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I started a batch of American Wheat Ale yesterday and am planning on adding a to-be-determined fruit flavoring to it. I am debating between adding it when I rack the beer or just before bottling. What would be the pros and cons of adding it at each of these stages?

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When you say fruit flavoring are you talking about extract? If you are I would use fresh fruit or a puree (Oregon brand) first. The extract can come out tasting like cough medicine.

Using fresh or puree you can add directly to the primary fermentation vessel or if you are racking to a secondary you can add it then rack on top of it. I have had success both ways.

Depending on the fruit you choose, you can also add some zest with a few minutes left on the boil or a knockout.

Experiment and have fun with it.

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I want to try fresh fruit. So given that I already have the brew in the primary, I take it your suggestion is to add the fruit when I rack it to the secondary? Do you think adding it before bottling is too late? –  Stefan Moser May 24 '11 at 23:19
    
Put the fruit in the secondary and rack the beer right on top of it. Works wonders. I just brewed a strawberry wheat that turned out well. Racked it on frozen whole berries (5 pounds). Strawberry is a little more subtle flavor than most berries, so you may not want to add as much if you're using a different fruit. –  Ell May 25 '11 at 1:41
    
One other quick thought. No, you DO NOT want to add at bottling time. It will need to sit for a week before it really imparts any flavor. Additionally, you'll want to freeze whatever you use - breaks down the something so the flavors come out. Someone who's science-y can explain it better, but that's the gist. –  Ell May 25 '11 at 1:42
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Freezing causes cell membrane breakage that results in cell wall collapse and tissue breakage. This allows for better flavor extraction. –  nuttzman May 25 '11 at 3:18
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