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Prepping fresh raspberries for a lambic?

I didn’t have much luck searching, so I apologize if this has been asked and answered before–

Does anything need to be done to sanitize or pasteurize fresh raspberries when adding to a lambic? These are fresh from my back yard, so I’m sure there are all sorts of critters on them. The alcohol level is fairly low, and it isn’t very sour yet, but will the lacto/pedio/brett be able to overcome whatever is on the berries already?

I froze the berries ahead of time, but so far I’ve thought about heating them slowly in the freezer bag in 160-180 degree water to pasteurize them, maybe smashing them and dosing with campden, or soaking them in vodka. Raspberries grow mold so quickly in the fridge, and although they looked fine when I froze them, I’d hate to put the time into this beer and have it ruined by something growing on the fruit.

Thanks!

[quote=“porkchop”]I didn’t have much luck searching, so I apologize if this has been asked and answered before–

Does anything need to be done to sanitize or pasteurize fresh raspberries when adding to a lambic? These are fresh from my back yard, so I’m sure there are all sorts of critters on them. The alcohol level is fairly low, and it isn’t very sour yet, but will the lacto/pedio/brett be able to overcome whatever is on the berries already?

I froze the berries ahead of time, but so far I’ve thought about heating them slowly in the freezer bag in 160-180 degree water to pasteurize them, maybe smashing them and dosing with campden, or soaking them in vodka. Raspberries grow mold so quickly in the fridge, and although they looked fine when I froze them, I’d hate to put the time into this beer and have it ruined by something growing on the fruit.

Thanks![/quote]

Provided they are not moldy, thaw and dump in or rack on top. Adding fruit to your lambic will actually lower you alcohol content even more, not much but it will lower not raise it.
You could give them a quick dunk in star san if you wanted but I think you should be fine just thawing them and dumping them in, thats what I do

I don’t think you’ll have any problems with mold or critters, but you may want to wait until your beer is closer to ready before adding the fruit. I typically fruit my sour beers when the beer is basically done.

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Same here. Let the beer sour for some months before adding the fruit.

Thanks for the feedback… it has only been going since April so it has a ways to go. I’m planning on keeping the fruit in the freezer until October or so. No rush, but since the fruit just came into season thought I would ask since it was on my mind. Cheers!

I freeze my berries right after picking them Then thaw them and add them in. I haven’t had any problems. I put them in a muslin bag to keep the seeds and pulp separated.

It’s a good idea to cook them down to mush and strain out the seeds using a fine sieve.

I just made a batch with fresh strawberries. I mashed them up, put them in a freezer bag, and froze them. On the day I wanted to add them (4 days or so into secondary), I took them out of the freezer to thaw. I then put them into a pot and raised the temperature to pasteurize them. Then I chilled back to 65 degrees and added.

It may have been overkill to both freeze and heat pasteurize, but like you said, better safe than sorry

If you can smell the delicious scent of the fruit you are cooking to pasteurize then you are losing some aroma and flavor. There isn’t a giant concern of infection when adding to a secondary of a beer like a lambic that already has bacteria and brett in the ferment anyway.

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