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Old 02-04-2008, 02:13 AM   #1
Parker36
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Default Adding Fruit Flavor

Was wondering when you guys added your fruit flavors. I have heard in secondary and just prior to bottling. I want to make a flavored Wheat beer, and if I can, I'd like to split it into two half gallon batches. So what are your opinions?

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Old 02-04-2008, 03:14 AM   #2
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I have never made a fruit beer, but everyone says in the secondary is the best time to add the fruit. If you're going to split it, you're best bet would be 2 secondaries.

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Old 02-04-2008, 06:13 PM   #3
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I have made several bears with fruit flavors, such as a blueberry wheat and even a #9 clone. All of mine were done with the fruit extract they sell at the LHBS and online suppliers, and I love the taste. I'm sure you will find the cost and hassle of using real fruit will not be worth it. Pick up a 4 oz bottle, add it to the bottling bucket when you add your priming solution, before racking the brew to it. You will be very satisfied with the result.

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/index.php?cPath=178_21_74

http://homebrewcompany.com/homebrew/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=THC&Category_Co de=241

http://www.northernbrewer.com/beer-flavorings.html

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Old 02-04-2008, 06:22 PM   #4
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Add to to your bottling bucket, when you get ready to bottle, so there is a more pronounced flavor in your beer.

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Old 02-05-2008, 12:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker36
Was wondering when you guys added your fruit flavors. I have heard in secondary and just prior to bottling.
If "Flavors" don't have any sugar, just add at bottling. If the flavors are real fruit or fruit puree then add during secondary. You know...too much sugar in the bottle = present for mother-in-law (yeah, bottle-bombs)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker36
I want to make a flavored Wheat beer, and if I can, I'd like to split it into two half gallon batches. So what are your opinions?
I really like the idea of splitting a batch. Especially, flavored wheat - I can better hone in on what SWMBO likes.
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:42 AM   #6
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I've done a Kiwit...and a cherry stout. I used fresh kiwi for one and frozen cherries for the other. I added like 6-8 lbs. of cut kiwi after the end of my boil and added the fruit to the primary fermenter. Racked(siphoned out fruit) for a couple weeks then bottled. Same with the cherry stout. I guess adding the fruit to such hot wort might kill off flavors however I didnt seem to notice this.(however I havent done the same recipes other ways) I was very satisfied with the results. Now that I think of it I also did a Red Grapefruit Red Ale. That was an interesting flavor, oddly though it seemed to fit nicely.

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Old 02-05-2008, 03:10 PM   #7
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I just did a Hefeweisen and used orange zest as a flavoring. Just add half an ounce (about two oranges' worth of zest) to the boil when you add your aromatic hops. I'd imagine this would work well with any other citrus zest as well.

Note - if you use store-bought produce, wash it WELL before zesting since you might still have some pesticides, etc. that could kill your yeast. Organic produce would be best but I'd still wash it.


You can also make a fruit puree out of almost anything. Strawberries, blueberries, cherries, pomegranate, cranberries, etc. Take about a pound of fruit, mash the fruit up, add about two cups of water and boil for maybe 10-15 minutes. Once the fruit is all broken up, add one cup of sugar and dissolve completely. Blend well and then strain to remove any seeds or such. If you add gelatin to that, you'd get jelly. Without gelatin, you're left with an intense fruit syrup that you could add during secondary. Those measures should turn out something that's approximately equal to one pound of sugar depending upon what type of fruit you used.

I'd say, make sure it fully dissolves and check the gravity. Make sure the gravity drops and then levels off again before bottling or you might wind up with some 'sploders.


EDIT: Another interesting idea is to use a vodka or rum infusion. I've always made my own infusions and it might be a really cool flavoring in beer. You just get a 1-liter bottle or larger (those lemonade or iced tea glass jars work well) and put the desired fruit inside, then empty the contents of a bottle of booze into it. My last one was a bottle of Bacardi silver with half a pineapple and 3 kiwis plus a vanilla pod. It's AWESOME! Just keep it in the fridge and give it a shake every now and then. It'll take about 2 weeks to fully infuse but longer won't hurt. Strain with cheesecloth and funnel into whatever storage container (I just use the original booze bottle) you want. Keep the results refrigerated just in case. Use any neutral or clear spirit - the oaked versions generally lack the subtlety to hold up to an infusion but orange cognac is certainly awesome in its own right.

It'll bump up your ABV a bit but it might give you some "cocktail" options. Just bottle normally and then add a half a shot of the infusion at drinking time. You'll get some flavor addition and it gives you the option to add or not to add as it suits you at the time.

*shrug* Just an idea.

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Old 02-05-2008, 05:15 PM   #8
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What you do with fruit depends on what you want the beer to taste like. I am a proponent of fresh fruit only. I think the additive syrups and other substitutes have none of the subtleties and complexities of real fruit.

When you add the fruit changes how pronounced the actual "fruit" flavor is; more pronounced the later you add it. For example, the Kiwit mentioned earlier uses the kiwis as a replacement for the orange zest to provide the tang in the wit style. (A fantastic summer beer by the way)

Adding fruit to the primary will drive off a lot of the fruitiness of the fruit but the subtle flavors wills till be present.

Late additions, (in the secondary) will provide the most delicate fruit flavors and will be more pronounced.

I just made a ridiculously fruity raspberry wheat. I wrote this recipe in my list. I just wanted to push what I thought was the upper limit of the fruitiness scale. This beer turned out great! It is a lot like a super clean tasting lambic. I think next time I make this brew I will sour it and age it on some oak.

Fruit beers are fun to experiment with, so go ahead and try something new.

My other tip for fresh fruit in either primary or secondary is to have it all sanitized by the grocery store when you buy it. They have industrial washers in the back, just ask a friendly looking employee to help. Let them know what it is for and they will be more than eager to help out. I just have them wrap it up in a fresh plastic bag and write down what is in the bag. Then I get my sanitized fruit home and dump it in my fermenter. If you add fruit to the end of the boil, you need not worry about sanitizing the fruit.

Also, for fresh fruit the best way to get it is to go pick your own in your area during the ripening season. Cheap and fun.

Cheers

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Old 07-18-2009, 07:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bs22619 View Post
I've done a Kiwit...and a cherry stout. I used fresh kiwi for one and frozen cherries for the other. I added like 6-8 lbs. of cut kiwi after the end of my boil and added the fruit to the primary fermenter. Racked(siphoned out fruit) for a couple weeks then bottled. Same with the cherry stout. I guess adding the fruit to such hot wort might kill off flavors however I didnt seem to notice this.(however I havent done the same recipes other ways) I was very satisfied with the results. Now that I think of it I also did a Red Grapefruit Red Ale. That was an interesting flavor, oddly though it seemed to fit nicely.
I was thinking of using Red Grapefruit with a wheat beer. Was it too bitter? Or sweet, and citrus forward? I'm curious.
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Old 07-18-2009, 07:33 PM   #10
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I've made a Blackberry Ale with baout 3.5 lbs of frozen, thawed, and pureed blackberries racked onto in the secondary for about 10 days, then racked to a tertiary for an additional 7 days.

I would say when using fresh fruit, at least double your normal conditioning time to allow the flavors to meld and mellow.

FWIW, also find a way to fashion a filter to your racking cane to avoid chunky beer.

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