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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: homoeccentricus on September 11, 2015, 10:08:28 AM

Title: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: homoeccentricus on September 11, 2015, 10:08:28 AM
During a recent visit to 3 Fonteinen, the guide said that there are 2 types of fruit in relationship to beer: fruit in which the flavor components are attached to the sugars, and fruit where this is not the case. When fruit of the first type is added to beer (e.g. a lambic), the flavor components will be eaten by the yeast, together with the sugars. When fruit of the second type is added to beer, the flavor components will stay in the beer. First type fruits: apples, bananas, strawberries. Second type fruit: sour cherries, raspberries.

Can anyone confirm? And is there any relationship with glycosides (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycoside)? I'd say not because the flavor components are mostly esters?
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: unclebrazzie on September 11, 2015, 10:52:59 AM
Bit vague, innit?

What are "flavor components"? How do they attach to the sugar? Why would the yeast eat this sugar-derived compound?
Where's the chemistry in any of this? Sounds more like empyrical "godisgoode" experience to me, which doesn't mean there's no truth in it at all.

That being said: I take you are now the proud owner of at least 1 bottle of Zenne y Frontera? :)
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: reverseapachemaster on September 11, 2015, 03:44:30 PM
Fruit flavors in fruit are (generally) enhanced by the natural presence of sugar or acid. Fruit with sugar as an enhancer generally do not work well in beer because you're fermenting out the sugar and the fruit flavor gets lost. Acid rich fruit go the other direction because the acid stays in the beer. When you add those fruit to beer the acidity in the beer enhances the fruit flavor. Just think about the kinds of beer you commonly see with sour cherries and raspberries (sour/dry beers) and those beers with bananas or strawberries (backsweetened beers).

Apples are a weird fit there because they rely on both sugar and acidity and when you ferment out the sugar you keep that dry acidity that has a different apple flavor from fresh apple or backsweetened cider.

Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: HoosierBrew on September 11, 2015, 04:42:54 PM
Fruit flavors in fruit are (generally) enhanced by the natural presence of sugar or acid. Fruit with sugar as an enhancer generally do not work well in beer because you're fermenting out the sugar and the fruit flavor gets lost. Acid rich fruit go the other direction because the acid stays in the beer. When you add those fruit to beer the acidity in the beer enhances the fruit flavor. Just think about the kinds of beer you commonly see with sour cherries and raspberries (sour/dry beers) and those beers with bananas or strawberries (backsweetened beers).

Apples are a weird fit there because they rely on both sugar and acidity and when you ferment out the sugar you keep that dry acidity that has a different apple flavor from fresh apple or backsweetened cider.



+1. It's the fruit's acidity that makes it pop in beer. Look at peaches - good ones are amazing to eat, but they all but disappear in beer due to their low acidity. But use half that amount of cherry or raspberry and the fruit character is right there.
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: homoeccentricus on September 12, 2015, 08:17:47 AM
I understand that, but is there, say such a difference in acid content between raspberries and strawberries? Raspberries work, strawberries don't.
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: ynotbrusum on September 12, 2015, 12:57:48 PM
I understand that, but is there, say such a difference in acid content between raspberries and strawberries? Raspberries work, strawberries don't.

I suspect that there may be acid differences (pH variations), but further the timing of the fruit additions seems to be in play - each year I brew a Saison and add fresh macerated (by blender) blackberries as they come in season.  I like to add Brett with the Blackberries (a Brett starter slurry).  I get some very interesting flavor profiles, depending on the Brett strain.  This year I am using Brett Vrie and I will be kegging in October (beer was brewed in early July, fully fermented out to 1.001, then blackberries added in mid-August right off the vine - 11 pounds to a five gallon batch).

Last year it turned out fantastic and the fruit was there as a layer of complexity - very noticeable, but not overwhelming.
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: klickitat jim on September 12, 2015, 01:17:44 PM
There's something going on, what it is who knows. I did bing cherries in a belgian dark strong and it was awesome with the dark sweet cherry coming through nicely. Then I tried them in a sour and they all but disappeared. This year my cherry sour (6 gallons) got about 2 1/2 gallons of Oregon Fruit puree tart red cherries. Watch, that one will have too much cherry flavor lol.

There may be a relationship to acidity. The glycoside thing is still up in the air. I think it obvious that different brett strains interact with different sugars and esters in various ways, including with hops, but I dont think its linear or predictable unless you have personal experience with that certain combo. Thats part of what makes American sour beers such a new frontier. Theres a lot to be discovered still.

