Fruit Extract in Beer

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by DanC, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. DanC

    DanC Active Member

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    First, I do subscribe to Man Law "No Fruit in Beer" but for education sake I would like to brew a Cherry Stout. I located a shared recipe using cherry extract and vanilla extract. Some other research finds people saying the use of cherry extract causes a flavor similar to cold medicine. Is there other experiences out here and maybe procedures. My thought was to either add the cherry in the keg or a secondary.
     
  2. bilhelm96

    bilhelm96 Member

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    I don't use cherry extract, but have put cherries in both the boil and secondary on different occasions. You need more in the boil for a cherry flavor, but get some fermentible sugar out of them. I use about 5lb frozen sweet cherries in the boil for a 5 gallon batch of beer. Cherries in secondary adds more cherry flavor, but some residual sweetness. 1-3lbs thawed frozen cherries for a week in secondary.
     
  3. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    I personally stay away from artificial extracts in my beer. Those are man made in a lab and fool our taste buds.

    In beer, we want real flavor, so unless the extract is all natural, it would be best to use the highest quality REAL fruit you can get!
     
  4. bilhelm96

    bilhelm96 Member

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    "Natrual" cherry extract might not be made from cherries either. It's just not man-made chemicals. Use real fruit.
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    The ultimate man-law is as follows: Man-laws are for sissies. You want fruit in your beer, put fruit in your beer! I personally like raspberries but would LOVE to create a good strawberry hefeweizen. I've seen mangoes put to good use in beer, agave.... When I do raspberry ale, I use raspberry puree. Avoid extract, though. Makes beer taste like fruit soda.
     
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  6. DanC

    DanC Active Member

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    Thanks to all for the comments and advise. Very educational.
     
  7. MrBIP

    MrBIP Active Member

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    Batch after next, I need to make something with strawberry flavor for the women in the family. I was thinking of finding a simple blonde ale extract kit or recipe and adding the extract available on the brew sites, but after reading this thread, not so sure I want to do that, so now I'm thinking frozen strawberries in secondary for a couple of weeks..... (I keeping reading that getting strawberry flavor into the beer is difficult).
     
  8. bilhelm96

    bilhelm96 Member

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    The only issue I have heard with strawberries is that you need a
    A LOT to get any flavor.
     
  9. JAMC

    JAMC Member

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    I made a strawberry beer last summer - was only a 1 gallon batch. I used a lot of real strawberries from a local pick-your-own place, two punnets were juiced if I remember right.

    The final liquid would be more honestly described as a wine than a beer - although there was a barleymalt backbone, you couldn't taste it. The flavour was dominated by the citric acid left behind once the simple fruit sugars had all been fermented away - you could taste strawberry, but sharp rather than sweet. Not quite sure what the FG was as I didn't measure it but it was dry as a bone (I'd guess at least as low as 1.003 by taste alone) but fermentation also scrubbed most of the strawberry aroma out of the liquid.

    In the end you had to cut it 50/50 with lemonade to make it drinkable - once you did that though, you had quite a nice strawberry spritzer.

    If I was going to try this again I'd definitely consider using an extract or essence to help with aroma. I'd also consider backsweetening with something unfermentable like lactose.
     
  10. MadScienter

    MadScienter New Member

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    i'd be inclined to stay away from extracts when real fruit is an option, but only on principal since I've never brewed a fruit beer. I liken it to fresh-squeezed juice being better than juice from concentrate. But the reason for my response is to stick up for extracts in certain situations. I have a chocolate hazelnut ale in secondary in which I used a hazelnut extract. The reason for that is because the fat in the actual nuts... somehow, "messes up" the beer. That's my scientific explanation (said the fake scientist). I stopped my research short of understanding how, but it seemed to be a consensus. It follows that depending on which flavors you are after, and the properties of whatever the natural source of the flavor is, extract may be the way to go.
     
  11. chessking

    chessking New Member

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    The "man Law" of no fruit in beer, would only apply, IMHO, to that annoying slice applied to the glass when served in a highfalutin eating establishment that knows nothing about beer. Fruit in the fermenter is just added fermentables.
     
  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    And the cerevisophiles said, Amen.
     
  13. MadScienter

    MadScienter New Member

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    That's one helluva word right there! I had to google that one! Well done, sir...
     
  14. DanC

    DanC Active Member

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    As an update of my original post, I brewed a stout and at the time I kegged I added 4 oz of the cherry flavoring sold at my LHBS. It has been in the keg for a month now and it is not very good. Ruined a very good stout recipe. It has a very strong flavor not unlike that of your run of the mill night-time cold medicine. Please beware of using the flavoring, at least at the recommended amounts. I haven't dumped it out yet and I do keep sampling it thinking it could get better but I have an APA waiting to be kegged.
     
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  15. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    Sorry to hear that, and let's hope this thread serves as a warning to others! Use real fruit, not the artificial flavors, unless you want your beer to taste like the artificial flavors. Children's cough syrup *shudder*....
     
  16. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Yup, Cherry Coke. Sorry to hear about the batch going bad. Next time use real cherries.

    I really want to do a strawberry hefeweizen but the thought of chopping and pasteurizing ten pounds of berries pretty much makes it this lazy brewer's dream.
     
  17. Bishop Brewer

    Bishop Brewer New Member

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    As A Brewer and a Vaper, all cherry extracts are to be strayed away from. Other extracts are usually very successful such as blueberry which is much harder to pound, ferment, and will into a solid flavoring in beer. To my experience, Blueberry, BlackBerry, Strawberry, Apple and Raspberry have been excellent with Alcohol based pure extracts... saves time and trouble in the long run with super results when used in moderation. All others should be fresh or frozen fruits especially Cherry as cough syrup is EXACTLY what get from anything else besides fresh or frozen. My Strawberry Centennial Blonde Ale is a Huge Crowd pleaser, done with OliveNation Pure Strawberry extract... LHBS sells garbage Flavorings at inflated prices
     
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