Adding fruit to your beer recipes might seem simple at first glance, but creating a drink that pleases the palate requires forethought and care. Read on to learn about essential things to consider when brewing beer with fruit.
Understand the Types and Forms of Fruit
Decide what kinds of fruits you want to add to your concoction. Cherry, raspberry, and apricot are some of the best fruit flavors for beer. On the other hand, while watermelon makes for delicious margaritas, it’s not the best for brewing.
You can add fresh fruit, frozen fruit, or purees. If you’re going to use the juice of fresh fruit, consider getting a commercial juicer. There are plenty of reasons to add a commercial juicer to your brewery, among which are improved efficiency and maximized yield.
But if you use pre-packaged fruit concentrates, purees, and juices, avoid preservatives to make the brewing process more reliable. Preservatives can interfere with your brewer’s yeast.
Decide To Add Before or After Fermentation
Another thing to consider when brewing beer with fruit is when you’ll add the fruit. If you add the fruit before fermentation, the yeast will consume most of the sugars during fermentation. Lower sugar will make the fruit flavor much subtler. However, if you add the fruit after fermentation, the beer will take on a heavier fruit flavor. Experiment with adding different amounts of fruit and letting them steep for various amounts of time to achieve your desired taste.
Clarify the Beer
Clarify the beer to enhance its rich fruit color. The easiest way to clarify beer is to store it in a refrigerator, but other methods can also help clarify the beer. For example, a wort chiller cools the beer down as quickly as possible so that tannins and proteins clump and fall to the bottom of the brew pot.
Alternatively, remember that a high-flocculant yeast strain will clear more quickly than a strain with a low flocculation rate. However, you should always choose the optimal yeast strain for your style of beer.