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brewinhard
01/03/10 04:02 PM  
aging on fruit
Recently brewed a 2x brett beer with Brett L. and Brett C. in primary. I racked half onto 6# sour cherries and oak. Noticeable fermentation resumed in 4 days after racking and lasted about 4 more days on top of that. How long should I let the beer sit on the cherries for?
Al B
01/04/10 09:25 AM  
Re: aging on fruit
Probably a good idea to start monitoring FG over a period of time. When it tastes good is another variable!
brewinhard
01/04/10 01:32 PM  
Re: aging on fruit
The beer was at 1013 when I racked it onto the cherries. I am assuming minimal contribution in terms of gravity points from the cherries. Since it is also on oak I was guessing to start tasting at 3 months or so just to give the oak time to work its magic and the cherries time to blend well with the beer. not sure if the beer will dry out much more.
manticle
01/04/10 09:46 PM  
Re: aging on fruit
Rather than start a new thread I'll ask the question here:

What is the general consensus on sanitising/pasteurising fruit that's added to an already fermented/fermenting beer?

I am very anti sulphites (campden etc) and don't want to change the fruit flavour to a cooked fruit flavour. Is the alcohol enough to sanitise or should I soak them in a high alc flavourless spirit?

I've made fresh apple ciders before without using any method and had no trouble and would prefer to do that with fruit beer is it's possible. Alcohol wash is the next best thing to my mind.

Cheers - sorry for slight hijack brewinhard.

petec
01/05/10 02:31 AM  
Re: aging on fruit
For fresh fruit, I freeze it before use.

petec

tankdeer
01/05/10 01:51 PM  
Re: aging on fruit
<<For fresh fruit, I freeze it before use.>>

+1. Kills most bugs and also breaks down the cell walls in the fruit for better extraction.

brewinhard
01/05/10 04:42 PM  
Re: aging on fruit
I froze my cherries and after thawing them in a sanitized container, I mashed them quickly with a sanitized potato masher just to be sure the cell walls were well broken down.
manticle
01/05/10 07:51 PM  
Re: aging on fruit
My understanding is that freezing won't necessarily kill bacteria or even yeast - it just sends most of cells dormant (unless you have a super crazy type deep freeze. If you freeze an off chicken it will still make you sick when you defrost it as the dormant bacteria can wake up and multiply to toxic levels.

I'm not suggesting you guys are going to get weird problems - you've obviously been doing it for a while and it works for you. It's just as far as I'm aware freezing is not an adequate sanitiation process. Whether one is needed at all for this kind of thing I'm unsure.

I have heard that it assists with extraction though too tankdeer so that may be a good enough reason to consider it.

I intend to soak my oak chips in single malt whisky so maybe I'll use a touch of that.

Cheers guys

ChadYak
01/06/10 09:58 AM  
Re: aging on fruit
brewinhard - you racked half onto 6# of sour cherries... it was a double batch so am I right to assume that it was about 5 gallons worth? I would say that 6#'s will make a slight increase in the gravity, also the natural acids in the cherries will drop the pH so while you say a noticeable fermentation for 4 days there is some activity resuming down below. I would worry about it getting to dry as adding the fruit adds pectins which will lend some body.

As for how long to let it sit is arbitrary and up to you. Basically nothing is more right then what the AlB said.. when does it taste right. Its your beer what do you want it to taste like. Of course remember change in flavor occurs once carbonated usually for the better, being fuller. As for teh oak chips it depends on how much you put in. At the brewery we put beer into virgin oak barrels, the taste is heavy oak after 4 days.. but not a very nice. There we are waiting for the oak to "mellow" and come into balance with the beers other attributes. As for the cherries I feel anything up to six months retains a nice cherry character. maybe other people prefer a fresher cherry flavor?

manticle - The bacterias that live on fruits are different then the ones living on chicken... bacteria can be greater survivors creating a hard membrane and survive a lighter freezing. Yeasts not so much... I mean if you expose your beer to a few wild yeast colonies it will depend on what kinds... most are not going to make an impact especially after the beer has been fermented as it is too low in colony numbers and there is not sufficient nutrient reserves for its survival.. it would be out competed if they were still available. So I would say that especially in brewing a good freeze is sufficient. It will knock back numbers greatly, a good rinsing before freezer would further help. Also the acids which will be added upon addition of the fruits will make it harder for un-wanted organisms to survive. As far as some high alcohol un-scented spirit it will need to be about 70% abv to really do the trick... and then your bound to add a little high alc taste depending on your handling, how long you soak, the rinse.. ect.. This is the reason most prof brewing companies buy in puree from Oregon fruits as it is sanitized, sterile and easier then working with hundreds of pounds of fresh fruit... I would still prefer the fresh fruit and maybe a little surprise organism here or there, I don't see the harm in it.

tankdeer
01/06/10 01:53 PM  
Re: aging on fruit
Thanks ChadYak. I didn't mean to imply that freezing was sterile or anywhere near it. Just, "good enough" for our purposes. :)
brewinhard
01/06/10 07:21 PM  
Re: aging on fruit
In the 2.5-3 gallons of beer with the cherries I only added .5 oz of french oak med toast. I was going to let the oak and cherries sit for at least 3 months and then have a taste. The plain half is now kegged and tastes delicious. It has a nice sour cherry note already from the 1# of acid malt, Brett C. and Brett L. (cherry pie) it was brewed with. I am hoping that the additional cherries and oak will provide some deeper complexities and provide for some additional sourness and brightness from the fruit. Man, I love homebrewing. I also love not being heavily involved in competing as I was for the past 2 yrs. It can really tie one down to "brewing to style" and not allow the creative juices to flow as much as they should.
manticle
01/06/10 09:11 PM  
Re: aging on fruit
Thanks ChadYak - good information there.
 
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