Fruit beer is a non-specific term used to refer to several types of beers made with fruit. For beers made with fruit added as an adjunct or flavoring (e.g., magnums, stouts, etc.). When adding fruit to a beer, the brewer must ensure that the beer is compatible with the characteristics of the fruit.
In general, lighter bodied beers do work well with most fruits, while overly bitter beers seem to fight the sweet and sour characteristics of most fruits. As for color, lighter colored beers blend more easily with fruit. The best time to add fruit to a beer is the second fermentation.
By this time, yeast production should be strong and conditions should be acidic, alcoholic, and nutrient depleted enough to keep invading microorganisms at bay.
The perfect fruit, perfectly ripe, combined with sufficient quantities, will produce a profoundly complex beer. We need to choose fresh fruit because its flavor or aroma has not been lost or altered during processing. However, most fruits are seasonal, so brewers can only make beer when the fruit is in season.
To solve this problem, we can use frozen fruit in our fruit beers. Buying frozen fruit or freezing it ourselves at the peak of the fruit season allows us to brew beer when the fruit is not in season.
Also, by using frozen fruit, we can reduce microorganisms.
For sanitizing fruit, we believe it is okay to use sanitized containers, commercial cleaning procedures or to use sulfur dioxide. Brewers also use sulfur dioxide to sanitize fruit.