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Fruit my beer?
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,639
    So I like a blueberries and I like hefeweizen. I also like blueberries in my hefeweizen. I'm brewing this in a few days and I'm going to add blueberries to one of the fermenters. From what I've found on the interwebz I should use anywhere from one pound of frozen blueberries for a 5 gallon batch to one pound of frozen blueberries per gallon. I'm going to start with a pound in five gallons added at roughly the 7 day mark. I guess I'll put the blueberries in a carboy then rack dirty on top of them. Then after another week or so rack straight to the keg.

    Make a list of what is wrong with my plan. Go.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,796 Accepted Answer
    Blueberries don't have a strong flavor and just throwing them in there is likely to net you nothing. Mash em up real good and they will give you a little flavor.

    Also, I usually add berries after primry fermentation is complete.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,639
    Good call. I'll mash 'em up real good.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,639
    Do they need to go in a secondary? I've read people put them in a secondary because they're afraid they'll get lost in the trub and be underutilized...
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,796

    Do they need to go in a secondary? I've read people put them in a secondary because they're afraid they'll get lost in the trub and be underutilized...



    I add them in the primary fermenter after the active fermentation has subsided.

    Then let it sit for a few weeks

    Then rack to a secondary for another week.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,639
    Lakewood said:

    Do they need to go in a secondary? I've read people put them in a secondary because they're afraid they'll get lost in the trub and be underutilized...



    I add them in the primary fermenter after the active fermentation has subsided.

    Then let it sit for a few weeks

    Then rack to a secondary for another week.

    Sounds good. I'll do this.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417

    So I like a blueberries and I like hefeweizen. I also like blueberries in my hefeweizen. I'm brewing this in a few days and I'm going to add blueberries to one of the fermenters. From what I've found on the interwebz I should use anywhere from one pound of frozen blueberries for a 5 gallon batch to one pound of frozen blueberries per gallon. I'm going to start with a pound in five gallons added at roughly the 7 day mark. I guess I'll put the blueberries in a carboy then rack dirty on top of them. Then after another week or so rack straight to the keg.

    Make a list of what is wrong with my plan. Go.



    I didn't know you had a vag
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,639
    jlw said:

    So I like a blueberries and I like hefeweizen. I also like blueberries in my hefeweizen. I'm brewing this in a few days and I'm going to add blueberries to one of the fermenters. From what I've found on the interwebz I should use anywhere from one pound of frozen blueberries for a 5 gallon batch to one pound of frozen blueberries per gallon. I'm going to start with a pound in five gallons added at roughly the 7 day mark. I guess I'll put the blueberries in a carboy then rack dirty on top of them. Then after another week or so rack straight to the keg.

    Make a list of what is wrong with my plan. Go.



    I didn't know you had a vag


    I knew that was coming, but it still stings.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    if you are adding whole blueberries, with skins and stuff on, you are going to encounter a "fruit cap" that will need to be punched down every other day at least.

    it will float on top and some will be out of the liquid, that area will mold if you don't punch it down.

    feel free to hit up with more questions, because using whole fruit is a different beast entirely and needs slightly different techniques.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,796 Accepted Answer
    Good point about the mold. I basically can my fruit before adding. Blend it up, throw it in a mason jar and put it in a pot of water to boil. I heat it until I hit 190 degrees then put the lid on and throw it in the fridge until its time to add to the fermenter.

    Whole fruit are literally covered in wild yeast, mold spores and bacteria. Adding them early or without any form of sterilization will likely result in the growth of undesireables.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,639
    Whole but frozen. I don't really know the sanitation process before they were frozen, but I suspect it isn't good enough to just chuck it in. I'm going to make a slurry out of the blueberries first. Maybe even do the mason jar trick like Lakewood.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,639
    Whole but frozen. I don't really know the sanitation process before they were frozen, but I suspect it isn't good enough to just chuck it in. I'm going to make a slurry out of the blueberries first. Maybe even do the mason jar trick like Lakewood.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    all wine is made of out of unsterilized fruit. the alcohol sterilizes it. that's not much of a problem.
    you just want to punch down the fruit cap. that's the big thing.

    if you boil the fruit, you will set the pectin, permacloudy beer. if you're cool with that, go for it.
    set pectin doesn't effect flavor.
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    i literally pick blueberries out of my backyard and then throw them into a carboy of mead. after a little squish, of course
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,796

    i literally pick blueberries out of my backyard and then throw them into a carboy of mead. after a little squish, of course



    Its a little easier with a late addition into a stiff drink. At 12% abv and above most invasives are going to be held off. In anything below 6% abv i would not count on the alcohol content to fend off a wild yeast..

    Thats why in beers i go for the two pronged approach

    1. Add after primary ferm so the majority of fermentables have been consumed but the yeast culture is still very active.

    2. Limit exposure by heating to 190. Dont boil the fruit. Over 190 and you lose the fresh fruit flavors and you end up with cooked fruit flavors (and the free denatured pectin for cloudy beer)
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,639
    At 4% I'm a little concerned about possible contamination. I have never made anything this light, I'm a little concerned it'll be too light. But hey, that's the fun in experimenting...

    190 will kill most bugs without setting the pectin?
    Sounds like a plan.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,639
    It is a hefe, so a little cloudy won't hurt anyway...
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,796

    At 4% I'm a little concerned about possible contamination. I have never made anything this light, I'm a little concerned it'll be too light. But hey, that's the fun in experimenting...

    190 will kill most bugs without setting the pectin?
    Sounds like a plan.


    Im not 100% sure that the pectin isnt starting to denature at that point, but ive not encountered gelling. Also, i not run a plate culture but it seems to keep a good long time.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    anything above around 150 starts to set the pectin, but like you said, its a hefe, so who cares
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,486
    I knew a guy a while back that did a lot of fruit beers.... he claimed that heating to 140 will kill everything... but not set the pectin. I won't swear to how effective it is, since I have never put fruit in a beer.... but "that's what he said"......
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,639
    ceannt said:

    I knew a guy a while back that did a lot of fruit beers.... he claimed that heating to 140 will kill everything... but not set the pectin. I won't swear to how effective it is, since I have never put fruit in a beer.... but "that's what he said"......


    As far as yeasts go, I think 120 or 130 will kill anything there. What other bacteria and such should I be worried about? I don't.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    e coli and crytposporidium can live on the fruit, but the alcohol SHOULD kill it.
    temps to kill these bugs are 155.

    what i don't know much about are the other bacterias that won't make you sick, but will make a beer taste bad. but again, as i said, i don't care. dump 'em in!
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,639
    I'm going to err on the high side since this is such a low abv beer.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    are they already crushed?
    because you could always just soak them in vodka for a few minutes. that'll kill anything on the skins.
    just another option
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,639
    No, they are just frozen. Fresh frozen I think is the term, but that always seemed like a misnomer to me. Don't they need to be mashed up a little bit at least to maximize the flavor and aroma extracted? I suppose I could soak in vodka for a bit then mash up a little and toss it all in... Prolly want to drain that much vodka off, I imagine the amount of vodka to do that to a pound of blueberries may have an ill-effect on the taste of a 4% hefe.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,890
    freezing does very little to kill the nasties. once they thaw out again, they're ready to spoil you beer.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B