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Old 01-11-2012, 02:06 PM   #1
RogersRunion
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Default Do fruit flavor extracts always taste fake?

I'm making an apricot wheat.

I'm not really a fan of either wheat beer or apricots, but I had one once that I liked. This is mostly for my sisters-in-law, so a 'candy' beer is fine, as long as it does not taste of plastic or cough medicine.

The thing that will determine extract or puree is the quality of the extract. I'd prefer not to have pounds of sloppy, sticky fruit to deal with. So,

Do fruit flavor extracts always taste of fake fruit and plastic? Is there a specific brand I should purchase that is better than the others? Are some fruit flavor extract flavors (blackberry, raspberry, cherry) more true to life than others, or are they all garbage?

If apricot flavor extract = apricot version of Strawberry Shortcake Doll scented doom, I will suck it up and use puree.

Also, though it's like having a recipe for toast, here's the 'beer' portion:

5 gal (full boil) 60 min

8 oz Carahell (155 F for 30)
2 oz Maltodextrin
6.25 lbs Briess Bavarian Wheat LME (2 added at boil, rest last 10 min)
1 oz Tettnanger
Belgian Wheat Wyeast ACT 3942

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Old 01-12-2012, 12:30 PM   #2
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Extracts and purees work very differently. An extract, at the least the ones I'm familiar with, are added at bottling, don't add any fermentables, and just flavor the final beer.

With a puree, you put it in a fermentor and rack your beer onto it. The yeast will kick up and get to work, fermenting the sugar in the fruit. When its done, you rack the beer off of the trub left behind.

You could try the extract, but in very small doses, just enough to see how it tastes in a glass of your beer. If you don't like it, go to Plan B with pureed fruit.

Good luck!

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Old 01-12-2012, 02:20 PM   #3
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To me, the extract added at bottling tastes..... Bad. Hard to describe, it just tastes bad. I much prefer real fruit added to the secondary.
But.. To each his own.

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Old 01-12-2012, 04:13 PM   #4
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It depends on the fruit extract. In my limited experience raspberry and strawberry are good extracts. Cherry extracts taste like cough syrup.

I've tried using flavored tea bags at flameout. That came out pretty good.

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Old 01-12-2012, 04:16 PM   #5
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It depends on the quality of the extracts. I good experiment is to pour yourself a glass of cold water and add some of the extract to it. Taste it and see if you like it. If not, run down to your local grocer and pick up some other brands -- do the same. Not all extracts are created equally, and if you are doing kits, that usually means you got the cheapest extract. Some are more 'natural' and 'complex' while other just taste like chemicals.

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Old 01-12-2012, 04:17 PM   #6
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Other than root beer, I've never found an extract flavoring that I liked. Italian ice syrups, like da Vinci's, are much better and they have a huge range of flavors. Even better, many flavors are available in sugar-free forms so the sweetness doesn't ferment out. I buy them at Cash'n'Carry, which is a restaurant supply store.

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Old 01-12-2012, 04:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
Other than root beer, I've never found an extract flavoring that I liked. Italian ice syrups, like da Vinci's, are much better and they have a huge range of flavors. Even better, many flavors are available in sugar-free forms so the sweetness doesn't ferment out. I buy them at Cash'n'Carry, which is a restaurant supply store.
+1. I forgot I actually used Sugar-Free Raspberry da Vinci instead of the extract for my raspberry wheat because the extract tasted like more chemical. I believe it's made with splenda so it does add a hint of sweetness.
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:27 PM   #8
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Thanks all! I'm going to invest in some extracts and puree and go to town experimenting. I will let you know what I discover!

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Old 01-23-2012, 12:34 AM   #9
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How much fruit extract do you typically add? I am doing a triple berry wheat for my father and am close to bottling. I'm totally unsure of how much of the flavor extract to add. I am using blueberry, raspberry, and boysenberry.

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Old 01-23-2012, 01:37 AM   #10
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I have an apple ale in it's second week in primary. It came with apple flavoring. I smelled the flavoring. It was like green jolly ranchers. I opted to dump a gallon of cider into it instead of the extract. Think it will be more subtle.

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