adding blackcurrant in to a fwk sour

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don cherry

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hi , i am think of playing around with one of these fwk from all in brewing as they now do a lemon myrtle sour. i want to add blackcurrant but i am not too sure how to go about it . do i add actual blended fruit as the time of the brew .do i add some ribena if so how much do i add it a few days before putting it into bottles . i have been told to use a sugar free one .anyone got a clue what to do ?thanks guys
 

MHB

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There are two parts to the question and one of them I can’t help you with.
How much you add is a taste question, that’s down to how much blackcurrant flavour you want, that’s your decision.

I haven’t seen a Blackcurrant "sugar free" syrup or juice. Even if someone is making a "no added sugar" version there will be sugar in the fruit itself, looks like up to 15% by weight. So if you added mashed up fruit, Ribena, Bickfords, Coles... syrup you will be adding sugar. You will need to allow this to ferment out or allow for it in your carbonation if there isn’t too much.
The nutrient panel on bottles can be very helpful. Most of them will be the product after dilution at recommended (1:4) which comes to something like 50% sugar (W/V) so 1L of undiluted syrup would have around 500g of sugar.

Personally I would be tempted to drop a 0.75-1L bottle of Ribena in at the start of ferment and cop the extra alcohol, without having to worry about how it will affect my bottling. See how that goes and make decisions for next time based on how it tastes.
Mark
 

don cherry

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Thanks Mark , yes it does sound like a suck it and see kind of thing ,just dont want to brew 19lts of beer and end up pouring it down the sink .
 

MHB

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You could Google up some recipes for blackcurrant sours or Lambic (Cassis) and see how much they use, might make a good starting point.
Mark

Edit
Good read on fruit beer BYO.
M
 

JDW81

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Theres a good brewing network podcast from a few years ago on adding fruit/syrups to the wort. Can't remember the exact details, but was pretty simple and JZ et al gave a good rundown on the process.

I've added raspberry to a grain and grape FWK beliner weiss in the past with good effect. I made a puree with frozen berries and some boiling water to a consistency of pumpkin soup (sorry, the only thing I could think of). To test the amount, I drew a 200mL sample from the fermenter, and added 2mL (i.e. 1% of the volume) at a time until I got the flavour just beyond what I thought was good (knowing that a reasonable amount of flavour would be lost). The puree went in around 2/3 of the way through fermentation, and I "stirred" it using a sanitised piece of hose and my oxygen stone connected to my CO2 tank.

Ended up a lovely pink colour, with a hint of raspberry flavour and nice sourness.. The final ABV as around 4% I think. I didn't bother trying to calculate the extra sugar and the effect on the final alcohol content (was never going to add much more than about 0.5-1% so wasn't too concerned).

I was concerned about infection, however decided it was a risk worth taking. There was also a risk of O2 exposure (which I attempted to minimise as much as possible), but the beer wasn't going to last more than a couple of weeks in the keg in the middle of a Geelong summer.

The process wasn't perfect, or probably best practice (and it's only something I'd do with a beer designed to be drunk very young), but I was pleased with the results.

Only thing I'd say, is make sure you allow it to ferment out completely if bottling. Put the fruit (or juice) in, check a gravity reading then don't package until you've got stable gravity across 2 different readings (ideally 24-48 hours apart).

JD
 

JDW81

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You could, but would need to be very careful with your calculations for priming.

You'd need to work out what the sugar content of Ribena was (i.e. % or g/L), then use that to calculate your priming volume. Under calculate it and you'll have flat beer, over prime and you'll have bottle bombs.

JD
 

Willlovesbeer89

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Black currants are too much in my opinion, the berries can make the beer excessively sour and spoil the whole batch. I would advise you to use Bramling Cross hops, it will give the beer the right aroma and taste without losing quality.
 

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