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Old 04-26-2011, 06:22 PM   #1
iamatuna
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Default why do you add fruit to secondary?

Hey Everyone

Ive been reading thing on fruit beers and other infused beers and everyone seems to say to add the "special ingrediant" in the secondary or at the end of the primary.

I tested it out and it works very well
mango pilsner tastes fantastic.

My only question is........why add it then? does anyone know what it does from say the yeasts perspective? or why the flavour is different when you add to primary?

Cheers

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Old 04-26-2011, 07:43 PM   #2
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Wow... mango pils sounds absolutely amazing. I'd like to try that, maybe with S-04 for tropical yeast flavors or a hefe yeast to add some banana!

But there are various reasons some people choose to put fruit in the secondary. Personally, I do it because I don't want the fruit to just settle at the bottom in the trub; I was it to be fully available to the yeast. Also, the added trub created from a secondary fermentation can make the primary a hot mess, so I like to rack it over. And finally, the other good reason I can think of at the moment is that racking beer on top of fruit will ensure it mixes well.

But I'm sure others can chime in on other reasons.

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Old 04-27-2011, 01:20 AM   #3
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I think the main reason for adding fruit to the secondary is that the aromas from the fruit are usually somewhat volatile. If you add the fruit to the brew when it is actively fermenting, the escaping co2 will also take some of the fruit aroma with it, resulting in a brew that doesn't have as much fruit aroma/flavor as it could.

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Old 04-27-2011, 01:42 AM   #4
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Reno and avid bring up great points...avid's point is one of the biggest reasons to add later in the process. I like adding to late primary, and to avoid what Reno is mentioning (the mess), I usually add the fruit in a muslin sack or a nylon bag (the muslin sacks are nice b/c you can just chuck them...) By adding in late primary, I get the benefit of the larger amount of active yeast to do their thing on whatever sugars do get added by the fruit, and if I still decide to rack off into a secondary, I can have the secondary do what secondaries are meant to do...clear the beer.

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Old 04-27-2011, 01:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avidhomebrewer View Post
I think the main reason for adding fruit to the secondary is that the aromas from the fruit are usually somewhat volatile. If you add the fruit to the brew when it is actively fermenting, the escaping co2 will also take some of the fruit aroma with it, resulting in a brew that doesn't have as much fruit aroma/flavor as it could.

Dead on here.

Same reason you dry hop after primary as well.
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:49 AM   #6
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It's also recommended to help prevent any nasty bugs taking hold in your beer. Fruit can be crawling with infectious microbes. An already fermented wort with a strong presence of alcohol helps stave off any infections when you add the fruit.

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Old 04-27-2011, 02:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmhart View Post
Dead on here.

Same reason you dry hop after primary as well.
After primary as in primary fermentation? Or after switching from your primary to secondary?

I was wondering if you could dry hop or add fruit after fermentation is done, but still using the primary fermenter.
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:16 AM   #8
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Here is my take on it. Primary = lots of yeast if you put fruit into the primary you will start fermentation again. If you transfer to a secondary after fermentation is done you leave some of the yeast behind. Less yeast means less of the fruit sugars and flavor will get eaten up.

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Old 04-27-2011, 03:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisl77 View Post
Here is my take on it. Primary = lots of yeast if you put fruit into the primary you will start fermentation again. If you transfer to a secondary after fermentation is done you leave some of the yeast behind. Less yeast means less of the fruit sugars and flavor will get eaten up.
Not really. Fructose is 100% fermentable. Even after racking off the cake there's still enough yeast to eat all of that sugar. It won't happen as quickly... but it will happen.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:48 AM   #10
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I think part of the reason is that adding fruit to the secondary allows you to be able to recover viable yeast from the primary without a bunch of mess and floating fruit to have to contend with. I added some bitter orange peel to the primary and am now regretting it because I really want to get this yeast out of there, but the peel is floating. Just one extra thing I have to do but it is annoying.

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