Apricot Wheat Ale - Need advice!

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gatorforty

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Hey Guys,

I tried searching around but couldn't get all that I was looking for. I have an Apricot tree going absolutely crazy with fruit right now and I want to try to do a fruit beer. I haven't done one before. Couple questions, any advice would be great!

- how much should I add to a 2.5G batch that will be about 5% ABV before the adjunct?

- do I add any to the boil? to the primary? To a secondary?

- how do I prep them? Boil? Freeze? Puree or just cut up? How do I ensure sanitation?

I'm not looking for a cider here, just adding some flavor to an otherwise tasty wheat ale.

Really appreciate any advice on the above...and anything I missed!

Thanks, Ron.
 

NicoleBrewer

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I've never made a fruit beer so I can't offer you advice from experience but maybe you could press them or juice them and add it to your boil. I think (but I'm not sure) people freeze fruit for a period of time to sanitize it then add it to their secondary
 

likafox

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I agree with Nicole although ive never tried either. From what ive gathered (since I'm adding fruit to my beer tonight) a pretty widely used method is to puree the fruit and add it to the secondary. I bought some frozen fruit, thawed it, pureed it, and stuck it back in the freezer just to be safe. I'm going to wait until it freezes, then break it up and add it to secondary with 3 days left until bottling day. I don't think you want to leave it for too long because you could run the risk of getting mold I guess. Im just using 24 ounces if fruit in a 5 gallon batch, though im not sure how that will work though since ive read about people using up to a pound per gallon.
 

woozy

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I've done *one* fruit beer (apricot) and by no means know anything with any authority but from what I've read here and there on the internet (and you should do your own research). But you asked and no-one with any more authority is answering so:

- how much should I add to a 2.5G batch that will be about 5% ABV before the adjunct?
I read 1 to 3 lbs per gallon. I did about four pounds of apricots for 2.5 gallons (... and since an absolute stranger on the Internet did 4 lbs for beer that's in a bottle and untasted the *obviously* that's the correct and only answer.)

Oddly enough adding fruit doesn't really effect the ABV or gravity much as fruit doesn't have a huge amount of sugar and adding fruit will also add liquid. I have absolutely no idea how to know what the specific gravity is after adding fruit. (And all research seemed to reveal a lot of hostility against ignorant newbies for being stupid enough to ask or to care.)

- do I add any to the boil? to the primary? To a secondary?
The most common thing seems to be put it into a secondary and racking over but I've seen recipes for other. I did BigKahuna's Apricot Blonde (more or less) which had you add them to the primary after four days.
- how do I prep them? Boil? Freeze? Puree or just cut up? How do I ensure sanitation?
I cut 'em. Some recommend freezing them if you cut the to break down cell walls. I blanch boiled them and figured (rightly or wrongly) that'd break down cell walss as well and if it didn't it really wouldn't be important.

Sanitize by heating or by soaking in vodka.
========
Anyway, I don't really know anything. Read up and look at recipes.
 

chickypad

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I found this a helpful write-up regarding fruit additions. I always do fruit in the secondary. I've only done apricot once with a canned fruit puree at 6 lb per 5 gallon, it was a nice but not overwhelming flavor.
 
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gatorforty

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Thanks for the advice, guys. I found a bunch of other references online too (HBT and elsewhere) but it seems there is no real consensus.

I just washed, pitted and pureed 5 lbs and put them in the freezer, that seems to be about the right amount for a 2.5 Gallon batch of beer.

My plan is that I'm going to thaw them and add them to the primary after 4 days or so. I'm going to thaw the apricots in my ferm chamber so I can get them the same temp as what's in the fermenter.

Any other advice, folks?

Ron
 

likafox

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Just wanted to mention that I'm doing a cold crash right now with my beer. Trying to get all the floating fruit pulp to settle. Its been about 8 hours and things seem to be slowely collecting at the bottom. Might be something helpful to do before bottling a fruit beer. Also I just want to mention that the 12 oz of blackberry and 12 oz of blueberry puree I added to my 5 gal batch added a lite but noticable flavor to my beer after 3 days in secondary.
 

Cyclman

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The pureeing then freezing is a good approach. 2 lbs. per gallon will give a strong apricot flavor. I like a more subtle flavor, 1 lb. per gallon.

I love Dry Dock Apricot Blonde, a hefe is a great alternative.
 
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