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I have a question about gravity

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jester22151

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I am trying to make an amber raspberry ale and I asked the guy at the home brew store when a good time to add the pureed rasbberries would be and was told to put them in the boil so i did. After the boil was completed I cooled the wort down to about 80 degrees and took an original gravity reading and the thing said that it was 1.14. everything I have seen regarding the gravity of the beer says something,like 1.048. Is the gravity on my ale way to high or should I just let it continue to ferment and see what happens in two weeks or so?
 
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jester22151

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when I looked at it lastnight it looked like it said 1.14, but I suppose it's possible I mis read it. It's the first time I ever messed around with a hydrometer
 

Scimmia

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I'd say there's a good chance it'll come out ok, but it may need some extra attention if it was really at 1.14. You may get a stuck fermentation and have to rock the fermenter, or even add more yeast. How much did you add in the first place?

The fruit puree will raise the gravity, but 1.14 seems pretty excessive. How much did you add?
 

gr8brew

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be sure of the reading; if it is 1.14 this is a HIGH gravity. If 1.014 it is lower of course. Either case will dictate your final outcome on ABV. I haven't brewed a anything requiring adding fruit, but did do a Kriek (Lambic style) by Brewferm and the first batch was misguided by my local guy and it tasted like dirty water. i did a second batch per the instructions and it tasted a little better but still like crud. i learned that you don't want to boil fruit too long because of flavors being lost or souring. I have to look at my "beer captured" recipe book. their are a couple of ales that have you throw in fruit.
 
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jester22151

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I used a slap packet of wyeast that is supposed to be enough for a 5 gallon batch and I used 4 cups of pureed raspberries, 1 oz of pheonix hops for bittering, 1 oz of fuggle hops for aroma and 1 tsp of irish moss to help with the clarity and two 3lb bags of amber DME
 

cubbies

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Since we are talking extract, you most likely did not do a full boil, correct? And therefore used some amount (probably a couple of gallons) of top off water? If this is true, what most likely happened is that you didnt get a good enough mix and you are reading from a very concentraded wort. I cant imagine fruit puree adding anything close to that.

Also, I wouldnt be adding fruit to hot wort, especially boiling wort. When I have made fruit beers in the past, I added the fruit at secondary or, tertiary. If you are not using a secondary, I would add the fruit to the primary after a week or so.
 
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jester22151

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cubbies said:
Since we are talking extract, you most likely did not do a full boil, correct? And therefore used some amount (probably a couple of gallons) of top off water? If this is true, what most likely happened is that you didnt get a good enough mix and you are reading from a very concentraded wort. I cant imagine fruit puree adding anything close to that.

Also, I wouldnt be adding fruit to hot wort, especially boiling wort. When I have made fruit beers in the past, I added the fruit at secondary or, tertiary. If you are not using a secondary, I would add the fruit to the primary after a week or so.

I boiled it for an hour and a half, should I have gone longer?
 

Scimmia

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Yeah, there's no way 4 cups would raise your SG that far, you must have gotten a bad reading. Which is a good thing, because I seriously doubt a single smack pack (which is really underpitching on a normal beer) would be able to handle that.

Edit, by full boil, he means boiling the full wort and not adding water to after it's done. People usually don't do this when they're using extract.
 

Tommish

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When you boil certain kinds of fruits they tend to form pectin which is a substance used as a gelling agent when making jellies and jams. I suspect a wort with pectin in it would have a very high SG but not necessarily a huge amount of fermentables-- remember, SG measures density, not sugar levels.

When using fruit, it is best to crush it a bit and steep it in the wort after the boil is finished. Or you can steep it in boiled water and when it cools add it while racking to the secondary.
 
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jester22151

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There is a lot of fermentable material in there. In addition to the fruit there is 6lb worth of amber malt. I should be ok on that score. As regards boiling the fruit we only put it in the wort toward the end of the boil so it should be ok. I think at this point I just got a bad reading.
 

tagz

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from what i have read tommish seems to be right on.
 

Joker

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Yep puree in secondary, or extract at bottling.

Your reading had to have been from insufficient stirring. A 1.14 would be a huge brew and you didn't have enough fermentables to reach that reading.
 

budbo

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Tommish said:
When you boil certain kinds of fruits they tend to form pectin which is a substance used as a gelling agent when making jellies and jams. I suspect a wort with pectin in it would have a very high SG but not necessarily a huge amount of fermentables-- remember, SG measures density, not sugar levels.
Pectin is also good for curing common diarrhea
 

TexLaw

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I don't know much about making beers with fruit in them, but I do know that you don't add fruit to the boil. That "sets" the pectin, creating a pectin haze in the beer. You can cure that by adding pectic enzyme to the secondary, though. Typically, brewers add fruit to the secondary after racking for another fermentation. Then, they rack again before bottling or kegging.


TL
 

TheJadedDog

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I think your gravity is due, as others have mentioned, to not mixing things up well once you had everything in the fermenter. Unless you used an insane amount of extract there is no way your gravity is 1.14, even with the fruit addition.

I'll also second that real fruit is best added during secondary. Boil it for 10 minutes to pastuerize, add to secondary, then rack beer on top of the fruit. Having boiled it for as long as you did may result in pectin.

I'd say let your beer do its thing and then see if it's any good. If not, lesson learned.
 
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jester22151

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Well, it's official. I'm an idiot. I figured out why my gravity reading was so off. I was doing a partial boil, so when I took my reading, I took it from the two gallons that were in the wort pot. I failed to tak a reading after I added it to the other three gallons of water in the carboy. Duh!
 

david_42

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Not the first and not the last! Partial boils are a continuing source of bad readings.
 
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