Regarding various fruit, I think some are just better than others when it comes to fermentation period. Unless artificially flavored, I've never been a fan of strawberry or worse yet, watermellon. Fermented watermelon just tastes like puke to me. Even 21A's take on it leaves much to be desired, despite the hype. The only thing that makes it tolerable is that the watermelon is way in the background.
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: erockrph on September 12, 2015, 02:34:15 PM
I understand that, but is there, say such a difference in acid content between raspberries and strawberries? Raspberries work, strawberries don't.

According to this chart, they are pretty much identical in the amount of acid and sugar content, so it can't be just that simple.

http://hbd.org/brewery/library/SugAcid.html

I think with some fruits ripeness makes a much bigger difference than others. I will only buy strawberries at the store in June, and only US-grown ones. With raspberries, I can't think I've ever had any that were seriously lacking flavor the way out-of-season strawberries can be. I don't know how that translates to beer, but I suspect that it comes into play somehow.

Edit - added link to the chart, oops  :o
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: homoeccentricus on September 12, 2015, 04:04:27 PM
I understand that, but is there, say such a difference in acid content between raspberries and strawberries? Raspberries work, strawberries don't.

According to this chart, they are pretty much identical in the amount of acid and sugar content, so it can't be just that simple.

I think with some fruits ripeness makes a much bigger difference than others. I will only buy strawberries at the store in June, and only US-grown ones. With raspberries, I can't think I've ever had any that were seriously lacking flavor the way out-of-season strawberries can be. I don't know how that translates to beer, but I suspect that it comes into play somehow.

I really don't think that's true. I assume that Hanssens' Oudbeitje, an strawberry lambic, is made with the ripest possible strawberries, and still the strawberry flavor is faint. Even though it is rumored that Hanssens adds some kind of strawberry syrup to enhance the flavor.
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: reverseapachemaster on September 12, 2015, 05:19:24 PM
I understand that, but is there, say such a difference in acid content between raspberries and strawberries? Raspberries work, strawberries don't.

I can't speak to specific acid content of any fruit but you need to look at not just the volume of acid but the type of acid. We would all likely agree that raspberries are far more acidic by perception than strawberries so we've got to look beyond simply the ph--as one needs when canning fruit--and look at how the acids interact with the fruit.

Just look at the way each berry is usually eaten. When strawberries are prepared in recipes they are usually enhanced by adding sweetness (either sugar or fat) and that sweetness amplifies the strawberry flavor. You can add some acidity and sweetness to them (e.g. balsamic vinegar) but there is a small range of sweet-sour where it really works. Raspberries, on the other hand, are usually the acid component in a dish. You can also add some sugar to raspberries, often to balance the acidity, but when you add too much you lose the raspberry flavor and end up with that generic mixed berry flavor.
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: homoeccentricus on September 12, 2015, 05:26:32 PM
[EDIT: whoops, apparently missed erockrph's identical link posted above]
Sugar and acid contents of fruit from  www.brewery.org/brewery/library/SugAcid.html (but had to use Google cache)
So raspberries and strawberries are identical...


Fruit   Sugar Content       Acid Content
        %of fresh weight    %of fresh weight
 
Lime             1%             5.0%
Avocado          1              0.2
Lemon            2              5.0
Tomato           3              0.5
Cranberry        4              3.0
Red Currant      6              1.8
Grapefruit       6              2.0
Guava            7              0.4
Cantaloupe       7              0.2
Strawberry       7              1.6
Raspberry        7              1.6
Blackberry       8              1.5
Papaya           8              0.1
Apricot          9              1.7
Watermelon       9              0.2
Peach            9              0.4
Black Currant   10              3.2
Pear            10              0.1
Honeydew        10              0.2
Orange          11              1.2
Plum            11              0.6
Blueberry       11              0.3
Gooseberry      11              1.8
Passion Fruit   11              3.0
Prickly Pear    11              0.1
Mango           11              0.5
Pineapple       13              1.1
Pomegranate     13              1.2
Apple           13              0.8
Cherry          14              0.5
Kiwi            14              3.0
Persimmon       14              0.2
Fig             15              0.4
Grape           16              0.2
Banana          17              0.3
Litchi          17              0.3

Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: klickitat jim on September 13, 2015, 12:30:42 AM
So glad you researched avocado! If anyone can pull off a Guacamolambic it would be a Belgian
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: Philbrew on September 13, 2015, 05:23:24 AM
So glad you researched avocado! If anyone can pull off a Guacamolambic it would be a Belgian
We have a winner for this thread and if there is a prize for Thread Comment of the Month, I'm voting for Jim's comment for September winner.
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: homoeccentricus on September 13, 2015, 08:10:17 AM
I agree, and there is more: this simple combination makes him the leading contender for the 2015 Voldermort Award: a brilliant, deeply disturbing idea from a brilliant, deeply disturbed mind.
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: homoeccentricus on September 13, 2015, 08:15:18 AM
So the best explanation so far why strawberries and raspberries are different in beer is because their acids are different. Well, I guess it's something...
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: denny on September 13, 2015, 04:20:09 PM
We also have a pretty comprehensive list in Experimental Homebrewing.
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: homoeccentricus on September 13, 2015, 04:36:16 PM
We also have a pretty comprehensive list in Experimental Homebrewing.
"Get your hands on flavoring extracts", "artificial apricot flavor will help". Tssk!
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: denny on September 13, 2015, 05:36:17 PM
We also have a pretty comprehensive list in Experimental Homebrewing.
"Get your hands on flavoring extracts", "artificial apricot flavor will help". Tssk!

Look at pg. 163-168.
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: homoeccentricus on September 13, 2015, 05:38:34 PM
Yes, that's where the quotes come from. Blame Drew?
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: denny on September 13, 2015, 05:39:12 PM
Yes, that's where the quotes come from. Blame Drew?

Of course!
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: mchrispen on September 13, 2015, 11:52:10 PM
Nobody has mentioned tannin levels in a discussion about fruit?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: erockrph on September 14, 2015, 03:54:00 AM
Nobody has mentioned tannin levels in a discussion about fruit?
I think they certainly help add some balance, especially in a sour. But have you noticed a correlation between tannins and flavor in beer?
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: unclebrazzie on September 14, 2015, 07:31:34 AM
I agree, and there is more: this simple combination makes him the leading contender for the 2015 Voldermort Award: a brilliant, deeply disturbing idea from a brilliant, deeply disturbed mind.

Just now we all know how to pronounce the name of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (--hint: it's a silent -t--), now JayKay has to start giving us pointers on how to spell He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Spelled's name.

In an attempt to re-rail this trainwreck: assuming the original comment about fruit flavours "binding" to sugars actually meant "something about flavours, sugar and acid" renders it more meaningful.

Regarding raspberries vs strawberries: even if their acid and sugar contents are comparable (*), their flavour profile obviously isn't. Raspberries have a more pronounced flavour than strawberries, which is why you can eat a bowl of the latter, but seldom eat more than a handful of the former. Also: what reverseapachemaster said.

*) "acid content" vs "acid composition". Which acids are we talking about, and how does strawbery's acid composition differ from rasp's?

A potentially interesting tangent is how artificial fruit flavours try to mimic the natural flavours. Strawberry flavour tends to not taste like strawberries at all. Rasp's even less so, possibly because the acidity is all gone from the flavour.

The Guacamolambic challenge has been accepted. Expect more news in a year or two :)
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: homoeccentricus on September 14, 2015, 08:24:32 AM
The Guacamolambic challenge has been accepted. Expect more news in a year or two :)
@klickitatjim. See what you have done? For the next two years there will be this sickly green-yellow-brownish sour concoction with oily mouthfeel popping up in my worst nightmares. And then I won't even have tasted the vileness.
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: homoeccentricus on September 14, 2015, 08:28:20 AM

In an attempt to re-rail this trainwreck: assuming the original comment about fruit flavours "binding" to sugars actually meant "something about flavours, sugar and acid" renders it more meaningful.

Regarding raspberries vs strawberries: even if their acid and sugar contents are comparable (*), their flavour profile obviously isn't. Raspberries have a more pronounced flavour than strawberries, which is why you can eat a bowl of the latter, but seldom eat more than a handful of the former. Also: what reverseapachemaster said.

*) "acid content" vs "acid composition". Which acids are we talking about, and how does strawbery's acid composition differ from rasp's?

A potentially interesting tangent is how artificial fruit flavours try to mimic the natural flavours. Strawberry flavour tends to not taste like strawberries at all. Rasp's even less so, possibly because the acidity is all gone from the flavour.


You are still saying not much more than that raspberries are more flavorful than strawberries.
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: mchrispen on September 14, 2015, 01:34:23 PM

Nobody has mentioned tannin levels in a discussion about fruit?
I think they certainly help add some balance, especially in a sour. But have you noticed a correlation between tannins and flavor in beer?

