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Old 09-10-2007, 03:08 PM   #1
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Default Using frozen peaches in beer

A couple of months back, me and a group of folks, went to a brew festival and tried a bunch of different beers. My sister-in-law tried a peach wheat from a local micro that she really liked and I told her that I would try to re-create it, or at least make something similar. Anywho, I made the beer three weeks ago, and Saturday, I decided it was time to peach it up. I used 5lbs of frozen peaches for a 5 gallon batch. So, as I was heating the peaches to kill off bacteria, I sat down with Daniels' Designing Great Beers. Turns out, I was on the section for fruit beers (probably should have read this before getting started). Anywho, as I read this section he made note that peaches, when fermented, can give off some funny flavors, and that every peach beer he had ever encountered had used some form of peach extract. Well, I had already bought the peaches, and didnt want to wait to get extract, so I went ahead as planned. So I was wondering, has anyone ever used frozen peaches in a beer before? Did it turn out like you expected, or were there off flavors?

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Old 09-10-2007, 04:51 PM   #2
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I just kegged up a Peach Pale Ale, that I used fresh peaches in, I froze (to break cell walls) then first, then pasturized and put in the secondary. It's a great beer. It is cloudy but that doesn't matter much to me when I make a fruit beer. I really can't detect any off flavors and it seems to be a hit with everyone who has tried it. One of the brewers from a local micro tried it this weekend and she said that it was pretty good. If anything you may need to add a little extract as the peaches may not give off the aroma that you are looking for. They will definatly add flavor though.

Cheers

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Old 09-10-2007, 05:33 PM   #3
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Awesome. Thanks. I wasnt too worried. I mean even if they did cause something off, it couldnt be that bad, but nothing off would be preferable obviously.

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Old 09-10-2007, 05:54 PM   #4
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I use 7lbs of frozen peaches in a peach ale I make and it turns out dynomite.

Everyone that knows I brew beer always says, "Hey do you have any of that peach beer, when are you brewing that one again?"

The way I use them is I heat them up in some water over the stove (do not boil), and put in some pectic enzyme to reduce the haze. The enzyme isn't necessary especially if your going to make a peach wheat where haze is good. I add the peaches to the secondary and rack the beer onto em. I let them ferment for about two weeks and then keg. Turns out amazing.

One thing I would add is every time I talk about this beer people scream LOW hops are the only option for fruit beer. I disagree left right and otherwise here. I use an oz of n. brewer pellet hops for bittering, and 1/2 oz pellet Amarillo @ 15 min and 1/2 oz @ 5 min. Now this doesn't seem too extreme but for fruit beers i hear flak about it being too high. I think it balances the beer out very nicely and I have people drink this beer that are otherwise strictly Mich Ultra and bud light drinkers and they always ask for more.

At the Michigan summer beer fest this year one brewery took their IPA and fermented it with three different fruit purees. They were great! (The prickly pear was the best though by far!)

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Old 09-10-2007, 06:09 PM   #5
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Awesome, thanks for that. That is essentially what I did. I used 5lbs even though peaches are somewhat mild because I wanted to make sure it was not overpowering. If things turn out okay, I can tinker with it here and there. I did add it to about two cups of water and let it sit at about 160 for 15 minutes, just to kill off anything that was in there. I added it to my secondary that was sitting in a tub of cool water to help cool off the peaches. Then I racked my beer on top of it. I figured I would check it after a week, but two would probably be best, and then off to the keg.

Nice to hear that someone has had success with frozen peaches. I wonder what kind of problems Daniels has run into?

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Old 09-10-2007, 06:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubbies
I wonder what kind of problems Daniels has run into?

It could just be problems with wild yeasts or bacteria, but it could also be inconsistency with 2ndary fermentation. Just remember you want to keep the temp the same since you are fermenting. The fruit sugar will ferment very well but the yeast in my experience can take it's sweet ol' time. Time is your friend, don't rush it. This is another one of those beers that the last pint is always the best. Unfortunately it doesn't last long here (last 5 gallon batch was gone within 48 hrs.)

There is one major difference I have seen. In my experience heating the fruit is necessary. With one batch I just dumped the frozen fruit in and the beer turned out with a tart flavor. (Think of the sharp tartness from a cut under-ripened fruit) It wasn't bad but it wasn't the best batch, and everyone noticed it. Heating sweetens the flavor for some reason and mellows the aromas too.
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Old 09-10-2007, 08:24 PM   #7
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I'm about to do the same. I got 10lbs of peaches on sale so I sliced them up and pureed them and froze them until my Blonde is ready for secondary. Then I'll pasteurize them and rack onto them. Hopefully it'll come out really nice.

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Old 09-12-2007, 04:36 PM   #8
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Default Anyone try a peach wheat

I'm getting prepared to do one, was wondering if anyone has any recommendations or advise. Please share!!

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Old 09-12-2007, 06:20 PM   #9
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Well, mine is not done yet, but so far, everything is going along how I had hoped it would.

Basically the things you need to know is that peaches are relatively mild in flavor compared to other fruits that people use (raspberries, blueberries etc), so you will need more of them than you think. I used 5lbs, and I would imagine that that may even be a little low. 6-7 lbs is probably more accurate.

Then when you get the peaches, put them in a pot with a couple of cups of water and bring the concoction to 160ish degrees and let it sit like that for 10-15 minutes. This will kill of any bacteria that is assuredly in the peaches. Then once the peaches are cool enough to handle, get them into your secondary (if using a carboy this can be rather time consuming). Then rack beer on top. From there, let them ferment for about a week, or two, then bottle or keg, and once carbed, the beer should be just about ready.

I can let you know how mine turns out when it is ready in a couple of weeks.

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Old 09-21-2007, 02:25 PM   #10
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sounds good, I was thinking of using a carboy so what do you think about blending the peaches to make that a quicker process. Do you have this posted somewhere so I could use it. Thanks

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