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Old 06-09-2011, 09:16 PM   #1
AnaheimAngels
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Default Infusing a fruit

So, I'm brewing an american hef right now (to keep my fiancee satisfied on the beer front) and I wanted to add/infuse a fruit. Primary fermentation is just finishing up and I'm about to move it to a secondary, so I figured this would be the best time to do this. Any suggestions as to how to do this? I've heard you should freeze the fruit to kill the bacteria. Should I make a mash out of it as well? Anything else I need to consider?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Old 06-09-2011, 09:44 PM   #2
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f85/blood-orange-hefeweizen-98579/index2.html

for orange see above thread. 1st post on the second page. we didn't use blood oranges. used zest in the boil but then racked onto the fruit in the secondary. turned out really tasty.

thinking about making it again this weekend. was ready to keg in 10 days and enjoying it by day 17.

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Old 06-09-2011, 09:45 PM   #3
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Chopping it into smaller pieces depends on what fruit you use. Most folks will chop them and throw them into a plastic bag. Or slightly mash them inside of the plastic sandwich bag, and freeze them solid - usually takes a few days. Thaw them very slightly so they can slide out of the bag in a chunk. Place them in your empty secondary, and rack your beer on top. Let sit for 5 or more days. I don't move it into a secondary with the fruit until about the 5th week. I bottle immediately after the fruit is done imparting flavor.

Expect your fruit to turn colorless and nearly gray or so over the course of the time they are in your beer.

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Old 06-09-2011, 10:35 PM   #4
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I added 5 Blood oranges that I washed and split in half and added to my secondary for 2 weeks. Came out amazingly delicious.

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Old 06-09-2011, 10:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnaheimAngels View Post
So, I'm brewing an american hef right now (to keep my fiancee satisfied on the beer front) and I wanted to add/infuse a fruit. Primary fermentation is just finishing up and I'm about to move it to a secondary, so I figured this would be the best time to do this. Any suggestions as to how to do this? I've heard you should freeze the fruit to kill the bacteria. Should I make a mash out of it as well? Anything else I need to consider?

Any help is greatly appreciated.
What fruit are you considering? I added 4lb strawberries and 2lb blueberries to a Belgian Wit last year (called it red, wit and blue) came out nice. I just made a star san bath and dunked the fruits before adding to secondary.
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:47 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice guys. I actually wanted to do something exotic, maybe like a star fruit. It's fruity, sweet, and not too citrusy. Does the freezing act as a form of sanitizing? How much fruit should I put into the 5 gal. carboy? What about pectins? Thanks again for all the replies.

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Old 06-09-2011, 11:56 PM   #7
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I would be careful about freezing. Not all bacteria is killed by freezing temps, much like yeast they simply go dormant until heated back up. I would pasteurize or soak in alcohol to prevent infection.

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Old 06-10-2011, 12:09 AM   #8
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I would be careful about freezing. Not all bacteria is killed by freezing temps, much like yeast they simply go dormant until heated back up. I would pasteurize or soak in alcohol to prevent infection.
I have never heard of any circumstance where freezing the fruit has ever caused infection. There are hundreds of threads talking about freezing with no problem, so why take tippy toes around something that has caused no one any problems previously? Soaking the fruit in alcohol is exactly what you are doing when adding it to the beer. No need to soak in alcohol that would influence the taste of your beer IMO. Give it a good sink rinsing before freezing of course.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:53 AM   #9
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Not sure where all these posts are but this is the only one I can find regarding freezing as a sanitary method. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/sanitation-while-making-fruit-additions-124936/

Here's the important quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schnitzengiggle View Post
"Freezing" will not kill anything on it...I hate to burst your bubble, but you are wrong. Freezing may slow the growth of bacteria and other nasties, but once thawed there is always a chance of bacterial growth, very unlikely that an infection will occur, but to say freezing will "kill anything on it" is incorrect.
Liquor is a bit more concentrated than you're average beer. Ever heard of a bottle infection or infection after transferring to secondary? It happens. A fermented beer is more but not 100% safe from bacteria. Do you simply dip your wine thief/turkey baster/ladle in your carboy without sanitizing it for a reading? Do you not sanitize anything when racking? Ever heard of the frozen fly trick where you freeze it the fly then your hand temp "brings it back to life" I sure as hell wouldn't put that in my carboy.

If you can link one of these "hundreds" of threads about it and back up your claim with verifiable information for the OP so he doesn't ruin his beer it'd be more beneficial. Google "does freezing kill bacteria" and tell me how many of those says it's a reliable means of sanitation and killing bacteria. Personally I'd rather not waste $35-$60 in ingredients not being cautious with sanitation.
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Old 06-10-2011, 06:25 PM   #10
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^ wow you managed to draw a ton of conclusions about my process from my 4 sentence reply to the OP. Probably unneeded for you to do that and slightly irrational to make those assumptions. Feel free to message if you'd like to know exactly how my process differs from yours. It would be cool if you provided links to back up what you told the OP, unless it was your opinion, don't worry I won't ask you to since this is one of those topics that are based on preferences:

"I would be careful about freezing. Not all bacteria is killed by freezing temps, much like yeast they simply go dormant until heated back up. I would pasteurize or soak in alcohol to prevent infection."

If it's just your opinion and there is no proof of beer actually becoming infected then you don't have to supply proof. And I'm just using common sense for my reasoning of what I told the OP as well. But for you to say "careful" about freezing your fruit, then that means you have heard of someone freezing their fruit and their beer getting infected. I sure haven't heard anything, it's never happened to me, and I've used PLENTY of fruits in my beer over the years.

The OP can just do what he think will work best. For me, soaking fruit in alcohol like vodka or rum, will release it's flavorings into the alcohol, slightly altering the taste of your beer. If both methods work fine, why would you use the one that would alter taste? Don't make the OP paranoid to the point that they are willing to alter flavor in order to sanitize something. That's just silly.

If you've seen frozen fruit and then thawed it, then you see the puddle of juice it creates in the plastic bag. But if you absolutely need more proof to back up my claim that freezing fruit doesn't cause substantial problems. I'll find what I can. I won't ask you to find proof don't worry.

There's plenty of other options to sanitize or partly sanitize fruit if you aren't paranoid or a newbie. Boiling for 10 minutes in 160 degree water is another option I'd do before hard alcohol.

Post 2, 4, and 5 here.

Also here.

I would never tell him to "be careful" with a method that has never failed me or someone else. Again, you're just causing paranoia. For the record, when I use my wine thief to pull samples, no I don't soak in sanitizer, I'll rinse it after it's ran through the dishwasher though.

Hey OP, I'm really sorry if this post is too long to read, just read this for brevity: No need to soak fruit in alcohol unless you're paranoid and don't mind the potential flavor profile change due to the hard liquor being added. Freezing your fruit breaks down the cell structure, so when it thaws all that awesome juice releases. Try it. Freeze a few chopped strawberries then thaw them. Don't be afraid of infection at this point. Wash your fruit thoroughly just like you would if you were consuming them, then freeze them. Happy brewing my friend. Do what you're comfortable with.

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