Author Topic: Apples in Beer  (Read 1741 times)

Offline brewmasternpb

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Apples in Beer
« on: June 13, 2010, 10:26:59 AM »
I have an apple tree in my backyard and I'd like to use those apples in a beer.  I don't have a cider press, so I would like to add the apples to the secondary... using the apples for flavoring, not as a primary sugar source.  I thought about peeling them, coring and chopping them up, and then freezing them.  I would thaw them out before adding them to the secondary.  I've read that freezing fruit causes the cells to burst, thereby releasing more flavor.  I have to main questions:
1) Will freezing the fruit effectively sanitize it? Or will bacteria and wild yeasts survive the freezing process?
2) I know peeling fruit is necessary if you boil the fruit, but would it be necessary for what I'm doing?  (I don't want to peel apples if I don't have to)

The beer I'm going to  add the apples to will be the second runnings of a belgian strong golden ale (around 1.094).  I'm not trying to re-create the Unibroue "Ephemere", but it's the same idea, especially since I'm using the Unibroue yeast.
Thanks for any feedback!
Dave Malone
The Greater Denver Yeast Infection

Offline beerocd

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Re: Apples in Beer
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2010, 10:35:53 AM »
Aren't the peels where the flavor and aroma are really at? You could take some beer out of primary, hit it with Kmetabisulfite - soak the peels for a while, and then dump it all into secondary. But I guess that may only work if you keg, you may not be able to naturally carbonate after that. :-\
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Offline brewmasternpb

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Re: Apples in Beer
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2010, 12:25:12 PM »
Yeah, I don't keg.  I remember that the peels , if boiled, release pectins (I think) that cloud up the beer.  It would be awesome if I didn't have to peel them though.  I'm going to check the book in which I read that...
Dave Malone
The Greater Denver Yeast Infection

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Re: Apples in Beer
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2010, 12:42:35 PM »
I have used apple cider in lieu of sparge water before. Turned out great! It did set a slight haze due to the juice being boiled but I definitely plan on brewing the beer again sometime. Had a nice tartness from the cider and some pleasant apple character in the bacground.

Oh, I also smoked apples once and used them in the mash.
Keith Y.
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Offline brewmasternpb

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Re: Apples in Beer
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2010, 03:55:56 PM »
Apples in the mash is interesting... especially smoked!  I'm thinking of steeping the whole apples in just-boiled water, to kill anything that lives on them... This could also make the apples easier to peel.  The latest Zymurgy had an article on brewing with fruit, and he said that a little bit of bacteria from the fruit (when added to the secondary) can add a pleasant and disireable tartness.
My biggest question now, is whether or not to peel those apples... 
Ray Daniels says that Belgian Brewers add the entire cherry to beer, pits and all, because they like the taste that the pits impart.  I'm curious as to whether or not the skins will add a good flavor.
Dave Malone
The Greater Denver Yeast Infection

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Re: Apples in Beer
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2010, 04:17:36 PM »
I dunno, but I'd leave out the apple seeds for sure, since there are supposedly traces of cyanide in them. Not sure how true that is but I have heard it said.

Someone mentioned the apple peel having all the flavor and I don't know that I agree with that, having actually eaten apples before.  ;)
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Offline brewmasternpb

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Re: Apples in Beer
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2010, 05:00:41 PM »
I thought it was peach pits with the cyanide... but I was planning on leaving the core with the seeds out.  The only reason I would leave the peels on would be for ease.  I'm using smaller apples.
Dave Malone
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Offline beerocd

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Re: Apples in Beer
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2010, 06:36:40 PM »
I dunno, but I'd leave out the apple seeds for sure, since there are supposedly traces of cyanide in them. Not sure how true that is but I have heard it said.

Someone mentioned the apple peel having all the flavor and I don't know that I agree with that, having actually eaten apples before.  ;)

Think Mott's apple juice VS real cider in October when the whole apple is smashed into the container. Or next time you have lemonade try it with just the lemon juice and then try the exact same lemonade with the spent lemon half thrown into your cup. Peels have a lot of the fruit essence in em. There's no right or wrong...

Cyanide is medicinal.  ;)
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