Fruit is a great way to add a touch of summer to your beer!
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to brewing with fruit so experimentation is the key. However, let common sense be your guide when matching fruit type to beer style – for example, lighter beer styles lend themselves to delicate fruits such as peaches or blueberries. Some good combinations would be raspberries with Pale Ale, orange peel with an IPA or sloe berries with an Imperial IPA.
Tips for brewing with fruit:
Your fruit can be smashed, pureed or chopped – make sure that fruit is pureed in a sanitised blender or smooshed in a sanitised bag to avoid contamination. You can try adding your fruit to the MASH, the BOIL or during fermentation.
For most fruits, the best time to add them is in secondary fermentation, the fruits aren’t being heated so their flavors don’t end up tasting cooked and their aromas aren’t lost. The drawback, of course, is that adding fruits in the secondary fermentation runs the risk of contaminating the beer. You can use frozen fruit and try to keep it from being exposed as much as possible, or gently pasturising your fruit is a good idea (instructions at the bottom of the page.)
Another helpful hint is to add your fruit additions in some form of a removable mesh or muslin bag (the brew bag that comes with our starter kit is perfect) to avoid getting fruit chunks in your final bottle (and be sure to sanitise it first!)
The amount of fruit you should use isn’t set in stone but for lighter fruits up to two pounds per gallon should be sufficient.
Why not start your fruit brewing adventure with a Wimbledon inspired Strawberry White Ale…
Brewing with our White Ale recipe pack, simply add 1 ½ pounds of pasturised fresh or frozen strawberries to our sanitized brew bag (if frozen allow to thaw in the bag), smoosh them a little in the bag and add to the 2nd fermentation. The addition of strawberries to this golden beer will give it a magnificent red hue.
Have you already tried something creative? Please share your experiments with us to help inspire other brewers… just leave a comment on this blog. You may even help to inspire our next recipe pack!
How to pasturise fruit for home brewing:
Put the fruit in a pan and add a small amount of water and gently heat the mixture stirring all the time to avoid overheating. Slowly bring the temperature up to between 66°C – 70°C (150°F – 160°F) maintain this temperature range for 5 – 10 minutes then allow to cool. The fruit is now ready to be used to make your beer!
Try a Home Brewtique Flavour Bomb!
Why not try our ‘recipe builder‘ tool where you can pick your own combination of grains, hops and yeast, plus you can add a flavour bombs as well, making it simple to brew with dried fruits, peels, herbs and spices.