Adding coffee or fruit extract to secondary or at bottling?

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Nunzio, Dec 8, 2020.

  1. Nunzio

    Nunzio New Member

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    #1 Nunzio, Dec 8, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2020
    Hello fellow brewers!

    We brewed a Belgian blond and want to separate 2 gallons into 1 gallon jugs and experiment with some flavors. One will be dragon fruit, the other will be coffee, with the rest of the 3 gallons left alone in a carboy. Here are my questions:

    1. a. We bought dragon fruit extract, how much would you recommend adding for a 1 gallon batch? Right now I'm thinking 1tsp.
      b. Do you see a difference in adding at secondary versus bottling?
    2. For the coffee addition, do you recommend whole bean or ground coffee? Also how do you sanitize? We'll probably add the coffee ~2 days from bottling

    Thank you!
     
  2. 4Bentley

    4Bentley Active Member

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    #2 4Bentley, Dec 8, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2020
    For fruit I use 8-9% fruit concentrate. I'm not sure how concentrated your extract is, but 1 tsp sounds lite for a gallon. Make sure it has no chemicals or preservatives, only fruit. I put mine in the primary.
     
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  3. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    Extract can be pretty powerful stuff. I have no experience with dragonfruit extract, but I would suggest that you add a small amount at bottling, taste it, and add a little more if needed. If you add the extract at bottling, you don't need to worry about any continued fermentation carrying off any volatile compounds in the extract.

    If you're using concentrate, you'll need a lot more. It should be added at secondary so that any residual sugars can ferment.
     
  4. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Coffee should be coarse ground and can go in either primary or secondary. With a coarse grind you'll extract more flavor than with whole beans and you'll still be able to filter them out when bottling or kegging. I don't brew with coffee very often but, when I do I just toss it in without sanitizing. I figure it sits in the coffee jar on the counter for weeks without issue, so I risk it. However you can sanitize it in vodka. The vodka won't impact the flavor of the beer too much. However, you could also use a spirit like bourbon or whisky for an awesome flavor addition.
     
  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Fruit concentrates are different from extracts. It pays to make certain we're all talking about the same thing.
    Most extracts are very strong in flavor. I used an orange extract and it was something like a quarter tsp for 2.5 gallons, IIRC. Since you're using it a bottling (the proper place to use it), you can add a small amount and taste the beer before you bottle. The easiest way to add coffee is by making a super strong cold-brew and pouring in at bottling.
     
  6. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Similarly, I added 76ml of pure juice from crushed cranberries to a chocolate stout.
    I brewed the same batch a year ago, and saved several bottles. Months later the cranberry flavor intensified significantly.
    I'm not sure if other extracts would have similar results with aging, but something to consider if you are bottling and aging, or kegging and consuming.
     

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