Author Topic: Adding fruit...  (Read 756 times)

Offline Village Taphouse

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Adding fruit...
« on: September 25, 2017, 02:24:19 PM »
Gang:  I have been brewing since 1999 and I consider this one of the only hurdles I was never able to clear.  I posted about this on my main board and I'm bringing it here now.  I was visiting my daughter at Indiana over the weekend and she ordered a Lindeman's Framboise which I may have never tasted.  Of course it's delicious.  Now put that part out of your mind because I don't necessarily want to make Lindeman's Framboise but I do want to make a 4-5% ale with low hops and introduce fresh fruit or the juice of fresh fruit.  In the past I have done this and the secondary fermentation from the fruit dried the beer out too much.  I tried puree (same result) and extracts which just don't have the same flavor.  I have heard of people killing the yeast, adding lactose to offset the dryness, etc.  I have heard that for 5 gallons of beer you need a good 8-9 pounds of berries.  I would heat them to 140-150° for 20 minutes, maybe strain them... not sure.  But the question is balance.  How to keep the beer from being too tart/sour from the fruit.  Any experts out there on this?  Cheers.

Offline brewsumore

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Re: Adding fruit...
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2017, 06:55:29 PM »
As you say, don't use juice unless maybe cold press juice - it dries out the beer too much.  My belief is that it's as simple as marrying up mash temp (for a bodied beer probably at least 156F), the yeast, and use puree or crushed fruit in secondary for fresh flavor, or in primary added after initial ferment ends.

But then I'm big on not overthinking it.

Maybe up the chloride and pH in water management to accentuate maltiness that matches up to smooth fruit flavors.  I don't have enough experience with lambics to even say anything.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 05:14:02 PM by brewsumore »

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Adding fruit...
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2017, 07:08:30 AM »
What if I transferred the beer to a larger vessel and then prepared the fruit and added that to the beer and let the secondary fermentation to go on its merry way... this will probably be a very slow and lengthy process.  Then once that settled down, transfer it again to another vessel and mix up some water & a pound of lactose (boil it) and then add it to the beer?  One article or thread that I read suggested as much as THREE POUNDS of lactose in 5 gallons of beer to offset the tart & dry character brought on by the second fermentation with the fruit.  I could add one pound and taste and then add more as needed.

EDIT:  I would make the water lean towards chloride for sure.  Also, I'm tossing out the word "lambic" at this point because I'm not making a Belgian beer here... no souring, no Belgian yeast, no funk, etc. 
« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 07:11:09 AM by Village Taphouse »

Offline zwiller

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Re: Adding fruit...
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2017, 07:51:48 AM »
There was a similar thread about cider not long ago.  Despite Framboise being considered authentic or legit, I believe most fruit beers are made by fermenting a non fruited wort or very little fruit, killing the yeast, backsweetening with juice, and force carbing.  That's what I'd do in addition to using a good flavor extract.  That said, a quick glance at Framboise and it appears to show natural flavor (extract) as well as stevia. http://www.merchantduvin.com/brew-lindemans-framboise-lambic.php 


Sam
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Adding fruit...
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2017, 08:04:25 AM »
The Lindemans sweetened fruit lambics are made by pasteurizing lambic and then adding fruit and sweetener. That's why it's not dry. It's really more a blend of pasteurized beer and sweetened fruit juice than a completely fermented fruit beer.

The newer trend in fruited sour beer and saisons is to use an enormous amount of fruit and let it all ferment out. This results in a beer that isn't too dry or sour although it isn't anywhere near as sweet as those Lindemans beers. Personally I think these beers still taste a lot like fruit juice and very little like beer but that might be your goal. Expect to use 3-5 pounds of fruit per gallon.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Adding fruit...
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2017, 08:08:34 AM »
I did see someone mention Stevia too.  I would rather not use it but I do have some of it in the kitchen and I suppose I could use it in increments and stop when I have it right.  3-5 pounds of raspberries per gallon seems extreme.  I am not questioning the accuracy of it but maybe I just don't want quite that much fruit flavor in the beer I'm envisioning.  Does sweetening with Stevia seem like a better idea than using lactose?  I have no experience using either one in a beer. 

Thanks for the responses guys.  If anyone else has been down this road, please keep the replies coming.  Cheers.

Offline JimRMaine

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Re: Adding fruit...
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2017, 03:58:58 PM »
Hi Ken,
I do one or two American Wheat series each year, adding various fruit flavors. Here's my experience: All per 2.5G batch (I split batches and add fruit). They are favorites of certain folks, although I'm ambivalent.
1. The base ale is orange peel/coriander and comes from Wayne/Nilo's thread in HBT.
2. Apricot extract is great. I use 2 oz. at bottling time. This is my favorite version.
3. 3 lb. of frozen/crushed blueberries dries it out and doesn't leave much blueberry flavor. It needs a little sweetness to counter. Next year I'm going to add 1/2 cup xylitol.
4. 2 lb. frozen/crushed raspberries is perfect. No additional sweetness needed.
5. 1G of Grapefruit juice plus 1G beer plus 1oz. Centennial dryhop letting it go through a secondary, then adding 1/2 cup xylitol at bottling yielded pretty close to a 'Grapefruit Shandy'.
6. 1G Cranberry juice plus 1G beer plus 1/2 cup xylitol was not enough cranberry. Next time I'm going to use a better quality cranberry juice and add 1/2 lb. frozen/crushed cranberries.
By the way, IMO xylitol is better than Stevia- no off flavor, comparable sweetness to sugar. Only potential problem is in some people it causes diarrhea. And you better not give any to the dog- xylitol is poisonous to them.
Good luck!

Offline brewsumore

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Re: Adding fruit...
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2017, 05:37:57 PM »
I much prefer Liefman's or Cantillon or some other krieks to Lindeman's (I prefer kriek to peche, and also love a great framboise), and if you're ever in Wisconsin do yourself a favor and get a few bottles of New Glarus Belgian Red, made with LOTS of cherries.  IMHO, Lindeman's is way too sweet and not really that complex, although I thought it was great as a starter kriek and until I had it a few times, AND until I got a chance to try some more famous Belgian fruit krieks/fruit blended (or 100%) lambics.

I like the interplay of fruit with Belgians in general including dubbel or quadruple, and am recently trying plums with a kettle soured saison (kegging it tomorrow).  I don't do traditional sours because my basement brewery is also a home winery and I don't want to take a chance of infecting my winery with live bugs, although I risk an occasional kettle sour.

Anyway, another means I have used in the past a few times to try and mimic some of the fruit intense Belgians, is to combine fruit puree with tart cherry 100% fruit liquid concentrate.  Tart is Smart is good.  Cherry Bay Orchards even better.  Both available on Amazon.  I have researched the pounds of cherries per liter (convert to gallons) of finished beer in Liefman's, determined the number of cherries per oz. of the concentrate, calculated along with added puree for how much I'd need to mimic their beer, and shot for that degree of cherry flavor.  It's worked great, even if not blended with lambic.

I have even timed making a Belgian kriek so that I pick the cherries the same day that I puree them and add to secondary / end of primary.  It also makes a difference!


« Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 05:45:43 PM by brewsumore »