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Old 07-18-2012, 02:42 AM   #1
Jaehnig
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Default How to sanitize fruit/food items

How does one sanitize fruit before adding it to the fermentation vessel? Is boiling the only way?
Thank you.

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Old 07-18-2012, 02:51 AM   #2
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you could put in in a bit of liquor for awhile. i did that with vanilla beans and it turned out pretty good. vodka will not contribute any additional flavor but other liquors might

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Old 07-18-2012, 05:08 AM   #3
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I sprayed my vanilla beans with star San - suppose that could wor for fruit too...

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Old 07-18-2012, 08:44 AM   #4
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Wineries don't even wash their grapes before pressing. Don't worry too much about it especially if additions are post-fermemtation.

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Old 07-18-2012, 02:57 PM   #5
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The fruit purees that are made for brewing and winemaking come pre-sanatized in large cans. That's the easy way!

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Wineries don't even wash their grapes before pressing. Don't worry too much about it especially if additions are post-fermemtation.
Note that wild yeast is no where near as big of a deal in winemaking as it is in beer.

If you use fresh fruit for beer, you DO need to take steps to sanatize, as wild yeast is definitely a factor in fresh fruit, and WILL sour your beer. Most people puree and boil. All it takes is about 40 seconds at a temp over 180 to sanatize fruit, so if you don't go the pre-packaged route, take those 40 seconds!

Good luck!
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:06 PM   #6
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Depending on the type of fruit you may want to be careful about getting it too hot or else you'll start getting pectin gels which will cloud up the beer. I typically put my fruit in just enough water to cover it and then pasteurize at 150-160F for 10-15mins.

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Old 07-18-2012, 04:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TopherM View Post
If you use fresh fruit for beer, you DO need to take steps to sanatize, as wild yeast is definitely a factor in fresh fruit, and WILL sour your beer.

Good luck!
Not to steer us off-topic, but I kind of wanted a sour quality in my strawberry ale. I wonder if not sanitizing them would've been the answer...or if that would've just caused the entire batch to spoil in an awful way.
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidepart View Post
Not to steer us off-topic, but I kind of wanted a sour quality in my strawberry ale. I wonder if not sanitizing them would've been the answer...or if that would've just caused the entire batch to spoil in an awful way.
Usually an unknown with wild yeast. Many (most?) are undesirable. If you want a sour character, probably best to stick to a known bug/culture/blend (i.e., wyeast blends, bottle dregs, etc).
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:12 PM   #9
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All,
Thank you for the replies. I'll make sure to put it to good use! For vodka used to sanitize, does the flavor of the fruit impart flavors into the vodka? I know I have heard that you can add the fruit and vodka right into the brew! Good idea or will it end up really messing with the flavors? Thanks!

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Old 07-20-2012, 11:32 PM   #10
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I would think it would depend on the volume of the beer and the amount of Vodka being added. Personally I would drain off the Vodka onto ice and drink it. Then add the fruit to the beer.

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