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Old 12-01-2012, 04:37 PM   #1
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Default Increasing hops duration and boosting ABV?

Doing a Brewer's Best American cream ale today. It's a combo LME/DME kit with separate hops pellets. It's basically just an ale version of the American lager style, so it'll be light. The yeast is Nottingham, the hops Willamette. The hops are in two packages, each one ounce. It's a 60-minute boil, with one packet of hops going in for the full boil and the other going in for the last 10 minutes for finishing/aroma.

Question 1: I like beer that's hoppier than the typical American lagers. Will it make the beer noticeably hoppier if I throw in both packets of hops for the full boil?

Question 2: While I'm not necessarily into big beers with big ABV, I'd like to give it a bit more pop than the 5.5 or so percent expected. Will throwing in another pound of extralight spaymalt extract or a pound more of corn sugar give me a bit more ABV without compromising the beer?

Thanks!

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Old 12-01-2012, 04:55 PM   #2
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IMO, it's best to brew kits as they were designed as recipes are all about balance between the hops and the malts. If you were to add more extract to raise the ABV then your hops would need to be increased as well.

If you were to just take all the hops and use them for the full boil you would get more bitterness and lose most of the aroma as early additions promote bittering and later additions promote aroma and flavor.

Brew this kit as is and then try to find kits that are more to the style of your liking in terms of ABV and hoppiness

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Old 12-01-2012, 05:01 PM   #3
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1. It would be twice as bitter, if you doubled the bittering hops. If you want hops flavor, you'd add more hops at 10 minutes.

2. I'd add a pound of corn sugar, assuming there isn't already a pound in the kit. That would make a crisper drier finish, as well as boost the ABV a tad. If there is already a pound of corn sugar in there, I would not.

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Old 12-01-2012, 05:19 PM   #4
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Thanks!

There is already a pound of corn sugar in the kit. It's 3.3 lbs of LME, 2 lbs of DME and 1 lb of corn sugar. Total of just a bit more than 6 lbs of fermentables for a 5-gallon batch. I could drive to get some more extra light DME, but my nearest LHBS is an hour away, and it's not worth burning the gas just to get a tad more ABV out of it. I don't have any extra corn sugar, either. Would adding a pound of cane sugar produce something too sweet? I'm not a fan of sweet beers.

I'm mulling just how bitter an American lager knockoff would be if I added all the hops at the bittering stage and none at the aroma/finishing stage. Can't imagine it would be very bitter. Wonder if I add a pound of cane sugar and put in all the hops at the bittering stage, what I'd end up with. If the added bitterness might balance the added sweetness, or if it would end up just tasting too sweet and too bitter all at the same time.

Probably I'll just leave it as is, but it makes for some nice discussion and a few learning moments on my part. And it's fun to get into this kind of talk before beginning a brew session.

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Old 12-01-2012, 07:33 PM   #5
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The extra sugar will just ferment out,not leaving any sweetness. & all the hops at the beginning of the boil will give all bittering & no flavor/aroma at all. Just twice the bittering,since that's what the 60 minute hop addition is for.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:03 PM   #6
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Williamette is a mellow hop. I would not worry about adding too much. I've got a pound of pellets that have been sitting in the closet for years...I still use em and love em.

Do a 80 minute boil for bittering...and finish the hops of at the end of boil.

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Old 12-01-2012, 08:38 PM   #7
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That'll be a mellower bittering,like the midwest cascade pm pale I did. It used cascade hops for all additions. Man,you wanna talk about balance?!
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:42 PM   #8
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Thanks, all. I brewed it as to specs because I started and finished before I came back in here to look at the last few replies, but did add a pound of cane sugar on the spur of the moment. Guess we'll see how it goes.

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