Author Topic: Fruit Brewing for 300 Liter system  (Read 5134 times)

Offline The Brickyard

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Fruit Brewing for 300 Liter system
« on: April 26, 2016, 07:50:04 PM »
Hi there,

I've recently decided to make an apricot flavored beer and place fresh apricots into my 300 liter fermenter. I'm currently in China, and apricots are difficult to come by. I've had to resort to ordering them online. I've received my shipment, but soon discovered that half of them were ripe while some still needed time to mature. I waited as long as i could for all of them to mature and decided to freeze them. Last night i pulse pureed them and threw in some campden tablets to kill off any wild yeasts and pathogens. Tasting the puree, i realized that it was a little sour due to some of the less than ripe apricots. Since I've never worked with fruits in beer before, I'm afraid that the sour profile will be predominant, which is not what I'm going for. My malts are a pilsner/wheat malt. Any thoughts? Does the sourness of apricots remain, or dissipate? BTW, the beer finished fermenting, and has been conditioning at 2 degrees for the last two weeks.

Offline Mofo

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Re: Fruit Brewing for 300 Liter system
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2016, 04:46:20 AM »
I believe your operation is in Quanzhou, yes? I'm in Xiamen and heard of you through the guys at Amoy Brau here. Do you have a web link to share? Or what's your WeChat? Would love to check out your place when I'm in QZ!

As to your problem, I can only share my anecdotal experience. I brew a 枇杷 (loquat) beer. The flesh of the fruit and level of sweetness is similar to an apricot or peach. At least those were the fruits I used as reference when developing my recipe. Sourness hasn't been the bigger of my problems, but keeping any of the sweetness of the fruit; it all ferments out. Given that, if sourness is your predominant flavor in your puree, my guess is it'll be the predominant flavor in your finished beer depending on how much you add. My suggestion would be to siphon off a few of your 300 liters of beer to make a few sample ratios before racking the whole thing onto your fruit. Maybe add 100ml of puree to 1l beer; 200ml to another 1l; and 300ml to a third 1l of beer. Let them sit for a couple weeks and determine your "sweet spot" (or least sour spot) from these three.

I've experienced sourness too, but it has dissipated after several months bottle conditioning, if that's an option.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 04:48:59 AM by Mofo »
bottled: Wee Heavy, Belgian Wit
fermenting: Imperial IPA, Citra Pale Ale

Offline brewfun

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Re: Fruit Brewing for 300 Liter system
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2016, 05:48:05 AM »
Typically there is enough residual sweetness in the beer to offset mild tartness in fruit. Once the fruit sugars ferment, you're left with essence. Beyond that, it's just the character of the fruit!  :)

The effects of Campden don't last forever. You'll want to add the fruit after 24 hours, but before 48 hours. The dose should not exceed 3 tablets per liter of puree, or the yeast will have a hard time getting restarted. Mofo's suggestion of a test fermentation makes good sense.

Aside: Given how many ads there are for North American brewers to come to China, it seems that small batch brewing is growing in popularity and opportunity.
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Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Fruit Brewing for 300 Liter system
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2016, 11:27:56 AM »
I brewed a Nectarine Pale Ale last fall that was quite tart and slightly acidic when it was fresh.  After about 3 months in the keg (it wasn't my favorite, so I wasn't drinking it often at first), it began to come into its own.  Eventually the tartness was just enough to be refreshing and the acidity was barely even noticeable.  It ended up being a pretty good beer in the long run.

It wasn't what I had envisioned when I designed the recipe, but it wasn't the failure that I thought it was at first.
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Offline Mofo

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Re: Fruit Brewing for 300 Liter system
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2016, 07:35:28 AM »
Aside: Given how many ads there are for North American brewers to come to China, it seems that small batch brewing is growing in popularity and opportunity.

It is. But it remains to be seen if its growth will continue or if it's a fad. I recall ice wine being all the rage a few years ago, now it's nowhere to be seen. On the plus side, there is certainly enough disposable income on China's east coast to support its continued growth. On the negative side, the culture and language aren't exactly primed for growth. You can explain what makes a beer an amber or a porter and the response you'll get is "So this is considered black beer?" Chinese love "black beer" but anything between about 6 and 20 EBC might be thought to have been made poorly. "Why is this [hefeweizen] cloudy!!!?" is such a common question that Taiwan Brewing Co prints "naturally cloudy beer" on its hefeweizen cans just beneath the word. Generally there's no regard to style. Words like amber, porter, even ale, are phoneticized and mean as much in Chinese as moutai or baijiu mean to you in Roman letters.

I've been in several empty brewpubs here that brew three beers: a "black beer" (stout), "yellow beer" (pilsner) and "white beer" (wheat). They usually taste as exciting as they sound. The upshot is that there are brewpubs that know what they're doing -- or are at least figuring it out as they go -- and those businesses are often bustling with people. So we live in hope.
bottled: Wee Heavy, Belgian Wit
fermenting: Imperial IPA, Citra Pale Ale