Need advise for adding fruit. - Home Brew Forums
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:05 PM   #1
Mexirican
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Jan 2013
Mesa, Arizona
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So my wife’s last batch was a Strawberry Cream Ale. The only bad thing, there was no strawberry flavor. When I went to "Brew Your Own Brew" to get the ingredients for the White House Honey Ale I wanted to try (policies aside, it’s a good beer) she went with me to find something to try too. The guy working there suggested adding fruit to a beer in the secondary for more flavor. He said that he added strawberries to their Cream Ale kit before and it turned out pretty good. She decided to do that. Anyways, the strawberry flavor didn’t take. She boiled them to sterilize them, and then froze them. When she transferred the beer into the secondary fermentation bucket, she added the strawberries. 2 weeks later, she transferredthe beer into the bottles. 2 more weeks later, opened a bottle and no strawberry flavor at all. Any suggestions on how to make the beer tale the fruit flavor? She did a 5 gallon batch and added 1 pound of fresh strawberries. The berries where sweet to begin with. She tried a few when she was cutting the stems off.

Thanks for the help

 
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:42 PM   #2
Johnnyhitch1
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Rule of thumb that i ussualy go with is about 1 pound per gallon if you want to really taste the fruit and add more from there. So starting with 5 pounds for a 5 gallon batch should be your threshold.
I did 4 pounds of apricot in a wheat beer and it came out with a perfect hint of the fruit.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:15 PM   #3
HawaiianBrew
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I would try extract like i made a ipa with orange extract a few bottles per batch I used 4 and there was a little to much orange in it which was ok, next time il use 3 bottles. The extract bottles you,can find in the baking section. They make all kinds. The cheapest way to do it is use frozen fruit concentrate which might be a little cheaper.

 
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:47 PM   #4
Mexirican
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Jan 2013
Mesa, Arizona
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Thanks Johnny! I'll tell her that we have to do it again, but with 4-5 times more strawberries. If it doesn't work, you'll have to help me drink 5 more gallons of it.

Hawaii - My wife has something against adding extract if the fruit is readily availible. We got this AWESOME vanilla extract though from The Dominican Republic that she wants to use. I know. I know. "But you just said..."

 
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:56 PM   #5
JimRausch
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Last summer, using a cream ale recipe as a base, I split the batch, and put 2 lb of frozen raspberries in 2.5 gallon. Let it sit for a week before bottling.
Beautiful color, and quite a bit of raspberry flavor. I personally don't care for it, but it has been a hit with certain folks(usually female).

 
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:12 PM   #6
tjpfeister
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I concur with Johnny, but wish to add the use of "cough syrup" extract. These extracts are not the most appealing on their own, but I get a lot of requests for fruit beers, so I keep them around. My rationale? Because if you just spent several months making and aging a cherrified-RIS for a friend, you probably want it to taste like cherries. Even at 1 lb per 1 gallon the fruit flavor can sometimes hide, so I'll add a few mils of extract just to bump it up a notch.

"Perception is a large part of reception," is what I have been saying a lot lately, when it comes to this topic. Just because you know that fermented cherries tend to leave a very tart sensation with little else, does not mean that your friend (client, whatever) knows this. So just a few drops of that "candy" fruit flavor can win over a person's taste buds, even if a majority of the flavoring comes from the actual fruit.

So recap: Approximately 1lb of fruit per gallon of beer, have extract on hand in case a finishing touch is needed.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:09 PM   #7
Mexirican
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Jan 2013
Mesa, Arizona
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Thanks for the advice tjpfeister. I'm almost finished with her beer and she's itching to make the replacement batch. She's going to do the 1 to 1 ratio with the strawberries. She has a bunch frozen when they were on sale. When do you add the "cough syrup"? I'm assuming that we'd make the beer the same, adding more strawberries of couse, then add the extract to taste right before bottling. Please let me know if I'm correct in my assumption. I'm not sure if I can choke down 5 more gallons of a beer I don't really like.

 
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:38 PM   #8
tjpfeister
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Correct sir.

Or, if using kegs, you can add it directly to the the keg post-carbonation as sometimes the carbonic acid can play a significant role in flavor perception. Basically, you want to add it later in the game, and in small increments if possible.

Another possibility when working with kegs is blending an under-fruit-ed or over-fruit-ed beer with one from the opposite side of the scale. But it sounds like you are working with bottles, so just store that thought for potential future use.

Cheers!
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