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Old 06-27-2010, 03:03 PM   #1
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Default Puree Problems

My wife really enjoys fruit beers so in order to maintain a happy brew house I have made several attempts to create one that both of us enjoy. My initial attempts used extract and the beer was OK, but it tasted a little bit artificial. Then I did one batch with frozen fruit and so far that was my best fruit beer. But it was a lot of messy work thawing and pasteurizing the frozen fruit. So I tried a batch with Oregon brand puree. But on my first batch I believe that the puree may have been spoiled so it was no big surprise that the beer turned out bad. Spoiled flavor aside, the beer did not have any of the characteristics of beer. It was thick, very opaque, no carbonation, and no beer flavor. But being as the puree was so much easier to work with than the frozen fruit I tried one more batch. After a week of set-it-and-forget-it force carbing in the keg I tried a sample last night and I was very disappointed. The beer was unusually thick, lightly carbonated (which I somewhat expected at this point), almost no perceptible beer flavor, and had only a hint of fruit flavor.

The obvious solution is to just go back to fresh fruit. But before throwing in the towel for purees I was curious if there is anything I am missing. I use a fairly straight forward process. brew a light color, low IBU ale beer to allow the fruit flavor to stand out, 1 week in the primary, rack beer onto fruit in a secondary for 2 weeks, force carb, and then drink. Any suggestions or tips on how to brew with puree would be appreciated.

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Old 06-27-2010, 03:27 PM   #2
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What comes to mind is the puree? What kind of fruit? Is there any artificial stuff in the puree that keeps it stable so as not to separate the water from the fruit?

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Old 06-27-2010, 05:46 PM   #3
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How did you use the puree? Did you just dump it in the bucket? What kind of fruits are you looking to use? When I use frozen fruit, I put it into small paint strainer bags (don't be afraid to use more then one) and freeze the fruit in them, inside of a ziplock. When I am ready to rack to secondary on top of the fruit, I pull out the ziplock and let it sit on the counter until thawed and then toss the bags in the bucket. If I go in the primary, I just let it thaw while I brew and then toss straight in the primary.

Since you keg, you can also "dry fruit" your kegs with the strainer bags of fruit. I've had good experience with that as long as you drink it fast.

With citrus (oranges) I like to zest the oranges and soak them in a cup of vodka for a week. Then pour that into the keg through a strainer bag and just toss the bag into the keg.

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Primary: 10g English Mild, 10g Robust Porter, 10g Skeeter Pee
Keg: Black Cherry Apfelwein, 10g AHS Low Carb Ale, 10g Centennial Blonde, Haus Pale Ale, Ginger Ale

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Old 06-27-2010, 06:58 PM   #4
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Canned Oregon brand puree is what everyone uses. It's pretty clean but expensive. Look at your LHS.

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Old 06-27-2010, 07:57 PM   #5
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Oregon brand is all fruit and pasteurized so I can't imagine that that was the issue.

I believe the issue is that you barely let the fruit ferment and clear before you kegged it. Two weeks isn't really much time when you consider that the beer referments when you add the fruit.

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