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Old 04-04-2008, 05:02 PM   #1
Caine's Avatar
Mar 2008
Posts: 30

I have a wheat beer on deck that I am considering combining with some of our blackberry stores in the freezer. I'm wondering what the preferred/best method of sanitizing these are when I put them in the secondary fermenter. They have plenty of seeds and the like, so there is a de-seeding issue as well. I could run them through a strainer as we do for canning jams and such, but again, I'm not sure how to get the resultant berry pulp/juice into a condition that is clean enough to mix into the secondary.

Anyone have suggestions?

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Old 04-04-2008, 05:09 PM   #2
Ale's What Cures You!
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Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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I know some people have brought the fruit up to 170 degrees or so to sanitize it. I don't make fruit beers, but I make alot of wine. What I would do is buy some campden tablets, and dissolve one in a cup of boiling water and pour that over the fruit (and I'd put the fruit in a mesh bag, to contain some of the pulp and fruit) and let sit for 12 hours, then put that into the fermenter and rack the beer onto it.

Whichever you decide, don't boil the fruit. You'll set the pectin (think jelly!) and have a pectin haze like crazy.
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:20 PM   #3
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Oct 2005
Sunny Southern Vermont
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I'd suggest saving the blackberries for jam. Track down some blackberry extract instead and add 2 oz. for every five gallons during secondary fermentation.

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Old 04-04-2008, 06:36 PM   #4
Feb 2006
Vancouver, BC
Posts: 258

we used blackberries we picked and stored in the freezer in a beer and it worked out great. we went straight from the freezer into the secondary and had no infection problems. i imagine there is some risk involved here, but we felt that the alcohol of the beer plus the freezing of the blackberries was enough security for us. dealing with a potential pectin haze when trying to pasteurize the berries seemed like too much trouble.


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Old 04-04-2008, 06:48 PM   #5
Dec 2007
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Wash the berries thoroughly first as any bacterial contaminants will be on the outside of fruit, then puree/mash/whatever you like, then cook the the resulting fruit pulp at 120-170 in oven before addition and you should be fine, the tablets are also an interesting idea posted above...

go for the berries too, I always "try" to go natural over extract when i can

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Old 04-04-2008, 09:04 PM   #6
Feb 2008
Kalamazoo, MI
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Papazian sugguests adding the berries after flame out. That way they are stanitized and you don't set the pectin in the fruit. That would be what I would do.

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Old 04-04-2008, 09:10 PM   #7
Wild Sab
Mar 2008
Southern NJ
Posts: 9

Any thoughts on that vegitable wash stuff. A restaurant I worked for used it to wash lettuce and stuff like that. You would soak the fruit/vegitable in the solution then rinse them in a sanitized colender. Something like that might work.
Edit: After thinking about it, its a good possibility that stuff is a gimmick to make money. It could either do nothing or could contribute to off-flavors and worst case scenerio be a possible contaminate

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Old 04-06-2008, 06:44 PM   #8
Nov 2007
It's Always Sunny
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+1 on washing, mashing/puree-ing, pasteurizing at 170F. I've done it with raspberries with much success.

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Old 04-06-2008, 07:41 PM   #9
Wade E
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Mar 2008
Middlebury, Ct.
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If you will still be fermenting when you add the blackberries then i would not use the campden tablets as that might stall an ongoing fermentation or prevent your primer from carbing in bottles.

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Old 04-06-2008, 08:11 PM   #10
Aug 2005
Philadelphia area
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Check my recipe for fruit ales - there's a bit of information about sanitizing fruit and the relative merits of using extracts rather than real fruit.

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