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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Is it okay to add chunks of fruit?
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:39 AM   #1
the_wizard
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Default Is it okay to add chunks of fruit?

Okay, I know I may very well get some grief for asking this, but I am a novice. I'm making a hard apple cider (with some cranberry juice too), and I decided to add some sliced pear chunks that were warmed with honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg over the stove. I threw that mix into my brew, added the sugar and yeast, and capped it to ferment.

I JUST did all this, but now I'm realizing maybe it's a terrible idea to leave the pear chunks in there. Will these chunks ruin my brew and become a center for bacteria to grow, or will they just turn to mush and have the natural sugars turned into alcohol?

So should I remove them immediately before the fermentation really gets going?

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Old 12-06-2012, 04:13 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by the_wizard
Okay, I know I may very well get some grief for asking this, but I am a novice. I'm making a hard apple cider (with some cranberry juice too), and I decided to add some sliced pear chunks that were warmed with honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg over the stove. I threw that mix into my brew, added the sugar and yeast, and capped it to ferment.

I JUST did all this, but now I'm realizing maybe it's a terrible idea to leave the pear chunks in there. Will these chunks ruin my brew and become a center for bacteria to grow, or will they just turn to mush and have the natural sugars turned into alcohol?

So should I remove them immediately before the fermentation really gets going?
Did you as campden tablets before pitching? It sound like you didn't.

I think it will probably be fine. But if there were any baddies on the pears, removing the fruit won't solve anything, they will already be in your brew. You could dose it with Camden, but that will likely kill off the yeast and you'll have to repitch the yeast in 12 hours. (the yeast have been newly introduced, so they are still venerable)

You warmed it on the stove...if it got hot enough, you will hopefully have killed anything off. It would be hard to be sure

I'd suggest keeping an eye on it just in case. If you see or smell anything unusual, then you'll have to take action.

If you aren't adding properly sanitised ingredients, then you are risking infection. It might still turn out, but you are taking a big chance. There is nothing wrong with adding fruit pieces a long as they are clean. Adding to your secondary is usually safer, the alcohol created will kill off a lot of bad things.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:31 AM   #3
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Thank you! I did peel the pear and even rinse it afterward, so I'm hoping it's all right. I guess I'll just ride this one out and hope for the best. Next time I'll be sure to add it to secondary, and I'll invest in some campden just to be safe.

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Old 12-06-2012, 02:20 PM   #4
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It is usually safest to add campden tablets 12 hours before pitching the yeast, so any wild yeasts and microorganisms are dealt with before they can cause any problems. Also make sure all of your equipment is sanitized before using it.

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Old 12-08-2012, 12:25 PM   #5
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Just a thought for the future. The honey, cinimon and nutmeg pears sound absolutely tasty, however... The brew will not care how tasty they are. Ground pears with honey,nutmeg and cinimon added separtely will do the exact same thing. Add cambden to sterilze everything and you are good to go. Save the baking of the pears for eating right away. I need to try that now... The baking will actually set the pectin and make it couldy.

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