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Old 04-22-2010, 07:16 PM   #1
CincyGT
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Default Cooper's Pilsner + Fruit?

Hi all,

I have a Cooper's Pilsner kit that someone gave me for Christmas. Now I normally don't favor really light-bodied beers, so I want to get creative with this and try to make a raspberry or blackberry or black-raspberry beer for the heat of the Summer. My setup is the Cooper's Micro-Brew all-in-one equipment, so I don't have a secondary fermenter, where people usually say to add the fruit. So, what would you recommend? Could I boil some berries with some sugar into a syrup and add a little to each bottle instead of the carbonation sugar-drops? Thanks in advance for your advice!

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Old 04-22-2010, 11:06 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. Well, it's really hard to predict the sugar content of berries so, I wouldn't bottle with them ie: (bottle bombs vs. flat beer). Also, you don't want to boil the berries either as it will cause problems (pectin haze I believe).

What I would do is to buy a can of the berry puree found in homebrew shops and add it to the primary after fermentation has subsided. It's not as good as racking on top of them in secondary, but it will work. It's already pastureized so thats one thing you won't have to worry about.

If you do use fresh or frozen berries, then heat them in a little water to 160F and hold there for ~10mins. then cool and add to fermenter.

You absolutely want to let the beer sit on the fruit for ~ 2 weeks to ferment the sugar--you don't want bottle bombs. Happy brewing!

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Old 04-23-2010, 12:15 AM   #3
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Thanks! That was such a helpful post

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Old 04-23-2010, 12:19 AM   #4
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I'm doing something similar to what you're doing now for my second batch (I've ever made), using the Cooper's Canadian Blonde in primary with 5 lb of fruit and 1/3 lb honey. I pureed the strawberries and pasteurized the fruit and honey before adding everything to the wort. Had a few interesting issues (at least to me), but I think it will turn out ok. (Took 24 hours for the yeast to get started, my airlock had strawberry puree blown through it - cleaned it out a few times, and there were some sulfur smells one morning coming from the fermenter during early fermentation.)

Basic Brewing Radio had an interesting podcast about brewing with fruit in primary vs. secondary, someone did a comparison. A lot of people on the board say that you should put the fruit in the secondary (which I don't have... yet!). The podcast put my mind at rest that the primary will turn well though.

Also, I kind of cribbed my recipe from the Makebeer.net recipe and one on the Cooper's site. We'll see how it goes in a few weeks.

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Old 04-23-2010, 03:06 AM   #5
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I think it would be fine to add to the primary after fermentation has subsided. I too have the coopers micro brew kit. The primary is huge As mentioned above your easiest bet would be a can of the puree. You should also boil some hops with your brew sugar and water for 10-15 minutes. I tried a couple of their kits and have found the coopers kits tend to be all right when it comes to bittering hops but lack flavoring hops.........I just opened a bottle of the Canadian Blonde I bottled a couple weeks ago...............still a tad green, has not carbed up all the way, and smells kinda cider like. Should be good in a month or so.............I bet it would have been really good with some raspberries added to it

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Old 04-23-2010, 03:24 AM   #6
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Thanks again, everyone! It's nice to have a place to turn to for advice! I've done a Cooper's Lager and their Australian Sparkling Ale and had friends say they're the best beers they've tasted (okay, they aren't beer-guys, but still). This will be the first time I've modified a kit, so I'm really looking forward to it! Who knows, before long, maybe all be on to all-grain...

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Old 06-30-2010, 03:40 PM   #7
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Well I did as everyone suggested here and bought red raspberry puree (a 96oz can of "Fruit Wine Base") and added it after initial fermentation ended. I waited over two weeks before bottling. I first tasted after about 18 days in the bottle and it was already very impressive. The Pilsner flavor was rather light (as one would expect) but had more hoppiness than I would have expected. The raspberry was more noticeable in scent than flavor, exactly as I had hoped!! The raspberry flavor it did add is a pleasant bit of tartness and not sweet at all! So much fun to experiment with this and end up with something I and my family and friends are loving!! Thanks to everyone here for helping me make a fantastic Summer beer out of a kit I didn't even really want to brew :-) CHEERS FOR THE LONG FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND

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