1 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 7:34 PM

Hops impart fruity flavours and aromas, fruit is more readily available.

It has me wondering why not use fruit?

Is it because too much of the flavour would be lost through fermentation?

There must be a way to pull this off, I'm always going to be keen to experiment, let's hear some opinions and suggestions.

2 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 7:50 PM

Well hops have antibacterial properties that help protect the beer from infection, whereas fruit doesn't and needs to be pasteurized before adding it to the wort.

3 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 7:54 PM

Definitely not a problem with AG brewing? A minor inconvenience for extract.

I'm just going to have to try it, can't help myself.

4 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 9:44 PM

ImaginativeName:

Hops impart fruity flavours and aromas, fruit is more readily available.

It has me wondering why not use fruit?


Hops also provide one other essential component - bitterness.
As for fruits, well there are a number of styles where fruit is used as an adjunct… but as an addition, not as a substitute for hops. I suspect if there's no hops… it probably aint right to call it beer!

5 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 9:58 PM

BlackSands:

I suspect if there's no hops… it probably aint right to call it beer!


Spot on. Hops is one of 4 ingredients used to make beer. If you omit it, you aren't making beer.

Hops are also a natural preservative. Have a read about the where IPA's originated from. Essentially, they used heaps of hops to keep it from spoiling while on the voyage to the troops in India.

6 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 10:22 PM

Not beer?

This statement is incorrect.

Beer was around long before hops were ever used.

7 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 11:47 PM

I have made several fruit beers but was disappointed in all of them and will not do so again. The trouble with fruit is that they are high in sugar, acid (citric, malic, +/- ascorbic/Vitamin C), and wild yeast. They are quite difficult to make well and require a lot of experimentation with the same fruit to get right.

The sugar in fruit thins the body of your beer, same as dextrose.

Once the fruit sugar is fermented away the acid becomes more noticeable. Depending on how much fruit was used, they are much more acidic than regular beer. Quite often they taste tart, particularly if the fruit used was high in Vitamin C.

In addition you have to manage the wild yeast. Using canned, pureed fruit is the easiest as it it already pasteurized and macerated, but I never tried it. Using heat can lead to cooked flavours. I used frozen fruit, added on day 3 or 4 of fermentation, when the beer yeast was well established and could fight off the wild yeast….Fruit floats at first and has to be regularly stirred down/kept moist, or it will develop a layer of mould. The fruit also needs to be removed after a while (5-7 days) or it will begin to rot. The alcohol level in beer is not high enough to prevent that.

Fruit can be more expensive than hops.

One thing I have learned is to never experiment with a whole 23L batch; just siphon off 4L or so, to play with.

Acidity is different than bitterness. If you are interested in making non-hopped beer, read up on gruits, which use bitter herbs instead. I have considered experimenting with yarrow, which grows wild here. But I have ruined so many batches with experimentation that I am gun shy. Don't think guit herbs inhibit bacteria the way hops do, so the beer goes bad quickly….There is a reason brewers switched from other herbs to hops, once they were discovered.

Cheers,

Christina.

8 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 12:01 AM

ImaginativeName:

Not beer?

This statement is incorrect.

Beer was around long before hops were ever used.


I wasn't referring to beer made with Gruit from hundreds of years ago. If that's what you want to make then that's fine, but ask all Brewers what ingredients are used to make beer and they will all say hops as one of them.

9 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 12:03 AM

According to the German purity law, beer must be made from barley, hops and water. They don't mention yeast because it wasn't known back then as it is now. As we all know though, without yeast there is no beer.

The law is no longer in place I don't think, but the German breweries are very proud of sticking to it, aside from when they brew wheat beers of course.

10 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 6:27 AM

While it's an interesting history, I don't subscribe to the definitions of what constitutes a beer, as dictated by The Sausage Eaters Guild back in the 1500's, it was about control, it was never about beer.

By their very definitions “wheat beer” is a misnomer.

The fact that hops have strong anti bacterial properties, while fruit essentially increases the risk of the proliferation of unwanted bacteria and yeast, answers the original question.

Also, Christina saves the day, your detailed response was more than adequate to convince me not to bother, I might at some sage experiment with some orange peel, but I think that will be as far as this goes for me, I'm not keen on wasting beer, or things that aren't beer ….

