Author Topic: Fruit beer issues  (Read 3954 times)

Offline blgreene

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Fruit beer issues
« on: August 07, 2012, 01:40:21 PM »
So I recently tried my hand at brewing a nice summery raspberry wheat beer. The recipe was basically all wheat DME and some belgian aromatic (just for fun) partial mashed and fermented with Wyeast American Ale. My plan was to add 6 lbs of raspberry puree (oregon fruit) in the secondary and leave the beer on fruit for two weeks. I really was hoping to perserve the beautiful golden color of the original beer pre-fruiting... Obviously when I added the fruit the entire volume turned dark red and within a couple days a large sediment layer had formed and most the fruit sugars appeared to be gone based on the yeast activity. I want to clean the beer up and I am concerned about having a smoothie beer rather than a fairly light wheat beer with fruit flavor, so I transfered the beer off of the layer of fruit material and dead yeast to hopefully let it clear up a bit and maybe avoid over fruiting. During this when the beer was open the beer is so murky and smells so strongly of raspberries I am concerned it is ruined. Any thougths on salvaging this? I plan to bottle it anyway and see what comes out, but I think it may be too tart and too fruity and way to murky for what I was hoping. A new layer of sedimented fruit/yeast is forming and I am thinking about transfering it off that again, but a little worried about oxidation and extra chances for contamination... Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Fruit beer issues
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2012, 01:58:33 PM »
Was this a 5 gallon batch? If so, I think 6 pounds of raspberries should get you to the "subtle fruit" range of flavor. Let it mellow a bit and I'm betting you'll have a nice balanced beer.

As far as the color goes, I haven't tried it yet, but you could try golden raspberries if you can get your hands on them in that kind of quantity.
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Offline blgreene

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Re: Fruit beer issues
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2012, 02:12:43 PM »
So do the commercial guys just filiter the s*** out of the beer till it gets back to clear? Has anyone got a homebrew fruit beer to come out really clear? I just feel like I am going to have to do this decanting thing a couple of times to get the majority of the fruit crud out of there and have yeast be the only sediment during bottle conditioning...

And yes this is a 5 gal batch.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Fruit beer issues
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2012, 02:15:07 PM »
How long have you let it sit?  Be patient, and it will likely clear.

If it's still murky, fine it with gelatin and see if that helps.  Or cold crash it.  Or both.

I wouldn't keep transferring it.
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Offline blgreene

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Re: Fruit beer issues
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2012, 02:53:38 PM »
It hasn't been sitting for too long, five days or so. Maybe I am missing the point of secondary... I thought you want the beer to be off any bad flavors (dead yeast, fruit tannins, etc) as soon as the exponential growth phase of the yeast is over... Thus to clarify the beer and have it taste as clean as possible you do secondary to get the beer off the trub. So when I add the fruit in the secondary I added a tonne of sugars and started a whole new yeast population, most of which died and there is still all the fruit skin and such that I don't want on the beer. The sugars and flavor are soluble and since this is puree it should go right into solution right?

I think I will take my fellow homebrewers advice and not transfer it again, but unfortunately cold conditioning isn't an option for me until I get the beer in bottles, but I don't want to cold crash a bunch of fruit crap on the bottom of my bottles either. I just want the beer to be mildly fruity and not a smoothie, but it certainly doesn't look like a beer, its blood red and murky and smells like its extremely tart...

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Fruit beer issues
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2012, 03:02:12 PM »
Most people don't do secondaries anymore, unless they are doing fruit beers or something similar.

In the case of a fruit beer, you're actually having a second fermentation going on.  The sugars aren't "soluble" they are fermentable and they are currently fermenting.

I don't really do fruit beers but I don't think you'll have any issues with letting it sit for a couple weeks to clear up.

The risk of oxidation is a bigger risk, so transferring it too much would be bad.

Someone else will have to tell you if 6 lbs of puree is a lot or a little.
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Offline euge

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Re: Fruit beer issues
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2012, 03:48:00 PM »
How long have you let it sit?  Be patient, and it will likely clear.

If it's still murky, fine it with gelatin and see if that helps.  Or cold crash it.  Or both.

I wouldn't keep transferring it.

+1 and +1 and +1

Time is your friend in this case my friend. Next time you might try raspberry flavoring or extract. http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/raspberry-natural-extract.html Not sure if you will keep the golden color 100% but the last raspberry beer I made had a slight pink tint.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline baggins

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Re: Fruit beer issues
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2012, 07:00:43 PM »
Maybe racking it one more time and cold crashing it.  I did it with a blueberry wheat and it cleared up better after dropping the temp to 50 F.  Having said that, I did put only 3 pounds of purree in a 5 gallon batch, plus I had a pound of lactose in the brew.  Put it in the frig for about 2 or 3 wks bottle it and let it warm up to bottle condition would be my suggestion.  Did you pasturize the purree before racking with it?

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Fruit beer issues
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2012, 08:35:00 AM »
How long have you let it sit?  Be patient, and it will likely clear.

If it's still murky, fine it with gelatin and see if that helps.  Or cold crash it.  Or both.

I wouldn't keep transferring it.

+1 and +1 and +1

Time is your friend in this case my friend.

I just made a raspberry hef with homemade puree (added the puree to the keg). I've tried cold crashing, gelatin, PVPP, and just ol' time (around a month) in the fridge and NOTHING will get this beer clear.

I didn't have a super-fine mesh strainer, so I thought that may have been the case. A few small seeds even slipped through.

Filtering was going to be my next step if I decide to save the beer rather than free up a keg.
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Offline tankdeer

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Re: Fruit beer issues
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2012, 11:59:33 AM »
Did you pasturize the purree before racking with it?
By definition canned puree is already pasteurized.

OP, I think you're over stressing about it. Just let it sit and settle. Racking it over and over is going to do way more harm than good. And being a fruit wheat I wouldn't expect it to be "clear", but it shouldn't be turbid. Giving it time to settle should fix that. As for color you're never going to get back to golden - you just added a bunch of bright red fruit.  :o
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Offline gmac

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Re: Fruit beer issues
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2012, 12:08:20 PM »
I've tried many commercial fruit beers and most of them have some colour from the fruit.  Personally, I have no problem with this.
As for the clarity, you may have to close your eyes and drink it.  I bet it tastes great regardless of the clarity.  But, clarity is not something I stress over.  Especially since it's a wheat beer which is also usually cloudy or at least can be.
I've made fruit beers but mostly with juice concentrate and they've all come clear after a while but have all had substantial colour.  Like was mentioned, you just added a tonne of red stuff...it won't be golden again.

Offline tankdeer

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Re: Fruit beer issues
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2012, 01:11:39 PM »
On top of that, my guess is the canning process probably sets the pectin in the fruit, and therefore it won't clear up. But as said, it's a wheat bear - who cares if it's clear
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