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Fruit in the Primary

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BlackHat

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I'm in the process of making of a fruit hefeweizen and I decided to try adding some of the fruit to the primary to see what happens. It was only about 1# but now I'm wondering if it was such a good idea. I know in most cases the fruit is added to the secondary and I plan on doing this as well. Is there any benefit or harm caused by adding fruit to the primary fermenter?
 

BuffaloSabresBrewer

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Yeast will eat some of the sugar from the fruit and effect the flavor of your final product. It should still be good though. Not much of an effect I dont THINK.
 

Ooompa Loompa

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FWIW whenever I do a fruit beer I always wait for initial fermentation to die down, then add the fruit (which starts fermentation back up). I always do this in the primary. I have had great results with this method.
 

malkore

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its mostly avoided in primary because you can't estimate how the yeast will react to the fruit, especially as the fruit mixes with your yeast cake and trub and starts to break down on its own.

in either case, any fermentable sugar is fermented by the yeast if it has any attenuation left.

no real harm, you'll just get more consistent, reproducable results by waiting til secondary.
 
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BlackHat

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Well it's been about 24 hours since the pitch and the blowoff is bubbling very well and there's a nice krausen. I'm hoping this keeps up. I realized shortly after sealing the fermenter that I probably should have asked this question *before* I did it. Oh well.
 

Jeepsn beer

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In Zainashef and Palmers new book BREWING CLASSIC STYLES (and maybe their others) they recomend adding the fruit just after fermentation begins to slow down in the primary fermenter. This is what I've done also with good results too. It gives you flexability on how long you can leave the fruit on the beer. Since most of the fermentation is complete you could rack it off the same day or leave it as long as you dare on the yeast cake. If you add it to a secondary you'll end up racking three times if you want a particle free beer.
 

Ooompa Loompa

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Jeepsn beer said:
In Zainashef and Palmers new book BREWING CLASSIC STYLES (and maybe their others) they recomend adding the fruit just after fermentation begins to slow down in the primary fermenter. This is what I've done also with good results too. It gives you flexability on how long you can leave the fruit on the beer. Since most of the fermentation is complete you could rack it off the same day or leave it as long as you dare on the yeast cake. If you add it to a secondary you'll end up racking three times if you want a particle free beer.
Yup, all of the reasons you listed are the reasons I do it this way. Makes less headaches for me.
 

Mikeus

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I've put fruit in the primary from the very start of fermentation. I let it sit in there for 3 days before I scoop it out with a sanitized strainer. I've made two batches of raspberry stout using 5# fruit each batch. The beer gets the most compliments I've received thus far, so I would say this method is successful. Although I have to admit scooping out all the fruit is a major pain.
 
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BlackHat

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This is actually my first fruit beer. Is scooping the fruit out after a few days necessary? Is it possible that the fruit will rot and spoil the beer?
 

shafferpilot

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depends, where did the fruit come from? If it came from a can or jar, it's already been at least pasteurized (sp?). so it won't spoil. If it was fresh fruit and you just dumped it in without cooking it in any way, you're asking for trouble (ie infection), and yes, it will spoil in time. Fruit is normally only used after primary fermentation is complete, because the best flavors are accomplished in a few days. Leaving it in there for a long time will not give it better flavors. It could, however, cause the yeast to stay slightly active for a LONG time as the sugars slowly leach out of the fruit. It could allow for pectin to be released causing unfixable haziness in the final product. I've not tried fruit beers yet, but from my reading I've decided the best course of action is to add the fruit to the primary container after the primary fermentation is done. Then after a few days, rack to secondary to remove the beer from the fruit, trub, and yeast cake; for clearing. I'm not trying to scare you into thinking everything is ruined. I'm sure it's not. I'm just trying to offer a better plan for next time. Oh, and comments from more experienced fruit users is VERY welcomed:)
 

kallen

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I guess I should have read this forum first before I went over my head, but need to ask anyways. For my 4th batch, (2nd all-grain) I made a Raspberry Hefeweizen for my fiance, I got way over confident with the success of my first 3 brews, including my first all grain going excellently. I used frozen (and pasteurized) raspberries, and put them into the primary fermenter before I racked my wort and pitched the yeast. I used WL Hefeweizen IV yeast, and my OG was 1.071 before adding the fruit. After 24 hours, I noticed that the raspberries floated to the top of the carboy, and there is the signs of bubbles around the berries.

