Adding Fruit to Homebrew

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Bubbalito, Jun 3, 2012.

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  1. Bubbalito

    Bubbalito Initiate (0) Jan 2, 2012 Virginia

    So I am planning on brewing up a Hefeweizen for the summer using a NB "Bavarian Hefeweizen" extract kit with the Wyeast 3068 weihenstephan yeast. 5 gallon batch, about a 3 gallon boil. It will be only my second batch of homebrew, I did a brown ale about 2 months ago and it turned out excellent. I wanted to customize this next batch a bit by maybe adding some fruit. I am going to get a few bottles of Weihenstaphen Hefeweizen next week and some fruit/fruit juices to do some experimentation and decide which fruit I am going to use. I am thinking of pear or peach or apricot to pair with the flavors of the Hefe. I want it to accentuate and not overpower the normal banana/clove flavors of the Hefe.
    So my question is, once I decide which fruit to use, what are some good ways to incorparate it/add it to the brew. I have read some ideas about adding it to the end of the boil, either at 5-10 minutes or even at flameout, I have also read some ideas about adding it to the secondary. Some say fresh fruit, some say juice (straight no added sugar). Also how much? I think I want to err on the side of less, as I can always add a touch more before bottling if it isn't to the level I want it to be, but you cant take it out.
    Any ideas, thoughts would be awesome. THanks!
  2. mattbk

    mattbk Devotee (482) Dec 12, 2011 New York

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  3. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Aspirant (271) Nov 10, 2010 Virginia

    The only fruit I've used is fresh frozen raspberry from my garden.


    After an extensive search of the world wide web for fruit recipes and techniques...decided to add pasteurize berries to 2ndry for one week to maximize flavor (#1 / G) in a wheat beer.

    Raspberries contribute tartness...color...and a reddish hue to the head.
    Takes ~10 weeks in the bottle to come into its own.

    Bodensatz Brewing
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  4. poopinmybutt

    poopinmybutt Initiate (85) May 25, 2005 Nebraska

    also thinking about doing this kit for my next homebrew...i would love to do a berliner but do not have the equipment/experience yet.

    im thinking of adding a bunch of lemon zest.
  5. Bubbalito

    Bubbalito Initiate (0) Jan 2, 2012 Virginia

    Great Ideas and links. So far I am thinking that I will mash up the fresh fruit into a puree, pastureize it and add it after initial fermentation has subsided, in a muslin bag (so i can pull out most of the solids prior to racking). Thanks! I will let you know how it turns out.
  6. axeman9182

    axeman9182 Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    The only time I added fruit, I used a can of raspberry puree and added it a few days into fermentation. The raspberry came through great, when fresh the beer took second place for fruit beers in a homebrew competition. No worries about sanitizing the fruit or anything either.
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  7. MaxSpang

    MaxSpang Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    You could mash the fruit up and add half of a campden tablet (or more depending on how much fruit you are using).

    I did that with blueberries and had good results. Some of the blueberries were hand-picked from my grandfather's garden.
  8. kenatbeerswap

    kenatbeerswap Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2010 Pennsylvania

    I have had success in using Sour Cherries I picked from a local farm. After I picked them I washed and depitted them and then froze them (this helps to break down the cell walls and get the most fruit flavor). I brew my base beer and let it ferment for 5 days or when fermentation has really slowed down and then rack over to secondary onto the fruit. I let the fruit thaw an mash it before adding to secondary (the reason to let it ferment for a few days before adding the fruit is to build up the alcohol so that if there is any wild yeast on the fresh fruit it can't take hold, also you won't lose as much of the fruit aroma during the first few days of fermentation by adding after the majority of fermentation is over). I let it sit on the fruit for 2 to 4 weeks depending on the amout of fruit flavor you want. I let the sour cherries go for a month. I then rack one more time to let the beer clear for a few days before I bottle. I recently took 1st in a local competition for fruit beers with my Sour Cherry Belgian Dubble.

    I used 5 lbs of sour cherries for 5 gallons but it will depend on the type of fruit you use and the amount of flavor you want it the beer. Hope some of this helps.
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