Ask Mr. Wizard

Pectic enzyme in fruit beer recipes


Kevin Buck • Lyman, Maine asks,

Strawberries are in season and I’m about to make my first fruit ale. I’m a devoted extract brewer, but the addition of fruit is new to me. Scanning the Internet, I’ve found a few recipes that look good, so I’m going to formulate a recipe based on what I’ve read. However, I’m a little confused as to the purpose of pectic enzyme. How much do I use? I understand it comes as a powder as well as a liquid. Do I add it to the primary or secondary fermenter? Also, how is the yeast going to react to the sugars in the berries? A friend told me to run a blow-off tube because there will be so much action in the primary fermenter that my 6.5- gallon fermenter will overflow. My next venture will be with blueberries — we have a pub in Bar Harbor that makes a wicked blueberry ale. Will I need pectic enzyme with blueberries as well?


This question reminds me of one of the goofiest names I ever gave a batch of beer — Strawberry Fields For Alever. It was a wheat beer with strawberries added after primary
Response by Ashton Lewis.