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Old 01-06-2008, 04:15 AM   #1
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Default Fruit in the Primary

I'm in the process of making of a fruit hefeweizen and I decided to try adding some of the fruit to the primary to see what happens. It was only about 1# but now I'm wondering if it was such a good idea. I know in most cases the fruit is added to the secondary and I plan on doing this as well. Is there any benefit or harm caused by adding fruit to the primary fermenter?

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Old 01-06-2008, 04:58 AM   #2
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Yeast will eat some of the sugar from the fruit and effect the flavor of your final product. It should still be good though. Not much of an effect I dont THINK.

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Old 01-06-2008, 05:50 AM   #3
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FWIW whenever I do a fruit beer I always wait for initial fermentation to die down, then add the fruit (which starts fermentation back up). I always do this in the primary. I have had great results with this method.

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Old 01-06-2008, 01:44 PM   #4
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its mostly avoided in primary because you can't estimate how the yeast will react to the fruit, especially as the fruit mixes with your yeast cake and trub and starts to break down on its own.

in either case, any fermentable sugar is fermented by the yeast if it has any attenuation left.

no real harm, you'll just get more consistent, reproducable results by waiting til secondary.

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Old 01-06-2008, 03:38 PM   #5
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Well it's been about 24 hours since the pitch and the blowoff is bubbling very well and there's a nice krausen. I'm hoping this keeps up. I realized shortly after sealing the fermenter that I probably should have asked this question *before* I did it. Oh well.

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Old 01-06-2008, 06:11 PM   #6
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In Zainashef and Palmers new book BREWING CLASSIC STYLES (and maybe their others) they recomend adding the fruit just after fermentation begins to slow down in the primary fermenter. This is what I've done also with good results too. It gives you flexability on how long you can leave the fruit on the beer. Since most of the fermentation is complete you could rack it off the same day or leave it as long as you dare on the yeast cake. If you add it to a secondary you'll end up racking three times if you want a particle free beer.

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Old 01-06-2008, 07:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepsn beer
In Zainashef and Palmers new book BREWING CLASSIC STYLES (and maybe their others) they recomend adding the fruit just after fermentation begins to slow down in the primary fermenter. This is what I've done also with good results too. It gives you flexability on how long you can leave the fruit on the beer. Since most of the fermentation is complete you could rack it off the same day or leave it as long as you dare on the yeast cake. If you add it to a secondary you'll end up racking three times if you want a particle free beer.
Yup, all of the reasons you listed are the reasons I do it this way. Makes less headaches for me.
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:09 AM   #8
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I've put fruit in the primary from the very start of fermentation. I let it sit in there for 3 days before I scoop it out with a sanitized strainer. I've made two batches of raspberry stout using 5# fruit each batch. The beer gets the most compliments I've received thus far, so I would say this method is successful. Although I have to admit scooping out all the fruit is a major pain.

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Old 01-07-2008, 05:34 AM   #9
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This is actually my first fruit beer. Is scooping the fruit out after a few days necessary? Is it possible that the fruit will rot and spoil the beer?

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Old 01-07-2008, 06:05 AM   #10
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depends, where did the fruit come from? If it came from a can or jar, it's already been at least pasteurized (sp?). so it won't spoil. If it was fresh fruit and you just dumped it in without cooking it in any way, you're asking for trouble (ie infection), and yes, it will spoil in time. Fruit is normally only used after primary fermentation is complete, because the best flavors are accomplished in a few days. Leaving it in there for a long time will not give it better flavors. It could, however, cause the yeast to stay slightly active for a LONG time as the sugars slowly leach out of the fruit. It could allow for pectin to be released causing unfixable haziness in the final product. I've not tried fruit beers yet, but from my reading I've decided the best course of action is to add the fruit to the primary container after the primary fermentation is done. Then after a few days, rack to secondary to remove the beer from the fruit, trub, and yeast cake; for clearing. I'm not trying to scare you into thinking everything is ruined. I'm sure it's not. I'm just trying to offer a better plan for next time. Oh, and comments from more experienced fruit users is VERY welcomed

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