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Unwashed fruit -> sour/funky beer?


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#1 Jonny Ritson

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 09:00 AM

Hi, new to the forum and sortof new to brewing with anything other than Sacch. I brewed an Orval clone and aged a gallon of it with the dregs from a bottle of orval and it came out great, my only other attempt is ongoing- dregs from a belgian geuze added to a biere de garde I brewed about a year ago.

 

I have a question about a fruit brew I've recently bottled. I followed a modified version of The Mad Fermentationist's lemon pepper single which was higher alcohol (7%) and higher IBUs (~35). After a two-week primary I racked to secondary and added approx 1 pound per gallon of wild blackberries I'd picked which had been frozen for a couple of weeks.

 

My question is will the wild yeasts/bacteria on the fruit get to work on this beer or will the low pH, high-ish IBUs or freezing step prevent that? Interested so I know whether to age some or drink it over the christmas break. Any ideas about what would/would not be likely to survive in these conditions would be appreciated as I'm trying to develop my palate for sour/funky brews.

Cheers,

Jonny



#2 James Sites

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 09:55 AM

If you froze the berries and then put them into an environment with alcohol and hop related compounds, your chance of infection by ambient yeast and bacteria should be pretty low. Not zero, mind you, but low. BTW, what was the pH of this beer before fruiting?



#3 Jonny Ritson

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 11:04 AM

Thanks for the reply- that was what I was expecting but wasn't sure if the sugar from the fruit might give the wild yeast / bacteria more of a chance. 'American sour beers' is on my christmas list so hopefully will have a bit more knowledge in the new year.

 

I didn't test the pH it but I imagine that it'd be pretty low given the recipe has the zest of two lemons in it



#4 James Sites

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 01:18 PM

Thanks for the reply- that was what I was expecting but wasn't sure if the sugar from the fruit might give the wild yeast / bacteria more of a chance. 'American sour beers' is on my christmas list so hopefully will have a bit more knowledge in the new year.

 

I didn't test the pH it but I imagine that it'd be pretty low given the recipe has the zest of two lemons in it

 

Sure, the added sugar will give those microbes something to metabolize, but they're being introduced into a hostile environment where other microbes are already dominant as a very small inoculum. Plus, and probably most importantly, those microbes have been frozen, which will have killed most, if not all, of them.

 

ASB is a good resource, but I'd encourage you to read and participate in the MTF fb page and make use of the MTF wiki as well.

 

FWIW, lemon zest will not drop pH. Since it's the lemon oil from the zest that you're looking for, not the juice, the pH shouldn't be affected much, if at all.






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