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Nash1444

Brewing with fresh fruit

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Don't do it! I just bottled my first batch of fruit beer, and will never do it again. I got the WCPA in the kit i bought here, i didn't like it before so experimented with fresh blueberries. Pureed them but still had blue bits and pieces. Had them in a sanitized bowl and added them last to the fermentor. It turned into a big blue blob, looked like jello. Was inpossible to break up after stirring. Figured it would settle down eventually, nope. I now have blueberry looking turds in my bottles. Clogged up everything. But it did smell like alcohol lol. We will see.

Will use extract at bottling time now instead. Thanks!

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Yes Do It...just do it differently

1.) Rack onto fruit that has been frozen. Keeping the fruit whole, but freezing it breaks down the walls without having to mash it into a pulp.

2.) When using fruits you may want to use a fining. Super Kleer works great for getting all of the fruit pulp to settle. I would think if you puree that it would be almost mandatory to use a fining.

One thing of note. Blueberries will give a very subtle flavor to the beer. It is a very delicate flavor to begin with so it doesn’t translate directly into the finished product. This can be the case for many fruits used in beers. With the blueberry beer I made it actually added a bit of a tannic bite to the beer in addition to adding a very light berry flavor. The tannin was more than likely coming from the skins similar to how red wine gets its tannic bite from the skins. I liked it as it gave the beer a nice dry finish, however it may not be for everyone.

Be careful with fruit extracts. They are powerful, easy to over do, and many people think they make the beer taste like cough syrup. Do your homework as it appears there are varying quality levels when it comes to fruit extracts.

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I will only use fresh fruit. As drgnfli mentioned,extracts can be strong and leave a weird taste in your beer
Ive used blueberries alot.Either use them frozen as stated or use a puree.
Use 2 empty cd cases under the front of your LBK so most of the trub goes toward the back.
A couple days before bottling throw the cd cases and LBK in the fridge to cold crash it and you'll be in good shape

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I have brewed with cnned fruit many times and never had a problem. Sanitize the blender and puree the hack out of it. have done this in primary fermentation and secondary fermentation. Get more fruit flavor with the secondary and just a fruit finish with the primary. ( which i actually prefer). :cheers: Have never used fresh fruit or extracts.

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"drgnfli00" post=283190 said:

Yes Do It...just do it differently

1.) Rack onto fruit that has been frozen. Keeping the fruit whole, but freezing it breaks down the walls without having to mash it into a pulp.

2.) When using fruits you may want to use a fining. Super Kleer works great for getting all of the fruit pulp to settle. I would think if you puree that it would be almost mandatory to use a fining.

One thing of note. Blueberries will give a very subtle flavor to the beer. It is a very delicate flavor to begin with so it doesn’t translate directly into the finished product. This can be the case for many fruits used in beers. With the blueberry beer I made it actually added a bit of a tannic bite to the beer in addition to adding a very light berry flavor. The tannin was more than likely coming from the skins similar to how red wine gets its tannic bite from the skins. I liked it as it gave the beer a nice dry finish, however it may not be for everyone.

Be careful with fruit extracts. They are powerful, easy to over do, and many people think they make the beer taste like cough syrup. Do your homework as it appears there are varying quality levels when it comes to fruit extracts.

Hello, Thanks. With frozen fruit, doesen't it have to be sanitized first, or not? Or just buy a bag of frozen fruit and add it to the fermentor? Thanks for your help.

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"inkedguy" post=283192 said:

I will only use fresh fruit. As drgnfli mentioned,extracts can be strong and leave a weird taste in your beer
Ive used blueberries alot.Either use them frozen as stated or use a puree.
Use 2 empty cd cases under the front of your LBK so most of the trub goes toward the back.
A couple days before bottling throw the cd cases and LBK in the fridge to cold crash it and you'll be in good shape

My stuff did not all sink to the bottom, a lot of it stayed on top. When i pureed the blueberries i placed the puree in a bowl then added it last per instructions. But when it sat in the bowl, it went from puree to jello substance and was impossible to break it up even after stirring. Next time, do i need to microwave it a little so it is puree again? I also used a secondary.

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"SmokeDiver3zero" post=283211 said:

Racking to a secondary LBK helps too

HI. I did use a secondary. I racked it from the LBK to one of my 5 gallon buckets. Then i racked it from there into my 5 gallon bottling bucket, but the blueberries were still everywhere. As i said, they did not all dissolve from that blob. Thanks.

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I'm currently drinking a great blueberry ale. And it based off of MrBeer extracts. I use Oregon fruits for all of my fruit additions. Purée them in a sanitized blender and add after primary fermentation, and it's been great every time. I use the Oregon fruit in my AG recipes too. The thing about fruit beers is that you have to give them a little extra time to condition. They always get better with time. Sometime it only takes an extra week, sometimes 2 months depending on the amount of adjuncts. Don't give up yet!

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Also, I would recommend an auto siphon for fruit beer to avoid the nasties that settle out and plug the spigot. In my experience, blueberry ale require a little extra conditioning time than say a rasberry or a cherry. Just my 2 cents.

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"Knightmare" post=283294 said:

I'm currently drinking a great blueberry ale. And it based off of MrBeer extracts. I use Oregon fruits for all of my fruit additions. Purée them in a sanitized blender and add after primary fermentation, and it's been great every time. I use the Oregon fruit in my AG recipes too. The thing about fruit beers is that you have to give them a little extra time to condition. They always get better with time. Sometime it only takes an extra week, sometimes 2 months depending on the amount of adjuncts. Don't give up yet!

Thanks. This was my first attempt using fruit. In the future i will use the Oregons canned fruit and add at week 2. Will rack to my secondary bucket then add the pureed canned fruit.

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"Knightmare" post=283295 said:

Also, I would recommend an auto siphon for fruit beer to avoid the nasties that settle out and plug the spigot. In my experience, blueberry ale require a little extra conditioning time than say a rasberry or a cherry. Just my 2 cents.

I used a siphoning hose to tansfer, and a racking cane, but it was still tough lol.

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Nash 1444 wrote:

Hello, Thanks. With frozen fruit, doesen't it have to be sanitized first, or not? Or just buy a bag of frozen fruit and add it to the fermentor? Thanks for your help.

There are varying schools of thought regarding what needs to be done to the fruit prior to use. I can tell you from my blueberry beer batch that I survived and more importantly my beer survived when I racked it directly onto frozen blueberries. When you have a healthy batch of beer going, the alcohol that is present will act to inhibit any nasties from taking over from the fruit. I chose this method because I wanted the freshest tasting flavor from the berries.

Others feel more comfortable cooking the berries a bit to sanitize them then adding that to the secondary. Cooking however will create more pectin to be released which will create more haze, and it will also change the flavor of the berries to a cooked flavor. Just think of what a fresh blueberry tastes like compared to one that has been cooked. Granted cooked fruit still tastes great, it just tastes different than its fresh uncooked counterpart.

There are about as many different ways of brewing beer as there are religions. Pick the one that you feel comfortable with and don’t be afraid to try new methods as that is the only way to learn what works best for you.

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