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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > secondary fruit addition technique help
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:28 PM   #1
jlfindley74
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Default secondary fruit addition technique help

i have a extract porter that is currently in my primary. it has been there for 26 days. i am going to transfer it to the secondary this weekend.
here is the short story/questions:
i had 5lbs of fresh figs that i had soaked in brandy for months which i added to the last 5 mins of my boil. i then removed them (i used a grain bag for easier management of the figs) and set them aside in a bowl in the fridge overnight. the next morning, i poured all the brandy they had soaked in into a pan and brought it to a boil to cook off the alcohol, i then added the figs and the brandy reduction to a blender and created a puree. i then put that puree into a gallon size zip lock bag and put it in the freezer.
i want to add this fig/brandy puree to my secondary vessel. i assume i need to thaw the puree to room temp first and then just pour it into the scondary vessel. key word being "assume".
is it as simple as that or is there some step or caution i am missing.

also - i did not sanitize the bowl i kept the figs in wen they were put in the fridge after they came out of the boil and i did not sanitize the gallon ziplock bag that i poured the puree into before it went into the freezer. i guess i should boil the puree prior to adding it to the secondary to be safe? or is that overkill. (as if there can be overkill with sanitizing and home brew...)

any advice/help would be GREATLY appriciated as i have high hopes for this "Figggy Porter".

Thanks -


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Old 02-22-2013, 07:53 PM   #2
drlars
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I wouldn't boil it again. Just thaw it, and blend it with some more alcohol. If you don't want more brandy flavor, just use some vodka. It won't appreciably add to your final ABV.

You realize, though, that it sounds like throwing the figs in there will re-start fermentation going again, so depending on what sort of airlock setup you have, you may want to account for this.


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Old 02-23-2013, 02:23 PM   #3
jlfindley74
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I assume that adding the vodka is just to kill any potential bacteria. If so, how much vodka what I add to a gallon size ziplock bag full of the puree to accomplish that?
Your comment about the airlock, I have a standard air lock that goes in the top of the lid off my bucket. I could fabricate a different air lock that has a hose that goes into the top of the bucket where the original airlock went and then goes into a milk jug full of sanitizing solution if you think that would be necessary. I assume this is what you are making the airlock comment for, basically warning if there is additional fermentation that at could have some type of foam over and I need to have a airlock setup to allow for that?
What is your reason for not suggesting to boil the pure a again?
I figured that might be the easiest thing to do if I just bring it to a boil and let it boil for a minute or 2 then it should be good....
But that's just my newbie brain trying to figure things out...

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Old 02-27-2013, 02:11 PM   #4
drlars
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Yep. Alcohol is actually one of the best antiseptics there is, and it should take care of any baddies for you. I don't have any exact data as far as amount, but if you have a gallon ziplock bag full, I personally would go with around a half of a fifth of vodka, then re-blend it briefly (or at least mix very thoroughly).

If you have enough headspace in your fermenter (say, a 6.5-gal carboy for 5 gal of beer) then it probably won't be an issue. However, if you are filling it near the top I would replace the fermlock with a blowoff setup (you should be able to find tubing of the caliber that will fit snugly into the hole in your stopper). The other issue I find with the fermlocks (particularly in plastic fermenters like better bottles when you move them) is that if you are moving to a colder area, the air cools and condenses, creating a suction, which can then pull whatever liquid you have in your fermlock into the beer. Thats why I also use alcohol for the fermlock as well.

I don't know that I would have boiled the fruit at all, let alone twice. For the same reason boiled fruit doesn't sound appetizing in general, I suspect the boiling could affect the proteins in the fruit in an undesirable way, or at least reduce the residual presence of the fruit in the finished product (which may be surprisingly minimal anyway to you, after the yeast have gotten ahold of it). Usually you hear about pasteurizing fruit, but not going as far as boiling. Personally, I think between freezing it and adding the alcohol, that should be more than enough for sterilization. Keep in mind that if you are adding to the secondary (or the primary after primary ferm is complete) then the alcohol content of the beer itself will also be on your side.
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