Secondary

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Brew Cat, May 22, 2014.

  1. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

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    I have a dark american wheat fermenting and would like to add some dry cranberries in secondary. Anyone have experience doing this?
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Your problem is sanitation. Put them in a microwave-safe dish with enough water to just cover the cranberries. Microwave a few seconds at a time until the temperature reaches 180 degrees. Hold the mixture there for ten minutes, then add everything, water and all, to your beer. Alternately, heat them in water in a pan on the stove, everything else is the same.
     
  3. th Cap'n

    th Cap'n New Member

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    Nosy, you don't think there's enough yeast in suspension to overwhelm any undesirables that might be riding along on the cranberries?
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't risk it. When in doubt, sanitize or pasteurize.
     
  5. GernBlanston

    GernBlanston New Member

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    What you are worried about is the fruit introducing bugs that will consume the sugars that are not normally fermentable. The yeast has done what it can on the fermentable sugars, but brett or pedio will continue to consume whats left, especially if you introduce oxygen with the fruit (and you will), and it being a wheat beer, there are some starches left in solution that the bugs love.
     
  6. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

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    How about if I soak them in vodka? Isn't there enough alcohol in the beer at this point to kill anything?
     
  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    That would work, too. I've used it for spices. Heat, though, is better for fruits because it gets everywhere. Vodka might not completely soak all parts of it.
     
  8. GernBlanston

    GernBlanston New Member

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    The alcohol level in the beer would have to be 10% and up to kill all the bugs. Yours is probably not this high.
     
  9. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

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    I was able to get some frozen cranberries at the grocery so I plan on using them instead.
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    You'll still need to pasteurize them. Let them thaw, heat to 170 degrees, hold for fifteen minutes, add water and all to the carboy.... And you have another problem: You likely have whole berries. They'll eventually ferment but it might take longer.

    Take it from experience: Frozen fruit is NOT sterile or clean enough to add directly to beers.
     
  11. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    I would listen to Nosybear on this one he has experienced many brews with additives like fruits and spices
     
  12. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

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    I figured I would get some fermentation and was wondering if there is a way to figure that. Should I crush them or not?
     
  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    You'll need to break the skins. I'd let them thaw, crush, then pasteurize. You'll get some fermentation as the yeast consume the sugars in the fruit but it doesn't make a huge difference, with cranberries I'd guess two or three gravity points.
     
  14. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

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    Thanks nosy, I did what you said. The gravity was still .020 so I will leave it for two more weeks see where it goes. I think I screwed up though. I wanted a baseline so I bottled to samples without the berries. I think they may blow or at least be over carbed.
     

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