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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Help with fruit flavors!
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Old 08-28-2010, 12:03 AM   #1
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Default Help with fruit flavors!

Hey guys! I am a newbie to this and I charged in head first. I'm having a great time so far, but I have a question about fruit flavors. I made a Strawberry Hefeweizen with frozen strawberries and strawberry juice, and it came out very subtle and nice, BUT I'd like to make something with a stronger essence of fruit. Now, being a pastry chef, I have lots of fruit extracts that are for flavoring chocolate and candies. It only takes a couple drops of these to saturate whatever you're making with its flavor. Do you think this is something I could use in my brew? Sparingly of course. Also does anyone think it's a bad idea to add a drop to each bottle to really add a bang to the flavor profile? Always thinking.... Thanks in advance!

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Old 08-28-2010, 12:10 AM   #2
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You can buy a bunch of different flavorings http://www.brewmasterswarehouse.com/...ves/flavorings. I would guess they are the same kind of flavorings for food?

Considering they call for 2 oz for 5 gallons of beer i would think a drop in a bottle would be WAY over powering. But you could always make a bottle and give it a try. That is why home brewing is so fun you can try your own thing.

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Old 08-28-2010, 12:12 AM   #3
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Is it ok to add the flavoring during the secondary? Or just before bottling? The Raspberry Wheat and the Strawberry Hefe I made I added the fruit during the boil.

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Old 08-28-2010, 12:15 AM   #4
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Different strokes for different folks, but i think adding it to the Secondary is the most popular method.

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Old 08-28-2010, 12:18 AM   #5
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if you like to mess with fruit, try making mead. putting fruit in beer is stupid. if you want to drink fruity stuff, make mead or wine or cider. dont waste good barley and hops buy dumping a bunch of fruit in it. it usually doesnt work anyway.

no offense intended

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Old 08-28-2010, 12:34 AM   #6
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Just not a big fan of mead... Something about that Honey taste that gets me. I have a friend who makes it ALL THE TIME. I like the beer background accented with fruit. Don't get me wrong! I've got unfruited beers too and they are delish! Just asking about alternatives for when I do add it.

No offense taken.

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Old 08-28-2010, 12:57 AM   #7
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I think it's possible to get a nice fruit essence in beer without it being too overpowering/cloying.

It really depends on who you're brewing this for (someone who doesn't "like" beer, but might like something that tastes more like a wine cooler) ....

I've posted a few queries here and there, about my love of Avery's "Sixteen" - which was a Belgian saison brewed with peaches, honey, and jasmine.

What I loved about this beer (brewed in 2008, purchased and consumed in 2010) was that it still had some characteristics of honey, peach, and jasmine without being cloying or "too sweet". In fact, it was the honey and jasmine essence that I picked up on.

Something to consider (from what I've learned here on the threads), try fruit puree or fruit "nectar" in the secondary, use a grain bill that goes well with the fruit you're using, etc. If you're doing a Belgian Wit, you might try sweet orange peels instead of bitter orange - I really liked Goose Island's "Willow St. Wit" which had a wonderful sweet orange essence that was up front, but not overpowering.

Some of the most disliked "craft" brews that have fruit in the label seem to contain a significant quantity of what seems to be artificial "fruit flavor" that comes off as tasting like everything from perfume/soap to fruity pebbles cereal.

So try, try again. Maybe a little bit of extract in the secondary would help when you're using fruit like strawberries, but be careful because a little could go a long way and cause strange unwanted results.

With my next homebrew project I think I'm going to use one of the Oregon fruit purees (which some folks seem to like)

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Old 08-28-2010, 02:12 PM   #8
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If you want to use extracts, but you are worried about 'overpowering', try a biochemist's trick.

This works best with pipettes, but you could try it with an eyedropper.

Make 5 spots of water (a drop each) on a piece of wax paper, far enough apart so they won't touch. Put one drop of extract in the first drop. Take half of that drop, put it in the next drop of water, diluting it by half. Take half of that, etc. down to the end of the line of drops, so that you throw away the last half-a-drop of water.

You will have 1/2 dilution extract, then 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 and 1/32.

Put each drop into a bottle at bottling time and mark each. Ensure they are fully carbed before you try them. After that you should be able to guess about how much of the extract per bottle is needed to get optimum flavor. Different extracts will probably require different titrations.

Cheers!

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Old 08-28-2010, 04:24 PM   #9
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OOooo I like that biochemist trick. I think I am going to give it a shot with the extracts I've got at home. Got plenty of beer to give it a try! I'm also headed off to Brewmasters Warehouse for new flavors.

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Old 08-28-2010, 05:04 PM   #10
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I need to clarify: the size of the drops should be as close to even as possible. (Use size as an approximation of volume.)

Have fun!

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