Fruit addition - Cleaning and time of usage

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DeanRIowa

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I want to add some key limes to a Kölsch. I am thinking of using 4 key limes, both zest and juice in a 5 gallon batch.

What are some preferred ways to clean these and other fruits?
When should I make these additions? Wort boil, Primary, Pre bottling...

thank you,
Dean
 

SouthForkBrew

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Hey Dean,

Just my opinion, I would use the zest as a flameout/whirlpool addition. No need to sterilize with this method, just wash the limes first like you normally would for consumption to remove pesticides, dirt, bugs, etc. I've found that the heat of the whirlpool better extracts the volatile oils from fruit skins and without boiling doesn't evaporate them away. As far as the juice goes, I would add that to the secondary or bottling bucket once fermentation is complete. Lime juice is, in theory, acidic enough to ward off any bugs as long as it is fresh. Personally, I've never had a problem just adding fruit juice directly, but I'll admit there is a possible risk of contamination in doing so. One thing you could do is heat the juice to above 150f but below 170 and hold it there for 15-30 minutes. If there were any survivable populations of bugs in it, that would surely kill them off.

Cheers!
 
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DeanRIowa

DeanRIowa

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Hey Dean,

Just my opinion, I would use the zest as a flameout/whirlpool addition. No need to sterilize with this method, just wash the limes first like you normally would for consumption to remove pesticides, dirt, bugs, etc. I've found that the heat of the whirlpool better extracts the volatile oils from fruit skins and without boiling doesn't evaporate them away. As far as the juice goes, I would add that to the secondary or bottling bucket once fermentation is complete. Lime juice is, in theory, acidic enough to ward off any bugs as long as it is fresh. Personally, I've never had a problem just adding fruit juice directly, but I'll admit there is a possible risk of contamination in doing so. One thing you could do is heat the juice to above 150f but below 170 and hold it there for 15-30 minutes. If there were any survivable populations of bugs in it, that would surely kill them off.

Cheers!
Thank you very much for your reply. I do like your idea of adding zest to flameout as I was wanting to extract the oils without boiling and the juice IMO has low risk of bacteria. I'll report back this spring, how it turned out.

Dean
 

RCope

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I've made a "Key Lime Pie Sour". Key limes are tiny...I zested 1 lb (24 limes) and added the zest in a hop spider at flameout for a 20 min WP (as @SouthForkBrew suggested). I also added the juice, which was only 6oz, to the beer post high krausen. The lime flavor was present, but not strong. Just a data point to rethink your use of 4...Cheers!
 
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DeanRIowa

DeanRIowa

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I've made a "Key Lime Pie Sour". Key limes are tiny...I zested 1 lb (24 limes) and added the zest in a hop spider at flameout for a 20 min WP (as @SouthForkBrew suggested). I also added the juice, which was only 6oz, to the beer post high krausen. The lime flavor was present, but not strong. Just a data point to rethink your use of 4...Cheers!
Good point, I was planning on using about 1/2 lb, so I will bump up to 1 lb. as I want the profile you described. I get my limes from Sam's Club and they run on the larger size for key limes.

thank you,
Dean
 

Rob2010SS

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We did a Tangerine Cream Ale a while back where we zested 20 tangerines and added it as a whirlpool addition. The zest flavor did NOT survive fermentation, even though it was very much there and delightful pre-fermentation.

Personally, I'd save the zest addition for post fermentation. Soak the zest in vodka for a week or two and add the whole mixture in. You'll get the most flavor from that I suspect.
 

Rish

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"Soak the zest in vodka for a week or two...." I recently did a cider using this method. I made 1 oz of Mandarin orange zest to put in 5 gallons, soaked 2 weeks, shaking daily. Added to the bottling bucket. Gave a nice subtle orange flavor.
 
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