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Old 11-10-2012, 09:23 PM   #1
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Default Cherry Puree, mesh bag or not?

I just kegged Jamil's Black Forest Stout.

I used 6 lbs of cherry puree. It is the first time I've used puree in a beer and I put it all in a nylon mesh bag out of habit (that's what I've done with fresh fruit beers).

I tasted a little out of the fermenter and it tastes good, like a double chocolate stout. However, I didn't detect any cherry flavor at all. The fermentation picked back up when I added the cherry puree and I swirled the fermenter bucket around every few days to try to make sure the yeast could get at the puree.

I guess I'll know more after it is carbed and I try it.

Should I have used the bag or not? I guess I was worried that the puree would float or something and make it hard to rack it.

Thanks for any suggestions.

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Old 11-13-2012, 05:23 PM   #2
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Just bumping this back up.... I know someone has tried it with and without a bag.

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Old 11-13-2012, 05:32 PM   #3
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The bag shouldnt have made any difference. Its best that you did use it.

I didnt even think about it, and on this ginger beer i made theres tons of ginger floating in it. So much that I cant get the last half gallon or so out of the fermenter because the auto siphon clogs with ginger bits, and starts sucking in air.

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Old 11-13-2012, 05:44 PM   #4
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Agreed. whether you have a bag or not the flavors should have plenty of time to disperse. The easiest way I have found to work with fruit is to pasteurize them in about a pint of water per pound, then poor it through a strainer to leave the pulp behind. Then add it to the bucket once it has cooled. There is much less beer lost to trub or absorbed by the pulp this way.

six pounds of fruit should leave a strong fruit flavor in five gallons. What brand of puree did you use? Did it contain sugar?

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Old 11-13-2012, 05:49 PM   #5
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I agree with the above poster, what kind of cherry puree did you use?

I prefer to use whole fruit, and have a dubbel aging on cherries right now. With whole fruit, a mesh bag is critical. However, with commercial purees, it probably doesn't really matter because they aren't likely to have large pieces in them. I freeze the fruit, thaw it out, and then mash the fruit in the bag a bit to break up the skins, and in the case of cherries, provide access to the pits. Then I refreeze and rethaw again. The multiple freezes helps to make sure cellular walls break down, thereby helping to transfer flavor to the beer.

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Old 11-13-2012, 05:52 PM   #6
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Bags are a waste of time, effort, and money, and they're a pain to get out. Either use gelatin or cold crash before bottling and you wont have any issues with clarity.

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Old 11-13-2012, 05:54 PM   #7
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Yea, I would personally a bag for whole fruit but not puree. In the future I would probably get the puree mixed in really well, and then just rack off of whatever settled on the bottom. 6lbs should be enough for a pretty strong flavor of fruit.

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Old 11-13-2012, 05:57 PM   #8
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It was Vinter's Harvest Sweet Cherry Puree.

I would have preferred the Oregon brand and tart cherries, but I couldn't find either. If anyone knows of a good source, let me know.

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Old 11-13-2012, 06:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainyDay View Post
Bags are a waste of time, effort, and money, and they're a pain to get out. Either use gelatin or cold crash before bottling and you wont have any issues with clarity.
I disagree with you for a few reasons.

First, and foremost, bags aren't "a pain to get out", they're VERY easy to get out when you use buckets for fermenters. I only use buckets for fruit beers, and they work great with a 5 gallon paint strainer.

Second, I've found that adding fruit in a more solid form works best for fruit beers, not purees. if you put fruit into a fermenter in a more solid form, you have to be able to get it out, as it floats.

Therefore, using a bag makes sense.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usfmikeb

I disagree with you for a few reasons.

First, and foremost, bags aren't "a pain to get out", they're VERY easy to get out when you use buckets for fermenters. I only use buckets for fruit beers, and they work great with a 5 gallon paint strainer.

Second, I've found that adding fruit in a more solid form works best for fruit beers, not purees. if you put fruit into a fermenter in a more solid form, you have to be able to get it out, as it floats.

Therefore, using a bag makes sense.
Everyone has a different process. I use glass carboys (don't dig buckets much) so yes, for me it is a giant pain and one more additional and unnecessary step. Therefore, they don't make any sense for my process. Ive added numerable items to the secondary without bags with no issue, ever. I can understand how they would be useful if you use buckets to ferment though; Different strokes I reckon...
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