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Soaking Raspberries In Vodka?

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Will88

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I currently have an oatmeal stout fermenting away that I intend to rack onto some raspberries. I've been doing a bit of research into what prep I should do before adding the berries as far as sterilising and preserving the flavours. The threads here on AHB have definitely been helpful but there is one thing I couldn't find any information on.

A mate of mine has brewed with raspberries before and recommended soaking the berries in vodka overnight before adding them to the brew. He reckoned it has the double effect of killing off any bacteria in/on the berries and it causes the berries not to impart such a tart flavour to the brew. I haven't been able to find any info to confirm whether this is true or not.

Does anyone know anything about this?
 

loikar

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I currently have an oatmeal stout fermenting away that I intend to rack onto some raspberries. I've been doing a bit of research into what prep I should do before adding the berries as far as sterilising and preserving the flavours. The threads here on AHB have definitely been helpful but there is one thing I couldn't find any information on.

A mate of mine has brewed with raspberries before and recommended soaking the berries in vodka overnight before adding them to the brew. He reckoned it has the double effect of killing off any bacteria in/on the berries and it causes the berries not to impart such a tart flavour to the brew. I haven't been able to find any info to confirm whether this is true or not.

Does anyone know anything about this?
Are they fresh berries or jarred\tinned?

if they're jarred\tinned they more than likely have already been pasturised and are just good to go.
if not you can heat them in some water to about 75c for 10min to pasturise them, but i'm not sure what you'd end up with,

a lot of people just chuck them into secondary.
by that time there should be enough alcohol and enough yeast not to let anything take over.

BF
 

Wolfy

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I've heard of soaking herbs/spices in vodka to produce a tincture that can be added gradually until you achieve the flavour desired, but not of soaking fruit in vodka before adding it to beer.
But since you are adding the fruit when there is already alcohol produced and the yeast is already active I'm not sure that too many people go to that much trouble to treat the fruit before adding it.
If anything, freezing the berries first is a good approach, since this should help kill any bugs and breaks down the fruit too. Others boil or par boil the fruit, but when I tried that I thought it lost too much of it's flavour.
 

Will88

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I bought the berries frozen from the supermarket.
 

bum

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He reckoned it has the double effect of killing off any bacteria in/on the berries and it causes the berries not to impart such a tart flavour to the brew. I haven't been able to find any info to confirm whether this is true or not.

Does anyone know anything about this?
Not entirely relevant but I hope it helps: SWMBO likes to soak frozen raspberries in kirch overnight in the fridge and the raspberries are definitely still tart. But kirch and vodka are quite different so your mate might still be right.

It'd be pretty simple to do a test with a small amount of both to find out.
 

Wolfy

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I bought the berries frozen from the supermarket.
I just add frozen berries directly to the fermentor - if any bug has survived being frozen for months, then the alcohol in the beer and can out compete the yeast already there ... well good on it! :)
 

Charst

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Ive previously done both fresh and frozen raspberry saisons.

Frozen berries I noticed the Acidity
Fresh had less Acidity and the beer has more raspberry aroma with about half the frozen quantity.
500g fresh was plenty to add the smell without the colour.

I didn't treat them at all just chucked them in as its a saison and I thought a little funk wouldn't hurt.
 

mr_tyreman

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i boiled 1/2kg in a saucepan, added to secondary, could barely taste them...but on the plus side, no infection
 

barls

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i boiled 1/2kg in a saucepan, added to secondary, could barely taste them...but on the plus side, no infection
no wonder, i use close to 2kg of farm fresh berries in most of my beers. 1/2 kg of supermarket ones would barely add a colour. i find you need to add around 3-4kgs of them to gain anything. plus the main thing you risk by heating is setting the pectins in the fruit you need to add pectinese enzyme to prevent this, this will also prevent the haze you can get from pectin.

personally as ive stated many times i chemically sterilise mine and this is after they have been frozen, ive never had an infection from adding fruit.
dig up the wiki entry on adding fruit and have a read n the various methods.
 

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