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Old 06-06-2013, 09:13 PM   #1
davidsimpson
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Default Adding ingredients to fermenter

Hello all. I'm a newbie and I can't seem to find a clear answer to a question I have.
I read in a lot of recipes about adding things to the primary or secondary fermenter such as fruit, coffee, sugars, vanilla beans, etc. I'm wondering how the issue of sanitation is addressed. Obviously, boiling and cooling, like coffee or sugar will do the trick. But what about the other things like fruit, herbs, spices, etc? It seems to violate the basic premise of "let nothing touch the beer between cool-down and bottling/kegging". I am deliberately being overly cautious, since I'm new.
I HAVE searched through the posts here, but info is scattered and sometimes conflicting.
Thanks in advance for any advice. My experience so far:

1gal starter kit Irish Red Ale (Northern Brewer) Pleasantly surprised!
Same same Dead Ringer IPA. Even better.
Another DR-IPA. Even BETTER!
Another Irish Red Ale. Meh. Bottled too soon, opened to soon. Was fine by the last bottle. I got thirsty. It happens.

5 gal Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone, extract with grains set up by LHBS. Great!
5 gal Scottish 60/-. Same as above. Meh. Drinkable but not much body. Or alcohol. Or head. I think I made barley tea.
I AM having fun though!
Thanks again.

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Old 06-06-2013, 09:42 PM   #2
duboman
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It really depends on what you are planning to add as to how it is addressed.

Like Vanilla beans can simply be soaked in vodka for a few and then added. Coffee beans are usually cold steeped and then the liquid is added. Fruit is a whole other story and it depends on the fruit, fresh, frozen, pureed, etc. All of these things are usually added in a secondary vessel once primary fermentation is complete. The only thing most people will add to a primary is dry hop additions and they can just be thrown in.

You have to remember that once fermentation is complete the alcohol in the beer makes a pretty inhospitable environment for things to grow in many cases.

If you know what you want to add specifically then it is easier to search that specific item

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