Pitfalls and Maintaining Balance when Using Fruit Additions

  • Speaker: Mike Brennan
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2022
  • Pittsburgh

Fruit additions have been historically popular in such beers as kriek and framboise, and many modern beers—from fruited sours to IPAs—develop additional dimensions from fruit additions during or after primary fermentation. Hybrid beverages such as melomel, pyment mead, and fruited ciders are enjoying more popularity than ever. However, using fruit can introduce balance issues, off flavors, and sometimes a lack of fruit presence from fruit selection or addition timing. Join Beer Judge Certification Program National judge Mike Brennan for an exploration of fruit selection and consideration of the effect on the beverage’s pH, gravity, clarity, and sensory outcomes.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how to select the right fruit for the beverage you are making: from fresh, frozen, puree, canned or processed, to fruit parts like flesh, skins, pits, and seeds
  • Understand fermentation considerations of fruit additions, such as gravity and final alcohol content, pH, and tannin contribution
  • Explore fruit addition contributions to balance, color, clarity, and sensory
  • Discover how to choose when to use preservatives or stabilization, including sorbates, benzoate, and sulfites to manage post-fermentation fruit additions—or, avoiding modern bomb-making

About the Speaker

Mike Brennan is a Beer Judge Certification Program National judge with mead and cider endorsements and is a judge trainer. He holds a BS in cell and molecular biology and has been an avid fermentation and distillation enthusiast for more than 25 years. Mike serviced commercial distilleries in the U.S. Pacific Northwest prior to taking his current position as the North American sales manager for BSG HandCraft, which services homebrew and distillation retailers.

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