Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Adding fruit to secondary, how to sanitize the fruit?
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Old 02-08-2006, 10:32 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffg
I put this in another thread recently, but my MO has always been to just add the fruit to the end of the boil, after the flame is off so they do not in fact boil, and steep them for about 15 minutes. Then, you can either add the whole mess to the primary or strain them out at that point. I have added whole fruit to the primary from the get go and it did not inhibit primary fermentation at all...
Because there was such activity in my secondary after the fruit I will probably do this next time. It was like having two carboys to ferment and needing a third to age.


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Old 02-22-2006, 01:27 PM   #22
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Hey all,

I am doing my first berry beer right now, as the beer is in the primary, and I am planning on putting some rasberry into the secondary. This post has a lot of great info, but one thing I am looking for, having never made a fruit/berry ale, is how everyone is coming up with the amount of fruit to add. I am brewing a light bodied ale with probably around 5.5%ABV. It is going to have some hop characteristic as I am a hop head. I want to have a crisp tease of berry, but not too overpowering or sweet. This is a 5G batch. Do you all out there have some metrics for coming up with the amount, or is it just FYN? (Follow your nose)....

any help would be appreciated. as of right now I was leaning toward 2 lbs. Is that not enough?


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Old 02-22-2006, 04:04 PM   #23
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I think it depends on what type of fruit you are using. I have my beer in the primary now for a strawberry blonde clone and plan to add 8 lbs of strawberry for 4 gallons of beer. (its a 5 gallon batch but I am taking 1 gallon out into another secondary to compare and also to allow more room for another fermentation from the fruit) I initially only bought 1 4lb bag and after some research found out I should be using more since strawberry is a flavor, and smell, that can get covered up easily. I am also during a puree and using frozen fruit.

Sorry this is just my 2 bits for what I am doing, didnt really answer your questions.
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Old 02-22-2006, 04:38 PM   #24
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so, you are going with 8# for 4G beer for a definite fruit/berry flavor. That is good to know. I think that I am going to plan on working up from lighter berry flavor to more over a couple of batches. I was even thinking of splitting this batch up and trying different levels, but I don't have any small carboys yet.
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Old 02-23-2006, 03:05 AM   #25
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2 pounds to 5 gallons will be a little on the light side.

There is no "magic formula", only experience can guide you.

My last batch with raspberries, a 1.046 starting gravity, and 3.5 pounds of frozen berries was about right for my taste (5 gallon batch). But my hopping rate was low as well, 15 IBU's to be exact.

If you keg your beer, you can always add more berry "juice", from pasturiezed and squezzed berries thru a grain bag, or strainer. OR......add some of the fruit flavoring extract that comes in 4 oz. bottles to the keg. Start with 2 oz. of extract and taste, you can always add more.

The "flavoring extract" will not add any red color to the beer, the real fruit (raspberries) will add a red color to the beer. So if you don't want color, use the extract flavoring. I kind of like the red hue it gets with real fruit, they say you can taste with your eyes as well as your tongue.
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Old 02-23-2006, 03:54 PM   #26
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I am all for the color too. I brewed a light bodied and colored beer specifically so that the berries would have more effect. I am not set on the amount-maybe I will try your 3.5# and see. This is definitely an experimental brew. This is the first brew that I tried a partial mash, first brew with whole hops, and will be the first with fruit!
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Old 02-23-2006, 04:49 PM   #27
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I had a raspberry ale at a local brew pub (the Manayunk Brew Pub, to be exact) and they had used real raspberries - 500 lbs of them actually, a little more than will fit into my five gallon brew tank). The color was spectacular, a deep ruby red, and the taste was better than my (extract based) raspberry ale too. My next fruit ale, which will go into the secondary in a week or so, will use real fruit.
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Old 02-24-2006, 06:27 PM   #28
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so what has everybody decided for sanitizing the fruit. I should be racking to secondary on sunday and I think I am going to put the 8 lbs of strawbewrries in a pot and heat for 20 minutes @ 160, that is unless anybody else can convince me of another way. This is my first fruit beer so def open to other options. my fruit is 8lb of frozen, whole strawberries.

I was origainlly going to puree, then heat in the pot, but think that is not need since they will absorb a lot of water and probably turn to mush in the pot without using a blender.
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Old 02-24-2006, 10:56 PM   #29
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Sounds right based on what everyone above said. Tell you what, I am doing my first batch of fruit beer that uses actual fruit (as opposed to extract). I will do the same and we can compare notes. I will be using blue berries, if I can find them, or else raspberries.
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Old 02-25-2006, 04:32 AM   #30
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My strawberry brew is working 3 feet away from my PC. I used a 6# bag of frozen berries, in a pale ale- 5# of pale 2 row, 1# of Victory for the maltiness. 2oz of roasted for color. About 4 gallons. OG 1.028. Pitched onto yeast from last batch I bottled that day- Nottingham. My primary went fast, I kept it warm. I racked to 2nd after one day, was bubbling once/minute, and pretty clear. I thawed the berries in a pot with a quart of water, and smashed with a potato masher. Turned off the heat when it started bubbling. Probly about 1 1/2 gallons. I poured them into the secondary, and went to dinner. By the time I got back 2 hours later it had blown the cap off the 3 pc bubbler, and puked red slime/foam all over. Wish I had seen it. Anyhow, I stole a sample after one day. I'm gonna like it.

Oops, forgot to put in about the sour mash. I tried souring 1 1/2# of grain 2 days early. It got sour, alright. Smelled sour in initial fermentation, but had little taste in sample. Time will tell, probably add subtle hints. I sure liked the Hout Sour Blackberry I tried at Ballast Point Brewing a couple weeks ago, but it was soured naturally (accidentally?) in the oak keg.

I brewed a smaller beer this time, I plan on drinking lots of it on hot days this summer. Whole fruit doesn't add a lot of sugars- 95% water? But I didn't take a hydro test at secondary, or after adding fruit. Seemed meaningless, what with all the junk floating around...

Anyway, it's been fermenting for 6 days. Still got a 2" layer of peels floating on top. Color is about gone from the peels, light pink now. Beer is red fersure.

Next time I'll wait longer for the primary to stop. And more yeast to settle out. I wouldn't put the fruit in the primary unless you can make a 5 gal batch in a 10 gal fermenter.

Perhaps I'll make a hydrometer reading now- just to have another sample. Good stuff, Maynard.


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