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Using dried fruit

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secretsquirrel:
Hi everyone,
Just bottled my first batch of a stout yesterday. I didn't do a secondary fermentation and let it sit for 3 weeks.  It smelled great. Very excited to try it. 

anyway, I've got a bunch of dried fruit laying around the house- sour cherries, pears, apples, persimmons, plums and lots of rolled oats.  Has anyone ever used dried fruit in brewing? If so, how? At what point would this be put in- with the grains in the bag or tossed in with the hops?

I was thinking of trying to do an oatmeal stout with cherries.  Does anyone have recommendations for me, or a recipe? Thanks,
S. Squirrel

enso:
I would think to maintain fruit flavors/aromas you would want to add it directly to the fermenter.  Perhaps even racking the already fermented beer directly onto the fruit in another container which would start a new ferment.

Did you dry the fruit yourself or is this something purchased?  The reason I mention it is if you do not know how it was dried it could be treated with sulfites or other preservatives that might inhibit your yeast.

Otherwise I think it would work great.  Not sure how to account for the sugar in it.  I would imagine dried fruits are more concentrated.

secretsquirrel:
Enso
the fruit i have was commercially dried. It does not have any preservatives.  Dried fruit is usually composed of fructose and had a higher sugar level than regular fruit.  I wonder how it will work...

secretsquirrel:
Hi everyone,
I wanted to give an update to using the dried fruit question.  I made a Belgian white partial extract. I omitted the coriander and orange peel from the recipe as i didn't want competing flavors.
The beer went really crazy during fermentation; so much so that it continued to krausen its way out of the airlock. Being that this is my second batch of beer (I'm new at this) I somehow got the rubber cork stopper shoved into the fermenter after changing out the airlock. I thought, hell, I just contaminated the whole thing.  I ended up using the drain in the primary to transfer to the glass carboy- and committing the "don't aerate the beer while transferring" rule.  At this point, I thought all might be lost, so I took my dried pear halves and tore them up and shoved them into the carboy. I put about 2-3 pounds worth it. 
It continued to ferment. After 10 days or so I bottled the beer and let it sit. Turned out great; there is even a hint of pear.  The stuff is really high in alcohol as well...

kylekohlmorgen:
The only problem is trying to get them out once your done... I used chopped fresh peaches in the secondary once... getting them all out took about 2 hrs... now I puree.

I've added dried fruit in the secondary and in the boil:

I recently used raisins in a belgian porter recipe. I weighed out about 7 oz, pureed them with hot wort, and added the puree with about 7 min left to go. Its not quite done cellaring, but the raisins add a great, smooth, "raisiny" flavor and maybe even texture.

I used dried cherries in the secondary of an apple cider. Even with the cider on the cherries for a solid month, I couldn't detect any flavors from them. This might have been hidden by the cinnamon sticks added as well.

As for the extract content, I used the nutritional facts on the back. They give "Sugars" in grams, and I assumed they were all fermentable. This was fairly accurate for the raisins, but it will probably work for other dried fruit

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