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American Wheat Blueberry Secondary

I will be racking part of a 5 gallon batch of American Wheat into a 1 gallon carboy to experiment with some additions. Does anybody have any suggestions for the best way to go about adding blueberry during secondary? I’ve found lots of different recipes/methods but was wondering what has worked best for you guys.

Freeze any fruit, then crush/puree. The freezing breaks the cell structure. Crushing breaks the skin.

What other processes have you read about?

I’ve seen things ranging from purees to juice concentrates to mashing etc., etc. Before freezing, should I boil the berries to sanitize them or is this not an issue? Also, how many pounds/ounces of blueberries would you recommend for only racking 1 gallon to secondary?

No do not boil the fruit this will change the flavor to cooked fruit and will cause pectins to set and create haze. I think its best to just add them to secondary (freezing/crushing/mashing is good for extracting the most flavor and color) and then plan to bottle and drink the beer quickly. My experience with fresh fruit in beer is that the flavor is fairly unstable.

I recently did a wheat/cherry beer. I pureed then froze the cherries. I thawed then added them into the secondary. After about a week in the keg, it is ready to go. The ladies love it.

How did this turn out elephantbear?

I agree with everything above except the plan to bottle and drink quickly. The only time I’ve ever had unplanned bacterial infections in any of my beers it has been when adding fresh or frozen fruit. It’s happens about 30% of the time. I’ve found that while it changes the flavor some, it does not ruin the beer (perhaps I’ve just been lucky). But the critical thing is to leave the beer for at least a month after adding the fruit and before bottling to ensure you don’t create bottle bombs.

Or you could bottle/keg and keep it cold until you drink it. That would work too. I just don’t have enough fridge space.

I’ll let you know in a couple weeks once I get around to doing the recipe.

Does anyone have experience infusing fruit in vodka and just adding the vodka to the bottling bucket? I’ve stumbled across people using this method for various fruits and was wondering how well it has turned out.

What was mentioned in the post that you stumbled across?

What was mentioned in the post that you stumbled across?[/quote]

The method I saw was to soak a non-specified amount of fruit (I assume it would be best to go with the freeze then crush method first) in about 6 ounces of vodka for anywhere from 24 hours to a week. Next, they added the infused vodka to the bottling bucket and mixed it in at bottling time.

I just finished a keg of nut brown ale and the ladies would add a couple drops of raspberry flavor to the glass before pouring and they loved it. They went out and bought banana,blueberry,grape and a cherry flavors. One keg of nut brown ale gave me 5 differant flavors not including my favorite the nut brown ale. I am the new brewer so call me crazy but the ladies loved it. Only prob is they are drinking all my beer now.

I’ve done this with mushrooms, spices, and with hazelnuts, but not with fruit. The mushrooms and spices worked really well, the hazelnuts not so great.

One advantage of this method is that it allows you to make an extract which can be stored until you want to use it. You can then can blend as much as you want and adjust, adding more if needed with immediate feedback on how it affects the flavor. But you’d need to use a LOT of vodka to get enough flavor from fresh fruit, and that might actually bump the ABV by a noticable amount.

Just racked about 1 gallon of the 5 gallon batch to secondary with about 1.5/2 pounds of blueberries. It’s looking pretty disgusting and managed to clog up the airlock pretty good. WIth all this extra sugar, is there any way to figure out how to prime properly? Since it’s just a 1 gallon experimental batch from here on, I was planning on just using some leftover fizz drops to make things easy, but I don’t want to overprime and end up with blueberry grenades. Any advice?

There isn’t that much additional sugar in blueberries, about 7% by weight (depending on ripeness), so that means your 1.5-2 lbs of berries only added a bit more than one ounce sugar. Regardless, let it ferment out then prime as per normal.

If you are trying to calculate ABV, this makes things interesting. Don’t forget that the berries add significant water (85% by weight), so you will actually end up LOWERING the ABV by adding the berries unless the base beer was very weak to start with.

The gunk will clear up and settle out or float to the top over the course of a week or so. You can then rack to a clean container before bottling and leave most of that behind. If you want the beer to finish clear (not so important with blueberries, as they make the beer so dark that clarity is irrelevant, but maybe more important with other fruits) you should add some pectinase with the berries. That will prevent chill-haze in the glass.

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