Primary fermentation & fruits

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leg

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Hello everyone, I just made my second batch of beer (first one was awful) and I have few questions regarding of primary fermentation and fruits. I watched this video where guy explains that secondary fermentation is not necessary in most cases, which would make my life easier, since I live in an apartment and don't have lots of storage options. So my questions are:
  1. Can I leave any beer for more than a week in a primary or it needs to be some special beer that's needs ageing (ipa, apa etc)?
  2. I've read that adding fruit to a boiling process and primary fermentation is a bad idea (except zest), so people are adding fruits to secondary. Is it good idea to add fruits or juice after one week of fermentation in the same bucket and letting it sit for another one? Will sugars from fruits activate yeast? What will happen if yeast is dead after one week? Is it ok to open fermenter after one week or I need to put fruits there somehow without exposing beer to oxygen?
  3. Do freezing pure for a week in a freezer (-17C) will posturize the fruits or I need to use boiling method?
  4. Is making juice, boiling it, letting it to cool of and adding to a beer day before bottling is a good idea?
Thanks a lot.
 

Rob2010SS

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  1. Can I leave any beer for more than a week in a primary or it needs to be some special beer that's needs ageing (ipa, apa etc)?
    1. You can leave beer in primary with no issues for a couple of months. If you're going to do any extended aging (6 months, 1 year +), then it's a good idea to get it out of primary and do a secondary.
  2. I've read that adding fruit to a boiling process and primary fermentation is a bad idea (except zest), so people are adding fruits to secondary. Is it good idea to add fruits or juice after one week of fermentation in the same bucket and letting it sit for another one? You can do this without issue. Will sugars from fruits activate yeast? Yes, you'll get a secondary fermentation off of this. What will happen if yeast is dead after one week? The yeast will not be dead after one week. Not an issue. Is it ok to open fermenter after one week or I need to put fruits there somehow without exposing beer to oxygen? Obviously, the less you expose a beer to oxygen, the better. People go to some pretty great lengths to avoid oxygen. However, to add fruit or juice, it's not that big of an issue. Just stage your stuff so you're ready to add right away once you open your fermenter. Open your fermenter, add your ingredients, and close it back up. By adding juice and/or fruit, you're going to kick off some amount of fermentation that will create CO2 and help reduce the oxygen you just introduced.
  3. Do freezing pure for a week in a freezer (-17C) will posturize the fruits or I need to use boiling method?
    1. Freezing and thawing the fruit is good because it will cause the cells of the fruit to burst, releasing more juice/flavor. I have been told that freezing does not pasturize the fruit. However, this is how I ALWAYS add fruit. We mash it up, freeze it, thaw it for 24-36 hours, and add it right to the fermenter, still partially frozen. Never had an issue.
  4. Is making juice, boiling it, letting it to cool of and adding to a beer day before bottling is a good idea?
    1. This sounds like a recipe for a disaster. If you're adding juice to beer, you're for sure going to kick off a fermentation in the bottle and you will most likely have exploding bottles which is a huge safety issue. I would tell you NOT to do this.
 

RCope

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To add a bit to Rob's suggestions; I add fruit after two (or 3) days of fermentation, that active C02 production mitigates oxygen exposure. The yeast see the simple sugars after hopefully metabolizing most of the wort sugars.

I usually blend fresh fruit or puree with 8oz of vodka to diminish the risk of contamination. If I use commercial fruit products, like those in cans, they've already been pasteurized and I skip the vodka.
Cheers! Rick
 

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