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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Adding fruit juice as primer
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:09 PM   #1
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Let me first say this is my first post and being new to home brewing this site and the wealth of knowledge from everyone on here has been a huge help to newbie like my self.

So I've got one beer under my belt, an American Red Ale, extract with some specialty grains, and after a delayed bottled conditioning, stored it to cold for the first two weeks everyhing came out great. So I'm on to my second beer and at urging of the ladies I decided to go with something with some fruit. I decided on a Strawberry Wheat, I also added some honey in both the boil and in secondary. Everything is going well so far numbers wise, OG was 1.060 and after transferring to tertiary I'm at 1.014 (and that's after adding fruit and honey to secondary which is not factored into the OG.) The issue is while there is some subtle strawberry flavor, which I'm happy with, I know there isn't enough for the ladies. So I'm thinking about bottling half with the normal priming sugar and the other half with some fresh, homemade and pasteurized, strawberry juice. Any thoughts on how to calculate how much to use so I get carbonation but I don't want to make a bunch of bombs, will this even work, if it does will I get any more flavor, etc?

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Old 03-28-2011, 02:31 PM   #2
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Can't answer your direct question about how to do it, but my initial reaction is that it won't give you what you want (more fruit flavor).

First, the yeast will eat it all up, just as it did in your secondary. Secondly, priming amounts are very small, they really have very little to no impact on the flavor of your beer.

I think strawberry is one of those fruit flavors that are harder to do in beer - I've used raspberry and tart cherry successfully. Randy Mosher's book Radical Brewing has a lot of good info on brewing with fruit.

Two ideas for you - 1) delay bottling with another fruit addition, using a more assertive fruit like raspberries, call it a berry beer or 2) make the ladies a fruit syrup that they can mix with their beer. This is very European (French brasseries do beer cocktails all the time, Germans add fruit syrup to Berlinerweisse beers).

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Old 03-28-2011, 02:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappers_ View Post

... 2) make the ladies a fruit syrup that they can mix with their beer. This is very European (French brasseries do beer cocktails all the time, Germans add fruit syrup to Berlinerweisse beers).
This is a great idea. Beer for both you and your "ladies."
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:40 PM   #4
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I give info on priming with alternative primers including fruit juice in this post- Scroll to the lower half of this post.

For more info on fruit just you might want to listen to the podcast linked in there, that's what the guy in the basic brewing podcast that inspired me to using alternatvie priming "sugars" did...including orange juice and iirc lemonade. But yeah it's been done. And I've had fum calculating and using odd things to prime with.

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Old 03-28-2011, 03:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flywheel View Post
This is a great idea. Beer for both you and your "ladies."
I'm really liking that idea too. I would have never considered it when I set out to make this beer, but truthfully I'm very happy with how this tastes, still a little young green Apple taste but beyond that its got a lot going on. I still like the idea of alternate primers, I'll check that out Revvy. I'm gonna leave it in tertiary for a few more days so if anyone else has any other great ideas or things to check out let me know. And I just ordered that book Pappers, thanks for the recommendation.
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