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.
Brewing beer is a fun and rewarding hobby. When you do good, you get beer. When you do bad, you get beer.
It's a lot like recreation league softball.