Author Topic: Adding fruit to beers  (Read 976 times)

Offline austin6455

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Adding fruit to beers
« on: June 24, 2016, 06:59:39 AM »
What are yalls General rule of thumb on how much fruit to add to your secondary? I have a pretty standard saison in primary now that I'm looking to add cherries to, but I'm just not sure how much to add. I would rather it compliment and not really overpower the flavor or the beer. Also, do y'all use whole fruit, puree, frozen fruit etc.?

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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Adding fruit to beers
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2016, 09:19:08 AM »
In Belgium we add about 200 grams of sour cherries to lambic for a kriek. Fresh only (or maybe frozen first). So if that is too much fruit for you, work your way down from there. Personally I would not use regular cherries but rather sour ones, but, well, that's just, like, my opinion, man.
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Offline austin6455

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Re: Adding fruit to beers
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2016, 09:34:15 AM »
In Belgium we add about 200 grams of sour cherries to lambic for a kriek. Fresh only (or maybe frozen first). So if that is too much fruit for you, work your way down from there. Personally I would not use regular cherries but rather sour ones, but, well, that's just, like, my opinion, man.

I was definitely planning on using tart cherries as opposed to sweet. I should have specified since I can tell you're into the whole brevity thing. For the 200 gms, is that per 20L batch?

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Adding fruit to beers
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2016, 10:04:22 AM »
It really varies by the fruit.  I use almost 12 pounds of fresh black berries (if I can get them) in 5 gallons of saison, then add Brett Vrie to the mix to get a nice funky flavor that's dry, but fruity.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Adding fruit to beers
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2016, 11:02:15 AM »
In Belgium we add about 200 grams of sour cherries to lambic for a kriek. Fresh only (or maybe frozen first). So if that is too much fruit for you, work your way down from there. Personally I would not use regular cherries but rather sour ones, but, well, that's just, like, my opinion, man.

I was definitely planning on using tart cherries as opposed to sweet. I should have specified since I can tell you're into the whole brevity thing. For the 200 gms, is that per 20L batch?
Oops sorry, that's per liter :)
Frank P.

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Offline majorvices

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Re: Adding fruit to beers
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2016, 11:28:03 AM »
The amounts of fruit is going to vary wildly depending on the beer, the fruit, the gravity and the personal preference. The 'ol 'Merican homebrew maxim has been 1-2 lbs of fruit per gallon. I have found you can go a good bit lower than this and still get great flavor. I added a 2.5 honey dew melon that weighted probably 1.9 lbs once it was seeded and peeled the pureèd and it added wonderful melon character to a kolsch. So it may take some experimenting and blending before you find just how much is just right.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Adding fruit to beers
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2016, 01:03:10 PM »
The amounts of fruit is going to vary wildly depending on the beer, the fruit, the gravity and the personal preference. The 'ol 'Merican homebrew maxim has been 1-2 lbs of fruit per gallon. I have found you can go a good bit lower than this and still get great flavor. I added a 2.5 honey dew melon that weighted probably 1.9 lbs once it was seeded and peeled the pureèd and it added wonderful melon character to a kolsch. So it may take some experimenting and blending before you find just how much is just right.

I agree with all of this. It depends on the beer style, the fruit, and the end result you're shooting for. You will need a lot more of a relatively mild fruit like blueberries than something like raspberries. You would also probably need more fruit in something like a cherry stout vs a cherry wheat beer.

One or two pounds a gallon is a good starting point. You will probably need to adjust from there based on your fruit, your recipe and your palate.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Adding fruit to beers
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2016, 01:20:48 PM »
+2. Totally depends on the type of fruit and what you want to accomplish. Use less puree than fresh fruit as puree has the skins and seeds removed. Use roughly twice the amount of peach or apricot than you would of cherry or raspberry to get a comparable result. Past that, it's personal preference.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Adding fruit to beers
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2016, 01:41:04 PM »
I agree with all this, in other words it depends. My other big hobby is growing and foraging food so I use a lot of fresh fruit in season. I have not used purees but I would use them over supermarket fruit because they are made with ripe fresh fruit, at least the good ones should be. I think the very best option is ripe, whole fruit grown yourself or by a local farmer in season. The stuff at a supermarket is bred for shelf life and storage, its the worst choice for beer.
Lately I found that making my own purees using a macerating vegetable juicer is awesome. You end up with bits of all the fruit, including the oils. It makes less mess than whole fruit and also puts the most flavor in contact with the beer.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Adding fruit to beers
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2016, 03:03:31 PM »
Use roughly twice the amount of peach or apricot than you would of cherry or raspberry to get a comparable result. Past that, it's personal preference.

Agreed. I recently brewed up a 5 gallon batch of blonde ale and split it 50/50. Half got kegged straight while the other 2.5 gallons got racked to secondary on top of 3# of apricot puree for another 2 wks prior to kegging. Just tapped the apricot half last night and it is deeeelicious (for a fruit beer). Plus it puts a smile on the wife's face.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Adding fruit to beers
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2016, 03:07:14 PM »
and it is deeeelicious (for a fruit beer). Plus it puts a smile on the wife's face.


Bingo. I'm not sure how many fruit beers I'd ever brew of my own accord, but my wife has earned one now and then for putting up with all this crap.  :)
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Adding fruit to beers
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2016, 03:12:24 PM »
and it is deeeelicious (for a fruit beer). Plus it puts a smile on the wife's face.


Bingo. I'm not sure how many fruit beers I'd ever brew of my own accord, but my wife has earned one now and then for putting up with all this crap.  :)

You said it! That's why I'm calling this version "Happy wife, Happy life".  ;)

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Adding fruit to beers
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2016, 03:14:33 PM »
and it is deeeelicious (for a fruit beer). Plus it puts a smile on the wife's face.


Bingo. I'm not sure how many fruit beers I'd ever brew of my own accord, but my wife has earned one now and then for putting up with all this crap.  :)

You said it! That's why I'm calling this version "Happy wife, Happy life".  ;)


Nobody can say we don't get the concept.    ;D
Jon H.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Adding fruit to beers
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2016, 03:31:03 PM »
and it is deeeelicious (for a fruit beer). Plus it puts a smile on the wife's face.


Bingo. I'm not sure how many fruit beers I'd ever brew of my own accord, but my wife has earned one now and then for putting up with all this crap.  :)

You said it! That's why I'm calling this version "Happy wife, Happy life".  ;)


Nobody can say we don't get the concept.    ;D

Unless they are our wives.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Adding fruit to beers
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2016, 03:36:38 PM »
Recently I added 3 lbs of frozen depitted sour/sweet cherries to 4 gallons of sour in a keg.  The cherry flavor was fairly prominent, but not overwhelming the sour initially.  After I took the keg out of the fridge and the cherry sugars fermented out, the cherry flavor became much less prominent. 

So sweetness effects the strength of fruit flavor.