Razzin’ the Fraz’
Reading around online, there seems to be varying degrees of paranoia regarding the importance of sanitizing fruit before adding it to a fruit beer. When considering the challenge that lay ahead of me in turing my bavarian weizen into Fraz(zled) Wheat 2.0 (with REAL raspberries, this time), I decided to err on the side of caution and make a concerted effort to sanitize the raspberries instead of tempting fate.
I bought six 12 oz. bags of frozen berries from Rainbow at $4.85 per bag, which has nearly doubled the materials-cost of producing this particular batch of beer. I couldn’t believe how much more expensive raspberries are compared to blueberries! And I actually like blueberries a lot. Got me thinking about ditching the raspberries next time and doing a blueberry wheat…
To sanitize, I poured all the raspberries into a kettle, brought them up to 160* and held them there for 15 minuets. I had to be careful and stir them enough so as to not scorch them on the bottom of the kettle before they melted into liquid form. Then I took a funnel, poured them into another sanitized primary fermenter (rather than a smaller secondary fermenter) so there would be enough headspace for the berries. Syphoned the batch onto the berries and that’s it!
The transfer from fermenter to fermenter along with the sugar from the berries awoke the yeast and they got to work on the sugars from the berries. I think this doesn’t bother me (even though some recommended chilling the beer so the berries don’t ferment and potentially give you wine-like flavors), as I’d prefer the beer not to be sugary, so I have to let the yeast do their work. I’ll probably leave it at about 68* for a week, then bring it down to the cellar where it’ll sit at about 55* for another few weeks. I’ll bottle this batch the week before we go to Europe, so it’ll be ready for sampling by mid-June. Perfect timing.