Fruit in Secondary Fermentation

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MooMan

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All,

I assume the is a previous thread about this, but I have not been able to find it, so... here it goes.

I recently brewed an all grain porter which I wanted to infuse with raspberry. Primary fermentation has completed an I am now moving into secondary. Has anyone used fresh or frozen during secondary to flavor your beer. How much fruit did you use and for how long did you let it sit before you removed the spent fruit. I am planning on placing the fruit into a sanitized mesh bag to capture the seeds.

I am anticipating leaving this beer in secondary for a month to mature, but am worried about presenting the fruit for too long (not only because of excess flavoring, but of also spoiling).

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
 

Aylmer

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I simply taste test until I like it. Anything over month seems a bit excessive, though
 

92greenyj

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I use frozen, fresh, and dehydrated fruit often in my brewing among other things. For fermentation I use a puree of frozen or fresh fruit with some pectic enzyme mixed into it a few hours prior to use (to kill pectin haze). Usually use about 4 to 6 lbs of puree for a 5 gallon batch. I have also found that adding a lb or so of dehydrated fruit to the keg makes for a great flavor addition.
 

Goosta

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I made a raspberry brown ale in which I added ~5lbs of frozen raspberries into the secondary for about 2-3 weeks. Turned out great!

Make sure to use a blowoff if you are using a lot of fruit since the yeast will ferment the sugars in the fruit during secondary. Also, freezing fruit breaks down the cell membranes and will give you better utilization.
 
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MooMan

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Why wouldn't a normal air lock work? It is already racked to a carboy for secondary fermentation. Will the fruit cause the air lock to not work?
 

Calder

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If you add a decent amount of fruit, you are also adding a decent amount of simple sugars. The yeast in the beer are just looking for fresh food, and they go crazy when they get it. If the new kraeusen reaches the airlock, it is highly likely the fruit will be on top and can easily plug the airlock.

If the airlock gets blocked, the fermenter will build up pressure until something gives (very rarely is it the fermenter, but the glass has been known to break). More than likely the airlock will go flying with a stream of beer/fruit/froth, and you will find the airlock 6 feet away from the fermenter with a stream of the fluid showing you the way. If you are really lucky you will have souvenir of the batrch permanently marked on the ceiling, where the airlock hit.

Use a blow-off, it's like insurance. A lot of times you don't need it, but it really pays for itself on the occasion you need it.
 
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MooMan

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Great. I'll be sure to have some "insurance". Did you add the fruit to a muslin bag or just dump it straight in? I am worried about seeds and pulp. Plus, how would I remove the fruit once I reached the flavor profile I was looking for and still allow the beer to remain in secondary? Did you siphon to another vessel?
 
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Most of the fruit and seeds will sink to the bottom after a week or two. Just siphon into a bottling bucket and bottle.
 

pvault98

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I use approx 4.5lbs of frozen fruit for about 3 weeks and this seems to work well. I give them a quick rinse in StarSan and just dump them into the bottom of the bucket and rack on top. After the 3 weeks I transfer off the fruit and bottle or keg. After a few weeks cold conditioning the beer clears up perfectly and no problems with haze.
 

harmjoseph

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Hey guys,
I recently put together an IPA (brew day 3/27/2014) and I decided to add hops (3oz Citra) and fruit (2 whole orange peels fresh, 1 whole lemon peel fresh, and a whole fresh mango that I cut up) to the secondary (transferred 4/5/2014 after reaching target gravity). The thing that happened that I didn't expect was that the airlock on the secondary became quite active and is still active today (4/22/2014). That is 17 days of activity in secondary. Today I removed the fruit from the secondary and I am hoping that the activity will stop now that there theoretically isn't anything else to ferment. Has anyone had this happen before? Is it infected? It looks great and has a great aroma? am I freaking for no reason and just need to rdwhahb? HELP!
 

drowland

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I brew fruited beers all the time and usually do a mix of puree at flameout or somewhere similar (too late for you) and then 2-4 bags of frozen fruit in secondary. I have done this with raspberries, blackberries, and others many, many times in beer and cider with awesome results. I usually let it sit for 1-3 weeks and agree with many people above - taste and see what you think!
 

