Your definition of "high-gravity"

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by AlienSwineFlu, Jul 24, 2013.

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  1. AlienSwineFlu

    AlienSwineFlu Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2012 Ohio

    I was just thinking about this recently at a bar when I saw on their beer menu that they separated all their "high-gravity" beers into a specific section, under the same label. Apparently, the mark is set at 7.0% ABV for this definition at this bar. I had never really thought about it before, but I think I would define high-gravity as starting around 8.5%. I'm sure the semantics of this could be topographically influenced, as beers over 12% aren't even sold in my state.

    So what say you?
  2. Ivegotmule

    Ivegotmule Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2012 North Carolina

    I was gonna say 7 and up before I even read past the title.
  3. Steasy66

    Steasy66 Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2012 Minnesota

    TN has separate stores, one sells low gravity beers, one sells high gravity and liquor, low gravity can be open Sunday, etc. I think their cutoff is 7%.
    For me its 10%. Mostly because its a nice round number.
  4. TheNightwatchman

    TheNightwatchman Devotee (487) Mar 28, 2009 Pennsylvania

    They really shouldn't confuse gravity with ABV. While higher gravity normally equates to higher ABV, they should just list them as high ABV beers.

    I think 7.5% is a good number for high ABV beers.
    tarawho, Jeffo and leedorham like this.
  5. Providence

    Providence Crusader (753) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I'd say that's about where I am at. 7%+ to me is on the strong side. Anything north of 10% is very strong in my book.
  6. WankelEngine

    WankelEngine Initiate (0) Mar 28, 2011 Illinois

    Yes, high gravity is not necessarily the same thing as high ABV. For example, a Tripel could approach 8-10% ABV but be very thin. I would not call that high gravity. Gravity has to do with the density of fermentable and unfermentable sugar in the beer.
    Duff27 likes this.
  7. leedorham

    leedorham Initiate (0) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    Agreed, it's a stupid term to use. The specific gravity of vodka is ~.95
  8. Ericness

    Ericness Initiate (130) Nov 21, 2012 Massachusetts

    When I think "High Gravity" I think this:

    Seriously though for a "craft" bar I would think high ABV starts in the ~8.5 range as you suggest. For a non-craft bar though 7% is almost double the ABV of their usual BMC offers so it makes some sense to me as a novelty/selling point (not saying I approve).
    afrokaze likes this.
  9. AlienSwineFlu

    AlienSwineFlu Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2012 Ohio

    I agree it's an arbitrary, if not just blatantly misused term these days.
  10. SadMachine

    SadMachine Poo-Bah (2,289) Mar 14, 2011 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    I would say somewhere around 8.5%... I can drink several of anything below that without really feeling it (obviously it varies depending on exact % but we're making a cutoff here, so it's gotta be somewhere), whereas stuff like Enjoy By at 9.4% I'm only good to drive after 2 pints, knowing a 3rd would put me in a state that I wouldn't feel safe to drive. So I guess I'm defining it by anything that would make me feel unsafe driving after more than 2 pints? Sure, that sounds fair enough! lol
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  11. broodog

    broodog Initiate (121) Jul 18, 2009 Illinois

    It's a somewhat arbitrary term, but an O.G. of 1.075 and above is usually considered high gravity. The term simply means that there is a lot of sugar for the yeast to ferment. A high gravity beer could, in theory, be low alcohol. Examples of this would be:

    1. if the fermentation process doesn't complete.

    2. the brewer chooses to use a yeast that doesn't finish converting all the sugars to alcohol.

    3. the brewer doesn't add enough yeast cells to convert all the sugar to alcohol.
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  12. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Initiate (0) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    I think this post is a bit misleading. Sure a beer with a high abv can be thin but that does not mean it is low gravity. If a beer is 8-10% the original gravity is going to be fairly high. Final gravity should play a much smaller part in this conversation.

    Once the OG crosses 1.070 I think we should start considering it to be high gravity.
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  13. Hanzo

    Hanzo Savant (975) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    High Gravity for me would be 8% and above.
  14. longbongsilver

    longbongsilver Disciple (320) Aug 27, 2005 Missouri

    North of 7% at bar, 8% for take home. I love strong beers in general though so my interpretation may be skewed.
    mnstorm99 likes this.
  15. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,901) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    1.100... fg. :grimacing:
    vonnegut21 likes this.
  16. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado

    The cutoff was 6.2% when I was there in May.
  17. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado

    Personally, I don't have a definition of "high-gravity" but I do have a definition of "low-gravity" - anything under 6%.
  18. DavoleBomb

    DavoleBomb Poo-Bah (2,661) Mar 29, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Anything more than 32.1 ft/s^2 is high gravity to me.
    AlienSwineFlu and SadMachine like this.
  19. BruChef

    BruChef Initiate (175) Nov 8, 2009 New York

  20. beercanman

    beercanman Initiate (0) Dec 17, 2012 Ohio

  21. Drucifer

    Drucifer Initiate (0) Apr 16, 2012 Illinois

    Technically you could have a 4% ABV beer with a OG of 1.080, which would be considered high gravity with a very sweet finish. So ABV doesn't make a lot of sense here when asking about gravity.
  22. Jeffo

    Jeffo Poo-Bah (3,709) Sep 7, 2008 Netherlands
    Society Trader

    I'd put it at 1.080 as well. Depending on how it ferments, it will probably end up somewhere between 8 and 10% ABV.

  23. CaptainPiret

    CaptainPiret Initiate (156) Oct 5, 2009 North Carolina

    Sadly, the cutoff for "high gravity" in TN is 6.2 ABV. Ridiculous. I've heard a lot of breweries don't distribute here because they have to deal with one distributor for 6.3 and up and another distributor for 6.2 and below. Add that to the state's high taxation on alcohol, and TN is missing out on stuff like Founders and Bells that distributes all around TN. But I digress.
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