Monday, October 3, 2016

Fruiting A Sour

I don't have much experience with fruiting my sour beers. The only one I have fruited was a 1 gallon test batch with blueberries where I used 1lb/gal. That was enough to get great color but very little flavor.

I have a batch of golden sour in a 10 gallon barrel that had reached 1.000 but was only very lightly tart. I wanted a little more out of the beer so I decided to fruit it. This will give it a little more sugar to keep fermenting and hopefully some nice fruit character as well.

I decided to use what was on sale this time of year and that happened to be nectarines and plums at my local grocery store. I purchased enough to use 2lb/gal. Obviously I'm splitting the 10 gallon batch into two 5 gallons batches, one for each fruit.

I set the fruit out on my table for a week to ripen. I tasted each fruit and neither were so delicious I couldn't stay out of them, so it may be a mistake using them, but I already bought 20 lbs of fruit so onward we go.

It's been about a month since I cut up the fruit and siphoned the beer on top of them. There's been very little fermentation activity. The fruit is floating and any parts exposed to air are rotting. I swirl the carboys to cover them in acidic beer, I don't know if this is helping or not. Hopefully it keeps the fruit from molding and I don't lose 10 gallons of beer :(

I thought a pellicle was forming but it turned out to be slight fermentation activity, hopefully were gaining a little more tartness.

The beer has quite a bit of fruit pectin haze now where it was perfectly clear when I first fruited it so I think the fruit is breaking down. Another month and I should be able to cold crash and bottle. Waiting is the hardest part!

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