweet fruit as you need both. Typically more sour than sweet.

Hope that helps.
Cheers

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Old 01-28-2012, 03:22 AM   #3
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Fruit vs puree = same weight.

If canned, puree is already sanitized. Just straight pitch.

If fruit is clean, it can be added straight to the fermenter. I generally pasteurize the fruit by adding some water and heating to 160 and holding for a minute or so (only needs 5 seconds).

Fruit is mainly simple sugars, and the yeast will ferment that out completely, so the resulting flavors may not be very strong of the fruit. Be prepared that the resulting beer will not be as fruity as you might be expecting.

I disagree with ehedge, in that, at least for cherries, you should leave in the stones. They give the beer a wonderful flavor, and most brewing texts will agree with me.

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Old 01-30-2012, 05:29 AM   #4
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Whenever possible, go with fresh fruit. The wild yeast living on the fruit will add complexity to your beers. As stated above, freezing first helps.

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Old 01-30-2012, 05:53 PM   #5
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I like using fresh, but the real question is quality. If you have very good in season fruit then use that. If not go with purée. There's no reason to sacrifice the quality of the fruit just to use it whole. Local's best because it's picked ripe whereas supermarket fruit is picked early so it survives.

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Old 09-20-2012, 06:12 PM   #6
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Sorry to wake up an old thread.

I was thinking about adding apricots to my secondary. The recipe called for puree, but I was considering buying fresh and pureeing them myself. Would this add any advantage or should i throw them in whole?

I intend on pasteurizing them before I do anything...

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Old 09-21-2012, 12:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sshamash View Post
Sorry to wake up an old thread.

I was thinking about adding apricots to my secondary. The recipe called for puree, but I was considering buying fresh and pureeing them myself. Would this add any advantage or should i throw them in whole?

I intend on pasteurizing them before I do anything...
I have always herd and had good luck with freezing fresh fruit first to break the cell walls and lightly smash them. this helps keep a lot of the "junk" out of the final product. Also pasteurizing the fruit, depending on ones opinion, may not be necessary due to the presence of alcohol and an anaerobic environment that make it difficult for bacteria to grow. If you heat the fruit to pasteurize then you will have pectin haze which will cloud the beer.
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sshamash View Post
Sorry to wake up an old thread.

I was thinking about adding apricots to my secondary. The recipe called for puree, but I was considering buying fresh and pureeing them myself. Would this add any advantage or should i throw them in whole?

I intend on pasteurizing them before I do anything...
The benefit of pureeing is that you expose all the sugars and flavor components right away. You don't have to rely on the fruit completely breaking down to release all the good stuff. So you'll get faster results. Throwing them in whole means you have to wait for the fruit to break down. That's not necessarily a bad thing when you want the beer to undergo additional aging with the fruit.
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