MAKING A CLEAR FRUIT BEER WHEN USING ASEPTIC FRUIT PUREES
Making a beer clear with a fining agent and/or filtration is a normal part of beer production. Making a fruit beer clear might be a bit more difficult. This doesn’t always happen to your beers but for some reason the stone fruits, apples, and any other fruits with a good amount of pulp doesn’t want to clear.
Your fining agents didn’t work and your filter clogs right away. The problem lies with pectin. Pectin is that larger protein molecule that makes a gel-like substance especially in the presence of alcohol. It is commonly used in concentrated form to make our favorite jams and jellies. Different fruits have different levels of pectin. Some have small amounts like cherries and strawberries, others have large amounts like apples and stone fruits.
Pectin is in the puree/fruit juice and precipitates out of solution in the presence of alcohol. The gel-like pectin stays suspended in solution too big of a protein for the fining agent to grab. What is needed to break this pectin protein down is an enzyme called pectinase.
Pectinase doesn’t only help with clarity; it also increases juice yields and flavors. Purees have up to 20% solids content of pulp and other plant cells. Pectinase can break down some of those cell walls to release more color and phenolics into the juice of the puree. Breaking down the pulp by adding pectinase can increase your juice yield up to 5%.
I recommend adding pectinase to the puree and allow it to react with the pectin for 12-24 hours before adding the puree to your beer. Pectinase can be added to your beer after your fruit has been added, but you will use much more enzyme because the dosage is according to the volume of your product to be treated. If you still have any hops present in your beer, pectinase can influence on your hop extraction as well. If you add the proper dosage of pectinase to the puree before incorporating into your beer, the enzymes should be spent and have minimal effect on your hops.
There are a few brands of pectinase enzymes available. We do not provide enzymes. Whatever pectinase you end up purchasing, follow the instructions given by the manufacturer for dosage.
How do you know if you need to add pectinase? You can do a pectin test on your puree with just a couple lab items. Some of the Pectinase suppliers offer test ideas.
Pectin can also affect the clarity of seltzers, wines, RTDs, and juices.
Aseptic Fruit Purees does not add pectinase to an of our products.
AFP Aseptic Fruit Purees