About This Course

This course includes 78+ minutes of video

During the 78-minute video course, Tonsmeire covers: 

  • choosing the form of fruit, from aseptic purees to whole and fresh-picked
  • sourcing, selecting and blending different fruits
  • tips on efficient zesting of citrus fruit
  • cleaning and processing whole fruit for safe use, free of off-flavors
  • managing the sugars in fruit and how they affect fermentations
  • adjusting acidity to accentuate fruit and achieve balance
  • safely packaging fruit beer with unfermented sugar
  • using particular hop varieties to accentuate certain fruits
  • sourcing, handling, and processing fresh fruit for mixed-fermentation beers
  • distinguishing your beer with unusual and foraged fruits and botanicals
  • evaluating fruit and adding it to barrel-aged beers
  • unusual barrels that can add or complement fruit flavors
  • And more.


What do you get when Michael Tonsmiere, aka the Mad Fermentationist and author American Sour Beers, joins forces with Scott Janish, author of The New IPA, start a brewery in a Maryland suburb between Baltimore and Washington, D.C.? Pretty much what you’d expect: a brewery that tends to focus on creative expressions in the pale ale and IPA space, as well as progressive approaches to wood-aged, funky, and sour beers. Yet Sapwood Cellars has done much more than just meet expectations over their first four years of existence—they’ve also honed approaches to both of these focuses, while creatively blending the two with smart mash-ups in the liminal space between them.

Michael Tonsmeire

Cofounder and Brewer, Sapwood Cellars

Course Curriculum

  • 01


    Show Content
    • About this Course

  • 02

    Selecting and Working with Fruit

    Show Content
    • Processed Fruit Products and Zesting Citrus

    • The Pros and Cons of Aseptic Purees

    • Residual Sugars: Safety, Pasteurization, and Sulfites

    • Choosing the Form of Fruit

    • Combining Fruit and Vanilla

    • Layering Fruit Flavors

    • The Sensory Elements of Fruit

    • Pairing Fruits and Hops and with Other Fruits

  • 03

    Fruit for Mixed Fermentations

    Show Content
    • Rethinking Fruit for Mixed Fermentation and Barrel-Aging

    • Handling and Processing Fruit in the Brewhouse

    • Tips on Evaluating and Adding Fruit to Barrel-Aged Beers

    • Getting Fruit Character from Special Barrels

    • Distinguishing Your Beer with Unusual Fruits, Botanicals, and Barrels

  • 04

    Conclusion, Recipes & Further Reading/Listening

    Show Content
    • Closing Thoughts

    • Breakout Brewer Profile: Sapwood Cellars

    • Listen Up! Podcast Episode 270: Sapwood Cellars Turns Research into Creative Practice with Hoppy and Wild Beers

    • Recipe: Sapwood Cellars Smüzí (Base Beer)

    • Recipe: Sapwood Cellars Neologism

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