Fruit in secondary

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by RAtkison, May 29, 2018.

  1. RAtkison

    RAtkison Member

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    I have 11 gallons of wheat beer I am planning on adding fruit to (2 separate batches, 5.5 gal each), 1 with raspberries and 1 with blackberries. I've searched the internet and i'm looking for any input on amount to add to each? I am planning on going with the Oregon Fruit puree. They come in 3 lb jars, is 1 jar enough or should I grab 2 of each?

    I was also told to add 1/2 cup of turbinado with the fruit to keep the yeast activity on the fruit to a minimum, has anyone else done this?
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Uh, adding sugar - the turbinado - will only increase yeast activity overall, making more yeast available to digest the fruit.... Here's the thing: The sugars in the fruit are going to ferment, that's what yeast do. Adding sugar won't change that but it will change your beer. As far as the fruit goes, three pounds of raspberries is a lot of raspberry flavor, blackberries, not so much. You'll have to research the fruit individually and perhaps you won't get it right the first time. I'd check - there are sources that tell how much fruit is suggested for beer but for what beer? A wheat is mild - start with half of what the recommendation says and then adjust to taste next batch.
     
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  3. RAtkison

    RAtkison Member

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    Thanks for the information Nosybear. One thing I forgot to add concerning the turbinado reasoning was that it would ferment and displace some of the O2 out of the top of the carboy with CO2 and reduce any issues concerning O2 in the headspace. Maybe that helps, maybe not.
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    If the beer is fermenting, it's producing CO2 and does not need the help. If you wait until the beer has stopped fermenting to add the fruit, you'll still get fermentation and CO2, it may be a little slower. My "rule of thumb" is to add fruit, pasteurized, when the fermentation is about 2/3 complete. This is to help the yeast not become lazy due to the simple sugars (fructose) in the fruit but to make sure the yeast are still active enough to completely ferment the fruit. You'll need some way of monitoring fermentation progress to to this but in this case, counting bubbles of the airlock is good enough, just wait until activity slows and add your fruit.
     
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  5. RAtkison

    RAtkison Member

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    If you are adding fruit 2/3 of the way in, I assume you are adding it to your primary, not secondary?
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Once I get to secondary, my goal is to clarify the beer in preparation for packaging or if I'm going to age the beer in bulk for a long time, to get the beer off the yeast cake.
     
  7. dankbrewing@gmail.com

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    I have made a couple of fruit beers. I added 5# of blueberries, pureed, to the primary fermentor after the beer was ready to keg, and after cold crashing. This dropped the yeast out and fermentation did not restart. I left them in the fermentor for about 24 hours and then transferred off to the keg. Worked well. I have also made a beer with blackberries but it wasn't nearly as tasty. Make sure the fruit you are using is super ripe and delicious.
     
  8. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I think the reason fermentation did not restart is because the beer was cold and the yeast was dormant. If you warmed up the keg, I’m sure it would restart.
     
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  9. Vallka

    Vallka Well-Known Member

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    I need to follow this.
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. You tried to get dormant yeast to ferment fruit. Good news is there isn't a whole lot of sugar in fruit - it's mostly water - so you didn't get bottle bombs.
     
  11. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Kegged it (and, I assume kept it cold), so he didn't have to worry about refermentation. Not a bad way to enjoy full fruit flavor if the beer doesn't have too much residual sweetness on its own and the fruit addition is in good proportion.
     
  12. dankbrewing@gmail.com

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    I was counting on it not restarting. That was the reason for the cold crash first.
     
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  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    It's called getting lucky - the sugar in the fruit could have restarted fermentation and then whatever your container, the pressure could have blown it apart. I understand why you cold-crashed; however, remember, I fine my beers with gelatin after cold crashing and they still contain enough yeast to condition. If you're kegging, you actually have an advantage here in that you can add sweet fruit, sulfite and sorbate, then force carbonate, keeping the sweetness.

    Same principle as packaging a half-dry wine.
     
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  14. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    You're not blowing a keg apart with natural fermentation period though.
     
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  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Dramatic hyperbole. Bottle bombs, though, only take a few gravity points too much.
     
  16. RAtkison

    RAtkison Member

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    Any thoughts on cold crashing after fruit addition? I added fruit to secondary 7 days ago, plan is to leave it on there for 10 days. Thinking about cold crashing in secondary then transferring to keg. Any benefit at this point?
     
  17. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    When adding fruit to my saisons i add towards end to fermentation and then continue as per usuall and keg when gravity is stable. I think its a matter of amount more than time that impacts flavour when it comes to fruit additions.
     
  18. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    Cold crash always has the benefit of clearing the beer.
     
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  19. Lefty

    Lefty New Member

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    Have just been reading John Palmer's book on How to Brew and in the section brewing with Fruits, Vegetables and Spices he recommends 0.5 - 2.0 lbs of fruit per gallon of wort. Some fruits carry flavour better than others with Raspberries and Cherries the better. Will soon find out as I have a Blonde Ale in my Cube and its getting some Raspberries added once my fermenter and refridgerator are free ( International Pale Lager being cold crashed).
     
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  20. Lefty

    Lefty New Member

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    Update on the Raspberry Blonde. It hit the fermenter on the 15th after blitzing the raspberries and adding some pectinase ( to get all the sugars from the fruit). The beer was slow to start after deploying some US-05 but now is a nice shade of pinky /red and the fridge has now lost it's raspberry smell and is now beer like. Hopefully bottling end of next week.
     

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