harmjoseph

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Update,
I removed the fruit and the airlock has quit. I guess this means its ok. I am thinking I will let it condition for a few more days then pop it into the kegerator. Finger crossed for some citrus hoppy awesomeness!!!
 

drowland

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Update,
I removed the fruit and the airlock has quit. I guess this means its ok. I am thinking I will let it condition for a few more days then pop it into the kegerator. Finger crossed for some citrus hoppy awesomeness!!!
Glad to hear. Maybe extra sugar from the fruit?

Anyone have thoughts on if something slightly wild got in there and started going to town?
 

centralcoastmark

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If you add a decent amount of fruit, you are also adding a decent amount of simple sugars. The yeast in the beer are just looking for fresh food, and they go crazy when they get it. If the new kraeusen reaches the airlock, it is highly likely the fruit will be on top and can easily plug the airlock.

If the airlock gets blocked, the fermenter will build up pressure until something gives (very rarely is it the fermenter, but the glass has been known to break). More than likely the airlock will go flying with a stream of beer/fruit/froth, and you will find the airlock 6 feet away from the fermenter with a stream of the fluid showing you the way. If you are really lucky you will have souvenir of the batrch permanently marked on the ceiling, where the airlock hit.

Use a blow-off, it's like insurance. A lot of times you don't need it, but it really pays for itself on the occasion you need it.
If I added 6 oz of fruit puree per 128oz of green beer, would that be considered a decent enough amount of fruit to be concerned about blow off, or not?
 

InLimbo

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If I added 6 oz of fruit puree per 128oz of green beer, would that be considered a decent enough amount of fruit to be concerned about blow off, or not?
What's your batch size? What is the volume of your fermentation vessel? What yeast strain are you using?
 

pgrebus

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It's possible that you have a yeast infection. You'll see references to rinsing the fruit in star-san to clean off yeast from the fruit, but most likely, you woke up the existing yeast with a boatload of fermentable sugars. You won't know until you taste it.

Pete
 

Tyler B

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I realize this is an old thread, but I'm having trouble finding the answer to my question...

I just racked my kettle sour into secondary fermenter on top of whole cherries and strawberries (4lbs each). I'm a little worried about the possibility of them going bad/growing mold because some of the fruit was floating when I racked the beer on top of them. The fruit was frozen, thawed, brought to a boil for a minute to pasteurize, cooled, then added to 7.5 gal fv. 5.5 gal beer racked on top.

The second ferment seems to be winding down (at least in terms of airlock activity) after two days. How long should I leave it in there? I was originally planning on a week or two but now I'm having second thoughts.

Should I stir it or do anything to ensure the fruit doesn't sit on top of the beer exposed to air (albeit mostly CO2 from fermentation activity)?

My gut is saying leave it alone and it will be fine for a week, just want to get some reassurance from more experienced brewers.

Thanks in advance for any help/advice!
 

Jag75

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I left my sour on blueberries for 2 weeks . I gave the fermenter a swirl everyday . After a couple weeks the blueberries started turning white . I believe they turned white because I got every bit of flavor and color extracted from them. I didnt do a kettle sour I did a co pitch post sour. Not really sure if it matters but I think your fine. You just have to make sure that the fermenting is done before bottling.
 

Tyler B

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Thanks, Jag. Maybe I'll try giving it a swirl.

I realize it needs to finish fermenting before bottling. I considered racking off the fruit and into another fv so it could finish and avoid potential issues with floating fruit, but I want to extract those sweet fruit flavors.
 

Jag75

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Thanks, Jag. Maybe I'll try giving it a swirl.

I realize it needs to finish fermenting before bottling. I considered racking off the fruit and into another fv so it could finish and avoid potential issues with floating fruit, but I want to extract those sweet fruit flavors.
Yeah I'd just leave it . You shouldn't have any o2 hardly at all so mold and spoiling shouldn't be an issue
 

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