Author Topic: Cleaning/Sanitizing Fresh Fruit  (Read 1123 times)

Offline nicosan1

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Cleaning/Sanitizing Fresh Fruit
« on: March 14, 2016, 10:31:13 PM »
Hey all, my parents have a farm with a variety of fruits that I would like to use for homebrews in the future.  I have used concentrates and purees in the past for some beers which are pasteurized but I would like to use some fruit like my parent's heirloom peaches, lemons, etc.  What is the proper way to clean sanitize fruit for use in secondary?  I have seen a variety of things from using Campden and other things but is there a go-to method that seems to be mostly-foolproof? 

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Cleaning/Sanitizing Fresh Fruit
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2016, 10:34:53 PM »
I have had good success with washing the fruit well with water first, then cutting it up and freezing it for at least 24 hrs in a freezer ziplock bag wit the air pressed out. The freezing stage limits microbial growth and ruptures the cell walls of the fruit allowing better access to the sugars for the yeast.

For added protection, you can also dunk the fruit in a quick starsan dip prior to slicing on a sanitized cutting board with a sanitized knife. I don't always do this step, but it does add some peace of mind to the whole process.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Cleaning/Sanitizing Fresh Fruit
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2016, 12:14:36 AM »
What brewinhard said. 

Offline erockrph

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Re: Cleaning/Sanitizing Fresh Fruit
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2016, 03:11:48 AM »
What brewinhard said.
+2 - once it thaws I smash the fruit up in the bag a bit to open it up a bit more.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Cleaning/Sanitizing Fresh Fruit
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2016, 07:32:17 AM »
Same here, including star San. Still alive.
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Offline nicosan1

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Re: Cleaning/Sanitizing Fresh Fruit
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2016, 08:07:42 PM »
Thanks all! Once Peach season is back and I will be making a nice peach saison. 

Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Cleaning/Sanitizing Fresh Fruit
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2016, 08:20:56 PM »
You will have to think about your recipe, as peach does not leave a lot of flavor in alcohol. For instance, in Belgium there is no peach lambic. Apricot yes, peach no.
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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Cleaning/Sanitizing Fresh Fruit
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2016, 09:36:09 PM »
Hey all, my parents have a farm with a variety of fruits that I would like to use for homebrews in the future.  I have used concentrates and purees in the past for some beers which are pasteurized but I would like to use some fruit like my parent's heirloom peaches, lemons, etc.  What is the proper way to clean sanitize fruit for use in secondary?  I have seen a variety of things from using Campden and other things but is there a go-to method that seems to be mostly-foolproof?

You don't really need to sanitize fruit before adding it to the secondary. The hops and alcohol in the beer at this point make it close to impossible for anything that might hurt your beer to survive.
I've never had a problem just adding fruit to the secondary. Although I do wash citrus before using the zest.
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Offline nicosan1

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Re: Cleaning/Sanitizing Fresh Fruit
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2016, 09:46:19 PM »
You will have to think about your recipe, as peach does not leave a lot of flavor in alcohol. For instance, in Belgium there is no peach lambic. Apricot yes, peach no.

Yeah I know peach comes out very subtly post-ferment, if I recall someone mentioned that about 3-4 pounds per gallon was recommended I think in the Wheat book.  I have access to plenty of fruit, I want the fruit to be a solid note but not overpowering.  Might combine some puree with some fresh and frozen fruit. 

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Cleaning/Sanitizing Fresh Fruit
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2016, 12:48:57 PM »
The last time I added peaches to a beer was a few years back where I put around 12# of harvest peaches into 5 gallons of straight lambic.  Let it sit for about3-4 mos then kegged it.  The peaches provided quite a bit of acidity and came through nicely in the finished product.  When competition season came around, I dosed the keg with some high quality peach extract to increase the aroma a tad.  Beer scored well until acetic acid started to rear its ugly head and overpowered the lactic acidity and fruit additions.