Reading the forums I know I should have waited to add the fruit, I should RDWHAHB, but will the floating fruit affect my final product? I was going to wait 10 days to let the beer settle in the primary before racking into the secondary for another week so things can clear up. Help...
 

Riddei

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I'm doing an orange hefe hopefully this weekend. My plan was to go ahead and zest 6 oranges, steep the fruit and the zest of 4 in about a half gallon of water, drain the liquid into my fermenter and freeze the solids. The remainder of the zest would go into the boil for the last 5m. After the fermentation significantly slows I'm going to add the fruit and zest to the primary after I thaw it and put it in a boiled nylon mesh. Not sure if this is the best way to do things, but I figure I'll still have a pretty tasty brew.
 
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I think it all depends on what you want in your final product. If you want it to have a strong fruit aroma as well as taste then I would recommend putting the fruit into the secondary (or into primary after the majority of the fermentation has been achieved) In my experience I have found that you get less of the fruit aroma in the finished product if you put the fruit into the primary. I am pretty sure that many of the aromatic compounds responsible for fruit aromas are volatile and are easily driven off during a vigourous fermentation. If thrown into primary, then the yeast have the chance to digest more of the fructose present which is highly fermentable. In theory this should mean that the addition of fruit should not change the body much and it should finish drier than if the fruit had been thrown into the secondary. I believe that in Extreme Brewing Sam has a table with fruits, time to add, and ammount. A similar table may be in Radical Brewing as well.
 

TastySalmon

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I kind of wonder about some people's opinions on rotting fruit. People who make lambic leave unpasteurized fruit in fermenters for months.

I've used fresh fruit several times thrown in right at the beginning of fermentation. No problems.

I think that any harmful bacteria will be killed by either yeast or alcohol. I do think that using larger piece of fruit where the alcohol won't penetrate very well could be a problem and your beer might have some off-flavors.
 

kallen

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Well, if the finished product will have less fruit aroma then if I would have put it in the secondary, then I will be happy. I don't prefer fruit beers, so maybe with the combination of the different malts I used to make it "less wheaty" and with the lessened fruit flavor it will be something we both can enjoy.

It did take 36 hours to show signs of visible fermentation (a krausen and activity in the airlock). I am still going to stay with 10 days in the primary and 7 in the secondary, a typical total time for me, but just twice as long in the primary to let the fruit flavor set in.
 

upperNY01brewer

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I just completed moving my hefeweizen into the secondary and added 4 Blood Oranges sliced in half so in a week I will bottle and let you know how it turned out.
 

kallen

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AAGGGHHH! I just racked my Raspberry-Hefe into the secondary, and it tasted almost putrid and rancid. Fermentation temp was a little high (72-74), but cooled down to about 68 once the Krausen went away. But there remained this thick foam "head" on top of the raspberries which I though was just yeast cells sticking to the berries. I was sure the berries were pasteurized, but now I am wondering if this beer has just gone bad, or will it settle out during the remaining fermentation?
 

Dabruman

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I'd just stay the course and see what happens. I've put oranges in my primary (they are sitting there now, and smelled very pungent at one point), and this being my first hefeweizen, I've read that sulfurous smells and the like are not unusual until it clears itself out. Relax, give it some time, leave it be.
 

kallen

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Well, my Raspberry Hefe went down the drain. I learned two things though. I may have gotten an infection while letting the frozen fruit thaw in the bag instead of a closed/sanitized carboy. Also it was due in part to the yeast I was using W.L. Hefewiezien IV; after going back to the supply store to just make a regular Hefe, they were out of the Hefe IV, and I just bought the regular Hefe. Asking the difference, the store guy told me it the IV had a lot more "clove" flavor profiles.

I think part of the "rancid" "pungent" taste was this clove profile, in addition to the infection. And after having other beers with similar "clove" flavor, I find I don't like it. My regular hefe has a little bit of this clove flavor, but it is definitely a yeast that I will never use again.

Live. Learn. Brew.
 

BrewForMe

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I've had a blonde going for a week and a half that i plan on racking onto 8# of frozen paturized strawberries this weekend. I have read other posts where this has been sone sucessfully. I plan on leaving the beer on the strawberries for 1-2 weeks and then racking off to let it clear for a week or 2. i am beginning to wonder if this is a good idea?:ban:
 

kallen

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wouldn't adding frozen fruit to primary shock the yeast? I assume it will drop few degrees with addition of 3# frozen fruit
Sorry, I forgot to mention that the suggestion was to add the frozen fruit to the primary, and allow it to thaw in the carboy with the airlock in place.
 
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