Adding Fruit

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


New Member
May 14, 2024
Reaction score
North Carolina
I got one of those Northern Brewer kits for my birthday and I am excited to brew, i do have a quick question, I wanted to add mango flavoring (puree) and everything I am reading is to add in the secondary and basically not stir. When you say secondary what is that exactly? right now its in the first 5 gallon bucket going through fermentation does this mean pour it to the bottom of the second 5 gallon bucket and then wort on that? sorry if its a dumb question just trying to not mess this up
Does the kit's recipe call for mango puree? Or is that just something you want to add?

Regardless, I'd just add it to the primary as long as it has the headspace remaining to handle any additional fermentation that might sometimes get things foamy on top again. Secondaries really don't provide the benefit return for the risk they add. Besides, if you are going to bottle carbonate your beer, that will be your secondary fermentation! There really is no benefit for a tertiary ferment. At least none I'm aware of.

If you are adding the puree to a recipe that doesn't call for it, then I wouldn't. I'd wait till I've done a few of the kits and had good results. Then I might try to see what fruit additions bring to the party in a later batch. However I've found that a lot of the fruit flavors that I desire in beer can be given by just the proper hop selection.

But it's your beer, so don't think I'm telling you what to do. I'm just stating what my consideration would be.

I must have made 4 or 5 batches of beer with grapefruit added in different ways. None really satisfactory. Then I made a IPA with just Cascade hops, and it had the best and strongest grapefruit taste and aroma of any of the previous beers that actually had grapefruit in them.

I believe there are some hop varieties that lend some of the mango flavor/aroma notes. But I've never looked specifically for them.
A secondary would be a second fermenter, allowing you to get the beer off the yeast and into another sanitized fermenter when you add the fruit. Depending on how careful you are in sanitation, and avoiding oxygen, moving to a secondary *can* result in infected or oxygenated beer.

I'm planning on adding apricot puree to an American Wheat beer later this summer. I'm planning on adding the puree directly to the primary fermenter once a majority of fermentation is complete.
Fruit addition is one of the few reasons why I would do a secondary. But when I use a secondary fermenter, that fermenter is purged and I do a closed transfer into it. Not sure if you're set up to do that sort of thing.

OTOH, you can add fruit at pretty much any point in the process that you want to.

BTW, which kit is it?
Everyone has great advice above, fruit can be added anytime as noted.

I use fruit additions but only in the secondary vessel. That vessel is usually a corny keg, and the fruit is contained in a mesh bag, cheese cloth or one of those SS mesh tubes. The keg would be purged just like I would to condition a non-fruited beer. Sometimes I'll serve from the fruited keg too.

My beers of choice for a fruit addition would be lighter styles so the fruit flavors come through, but not overpowering. Beer forward, not fruit forward.