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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Fruit in beer - to puree or not to puree?
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:59 AM   #1
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Default Fruit in beer - to puree or not to puree?

My brew buddies and I are fermenting a chocolate cherry stout. We're about to add 5 pounds of Oregon canned tart cherries to the secondary.

While I've found a lot of information on fresh fruit versus frozen, and fruit extract vs real fruit, I've not been able to find reasons why it would be better to puree or not puree the fruit we have. I imagine that puree might get more flavor into the beer, but could possibly clog the siphon, but I'm really not sure.

We're doing this in two nights, and I'd really appreciate any tips from the masters.

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Old 09-21-2011, 08:27 AM   #2
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FWIW, I recently made a cherry stout and pitted the cherries but otherwise left them as is. It was a huge PITA come time to rack to 2ndary and again at bottling time. That being said, i tried one last Friday (it's still early but I'm always impatient) and it was really good. Made it worth the trouble.

Since then i've used pureed blackberries in a different beer. Pureeing seems to cause less problems for transferring and I can't tell much difference in the amount of fruit flavor.

I guess my 2 cents would go for puree.


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Old 09-21-2011, 07:15 PM   #3
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Thanks, Piratwolf, that's helpful!

Does the puree settle out well enough with the yeast sediment?
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:50 PM   #4
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Glad to help. I've gotten so much out of HBT that it's nice to give a little!

My blackberry puree has been in primary for about 17 days and the yeast/puree cake is nicely packed. I shifted it from my ferm chamber to the downstairs closet, and the cake barely moved. So I think it'll be a pretty clean siphon to bottle. I plan to bottle either Fri afternoon or Sat am EST, so I'd be happy to post my results. But just about anything has to be better than those chunks of cherry flesh gumming up the auto-siphon & then the bottling wand!
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piratwolf View Post
But just about anything has to be better than those chunks of cherry flesh gumming up the auto-siphon & then the bottling wand!
That's a vivid description! Once I added a bunch of extra coriander to a wit beer, assuming it would either all float or all sink to the bottom... Whoops. I had to stop bottling when the spigot became clogged with several whole coriander seeds.

Per the other advice I've read on the forums, we're going to add the cherries to the secondary. We're doing this tomorrow night, and probably won't bottle for a few weeks. I'll share our results here, as well.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:34 PM   #6
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I added Oregon raspberry to a wheat in secondary. I did not have the Oregon puree, just the whole raspberries in heavy syrup. I sanitized our blender and gave it a 2 second blast on high. Was enough to break open all of the rapsberries, but not enough to completely turn it to soup.

It fermented out nicely and appears to have mostly cleared after 2 weeks. Will bottle on my next brew day in 1.5 weeks. I may be wishing I gave it longer in the blender as I try to rack the beer out of the carboy <fingers crossed>
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:02 PM   #7
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Recently have been inundated with fresh elderberries and sloes. And i am about to make a port with the fresh fruit, However I also have dried elderberries and sloes, so i was going to make up a fresh port and a dried port just to compare..
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:51 PM   #8
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I realized that I never did reply. Sorry. We pureed the canned fruit in a sanitized blender and added it to the secondary. It caused no problems in bottling, as we were able to transfer it into our bottling bucket with very little sediment leaking through. There were a few random floaters in some bottles, but that's just handcrafted character!
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:39 PM   #9
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2 years later, you got any bottles left?!
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:05 PM   #10
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Good old thread to revive as we come into fruit season.

I have a peach blonde I brewed last Saturday. My neighbor's tree hung a couple of branches over my fence, so I harvested and pureed them and pasteurized at 180F for 15+ min.

The recipe I modified said to put the fruit in on day 3 of primary fermentation, so that's what I did. After adding the fruit, I gave the yeast cake a gentle stir and let it ride. Most of the fruit floated at first, but you can see some sank after a couple of days.



Air lock activity has stopped, but I know better; I won't touch that brew for a while yet while the yeast clean things up.


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