I think tannins certainly contribute flavor and structure, especially with berries. Maybe tannins affect the quality of the fruit flavor? The few fruit beers is have done, I greatly preferred those on whole fruit over juice concentrates. I know in my meads, usually a little tannin helps greatly to enhance the overall quality.
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: rebuiltcellars on September 29, 2015, 11:46:21 AM
So the best explanation so far why strawberries and raspberries are different in beer is because their acids are different. Well, I guess it's something...
I don't think so.  Both have primarily citric acid, which does tend to get reduced during fermentation.  Cherries and apples have mostly malic acid, which is only reduced by a small amount.  Tartaric acid (grapes) is reduced even less by the fermentation chemistry, but grapes experience a drastic flavor change when fermented.
I don't know the answer to your question, but my experience tells me that while both acid and sugar can be important factors in flavor enhancement, they are not at the key you are looking for.  Some flavors (like raspberry and cherry) are just more stable.
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: pete b on September 29, 2015, 12:16:11 PM

Nobody has mentioned tannin levels in a discussion about fruit?
I think they certainly help add some balance, especially in a sour. But have you noticed a correlation between tannins and flavor in beer?

I think tannins certainly contribute flavor and structure, especially with berries. Maybe tannins affect the quality of the fruit flavor? The few fruit beers is have done, I greatly preferred those on whole fruit over juice concentrates. I know in my meads, usually a little tannin helps greatly to enhance the overall quality.
This is interesting because we occasionally add a little tea to the must of some of our melomels. I always thought it was to balance sweetness without adding more acidity but maybe it does more.
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: HoosierBrew on September 29, 2015, 12:19:57 PM
This is interesting because we occasionally add a little tea to the must of some of our melomels. I always thought it was to balance sweetness without adding more acidity but maybe it does more.

Tea definitely has a lot of tannin. I add wine tannin to hard cider to give it more complexity.
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: mchrispen on September 29, 2015, 03:04:52 PM
http://nzic.org.nz/ChemProcesses/food/6B.pdf

That link is completely about wine, not beer, but a great comparative list of compounds in grape juice before and after fermentation. This is where I think there is more than a simple sweet/acid vector in adding fruit to beer. There can be significant transfer of organic acids (more or less directly) as well as phenols. In particular, anthocyanins are bound to a sugar, but I am not sure of which sugar molecule or if the bond is cleaved in fermentation and the sugar used as a carbon source.

As to the flavor transfers, I suspect that raspberries water/sugar ratio is far less than strawberries, meaning far more strawberries needed per 5 gallons and probably some additional sugars to prevent dilution. I would also speculate that strawberry flavors and aromas are more volatile. I have had some strawberry melo's that were horribly astringent and unpleasant from the bulk of the seeds. All speculation of course.
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: pete b on September 29, 2015, 04:57:31 PM
I also think ripeness is a huge factor. When you think about it raspberries are always picked and used very ripe, they're either ripe or not. Peaches and strawberries often get picked underipe. The time between perfectly ripe and moldy is very short, sometimes 1 day. I get great peach flavor in mead using my own fresh picked ripe peaches (usually picked ripe and immediately frozen before using, actually). I know there is a chemical component to ripeness. Maybe its partly because most don't use very ripe fruit that the flavor doesn't come through.
Pete
Title: Re: the flavor of fruit in fruit beer
Post by: homoeccentricus on September 29, 2015, 08:15:04 PM
http://nzic.org.nz/ChemProcesses/food/6B.pdf

That link is completely about wine, not beer, but a great comparative list of compounds in grape juice before and after fermentation. This is where I think there is more than a simple sweet/acid vector in adding fruit to beer. There can be significant transfer of organic acids (more or less directly) as well as phenols. In particular, anthocyanins are bound to a sugar, but I am not sure of which sugar molecule or if the bond is cleaved in fermentation and the sugar used as a carbon source.

As to the flavor transfers, I suspect that raspberries water/sugar ratio is far less than strawberries, meaning far more strawberries needed per 5 gallons and probably some additional sugars to prevent dilution. I would also speculate that strawberry flavors and aromas are more volatile. I have had some strawberry melo's that were horribly astringent and unpleasant from the bulk of the seeds. All speculation of course.

The pdf is very interesting. The components of wine are (a.o.) carbohydrates, organic acids, phenolics, and flavor components. Since there are different types of organic acids they may play a role. I don't think the phenolics are at work here, because these are mostly tannins. The flavor components are interesting: mostly volatile monotherpenes (in wine well-known critters such as geraniol, citronell, and linalool.