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Old 07-02-2009, 04:32 AM   #1
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Default Fruit beer... how long in secondary?

I've had an 8% belgian wheat in primary for the last month, finally racked it onto some fruit and a little corn sugar this morning. Any ideas for how long I should leave it on the fruit to get the flavors out? Obviously the primary fermentation is done, but I want to get as much as I can out of the berries and rhubarb.

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Old 07-02-2009, 05:01 AM   #2
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I usually do two weeks minimum for any additions in secondary...draw a sample and taste it then, but realize that when it it carbed and conditioned for a month or so it will fade....if it is "too fruity" then bottle it and let it sit for 3-5 weeks to carb and condition..if it is not quite there yet...give it another week...

you almost want to think "it's ALMOST too much" when you bottle it, knowing that it will mellow with conditioning.

As an aside, I have been cotemplating mixing any fruit additions with a hint of lactose...see if you add corn or table suger, the yeast will eat that and leave you with alcohol and not taste..but I have been thinking that since lactose is non fermentable, that is I could flavor lactose with my fruit or spice essence, it might carry though.

I do a ginger orange beer every year, and have been trying to perfect it..next time, about a week ahead, I am thinking about taking some ginger and orange rind and infuse the lactose with it for a week or so (just putting it in a sanitized jar, with some ginger and orange rind) THEN adding that to my beer.,...hoping sincce lactose is not consumed by the yeast the "flavoniods" of the orange and ginger oils will permeate the beer.

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Old 07-02-2009, 04:42 PM   #3
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I...don't like that "wine" taste you get when you allow the fruit to ferment.

Here is how I make my Cherry Wheat now:

Three weeks in the primary to let the primary fermentation to mostly finish.

Crash cool the beer.

Rack to secondary on top of the crushed cherries, trying to minimize yeast in the racking.

One week on the fruit, in the fridge. Once again, trying to minimize secondary fermentation.

Then, into the keg.

You still get some fermentation of the fruit, but not nearly as much. Beats the hell out of adding cherry "cough syrup" (extract).

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Old 07-02-2009, 04:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jajabee View Post
I've had an 8% belgian wheat in primary for the last month, finally racked it onto some fruit and a little corn sugar this morning. Any ideas for how long I should leave it on the fruit to get the flavors out? Obviously the primary fermentation is done, but I want to get as much as I can out of the berries and rhubarb.
Im curious about your beeries and rhubarb wheat. What process did you do to extract the flavor of the rhubarb?
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:39 AM   #5
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Thanks guys, I guess I'll give it a few weeks then. This is my first fruit beer, so I don't know if I'll like the "wine" taste or not. If not, I'll know what to do.

Cigars, I just chopped it up, froze it, and then dumped it into the bucket. I have no idea if it's actually going to work. We'll see in a few weeks!

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Old 07-03-2009, 01:29 AM   #6
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I do around one month to six weeks. I have no idea what the "wine" taste is Cpt Kirks is talking about, but I usually go light enough on the fruit that its influence on the flavor is pretty subtle. I tend to get more of an aroma/hint of the fruit in my brews.

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Old 10-17-2009, 10:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt_Kirks View Post
I...don't like that "wine" taste you get when you allow the fruit to ferment.

Here is how I make my Cherry Wheat now:

Three weeks in the primary to let the primary fermentation to mostly finish.

Crash cool the beer.

Rack to secondary on top of the crushed cherries, trying to minimize yeast in the racking.

One week on the fruit, in the fridge. Once again, trying to minimize secondary fermentation.

Then, into the keg.

You still get some fermentation of the fruit, but not nearly as much. Beats the hell out of adding cherry "cough syrup" (extract).
I got that wine flavor in my first cherry stout. The recipe said to put the 5 pounds of cherries in the primary, never again will I do that! I'll try your tip of 1 week in secondary.
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:32 PM   #8
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how did it turn out?

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Old 08-29-2013, 06:06 PM   #9
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Old thread but i'm racking a hefeweizen on top of blueberries today.

Shooting for 2 weeks in secondary then off to bottle.

It's a first for me, fruit and beer so we'll see what happens.

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Old 09-09-2013, 01:15 AM   #10
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Is there a max time? I imagine the fruit begins to rot at some point?

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