Using Dried Fruit

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SanAequitas

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So, doing some studying on sugar content in fruit for brewing, and dried fruit often has 50% more sugar than fresh/frozen stuff. Can't find much here on dried fruit in beer/mead/etc, so just wondering has anyone tried using it in their brews instead of fresh/frozen? And what the results were?

I forsee issues with them soaking up a lot of volume, and pectins giving issues (pectic enzyme isn't doing much with dried whole fruit, so poor sugar efficiency, maybe haze issues). But, I often see dried fruit at a much better price point per weight, so wondering if it might be worth it? Note, I prefer fruit in secondary for better flavor/aromatics, so hydrating in the boil isn't the sole answer you need to post..
 

hottpeper13

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I have a 25 gal Solera barrel of lambic that I take 15 gal out every year and put it on 3 different fruits. This past one was with dried cherries and freeze dried raspberries.
1- they soak up some but not as much as you think. I put them in a big mouth type fermenter(6.5 gal) and fill it to 6 gal.
2- way more flavor then fresh or frozen
3- next time I will put them in a mesh bag that I can carefully remove before the bottling bucket.
 
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SanAequitas

SanAequitas

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Hmm. Do you notice any difference between air dried and freeze dried?

Do you put in the same total weight, or less weight since dried fruit is more concentrated?

Do you use pectic enzyme at all, or just straight dump em in?
 

Miraculix

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In general, dried fruits are usually pretty oxidised, so if you don't like that particularly flavour, you will be disappointed.
 
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SanAequitas

SanAequitas

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Yea. We're doing the strawberry alarm v3 blonde, trying various fruits (pineapple isn't a bad substitute) so I'm sure any off flavors will be noticeable. But for a heavier flavored lawbic or dark beer, they'd be pretty buried.
 

hottpeper13

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I used 9 oz of freeze dried raspberries in 6 gal with around 5 gal at bottling and there's way more flavor then the 5 lb of frozen from last year. In Oct we are sampling because bret takes awhile.
The 1 lb of dried cherries plus 3 lb fresh at bottling had a deeper cherry flavor. I don't get any oxidation, but it was in a barrel for around 1 yr before the 8 mo on fruit.
 

danimal92sport

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I used dried apricots in my last sour and I love the flavor. It is, however, the absolute ugliest beer I’ve ever made due to the brown dried apricot color and intense haziness. Friends and family love my sours but not this one, and I suspect it’s because it has the appearance of beef stew… 🤢

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hottpeper13

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Maybe it wouldn't look that bad in a smaller glass.............say a metric beer :) love the avatar.
 
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