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Topics - brewcrew7

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Ingredients / Prepping Fruit and Extraction
« on: April 25, 2014, 06:01:54 AM »
This probably has been addressed many times over the years but I've got my first fruited beer in secondary now and have some questions. The beer is an old ale with prunes, sultanas and zante currants - a mix for a possible "Christmas pudding" seasonal ale. I steeped the fruits whole or coarsely sliced in spiced rum for 1-2 weeks before dumping everything into secondary. I've done this before with simple liqueurs.

I've seen reference to making a puree in a blender and heating on the stovetop to create a soupy paste and then to deglaze the pan with the fermented beer, wine, etc. and then to add to secondary. Has anyone done this and to what advantage/disadvantage over extraction in alcohol (high proof or otherwise)? Do I need to worry about pectin levels? Could this method apply to all fruits and other misc ingredients?

Fermentation restarted when I added the fruit and it's been 2 months in the carboy. While the beer tastes different from the base, I'm not sure I got good extraction.

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I appreciate the efforts of John Dura et al for their research project considering cask conditioned ales, which among other projects can be found here: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/community/research-and-education-fund/completed-proposals/

As with all research, more questions are often raised when one finds an answer. Cask-conditioned ale, like all beer, is a living experience: qualities and perceptions are different among tasters as well as during the course of time. Bitterness can fade, oxidation can develop new flavors, and existing flavors can meld harmoniously (or not). Or is more a social experience that sways our opinions of how the beer presents itself to us? I have not been to England nor have I enjoyed a proper pint or three to know for sure if this experience is part of the allure of a "real ale".

The project concluded little difference between the air-vented cask and the one supported by a cask breather after one day of venting and drawing from the first cask. Did perceptions of the beer change after 2 days, 3 days, a week? If so, what qualities changed in the air-vented cask? It would seem the project discredits CAMRA's stance on cask-breathers without putting it through the proper rigors. Can anyone shed light on this with their experiences?



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