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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > fruit in secondary
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Old 06-16-2009, 05:46 PM   #1
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Default fruit in secondary

This is my first attempt with fruit additions in the secondary. I am doing two test batches, cherry and apricot - 1 gallon each. Using Nottingham for the yeast.

I hit my FG in primary and there was some renewed activity due to the fruit. The beer and fruit have been in secondary for 8 days now, and the fruit has been floating since the second day in secondary. I was hoping to bottle after 2 weeks in secondary - but don't really know what to expect from the fruit. I don't want to take too many samples to check gravity since they are such small batches. Should the fruit settle down, or will it just keep on floating?

Would cold crashing help make the fruit drop?

or should I not worry if the fruit is floating so long as my FG is reached?

Thanks for any advice - i searched but didn't really see much about if the fruit will remain floating or drop out.

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Old 06-16-2009, 07:05 PM   #2
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Fruit tends to floats more than sink, and cold crashing will get some of the fruit to settle out, but you will still have some floaters. Do not worry about the fruit floating when it comes to FG samples. You can not tell how many sugars the fruit contained so as long as the gravity is not dropping anymore then you can go ahead and bottle it when you are ready. You can sanitize a hop sock and put it over the racking cane to keep the fruity floaters out of the final beer.

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Old 06-16-2009, 07:14 PM   #3
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You can sanitize a hop sock and put it over the racking cane to keep the fruity floaters out of the final beer.Ed
+1. My first fruit beer is conditioning as I type, and I wish I would have thought to use a hop sack or some sort of filtration device when racking to tertiary and then bottling bucket. I got lots of fruity chunks in some of my bottles, especially those last few.
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:58 PM   #4
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I filtered my latest batch of strawberry blonde twice, using 4 layers of cheesecloth each time. Once racking to the bottling bucket, and I also had a filter on the spigot intake going out to the bottling wand. I still got some tiny bits of strawberry in some bottles.

Definitely less than my first batch of strawberry blonde, which had a couple of bottles that ended up more like strawberry beer smoothies, but given my experience so far, I doubt I'll ever be able to remove all of the strawberry bits before bottling.

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Old 06-16-2009, 08:06 PM   #5
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Did you use fresh fruit or frozen? How much fruit did you add for 1 gal of beer? A hopsack or cheesecloth will be your friend. Just make sure not to add oxygen to the beer by splashing or making bubbles.

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Old 06-16-2009, 09:50 PM   #6
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Did you use fresh fruit or frozen? How much fruit did you add for 1 gal of beer? A hopsack or cheesecloth will be your friend. Just make sure not to add oxygen to the beer by splashing or making bubbles.

I used Oregon canned fruit (whole) that i mashed with a potato masher - so it is still mostly chunky. The beer is already clearing with the exception of the nice layer of fruit floating. I used 1 - 16 oz (1 lb.) can per gallon. I am anxious to sample - hope not to "winey". But that is why i did one gallon experiments.

The base beer is a cream ale with an OG of 1.046. Gravity at transfer to secondary was 1.010. The other 3 gallons that were plain were just bottled last night at a FG of 1.008. I will be using the cooper carbonation drops for bottling. I am guessing the pound of fruit (with syrup) added 0.010 to the original gravity points (just a guess though)

edit: I am not planning on transfer to a tertiary - If I try either of these fruits in a full 5 gal batch - then I probably would. The beer is rather clear already, so hopefully by using a hop sack recommended above (thanks), i can keep it relatively clear.
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:53 PM   #7
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frozen fruit is the way to go

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Old 06-16-2009, 10:08 PM   #8
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FWIW, I used fresh fruit, froze and thawed it a couple times before making a puree and adding that into the secondary.

I did not pasturize or use campden tablets.

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