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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Racking to fruit
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:30 AM   #1
JJRJR
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Default Racking to fruit

Hey guys, I was thinking of racking my Summer Ale onto some oranges in my secondary fermenter. What is the process? Do I just cut a few oranges in half and put them into the carboy and rack on top?

Leave it there for a couple weeks?

Thanks so much,

John

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Old 04-27-2012, 12:57 AM   #2
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I also was wondering Will the fruit ferment

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Old 04-27-2012, 01:02 AM   #3
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From what I've "heard" you just rack right onto whatever fruit you want and it actually gives the yeast more sugar to eat. Let's see what the verdict is.

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Old 04-27-2012, 01:13 AM   #4
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You have several options, all of which involve making sure the fruit is free of contaminants. There are several posts describing using frozen fruits, fruit puree, pasteurizing, or using vodka. Take your pick - from what I can tell, they're all relatively equally effective and delicious.

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Old 04-27-2012, 01:33 AM   #5
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I had a 7 gal batch of BM's centennial blonde that I wanted to split and fruit half. I let it fully ferment in primary for 14 days. I then took 4lbs of frozen strawberries and pureed them in the blender and added to a sanitized 3gal better bottle. Then I racked off from the primary to the 3g BB until almost the neck and racked the rest into a keg.

I hadn't anticipated how much pressure would be created by the yeast in suspension racked onto fruit. Fortunately I was checking it a few times a day and caught it as it started to push some of the puree into the airlock. I ended up having to run a blow off for 2 days, then swap out for a new sanitized airlock.

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Old 04-27-2012, 03:57 AM   #6
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With something like oranges you could always just add zest, easier and less messy. Soak in vodka and just add to primary, then you don't have to worry about sanitation and oxidation issues with moving your beer. Things like berries I rack over in a secondary.

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Old 04-27-2012, 07:16 AM   #7
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I would prefer to make a small highly flavorful must with solid included from whatever fruit I'm using, pasteurize @ 140 for 45 mins to kill bacteria and then add to the beer. I haven't done this yet but I would prefer not to add vodka to my beer. I have a sensitive pallet for alcohol and vodka does have ethyl byproducts that can be detected in the final product, bleh. That's jut me though.

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Old 04-27-2012, 04:06 PM   #8
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The thing that always worries me is the acid levels of citrus fruit, I have used whole fruits before ( berries, peaches and pears) but always used zest or dry hopped for a citrus flavor.

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Old 04-28-2012, 05:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJRJR View Post
Hey guys, I was thinking of racking my Summer Ale onto some oranges in my secondary fermenter. What is the process? Do I just cut a few oranges in half and put them into the carboy and rack on top?
I have never seen a recipe that uses citrus juice. Just add the zest. If worried about bugs, soak the zest in alcohol (vodka) for a few days. Using alcohol will extract the orange flavor better.

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Originally Posted by DannPM View Post
I would prefer to make a small highly flavorful must with solid included from whatever fruit I'm using, pasteurize @ 140 for 45 mins to kill bacteria and then add to the beer. I haven't done this yet but I would prefer not to add vodka to my beer. I have a sensitive pallet for alcohol and vodka does have ethyl byproducts that can be detected in the final product, bleh. That's jut me though.
Your home brew will have many more alcohol byproducts than vodka. The vodka on the market today is pretty pure. If you have issues with higher alcohols in vodka, you are going to have lots more problems with homebrew.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calder
Your home brew will have many more alcohol byproducts than vodka. The vodka on the market today is pretty pure. If you have issues with higher alcohols in vodka, you are going to have lots more problems with homebrew.
Really, my home brew will develop problems due to having a palette that can identify different alcohol characteristics in vodka? That makes perfect sense...lol

Just to clarify, there are plethoras of alcohol byproducts other than those from the family of higher alcohols.
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