Originally Posted by Desp
I was under the impression that a minimum of 140 degrees was required to kill bacteria. . .
I admit that my decision to 'pasteurize' the fruit at 115-120F was based on anecdotal evidence; none of the information I came across during my research cited any empirical evidence to support that temperature range as being sufficient to kill any bacteria which may have been on/in the fruit. My decision to use that temperature range was largely based on three things:
(1) my assumption that the alcohol content of the beer (which had completed primary fermentation) would inhibit unwanted bacterial growth
(2) the well-documented experiences of others who had skipped the pasteurization step altogether without any negative consequences.
(3) my hesitation to go to a higher temperature range as others had anecdotally claimed that it might reduce the flavour of the fruit
Again, I found the greatest benefit derived from heating the fruit came from the accelerated breakdown of the fruit's cellular structure allowing its juices and flavours to go into solution at a much more rapid rate.