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-   -   Suggestions for handling fruit for a Blackberry Porter. (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/suggestions-handling-fruit-blackberry-porter-96412/)

Dukester 01-07-2009 03:32 AM

Suggestions for handling fruit for a Blackberry Porter.
 
I've found a nice recipe for a Blackberry Porter that I want to try. I have several pounds of wild blackberrys that I picked towards the end of the season and then froze right away on cookie sheets to keep them nice and loose and easy to portion.

My question is, since it was towards the end of the season, some were going a tad bit soft and I'm also worried about natural molds and fungus that while I did not see any evidence of, may nonetheless be present. Any suggestions for preparing/pastuerizing the berries prior to use to avoid any unpleasantness?

Cheers,

Dukester

rtockst 01-07-2009 04:48 AM

Dukester, I listen to Basic Brewing Radio podcasts quite often and there is an episode with Randy Mosher in which he talks about brewing with fruits and other such things like pumpkins (he's basically the king in that area). He said that brewing with fruits such as blackberries and strawberries is quite hard, because their flavors don't hold up very well in beer. If you boil these blackberries to sanitize them, you will be destroying their flavor and aroma characters, so this isn't really a good choice. But... after the beer has fermented it has an acidic ph and will contain alcohol. So these two characteristics would make it slightly harder for any bacteria to spoil your beer.

I strongly suggest that you go ahead and brew and ferment the beer without the fruit. If you throw the blackberries into the beer after its primary fermentation has finished, then I think it would likely turn out with a nice blackberry character and also have a reduced chance of infection.

Hope that helps!

Revvy 01-07-2009 09:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rtockst (Post 1047687)
Dukester, I listen to Basic Brewing Radio podcasts quite often and there is an episode with Randy Mosher in which he talks about brewing with fruits and other such things like pumpkins (he's basically the king in that area). He said that brewing with fruits such as blackberries and strawberries is quite hard, because their flavors don't hold up very well in beer. If you boil these blackberries to sanitize them, you will be destroying their flavor and aroma characters, so this isn't really a good choice. But... after the beer has fermented it has an acidic ph and will contain alcohol. So these two characteristics would make it slightly harder for any bacteria to spoil your beer.

I strongly suggest that you go ahead and brew and ferment the beer without the fruit. If you throw the blackberries into the beer after its primary fermentation has finished, then I think it would likely turn out with a nice blackberry character and also have a reduced chance of infection.

Hope that helps!

This is probably your best bet...also for fruit such as these if you freeze them and add them in secondary, the freezing with break the cellular walls on the fruit and make it easier to flavor the beer...BUT be aware that you may want to rack the beer to a tertiary if you are putting fruit in secondary, especially if there's a lot of little seeds and pieces (Don't blackberries have little seeds like rasberries)

So after a couple weeks I would rack it to a third vessel for another couple of weeks to clear...and try to rig up something on the bottom of your autosiphon to act as a filter...a piece of sanitized cheescloth or something...I usually use pieces of hopsacks.

rtockst 01-07-2009 02:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Revvy (Post 1047813)
So after a couple weeks I would rack it to a third vessel for another couple of weeks to clear...and try to rig up something on the bottom of your autosiphon to act as a filter...a piece of sanitized cheescloth or something...I usually use pieces of hopsacks.

That cheesecloth or hopsack on the siphon is an awesome idea! I can't believe I haven't thought of that yet. I have been thinking about how I could dry hop, or at least keep chunks of stuff out of the siphon. Thanks for that tip Revvy

Revvy 01-07-2009 02:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rtockst (Post 1048093)
That cheesecloth or hopsack on the siphon is an awesome idea! I can't believe I haven't thought of that yet. I have been thinking about how I could dry hop, or at least keep chunks of stuff out of the siphon. Thanks for that tip Revvy

I just warn you, I've had it work sometimes, and stick other times....if there's a lot of hops or trub in there, try to keep it a little bit above it...(even if it's in a bucket, try to shine a flashlight behind it for a bit to try to gauge the height of the sediment...even mark it on your side with a pencil, then on the outside lay the auto siphon along side the bucket and mark the to part of it with the top of the bucket, (you can even rig a clip to it to hold it at that level when you place it in the bucket.)

Also sanitize the filter material and the rubberbands you use to connect it to it.

david_42 01-07-2009 02:31 PM

You can pasteurize the blackberries at 160F for 15 minutes and not lose too much of the flavor. Definitely put the berries in a bag and use a secondary fermenter. I've had very good results this way.

Had next to no blackberries this year, the nights were too cold. Normally, I can pick a gallon of blackberries in 20 minutes, but nada this year.

Dukester 01-11-2009 06:18 PM

Great tips all. Thanks very much.

Dukester

drawdy10 01-02-2012 06:43 AM

What ended up being your recipe for this?

sjjn 03-21-2012 03:50 PM

How did this turn out. I'm interested in trying a blackberry or blueberry porter as well.

drawdy10 03-21-2012 06:36 PM

Pretty sure this thread is dead since I didn't realize I tried resurrecting at 3 yr old thread in january, oops.


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