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Working with Peaches

Does anyone have any insight into using peaches in beer? I’ve done a few peach hefes, but always with extract, I’d like to try real fruit. What’s the best practice? frozen? Fresh? pasturized? how much? how long? when?

Sorry for all the questions but I’m excited!

Never done it but from all the posts I have read about adding fruit is to:

freeze it first
add it to a secondary vessel
rack the beer on top
let it sit for X amount of time until it is ready to go.

Also, thoroughly investigate the amount of peaches you will need. I have used them once in an american wheat. Used frozen peaches, chopped and thrown in secondary. I used a pound in five gallons and it was barely noticeable, but pleasant. I’ve heard others say that it takes a lot of peaches to get flavor compared to other fruits. Maybe a pound per gallon? A lot will depend on your taste.

Don’t know if this will work with peaches, but you might consider an extract by soaking peaches in vodka for a week or two and adding the tincture to secondary or at bottling. I’ve done this with great success with vanilla and cacao nibs, just don’t have any experience like this with fruit.

I know there are some very experienced brewers here who have done peaches before-I’m sure you’ll get more solid advice from them.

Good luck and keep us posted on which direction you take and how things turn out.

:cheers:

Ron

I’ve done a lot of fruit beers, but never peaches. I can say that while a tincture works well for spices, it is not such a good idea with fruit. You would need much too much vodka in order to deal with the mass of pulp.

Based on other fruits I’ve used and knowing that peaches have a somewhat delicate flavor, I would recommend between 1/2 and 1 pound per gallon. Follow Lytnin’s process, but crush the fruit before racking the already fermented beer onto it, and make the “X time” equal to at least 3-4 weeks.

I too have done similar research and read that peaches are hard to get substantial flavor.

So instead, I made an apricot wheat, and it was outstanding. I used two cans of Oregon apricot puree in secondary. The flavor was evident but not overpowering.

One caveat, if you decide to go this route, was that I lost a good gallon or so to the loosely settled puree at the bottom of the secondary. So plan final volume accordingly.

I’ve heard a pound/ gallon is the goal. I just wasn’t sure if frozen peaches are better then fresh? or does it matter?

Freezing fruit breaks down the cell walls making them more ready to give up their flavor. If you go fresh I would freeze them so you might as well buy frozen (unless its cheaper).
Take the advice above. One thing I didn’t see is what vessel you would be adding them to. I have only made 4 fruit additions and I used a bucket. Place crushed fruit in big nylon bag and add it to the bucket of beer. Then you can just pull the bag out and remove most of the fruit. This will help with trub loss.

I’ve used fresh, frozen, and even all natural peaches in a can in water. All have yielded excellent results. Regardless of origin, I mash or purée the peaches, heat to 170 (especially if fresh), and freeze overnight. I typically use up to 8lbs per 5 gallon batch. Use a muslin bag to contain the peaches prior to racking on top of them in secondary. I’ve used several base beer recipes but have found that an American wheat works best. Mash high (156) to keep the beer with a bit more body. Peaches and fruit in general tend to add tartness!

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