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Old 12-03-2012, 09:24 AM   #1
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Default When to add fruits / plums

Hi All - i'm new to brewing and the forum.

I am going to do my first all grain batch today. Actually going to try 2 batches.

One of them is a 'christmas ale'. It's based on a porter recipe - i am going to add cinnamon and cloves and would really like to get some plum flavours into the beer.

How would i go about that?

Someone suggested priming with plum jam.

could i add plums during the boil? What effect would the sugars have?

I have a juicer, so i could juice the plums.

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Old 12-03-2012, 09:25 AM   #2
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the recipe should yield about 7.8% abv - without taking the plums into consideration

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Old 12-03-2012, 03:50 PM   #3
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I wouldn't prime with jam since it is tough to exactly measure how many sugar is in it, and how much CO2 yeast will produce.

You can add it in secondary instead.

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Old 12-03-2012, 04:38 PM   #4
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If you're in the US the nutrition facts chart on the label will tell you the "serving size" and how much sugar In each serving. From this you can calculate how much jam to add to prime your beer. That's assuming it's commercially prepared. If it's home made, you can figure it out from the ingredients. Google "nutrition facts plums" or whatever fruit you're using. For simplicity assume that the sugar listed is sucrose. In reality fruits contain a mixture of sugars dominated by sucrose and fructose, but without knowing exactly what the proportions are, assuming sucrose will get you pretty close - closer than guessing, anyway.

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Old 12-03-2012, 04:45 PM   #5
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To hit a couple of your other questions: don't boil fruit. You'll denature a lot of the flavor essence of it. Fruit does need to be sanitized obviously so instead I would recommend freezing it, and then racking your beer onto it in secondary. Other ways to add fruit flavor include using commercial canned fruit puree in secondary (does not need to be sanitized, as the canning process sanitizes it), and you could also even use fruit flavored extracts. Sounds funny or "fake" but you can get amazing results with the extract.

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Old 12-03-2012, 11:53 PM   #6
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Forgot to add, any fruit heated to over 160F, including jam which has to be heated to be produced, will have its pectins set. These will make your beer cloudy unless you use pectic enzyme which is available at your LHBS.

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Old 12-04-2012, 12:03 AM   #7
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Hmmm. For "plum", I'd go another way and not use actual fruit. Some grains, like special B, are distinctively fruity (plum and raisins) while some yeast strains (particularly the trappist strains) give plum notes.

I make plum wine, but fermented plums are definitely not "plummy" the way you'd think. They are tart and fruity, but not really noticeably plum, and once they ferment out they leave behind a very tart flavor (as does most fruit).

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