Real Fruit vs. Fruit Purees: Which is Better for Brewing?

When it comes to fruited beers, what are the best ways to add flavor to your favorite brews?  

Craft brewing has a few conventional pointers to follow when it comes to selecting your favorite fruity additions. Read on for our suggestions to creating a range of fruity craft beer flavors—from subtle hints to strong, bold notes.

Three wooden shelves spanning a wall full of craft beer cans.

Ingredient Essentials

First things first. The ingredient essentials for fruity craft beers are grain, yeast, hops, and water. 

Now, let's look at some fun flavor additions that bring the “fruity” to these craft beers. Did you know fruit is one of the oldest additional ingredients to make beer? Special brews have utilized fruit in the past for centuries. 

Craft brewing takes place on a range of scales but most brewers follow the same basic processes — malting, mashing, boiling, fermentation, and bottling. 

Real fruits and spices are most commonly added during the boil, and fruit purees are added during the fermentation process. Adding fruit puree to beer is common and plenty of recipes have already been created that can serve as a basis for your next creation.

Real Fruits In Beer

Adding real fruits can be a great way to flavor your next brew. Fruity craft beers are truly delicious and popular choices on any beer menu. 

The important items when using real fruits to remember are ripeness and bacteria. If using real fruit, it is recommended that only fresh fruits be used. The fruits should be selected at their time of ripeness when seasonally available. In order to use fresh fruits, they will have to be prepared to be added to the brew. 

Washing, pitting, and cleaning of the fruits is essential. Real fruits contain wild yeasts and bacteria that can complement the brew. 

Unlike fruit purees, when adding fruit puree to beer, we have a strong note of caution: when added to the wort, real fruit bacteria and microorganisms may multiply and add off-taste or unsavory aromas to your beer. 

Using frozen fruits is also an option, but it does carry a bit of risk in flavor profile and bacteria content.

The Benefits of Fruit Purees

Fruity craft beers are made simpler when fruit purees are used. Fierce Fruit purees are aseptic (whole fruit) purees. These are 100% natural and pasteurized fruit purees, so unwanted bacteria cannot enter the beer during the brewing process. This enables the fruit puree to be added following the boil — which translates to more fruit flavor.  

Look for purees that are whole fruit purees, without sugar or excess preservatives added. If added sugars are present, they may alter the alcohol content and acids or preservatives may alter the taste. 

Beer being poured from a keg spout into a beer glass.

Favorite Flavors  

Getting the most out of fruit additions for your fruity craft beer requires a little science along with some trial and error.

A simple rule of thumb to follow is that lighter flavored beers accept fruit flavor with less fruit.  Sours, IPAs, and wheats need less fruit than heavier stouts.

The amount of fruit to add to your brew varies. A rule of thumb for fresh fruits is one half of a pound up to two pounds of fruit per gallon of beer. Lighter fruits will require more fruit to be added to the brew to impart the desired flavor. 

Fruit purees are concentrated and require less fruit to be added to the blend. A general rule of thumb for adding fruit puree to beer is to add ¼ of a pound of puree up to ½ of a pound of puree per gallon. 

The best way to determine exactly how much fruit or fruit puree to add to your mixture depends on the flavor profile you are looking for. 

Spices are often used in combination with various fruits to complement and bring flavors forward. 

Some of our favorite combinations when adding fruit puree to beer include Andean blackberry, cherry, tangerine, blood orange, and lulo.

Once you’ve decided on your recipe, brew a test batch to see if you’ve added the right amount of fruits, spices, grains, yeast, hops, and any other additions. Make any needed adjustments and brew the batch again to perfect the balance. 

You can also brew two batches and blend them to make the perfect fruity craft beer. Brew a stronger fruit beer and blend it with your base beer. The fruited beer should be on average 1 ½ x - 2x stronger than your base beer. 

After bottling, blend the two beers in a glass and find the right balance you are looking for. You can then blend the rest of your fruited beer to achieve the perfect taste. 

No matter how simple or complex your fruity craft beer ideas may be, we have an amazing range of hand-picked, sun-ripened fruits here at Fierce Fruit. Our high-quality fruit purees are highly concentrated with strong and bold flavors. These pasteurized aseptic fruit purees make perfect additions to your next fruity craft beer.


Join our wholesale program or place an order for our amazing Fierce Fruit purees— ready-to-use, no sugar added, 100% real fruit.

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