From the HBD Archive
Subject: Fruit beers info compilation
Date: 1992-06-11 20:33:14 GMT

I would like to thank all the people who responded to my post. Below is a
list of common threads found in the replies regarding fruit beer which may be
of help to those you planning a fruit beer.

Use a light bodied beer recipe, OG mid 30s, and light extract or grains since:
the fruit taste is subtle and can be easily over powered.
the fruit will also add additional fermentables.
Use very little hops since rasberies and cherries add bitterness.
1 oz max in 5 gallons at 60, 30 and 10 minutes Cascade, Saaz, Hallertaur
e.g. The 1990 AHA Fruit beer recipe used 1/2 oz of Saaz in 3 1/6 oz additions for a 5 gallon rasberry beer
Use at least 1 lb of fruit per gallon brewed.
for strawberries and peaches 2 lb per gallon is suggested
fruit beer isn't cheap to brew if you buy the ingredients.
Do not boil the fruit, add it to the wort after the boil
the boiling process will destroy the taste
boiling also causes problems due to the pectin in fruit, pectin puts the gel
in jam and jelly.
Do not add whole fruit.
crush it or chop it up, others suggest freezing berries to cause the cell
walls to break but why go to the expense of fresh fruit if you plan to freeze. IMHO fresh berries smell and taste better than frozen.

Other suggetions / comments:

Add pectic enzyme when you add the fruit.
I found beer/wine stores that sold it, it is used in making fruit wine, but
nobody knew how to use it, ie what it does, what temp, how much per lb fruit.

Add more fruit to the secondary.
I wonder what effect adding more fermentables, fructose, will have late in
the fermentation. The intent is to add aromatics like dry hopping.

Place the fruit in water with 1 campden tablet, for S02, for 1 hour to sanitize
Others feel that well washed fruit placed in hot post boil wort will kill the
contaminants and that sulfur even in small quantities, parts per billion, can
have negative effects on taste.

Ferment the whole mess since you can't separate the liquid from the trub/solids. The trub/solids will settle out during the primary fermentation.

In principle I disagree with this since trub is supposed to cause fussel
alcohol production. My expeience with 1 batch of strawberry beer, 8 lbs
berries = 3.25 quarts of berry puree in 4.5 gallons of wort, was the pureed
berries and trub settled out into a thick layer which was about 1.5 gallons of trub / pulp /liquid in about 4 or 5 hours ( I refridgerated the wort trying to get near 32F per Miller's suggestion to maximize percipitates.

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