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Old 01-13-2010, 01:52 PM   #1
busta98
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Default Fruit in beer......

Extract vs. Juice vs. Whole fruit.

I'm curious what method you fellow homebrewers have with this. Ive read that some add some whole fruit to secondary. I'm wondering if juice can be used even though it might contain sugars and whatnot. Would the extract be added to the boil? Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 01-13-2010, 05:08 PM   #2
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Extract is added to the fermenter, and I highly suggest avoiding it at all costs. I realize it's cheaper, but there's a reason for that. Extracts usually only give you a flavor OR an aroma of that fruit. They usually don't do both. A few exceptions that I know of are raspberry and peach. Both of those work fairly well. Cherry tastes like cough syrup.

I've never used juice aside from making wine, but both fruit and juice have sugar in them. They only difference is that juice usually has preservatives or extra ingredients added that could possibly stall your yeast.

My personal preference is fresh fruit. It's expensive, but it's worth it.

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Old 01-13-2010, 05:10 PM   #3
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It seems to me that most people dislike the extract and find that whole fruit or fruit puree is the way to go.

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Old 01-13-2010, 05:11 PM   #4
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I'm not a fan of extracts, either. They tend to add a weird artificial flavor that I don't like.

I usually get fresh fruits at farmer's markets or when it's on sale for dirt cheap at the grocery store, then I wash it, cut it/clean it as necessary, and freeze it before I add it to my secondary fermenter.

When you add the fruits has an impact on the flavors that end up in the final product. When you add it to the boil, you get more carmelized or "cooked" flavors. When you add it during primary fermentation, you get the fruit flavor but often the aroma isn't as strong. In secondary you get better aroma and a fresher fruit flavor in my opinion. That is just based on my own personal experience from trying different things; I haven't done a rigorous double blind experiment or anything.

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Old 01-14-2010, 01:28 PM   #5
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I like the puree idea. How much is generally used in a 5 gallon batch?

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Old 01-14-2010, 01:39 PM   #6
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A few days ago I listened to a podcast of the Jamil show that covered this very topic. The podcast is from '06, but he covers extract, puree, and whole fruit and the pros/cons for each. It's about an hour in length, but well worth listening to. The link will take you to the shows web page where you can download the show and listen on your computer or mp3 player. You can also find his show through iTunes by searching Jamil Show.

Jamil Show link

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