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Homebrewing! You put the peaches in the wort and...don't shake it all up?
I've been homebrewing for a while now and am generally conversant in the ways of beering but I'm trying something new and different this time and am uncertain of how to proceed.
So I'm making a Peach Cobbler Ale from a modified recipe. It originally called for some fresh, sliced peaches added to the wort at flame-out for like 10 minutes or something. I found it very unlikely that there would be much peach flavor detectable in the final product that way and my local homebrew store guy agreed, so I opted to do peach puree in the secondary.
I've never used anything not dried in my beers before. With peels and seeds and stuff I just soak them in a bit of vodka before adding them to the secondary as a sterilization method. I've read that when using fresh fruits in secondary you want to do something similar, but the options sounded likely to kill the flavors. So I opted for a big can of peach puree from said homebrew store.
Now my question is: what do I do with it? I assume I don't need to sanitize since it would have had to have been boiled hard during the canning process. Am I correct? If not, how does one sanitize a puree?
I assume if I were racking my beer into a secondary carboy I'd just pour the peaches in there first, then siphon it in, but I'm not racking. I have a conical fermentation vessel, so I'm just draining the yeast cake from the bottom. It still introduces some air since the cake has to be displaced to drain, but a lot less than racking would. So, in this case, would I just pour the puree in from the top after I drain the sediment from the bottom?
Normally for a lower-gravity ale where primary fermentation is over in a couple of days (like this one) I'd do 1-2 weeks on the yeast cake followed by another 1-2 weeks in a secondary/after draining (or 3-4 weeks in the primary if I'm not doing a secondary), then 2-4 weeks in bottles before drinking. Is my 1-2 week secondary time long enough when using fruit? It's been sufficient with cinnamon and fruit rind but those have a much more pungent flavor. I'm always reticent to sample my beer once it's in the secondary until I'm pretty sure it's ready to bottle since I don't want to get air in there. And with the peaches in there I'd have to actually open up the top of the vessel to sample since I won't be able to drain a sip off the bottom.