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Old 11-14-2012, 05:48 PM   #1
brewtx
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Default Adding fruit to beer

Hi all,

Im pretty new to brewing. But I have been pressured by my lady friends to make a fruity wheat beer. I was thinking of doing an apricot hefewiezen. I just wanted to get some ideas on how to do it. I was thinking about fermenting in the primary until FG is level and then racking to secondary. In the secondary I would add fruit and leave it for a week. What do y'all think of that plan? Is a week too short or too long? How should I cook the fruit before I add it and how much should I add (2.5 gallon batch)? I would just like general advice on this process. Thank you

Trevor

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Old 11-14-2012, 06:01 PM   #2
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What kind of fruit? - Or you could always get those small containers of fruit additions from your local brew shop, if you go that way and are only doing 2.5 gal, just use only 1/2 of the container.

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Old 11-14-2012, 06:32 PM   #3
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There's a very simple apricot wheat beer recipe from BYO here which uses an apricot extract from your LHBS.

If you want to make a wheat beer and add real fruit to it (dice or crush it), 2 lbs per gallon (5lbs) is good for lighter flavored fruits like apricot. There's another great article by BYO about using fruit in beer here that I referenced for a cranberry-apple lager I did. Very helpful.

Racking the wheat beer on top of the fruit in secondary for 7-14 days should be enough to get most of the flavor out of the apricot and go a little lighter on the hops so they don't overpower the delicate apricot flavors.

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Old 11-15-2012, 01:15 PM   #4
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I am gonna stop by the brew store tomorrow. I was actually planning on doing an apricot hefeiweizen. I think I might use the real fruit and the extract, just a little less of each. Ill let y'all know how it goes! Thanks for the advice. Also, do I cook the fruit before I put it in? If so to what degrees and for how long?

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Old 11-15-2012, 01:52 PM   #5
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You can cook it by mixing the mashed fruit with a bit of water to make a thick puree and simmering it at about 160F for 10 minutes or so, though that tends to lose some of the flavor and aroma. If your LHBS sells wine making supplies as well, then you could try this from the BYO article I mentioned earlier:

One way to minimize the risk of contamination from fresh fruits is to take a page from the winemakers’ handbook and sterilize the fruit with sulfur dioxide. Winemakers do not sterilize their “wort” by boiling it. They sterilize their “must” by treating it with SO2 (often in the form of Campden tablets). To sterilize a “mini-must,” mush your fruit into a slurry in a sanitized bucket. Add enough water so that it’s basically a thick liquid. Add one crushed Campden tablet for every gallon of your “mini-must” and let sit, loosely covered, overnight. During this time the SO2 will kill any microorganism in the “mini-must,” then diffuse away. The SO2 also acts as an antioxidant, preventing browning of the fruit. The next day, add the now-sanitized “mini-must” to your fermenter.

When I made my cranberry-apple lager I just racked it on top of the fresh fruit because it's 8.4% ABV, but with a lower alcohol content this may be the best option for you.

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