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Old 02-15-2011, 09:41 PM   #1
CharlieK
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Default My First Experiment - Any Advice?

After getting a couple brews under my belt, I've decided I'm going to experiment a little with half of my 5 gallons of stout that just passed the 2 week mark in the primary (2 weeks, 3 days to be exact). I'm checking the gravity again tonight to see if it's fallen at all but if it's steady then I'm going to do the following:

-Leave about half in the primary for another couple of weeks, then bottle.

-Rack the other half to secondary on top of about 1.5lbs of thawed raspberries (store-bought, frozen to start. heat up and keep at 160 for about 15 minutes, then add). Leave for two weeks, then bottle with 1oz of unsweetened cocoa in the the priming mixture. Hopefully this will create an awesome, subtle, dessert-style Chocolate Raspberry Stout!


Any critiques from those of you who've worked with fruit before?

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Old 02-15-2011, 10:41 PM   #2
rudu81
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If you're doing half batch in a secondary, I'd advise using a 3 gal or so better bottle or carboy to cut down on O2 in the headspace

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Old 02-15-2011, 10:52 PM   #3
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I wouldn't heat those raspberries up. The pectin will set and you'll end up with a chill haze. That's not such a big deal with a dark beer, but you're better going off with the Oregon brand canned fruit. Just sterilize the outside of the can, open up and dump in.

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Old 02-15-2011, 11:43 PM   #4
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So I should be good dumping the frozen berries in directly? I don't want to get some kinda infection. I just picked up frozen berries in a bag instead of something canned, hence my concern.

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Old 02-15-2011, 11:45 PM   #5
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rudu81, What's the big concern with extra headspace? I don't really have anything smaller to put it in. Won't the fermentation from adding the berries push out excess oxygen?

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Old 02-16-2011, 12:19 AM   #6
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No. Get the Oregon Brand canned raspberries. You don't need to do anything to them to sanitize as they've already been pasteurized. Just open the can and dump it in.

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Old 02-16-2011, 01:38 AM   #7
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It might. Having not done it, I cannot say, but the logic is there. What I don't know is how much co2 would be created, how quickly, and what effect the remaining O2 might have. How that would possibly impact your final product, I can't say. I bought 4 1 gal jugs to ferment when experimenting to try and mitigate some of my possible errors.

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Old 02-16-2011, 02:55 AM   #8
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Charlie,
If you have a kegging set-up; you can run some CO2 into the carboy after racking to purge any O2. It shouldn't take much. I saw this on another thread, but I couldn't tell you which one.

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Old 02-16-2011, 03:04 AM   #9
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I would agree that the biggest concern you have is the head space and the O2 in the fermentor. I would try to purge this with co2 if you can but definitely try to use a smaller fermenting bucket and the residual fermentation might push out most of the o2.

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Old 02-16-2011, 08:07 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone. I wasn't even thinking about the excess head-space causing that much of an issue (and unfortunately I don't have any access to CO2 to fill). I guess I'll hold off on experimenting until I'm better equipped with a couple of smaller secondary containers.

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