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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Using fruit in the secondary
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Old 09-14-2006, 06:50 PM   #1
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Default Using fruit in the secondary

While I’m impatiently waiting for the first brew to condition, I’m planning out my second.

It’s a Cream Ale kit. But because I eventually want to brew lambic style beers, I’m seriously considering experimenting with fruit. If I do it, I’m planning on blanching the fruit and adding it to the secondary.

Here are my questions:
1. When fruit is added this way, should I expect the secondary to behave like the primary because of the fruit sugars, only with a longer fermentation.
2. Should I expect the same sort of 75% drop in specific gravity from the beginning of the secondary fermentation to the end or will the drop be less because the fruit sugars are more complex?

I'm not in any rush to decide. I still have about a month before my cellar temp drops to where I want it to be for fermentation.

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Old 09-15-2006, 02:33 AM   #2
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Doesnt fermenting fruit produce methonal correct me please .

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Old 09-15-2006, 02:37 AM   #3
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If it does, there must be a way to deal with it. Wine is made from fruit.

Are you thinking about distillation of spirits, perhaps?

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Old 09-15-2006, 04:11 PM   #4
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Traces of methanol are formed by the fermentation of pectins. Trace amounts of methanol are not a problem, i.e. in fruit beer and wine. Problems occur when the methanol and ethanol are concentrated during the distillation process, i.e. vodka, schnapps, etc.

Since methanol vaporizes at a lower temperature than ethanol, the way distillers handle it is by discarding the earliest portion of the first distillate.


(I'm a Scotch drinker. Triple distillation is my friend)

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Old 09-15-2006, 09:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feedthebear
Here are my questions:
1. When fruit is added this way, should I expect the secondary to behave like the primary because of the fruit sugars, only with a longer fermentation.
2. Should I expect the same sort of 75% drop in specific gravity from the beginning of the secondary fermentation to the end or will the drop be less because the fruit sugars are more complex?
1. It will, but to a lesser extent than your primary ferment.

2. No, but I don't think that the explanation related to the complexity of the sugars.

I've made many batches of fruit beers, and drank many more - I can't say there was no methanol in them, or even that there was a non-dangerous amount. However, I'm still walking upright and don't seem to have suffered any ill effects.
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Old 09-15-2006, 09:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feedthebear
While I’m impatiently waiting for the first brew to condition, I’m planning out my second.

It’s a Cream Ale kit. But because I eventually want to brew lambic style beers, I’m seriously considering experimenting with fruit. If I do it, I’m planning on blanching the fruit and adding it to the secondary.

Here are my questions:
1. When fruit is added this way, should I expect the secondary to behave like the primary because of the fruit sugars, only with a longer fermentation.
2. Should I expect the same sort of 75% drop in specific gravity from the beginning of the secondary fermentation to the end or will the drop be less because the fruit sugars are more complex?

I'm not in any rush to decide. I still have about a month before my cellar temp drops to where I want it to be for fermentation.
I just did a strawberry that turned out great, I put 8 pounds of frozen(thawed) berries in the primary and left it sit two weeks, racked to carboy for 3 days and bottled. It tastes great. I used a belgian yeast, I think 1055 liquid.
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Old 09-15-2006, 09:26 PM   #7
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I'm thinking of using peaches, but in the secondary instead of the primary.

Do you think I should use a 6 gallon carboy instead of a 5 gallon?

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Old 09-15-2006, 09:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feedthebear
I'm thinking of using peaches, but in the secondary instead of the primary.

Do you think I should use a 6 gallon carboy instead of a 5 gallon?

I'm not sure, I just used a 6.5G bucket with no problems.

Why do you want to add it to the secondary instead? I used the carboy for a couple days just to let some sediment fall.
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Old 09-15-2006, 09:40 PM   #9
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Its a practice experiment. I want to brew lambics and the recipes I've read for that style have the fruit going into the secondary.

If I screw up, I want to do it on a beer that doesn't take two years from brewing day to drinking day.

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Old 09-15-2006, 10:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feedthebear
Its a practice experiment. I want to brew lambics and the recipes I've read for that style have the fruit going into the secondary.

If I screw up, I want to do it on a beer that doesn't take two years from brewing day to drinking day.

haha, well I drank mine a week and a half later and it was good..

From what I recall don't you ferment the fruit by itself then rack the beer on top? For a lambic that is..

Sorry, I'm not trying to tell you how to do it, I just wanted to share what I did.
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