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Thread: Fruit puree in the boil?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Wells, ME
    Posts
    3

    Fruit puree in the boil?

    We're contemplating experimenting with moving the fruit addition in a Belgian ale from midway through primary fermentation to the boil. Our current process has been adding the fruit puree directly to the FV midway through fermentation but have had problems with reduced transfer yields to the BT and refermentation in package. We're currently contemplating adding it to the boil (likely 30min from flameout), our thought process being this would break up the puree better, gives more time for the FV to settle, and gives another transfer step hoping a fair bit of unwanted solids get left behind in the trub pile.

    We'll be experimenting on the pilot system to access flavor profile, color change, dosing rate changes, etc but my major concern is the heat exchanger. Has anyone done this and if so what problems, if any, did you encounter during knockout? We've got a pretty tight manifold so don't have room to put a hopback, trap filter, or any additional straining device inline.

    Cheers!
    Adrian

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Lakewood, CO
    Posts
    60
    Blocking up your HX is certainly the most pressing process concern. Unfortunately, since I've never added fruit to my boil, I'll let someone else speak to that. What I will speak to is my concern about what boiling the fruit would to your beer. You'd be driving off aromatic compounds, extracting pectins that will cause haze, producing a "jammier" fruit flavor, and increasing the likelihood of vegetal flavors and aromas from that much vegetable matter boiling for an extended period. That's not to say you couldn't still produce the beer you wanted. But I've never boiled fruit in wort for a reason.

    I understand the frustrations associated with fruit puree, though. Package refermentation is no joke. But I'd focus on maintaining fermentation until the fruit sugars are fermented out. Maybe rousing the yeast with CO2 after adding the puree, to make sure it wakes up fully. As long as the puree is fermentation temp, the yeast should go to town on it. I only had a problem with unfermented sugars when I tried to rush a fruited beer.

    I don't know the particulars of your system, so I don't know exactly where you could preserve your yield. I made myself happy with a reduced volume of finished beer, after tweaking my process to maximize yield, starting with increasing the amount of wort in the fermentors for fruited beers. And I used TC gaskets with SS mesh to make sure I got right down to the top of the fruit in the cone without getting puree into the brite. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    22
    I've only added puree to the Bright tank. That way you can adjust the flavor as needed. I would think adding to boil you would lose a lot of flavor?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Wells, ME
    Posts
    3
    Thanks to all who've weighed in so far. We are certainly concerned about loss of aromatics, flavor loss & change, haze, etc. Most of these characteristics we should get a pretty good handle on with our pilot batch. One of the things I'm not able to mimic (and let me know if I'm forgetting any others) is what the puree will do to our heat exchanger so would love some feedback if anyone else has tried using it on the hot side.

    Cheers!
    Adrian

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Dearborn Heights, MI, USA
    Posts
    13
    Something to keep in mind is that fruit flavor is going to change depending on when you add it in the process. Boil or knock out additions, mid fermentation additions, and secondary additions will all contribute different flavors. The more active the yeast, the more that metabolism will change the flavor. Yeast metabolism has a way of bringing out tartness from fruit, while you'll lose some of the sugar and aroma. End of boil additions will extract good flavor, but the subsequent fermentation will change that flavor and blow out some aroma. Secondary additions are going to give you the truest flavor form of whatever you add in there.

    That said, if you're concerned about volume loss, you can adjust that in your grist and kettle volumes, put more in the fv at the same gravity to account for loss, it won't cost you that much to adjust for extra volume. I would advise against changing your fruit addition times if you want to maintain consistent flavor. Yeast and heat change everything.

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