11 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 10:06 AM

Personally I can't stand wheat beers anyway, so they never get brewed or bought here. Wheat malt hasn't seen my brewery for about 4 years.

I think these days for something to be considered beer it should contain the four ingredients of barley, hops, yeast and water. Hops have been used in brewing for around 500 years… long enough to be considered a main ingredient I'd think. It's like making chocolate with no cocoa and still calling it chocolate; it just… isn't.

12 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 10:31 AM

Otto Von Blotto:

Personally I can't stand wheat beers anyway, so they never get brewed or bought here. Wheat malt hasn't seen my brewery for about 4 years.

I think these days for something to be considered beer it should contain the four ingredients of barley, hops, yeast and water. Hops have been used in brewing for around 500 years… long enough to be considered a main ingredient I'd think. It's like making chocolate with no cocoa and still calling it chocolate; it just… isn't.


Beer was made well back in antiquity, that's true. Sumerians made beer from loaves called “bappir” and the workers on the great pyramids in Egypt were given beer, onions and bread as a major part of their diet. But these are almost certainly not what we would call beer today. Somewhere I read that the ancient Egyptian beer was “thick” so I assume that what they were drinking was pretty similar to what you would taste straight out of yer fermenter on bottling day without the hops. It's even possible that it was the consistency of porridge in which case it was probably fermenting wet bread or something like that.

Some years ago, the Anchor Steam Brewery in San Francisco apparently reproduced the Sumerian “bappir” beer from a recipe hidden within an ancient poem.

I also read that, as Christina mentioned, yarrow was used at one point in olde England.

I could be wrong, but I also have a vague recollection of reading that in England, the difference between Ale and Beer originally was that Beer contained hops and Ale did not.

Ancient recipe for Sumerian beer set within a poem and a possible recipe idea for IM using dates and honey:
Your text to link here…

13 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 11:34 AM

Very interesting dadndave. Thanks for the link. I came across this story as a result of looking at your link, about Toast Pale Ale, beer made with surplus bread:

http://www.toastale.com/our-story/

I am a bad one for throwing the heels of the bread away. Maybe I could make toast beer? I'd have to do a partial mash….Nothing for Kelsey though, as he is opposed to wheat beer, and this would be a kind of wheat beer. Could use rye bread crusts I suppose. Here is the recipe for how to make toast ale:

http://www.toastale.com/toast-ale-recipe/

Cheers,

Christina.

14 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 11:56 AM

Wouldn't be surprised if ImaginativeName is on to it as we speak.

Interesting wastage statistics in your link. I believe it's similar in Australia. Pretty shocking really.

Obviously your mum never told you that if you don't eat your crusts you won't get curls. Actually not much gets wasted at our place. We have chooks and a compost bin.

Speaking of chooks, does anyone know if spent grains from AG recipes have much nutritional value left in them for chook food?

edit:
I found this link:Your text to link here…

15 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 12:04 PM

Not sure the nutritional value but the chooks seem to love them from what I've heard from othr brewers who just dump the spent grains in the yard for them. My only experience is with bloody scrub turkeys, a couple of which have taken up residence in our yard. I take the spent grains and dump them up near their mound and they seem to enjoy it too.

16 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 12:17 PM

I found a link (edited into my post above) which pretty much makes my question redundant.
Another incentive to get into AG, I guess.

Apparently there's plenty of starches and protein left in the spent grains so no wonder your scrub turkeys are enjoying it. I hear scrub turkeys are pretty good if you boil them for a week.

17 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 12:48 PM

I'll have a look at these links later.

I took a guess at your question about spent grain, and figured that there would at least be protein left, certainly not devoid of nutrition, essentially the same I would imagine, just less carbohydrates, lots of fibre too I guess.

As I mentioned before, I'm kinda off the idea of this particular endeavour now, it was never really my intention to jump in the beer time machine and brew a 2000 year old recipe, because I expect the outcome wouldn't be much more value to me than the pure novelty of it.

The idea just intrigued me, but now I know why these standards exist.

Last edited by ImaginativeName (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 12:48 PM)