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Would it be ok to add strawberries to my secondary?

Brewing up a 5 gallon extract Golden US wheat brew using some Cascade and Centennial hops. I picked around 10 pounds of fresh Alabama strawberries a couple weeks ago and froze them. After primary fermentation completes and I rack to my secondary would it be ok to add around 5 pounds of thawed strawberries to my secondary ? Also would i need to add any additional priming sugar to the secondary ? How would the Cascade and Centennial hops complement the strawberry flavors ?

  • I apologize for so many questions im new to homebrewing and it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread in my opinion ! and so is this forum

I don’t think that strawberry goes with grapefruit, at least not for my palate. But if you add the strawberries, all the sugar will ferment out, and you will still need to add priming sugar once the yeast is done with the berries.

I agree with Shadetree. Not so sure the strawberries would pair well with this recipe for my tastes either.

If you go for it, I recommend smashing them up a bit and putting them in a paint strainer bag (not necessarily in that order).

It’s totally up to you. I may taste great, it may taste horrible.
However, 5 pounds seems like an extreme amount.

Be aware that strawberries don’t tend to do well when paired with yeast. The flavor changes noticably, and you won’t get that “fresh” strawberry flavor. As for quantity, 5 lbs for 5 gallons doesn’t sound like enough for strawberries, unless you want the flavor to be very suble. You might do better using the full 10 lbs.

Since you are newer to this hobby and embarking on a somewhat unconventional beer I would recommend splitting the batch if at all possible to do some side by side analysis. Maybe if it is even just bottling a gallon so you know what it was like before hand. This way you know for sure what it tasted like before and after the addition.

Thanks for all the great information !! It’s really appreciated. Looks like I may be making some freezer jam with my strawberries instead. Would hate to mess up a fresh batch of brew

Which of course leads to the obvious question… I make freezer jam too. Crush some strawberries, add some pectin and sugar…

Why wouldn’t adding straight up strawberry jam to the secondary turn out to be the shiznit for a nice blonde pilsen? Maybe just mash up some strawberries and mix with sugar? Give the yeast something a bit different to break up! :mrgreen:

Sounds like a great idea ! I think the most challenging part of that for me would be knowing how much sugar should I add to the strawberries (jam) before pitching into my secondary. Then when bottling time came rolling around would I still use same amount of priming sugar for carbonation or reduce the amount due to the sugar used with the jam ???

Assuming you give the yeast enough time to ferment the jam (which you should), you’d still need to add the normal amount of priming sugar before bottling.

As Brick just said, as long as you let it ferment, the yeast will transform any sugar. You will always have to add some type of sugar at bottling for carbonation.

This thread truly has me wondering what straight up home-made strawberry jam would do to a beer. I’m pretty sure the only ingredients are strawberries, fruit pectin, water and sugar. Sounds like I might have to run an experiment with part of a future batch. Maybe add the jam into the secondary, or into the primary after fermentation. Let it ferment again, then bottle.

You guys don’t think I’d have to mix any water with the strawberry jam would you? Just add in its gelatinous form…

(sorry if I’m shanghi’ing your thread Cobia)

I would add it straight up, what the heck. But to clarify, some sugars are not fermentable by the yeast, so be careful about generalizing on that issue…(things like lactose remain as complex sugars through the fermentation process).

Roger that! :cheers:

Strawberries seem to develop mold rather quickly. I would be afraid to add to secondary. The jam idea is probably better.

If you add jam, don’t expect it to clear very well.

I tried an Abita strawberry harvest ale today and tasted just like fruity pebbles , but they add strawberry juice after filtration. Once my freezer jam gets ready I think Im going to give it a go as well.Very true about strawberries molding quickly. Once I get this strawberry brew figured out it should be about time for the blackberries to be harvested. How hard is it to make strawberry puree…

please shanghi’ing away Solomons all the ideas and answers are great and very helpful !

( how do you add smilies)

Don’t fruit the beer, just my humble opinion.

+1 to the sanitation issue - I would never put “picked fruit” in a beer. Seems to me there would be almost 100% certainty of contaminating your beer.

I too think the jam would be a better idea as it would have been cooked/canned and that would reduce the possibility of contamination. This will also allow you to construct a recipe especially for the strawberries instead of just putting them in the beer you happen to be brewing.

Actually, from my experience the odds of getting an infection from “picked fruit” is about 20-30%, the same as with frozen fruit. I should add that despite having infections with several batches of fruit beers (the only batches I’ve ever had infections with), the beer has never been ruined. They just aquire a mild sour/tart lambic-like complexity, and require an extra month to finish the secondary fermentation.

I’ve now plan on adding that extra month to my schedule whenever brewing a fruit beer.

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