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On a whim, I decided to make a raspberry flavoured IPA. I bought a pre-made wort and some liquid malt extract.

Basically, I boiled about 1.5L of water with some raspberries in one of those hop mesh socks. The water got some nice color and a nice smell. Then I added another 0.5L of water and the wort. I mixed the whole thing for about 2 minutes, then I added the liquid malt extract. After a little more mixing I added the mixture to my primary fermenter (pail) and filled it to the top with cold water.

It's currently sitting at 26.5C (a little warm but still within the range given by the wort's instructions). My OG reading was 1.035.

My big issue with this though is the raspberries, did I add them at the right time? Should I have added more? Should I also add some during secondary fermentation?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Unfortunately, you may wind up with a cloudy beer. Boiling will have "set" the natural pectin (the stuff that makes jams and jellies thick) in the raspberries. This will likely result in a beer that will never really get bright and clear. Not that I would expect an IPA to be crystal clear anyway, really.

When I have added fruit like this to a mead (beer would involve the same process, really), I froze the fruit first, and then racked the mead onto it for a secondary fermentation after I thawed and lightly crushed the fruit. The alcohol and lack of easily fermentable sugars (as well as low pH) help prevent "bad" microbes from getting too much of a foothold.

A flavor-related concern with a sour fruit in an IPA is that strongly bitter and sour flavors are usually combined in things that our bodies tend to percieve as poison. Most beers with sour fruit have the bitterness dialed down a bit to compensate for this.

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Is there a way for me to dial down the sourness taste during secondary fermentation? Maybe a different fruit? –  MaxMackie Jun 5 '12 at 20:06
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Try not to worry too much about it until you taste it. Don't try to fix it until you know it's broken. I don't know that there is much that can reduce bitterness other than time. You may not have extracted enough sourness from the berries for it to be a problem, depending on how much you used. –  baka Jun 5 '12 at 22:13
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Okay, thanks for the info. I'll post back when the beer is ready. Hopefully it'll be nice :) –  MaxMackie Jun 6 '12 at 1:24
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