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I have the following recipe in my primary fermenter and had planned on making an apricot ale. I have since realized that apricots are far out of season and my two apricot alternatives are A) make a puree out of dried apricots B) use a pre-made wine/beer apricot puree. I really would like to make this homemade and would like to avoid using dried fruits.

My question is: What fruits/additions (preferably in-season/imported and easily found) would go well with the ingredients already fermenting? As an alternative to an apricot ale. I am thinking blueberries or blackberries? I dont want this beer to be overly sweet however.

Any suggestions?

RECIPE
0.25 lbs Midwest Wheat Malt info 
1.5 lbs American Caramel 10°L info 
4 lbs Liquid Wheat Extract info 
3 lbs Liquid Light Extract info 
0.5 oz Nugget (Pellets, 13.00 %AA) boiled 60 min. info 
0.25 oz Nugget (Pellets, 13.00 %AA) boiled 30 min. info 
0.25 oz Nugget (Pellets, 13.00 %AA) boiled 15 min. info 
1 tsp. Irish Moss @ 15 min (not included in calculations) 
4 lb. Apricot Puree @ Secondary (not included in calculations) 
Yeast :  WYeast 1056 American Ale™ info 
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Another apricot option would be to buy apricot juice. I've never tried it, but I've talked to a number of home brewers who prefer using juice to whole fruit. –  roto Mar 15 '12 at 16:57
    
Yikes, you've got 1.5lb of crystal malt in there. That can make the final beer a bit sweet, so you might want to knock it down to 3/4lb or so. –  Graham Apr 16 '12 at 12:25
    
What's in season will depend on where you live. –  awithrow Jun 13 '12 at 14:26

3 Answers 3

Dried apricots rehydrate in the secondary and produce plenty of extra apricot flavor. In fact, I find the flavor from dried fruit to almost always be preferable to fresh fruit, even for strawberries. Chop coursely in a food processor and put in your secondary. It WILL take longer for the secondary fermentation to kick in and then finish as the yeast have to work harder to get the sugars from the dried fruit, but it will give it a wonderful apricot flavor. Just be sure to avoid the ones with sulfites on them.

The brewing purees are also an excellent choice and usually well made. Just check their expiration dates if you can, sometimes the less popular ones sit on shelves of brew shops for a long time...

An alternate fruit you can also try is lychee (nearly always canned in the US) or plums. Not enough people brew with plums.

But if you want fresh fruit, early April is not a good time for most of the country.

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I've made a very similar beer and racked it onto 5 lbs of frozen strawberries with good results. They really add a very mild flavor to the beer, and it's a good result. My theory is that you don't see many strawberry commercial beers (with Abita's Strawberry Lager being the exception) because you have to use so much fruit to impart taste.

Frozen fruits work great because freezing them breaks down the cell walls (or something like that - I'm sure someone who knows the science better can/will expound on it).

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Check out lorann candy oil. I have used the apricot with good success. One dram only.

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