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Old 06-02-2012, 12:10 AM   #1
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Default Really need advice for fruit in beer

I am trying to make a tangerine wheat beer. I have the wheat beer in the primary for already 2 weeks. I know it's about time to add some sort of fruit. The problem is last year I attempted to make a strawberry blonde, and when I added the fruit, fermentation started once again and I lost all the sweetness of the berries and was left with tart/alcoholness. It wasn't bad, but not good either. I assume that the yeast fermented the sugars in the strawberries. I do not want that to happen again with this beer.

So here is where I need help. How do I add the tangerines to the beer. I have potassium sorbate to stop fermentation (I force carbonate). If so should I secondary it, and for how many days with the tangerines. Or would it be better to allow the yeast to eat the tangerines (still how many days). Anyone with advice, I am really lost.

Side note, any advice on #of tangerines, I plan to boil water, zest and add tangerines to the hot water (pectin haze is ok) then add the liquid (once cooled) to the beer.

Any Help is great!!!



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Old 06-02-2012, 12:50 AM   #2
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I'm about to drop some fruit in the secondary, for the first time,in a week or two. I'm interested in the answers you get.



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Old 06-02-2012, 01:57 AM   #3
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getting ready to brew a # 9 clone this weekend witch has apricots in it from what i have read from extreme brewing it is added to the boil mostly late addition the yeast are going to eat the sugars anyway you just want flavor or aroma out of it. the book reads tart fruits add more aroma and sweet fruits add flavor. hope that helps.

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Old 06-02-2012, 02:03 AM   #4
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It's impossible to prevent sugars from being fermented out...that's what yeast does...same challenges folks face with adding maple syrup, honey, etc...all those "sweet" things have sugars which yeasties love.

Only thing I can think of is to add the tangerines to the keg while in the fridge after cold crashing for 24 hours or so...but because the temp is so low at that point, it might take a while for the tangerine flavors to come thorugh in the beer.

Or you could just add a ton of tangerine zest to the secondary as well.

I bet if you just added the fruit to the secondary though, it might still come through...although will likely be a bit more tart than sweet.

Next time, I might try adding some tangerine zest to the boil as well.

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Old 06-02-2012, 02:27 AM   #5
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I added cherries to a porter that I had kegged and was chilled to 40 degrees. I kept the beer at that temp and the sugar did not ferment out of the cherries. It remained sweet until the keg ran dry a few weeks later. It took about a week for flavors to reach their peak.

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Old 06-02-2012, 05:29 AM   #6
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Kept at fridge temps, you shouldn't have any additional fermentation. You can sorbate too if you want to be double-safe. As long as you're adding to 40F beer, there's no particular need to boil the juice, although it might help bring out some of the effects of the zest. Vodka would work for that too.

You'll get flavor from adding the juice; zest will add aromatics similar to dry-hopping. Tangerines are a good choice because, relative to oranges, they have a stronger flavor and lower acidity (Thanks Wikipedia!).

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Old 06-02-2012, 05:42 AM   #7
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Tangerine must be my favorite fruit so this sounds awesome to me and I hope you keep us posted on the results.

I do not have much advice to offer. I have only made one fruit/wheat beer with cranberries. I added lactose before kegging and it wasn't bad. That may be an option if you let the tangerine ferment out.

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Old 06-02-2012, 06:05 AM   #8
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Since there really isn't a "tangerine puree" out there, I would recommend making a concentrated tangerine puree. Try to drive some water out of the fruit by soft heat so the beer doesn't get watered down.

Add fruit to secondary, and realize you will lose some flavor and aroma (that's why you wait to add fruit after primary fermentation; it drives off even more flavor and aroma). Then transfer to 40 degree keg (adding good amount of gelatin to get a cleaner beer and yeast out of suspensionr), and then a couple days later after it's fully carb'd, purge the gelatin mess that collects at the bottom of the keg. At that point, taste the beer. If it's good, it's good. If not, add a little more of that tangerine extract you made by taste; make it fresh. It shouldn't re-ferment since the gelatin captured most of the yeast, it's too cold for yesat to activate, and the CO2 levels are almost toxic at that point. The puree will add fresh smells / oils / sweetness to the beer, and you will thorougly enjoy the result.

By all means, stay away from all those "fruit extracts". I tried a couple of them (cherry, apricot), and they all have that children's cough drop aftertaste. It's VERY disappointing. My go-to now for fruit beer is either those cans of Oregon Fruit Purees (expensive but you get good results) or fresh fruit, or a mixture of both to get a robust flavor profile.

And, make sure your IBUs are super low. My Cherry Wheat is about 11 IBU. The hops barely play a role in fruit beers. Bitter and fruit is not appealing, in nature or beer.

Just experiment. It's not like this is the last time you are going to attempt tangerine beer (sounds like you are huge fan of tangerines). Write it down, evolve the next time.

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Old 06-02-2012, 02:05 PM   #9
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Here is a tenative plan. Rack to secondary. Cold crash 2 days. Taste...if good add my tangerine purree. Leave 1-2 weeks at 40ish degrees. Drink. Enjoy.

How does that sound.

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Old 06-02-2012, 02:29 PM   #10
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I'm interested. Looking at make a wheat for an end of summer party. I want to use fresh fruit, so I've been leaning towards using peaches or nectarines. Sometimes these fruits, especially here in NJ, don't meet my expectations for flavor. They are also high in water content, but not as much as a tangerine. Maybe you could cook the tangerines down a bit, almost into a syrup? I cook with fruit all the time, but have never brewed with it. Just a thought.



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