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Old 03-21-2009, 04:58 PM   #1
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Default sanitizing blueberries?

Hey all, I want to make a blueberry beer, most likely a wheat. I have access to a lot of frozen wild blueberries. I have yet to brew with fruit like this, I was planning on adding them to the secondary. But I am confused on sanitizing the blueberries. What should I do? thanks.

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Old 03-21-2009, 06:55 PM   #2
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Most people pasteurize the blueberries before adding to the secondary, I would suggest reading up further on using real fruit as it can bring new problems to the brewing especially if you don't process correctly. I am a big fan of extracts as I find most people can't really tell the difference and you pitch it in with your priming sugar so less of a worry for infection or other problems.

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Old 03-21-2009, 10:25 PM   #3
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Put them in a little sugar, lemon juice and cardamon and bake a pie

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Old 03-22-2009, 12:39 AM   #4
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The technique I've read about (and am about to try with cherries) is to take the fruit and put it in a pot, add water so it just about comes to the same level as the top of the fruit. Heat at 160 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool and add to secondary for a week. Afterwards, you might consider going to a 3rd fermenter post the fruit fermentation...

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Old 03-22-2009, 12:43 AM   #5
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As others have stated, do pasteurize the blueberries at ~160F for 10 minutes.

There is no need to add water, just dump the frozen blueberries in a small pot and slowly heat to ~160F. The blueberries will naturally breakdown and become a paste which you can then dump into your beer warm (not hot).

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Old 03-23-2009, 05:13 PM   #6
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I don't do anything to sanitize blueberries.

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Old 03-23-2009, 05:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbeerpig View Post
Most people pasteurize the blueberries before adding to the secondary...
I wouldn't say this, actually. There are MANY techniques used, and i'm sure all have worked for some at one time or another. All the fruit beer I've done, and have heard from many others, freezing is really minimally all you need to do (aside from washing the fruit prior to freezing, if fresh from the produces section).

In your case, i would just thaw and add to the secondary. Thawing frozen fruit bursts the cell walls, making the fruity goodness easily accessible to the beer. Adding to the secondary also skirts the issue of sanitization, as there should be enough alcohol already in the brew to quelch any bug growth.

If it's larger fruit, you could throw it in a blender prior to freezing, but i've had excellent success in just freezing alone. I, personally, shy away from heating fruit in any aspect.
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cactusgarrett View Post
Adding to the secondary also skirts the issue of sanitization, as there should be enough alcohol already in the brew to quelch any bug growth.
It's a risk...And I wouldn't recommend people risk ruining a batch a beer because adding unpasteurized fruit should work most of the time.

Spend 10 minutes and pasteurize the fruit....
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamarguy View Post
It's a risk...And I wouldn't recommend people risk ruining a batch a beer because adding unpasteurized fruit should work most of the time.
One reason i stay away from pastuerization or boiling is because i've been advised on more than one occasion they usually promote loses of aromatic properties. Additionally, it can cause a flavor change from "fresh" to "cooked", as well as it sets pectins, causing a haze that you have to clear with pectinase enzyme. Not as important in a stout, but with something as subtle as blueberries, i don't want to lose one bit of aromatics.

To me, the potential for pectin haze and, more importantly for me, loss of fruity aromatics/flavors greatly outweighs the potential for infection of just tossing thawed into the secondary.

But like i said before, many people have used many techniques. And typically everyone's going to preach what's worked for them. Myself included.
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cactusgarrett View Post
But like i said before, many people have used many techniques. And typically everyone's going to preach what's worked for them. Myself included.
Right, I understand what you're saying and I'm glad it's worked for you.

However, you're giving someone a recommendation to not pasteurize fruit which contains sufficient bacteria and wild yeast to infect a batch of beer. That's like saying, I've always eaten raw oysters and I've never gotten sick. Therefore, you'll be fine too.

Perhaps you should include a disclaimer - This technique has worked well for me, but caries a serious risk of infection due to the presence of bacteria and wild yeast on all fruit. Furthermore, freezing does not reduce the bacterial cell count. Good luck.

Just saying...
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