Flavoring: Dehydrated/Canned/Fresh?

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elife1975

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I'm preparing to brew my third batch this weekend and would like to add flavoring but would prefer to avoid simply using homebrewing specific additives (from the local brew shop). The question is: Can practically anything be added to beer in an attempt to flavor the finished product? Is there a reason I may want to stick to the brew shop's prepackaged extracts, or could I pick up a bag of peaches at the grocery store and chop them up to be added to the carboy during secondary ferm? Would there be any pros or cons to using dehydrated fruits? If I buy fresh should I crush them a bit first (cherries, blueberries, etc)? Ultimately, could I add just about anything I want, provided I take in to consideration the natural sugar content during secondary? Maple Syrup? Lemon-Pepper seasoning? Salmon? Okay, that's a bit much, but still.

Thanks for any and all advice!
 

BruDaddy

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Personally, I believe fruit should be eaten or baked in a pie, but if you insist, yes you can use fresh fruit, but it should be sanitized. That's one of the benefits of the packaged stuff (extracts, purees, etc). Check some of the recipes for fruity beers. I know that Complete Joy of Homebrewing has some beers using fresh cherries and there are probably recipes on this forum. The recipes should include info on how to sanitize the fresh fruit.
 
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