Over carbonated fruit beers

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

elcreative

New Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
I've made a number of fruit beers and always added the fruit at secondary. I bottle the beer and sometimes they get over carbonated. This recently happened with a cherry porter I made, but the carbonation was fine when I made a thimbleberry wheat. I'm getting ready to brew a blueberry wit and I need some help so I don't end up with an over carbonated delicious beer!
Does anyone know a way to keep this from happening?
How can I figure the impact the fruit will have on carbonation?

Thanks!!
 

myndflyte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2014
Messages
1,327
Reaction score
591
Location
Lake Mills
How long are you leaving it in the secondary? My first thought is it's not done fermenting the fruit.
 

chickypad

lupulin shift victim
Joined
Jul 19, 2010
Messages
5,817
Reaction score
1,342
Location
SF Peninsula
How long are you leaving it in the secondary? My first thought is it's not done fermenting the fruit.
That would be my thought as well. If you let it all ferment out you should be fine and not have to mess with calculations. I have used fruit juice to carb beer, using calculations from the brix reading, but I think it's harder with whole fruit and I've only done this in kegs so if I accidentally overshoot it's not as big a deal.
 
OP
E

elcreative

New Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the tips.
I've been letting most of the beers sit in secondary for about 3 to 5 weeks. I've been hesitant to let it sit too long because I don't want to lose the fruit flavor as it becomes more sour. I've definitely noticed that the cherry porter has seemed more and more carbonated with each bottle I open.
I just bottled a cider (apple, pear, italian plum and grape) mix and I added 3 cups of fresh squeezed grape juice to carb and back sweeten it. I'll see how that goes and I plan to open a bottle every few days to a week to see how the carbonation goes. Hopefully I'll learn something about how the fruit breaks down but I don't have a refractometer (yet) so I can't get the brix reading. I'm just hoping for no explosions!
From your experience, how long should the beer sit in secondary or does it just vary too much from fruit to fruit?
Also, how could I get a fruit flavor without having to add all the extra sugar?
 

chickypad

lupulin shift victim
Joined
Jul 19, 2010
Messages
5,817
Reaction score
1,342
Location
SF Peninsula
Well sour and getting more and more carbed the longer it goes sounds like a possible infection. I don't make a ton of fruit beers but IME it's usually fermented out in a week. Are you planning to pasteurize partway through in order to back sweeten? You can always flavor with bottled extract if you don't want to use real fruit, though I'm not a fan based on beers I've tasted using the extract.
 
OP
E

elcreative

New Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Speak of the devil! I had my first bottle bomb today from the cherry porter. I was taking some to my friend and accidentally left it in my car on a sunny morning...oops! It must have heard me talking about it :p
Wouldn't the fruit naturally become more sour as it ferments? The first one I made was a grape English ale and I added the juice at primary and it turned out like a proper sour beer.
Thanks again for your advice. If brewing is an art and a science I really need to pay more attention to the later. I use so much fruit because I have a goal to incorporate at least one foraged or gleaned ingredient into every beer I make. Of course summer offers lots of fruit here in the PNW so it really is in my best interest to dial in this procedure.
I may get a refractometer but it's not likely I'll be using the extract fruit flavor anytime soon.


Sent from my iPhone using Home Brew
 
Top