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Old 10-09-2012, 09:16 PM   #1
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Default Fruit Sanitation and Pectin Question

Hello,

After brewing my first beer, a delicious Euro Brown Ale, I decided to do a lot of researching on Home Brew Forums and decided to do a Blackberry Wheat. Its a pretty standard wheat recipe with Ale yeast. Its currently in primary and will bubble along for a few days. I plan on picking up five lbs of fresh blackberries. I have read a bunch of different articles about sanitizing them. Here's what I'm thinking:

First day I get the berries, I will soak them in vinegar for a few minutes. I have read this is an excellent way to kill most (if not all) wild yeasts. I will then rinse and freeze them for a couple days, then mash them. I also have an emerrsion blender. I could blend it really well, but I am afraid of extra O2 being added. I will then rack on top of the berries.

I've been told to add pectin. Is it okay to add this directly with the berries? Also, what do you all think about the vinegar idea? Cheers!

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Old 10-09-2012, 10:13 PM   #2
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Ive always added stuff (coffee beans, vanilla beans, hops, any non sanitized agricultural product) straight into the secondary without any issue. The should be enough alcohol to at least prevent other things from growing at that point. Id stay away from the vinegar completely either way.

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Old 10-09-2012, 11:38 PM   #3
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Skip the vinegar... Freeze and mash them up, add them in a sanitized bowl or blender with some vodka and make a slushy. Then add that to the carboy. The alcohol in the beer should be enough but the vodka bath can't hurt.

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Old 10-10-2012, 01:07 AM   #4
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Thanks. I've heard of the vodka idea. Has anyone used bourbon instead? Not a lot, but enough to get a hint of it with the blackberry sounds delicious.

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Old 10-10-2012, 01:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricoop
Thanks. I've heard of the vodka idea. Has anyone used bourbon instead? Not a lot, but enough to get a hint of it with the blackberry sounds delicious.
Yea. I have a friend that soaks his oak chips in bourbon before adding them to his brew. It's not fruit but still the same concept. Sanitation and flavor.
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:22 AM   #6
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You don't want to add pectin, but maybe pectinase (aka pectic enzyme) - this breaks down the naturally occurring pectin in the fruit. Pectin can cause haze, especially if you heat the fruit (pectin is what causes fruits to gel when making jelly/jam)

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Old 10-10-2012, 07:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLem View Post
You don't want to add pectin, but maybe pectinase (aka pectic enzyme) - this breaks down the naturally occurring pectin in the fruit. Pectin can cause haze, especially if you heat the fruit (pectin is what causes fruits to gel when making jelly/jam)
Thanks. I'm going to not heat the fruit. I may decide to exclude the pectic enzyme. Yesterday it blew the airlock off the Carboy when I was at work, what a mess. Luckily fermentation was still going strong when I got home, hoping that kept out all the wild yeasts. I'll be using a blowo ff tube going fwd. Thanks for all the info guys. I'm going to do the second in a bucket. Just, rack the beer on top of the mashed berry bourbon mixture. and leave for 3-4 weeks. I imagine this will start another fermentation cycle.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:02 PM   #8
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Yeah, ive learnes my lesson and always use a blowoff on my primaries.

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Old 10-10-2012, 11:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainyDay
Yeah, ive learnes my lesson and always use a blowoff on my primaries.
If you're using a bucket, you could also just leave the lid "unlatched" for the first couple of days when fermentation is really going. Once it dies down, just snap the lid down for the duration of the fermentation.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:42 PM   #10
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If you're using a bucket, you could also just leave the lid "unlatched" for the first couple of days when fermentation is really going. Once it dies down, just snap the lid down for the duration of the fermentation.
That's a good idea. I have done these batches in Carboys, but definitely looking at other methods with these active fermenters. Next in line is an IPA which I'll use an overflow for.
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