Author Topic: Fruit beer - using syrup? Blackberry Bavarian Hefeweisen ?  (Read 4599 times)

Offline outdooraddict

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Fruit beer - using syrup? Blackberry Bavarian Hefeweisen ?
« on: June 15, 2015, 11:28:19 AM »
I have not brewed in awhile but i drove by the local brew supply store the other day and stopped in and picked up a bavarian hefeweisen.  My wife and I picked a bunch of blackberries about a month ago and she made jam out of it and canned it but it didn't thicken so we have mason jars of blackberry syrup I am looking to do something with. 

The syrup has tons of added sugar.  When should I add the syrup? Second fermentation? During bottling to taste? Should I add priming sugar if using this syrup? Should I even do this?

I don't want to overload with sugar and have my bottles explode or something.  Thanks for your help.

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Fruit beer - using syrup? Blackberry Bavarian Hefeweisen ?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2015, 01:14:17 PM »
Do not add them at bottling.  You do not have any idea of the sugar content, so you'd likely have bottle bombs.

Secondary should be just fine.  Actually, secondary is probably your best option.  How much to add is another issue though. 

The best way to determine how much to add, is by taste.  Take a 100 gram sample of your beer out of your fermenter and add a small dose of the syrup and taste it.  If it needs more or less, keep trying different strength levels until you have it where you want it.  Once you have it at the strength that  tastes right, do the math to scale up to your full batch size and put that much syrup in. 

Don't forget to sanitize the lid of the canning jar, etc., so that you don't contaminate your brew.

Good luck!
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Scott Ickes
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Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Fruit beer - using syrup? Blackberry Bavarian Hefeweisen ?
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2015, 06:48:11 PM »
Quote
Secondary should be just fine.  Actually, secondary is probably your best option.

If it's as sugary as he says, couldn't that set off a prolonged second fermentation? If it was just fruit then I'd agree, but this has been sweetened.  I'd think that adding it to the primary would be best, so it will finish quickly. On the other hand most of the fruity aroma may bubble out in the primary. Personally, I'd add it to the sweet wort after chilling. That way a gravity reading can be taken before pitching the yeast.

As far as how much goes, doing it by taste does seem like the best idea. Personally I'm too lazy to bother with removing some, adding to taste, and then do some math. This is a hobby, not a job. I'd just start by adding a bit, tasting (giving the spoon a good rinse in hot water in between, or using a fresh one), then determining if more should be added.  Keep in mind that it takes four to six pounds of blackberries to make one gallon of wine, and I assume you're doing a five gallon batch. You may end up adding more than you anticipate to get the desired flavor.

Now that I think about it, you may want to plan on reducing the target volume. You may add several mason jars, and each one makes the batch that much bigger.

I assume she used pectin to thicken the jam, but apparently not enough. That pectin may cause a haze in the beer. Most homebrew shops sell pectic enzyme, which is supposed to neutralize the pectin. I use it when I make fruit wine.  That won't affect the flavor though. It's purely cosmetic, so it won't hurt to not use it.

Please let us know how it comes out. I've made blackberry wine, and it came out OK. A blackberry hefe sounds divine.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Fruit beer - using syrup? Blackberry Bavarian Hefeweisen ?
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2015, 09:20:31 PM »
I'd be afraid of having a really explosive primary, with all the extra sugar.  But that's just me.  I've always put fruit in the secondary and never had any issues yet.  However, I understand your point about all of the extra sugar from the preserves making process.  I hadn't considered that.  I don't think I've put something that sugary in a secondary yet, so my experience there is limited.

When I use fruit, I want as much of the flavor and aroma to come through, without be scrubbed away in the primary.  Thus, my suggestion to put it in the secondary.

I'm not sure if there is even a right or wrong way to do this. 
Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Fruit beer - using syrup? Blackberry Bavarian Hefeweisen ?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2015, 04:57:44 PM »
Quote
I'd be afraid of having a really explosive primary, with all the extra sugar.  But that's just me.

Yeah, and there's the additional alcohol as well. I like a summer wit to be closer to session strength. Maybe account for a pound or three of sugar in the initial gravity estimate.

Quote
When I use fruit, I want as much of the flavor and aroma to come through, without be scrubbed away in the primary.

I googled up a couple threads on the subject, and one person who used jam commented on the flavor being of cooked fruit, not fresh.

Here's the quote:

Quote
IIRC, Old Sock posted about using some sort of jam or cooked preserves in an early Mad Fermentationist blog. You could ask him about it or search his blog. My recollection is that he said it imparted fruit flavors to the beer, but they were cooked fruit flavors.
http://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/anyone-ever-use-fruit-preserves.91643/

I didn't look up Old Sock's blog.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 05:00:11 PM by Maine Homebrewer »
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

 

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