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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Wonder about adding more DME for a high alcohol content
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:21 PM   #1
1972Buick455
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Default Wonder about adding more DME for a high alcohol content

Hi there,
Doing Northern's Bavarian Hefeweizen and would like to kick it up a notch. Would there be any harm in adding an extra 1.5 lbs of Golden Light DME, which I just happen to have lying around? How about adding the extra 1.5 lbs that I have left after that to the Big Honkin Stout? (Brewing two batches today, shout is the second) Would that be to much DME? Using wyeast 3068 on the wheat and wyeast 1332 ale on the stout. Any thought appreciated. 15 minute into the boil!!!

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Old 01-07-2013, 02:59 PM   #2
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Adding that little bit of DME won't hurt anything. It will slightly up the ABV, but in doing so, it will also slightly dry out the beer... probably wouldn't be perceptible though.

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Old 01-07-2013, 03:01 PM   #3
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Cool going to give it a try!!!

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Old 01-07-2013, 03:55 PM   #4
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Finished boil, cooled pitched yeast. O.G. came out at 1.060. Northern doesn't say on there sheet what is expected to be. Sound right to anyone (or not).

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Old 01-07-2013, 03:57 PM   #5
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Not on sheet but it was on the box 1.049 so I bumped it up .011

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Old 01-07-2013, 04:04 PM   #6
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Corn sugar is very nice for bumping up the ABV. As long as you don't overdo it, there is no noticeable change in the beer...other than a bit more kick.

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Old 01-07-2013, 04:25 PM   #7
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How much corn sugar +- is good? Is DME lower risk as far as changing flavor? Asking because I really don't know! Thanks for the help.

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Old 01-07-2013, 05:37 PM   #8
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Since corn sugar is nearly 100% fermentable, it will increase ABV but also dry out the beer and thin the body (relative to the amount of alcohol). DME is around 75% fermentable, so it will increase ABV but proportionally leave some body and residual sweetness.

It's usually not the best idea to simply change the gravity of a recipe without changing the hops, specialty malts, etc. to help balance it. NB designs the recipes based off certain IBUs, BU:GU ratios, grain percentages, and other factors. So by boosting the OG this way you're changing the malt presence in the beer and throwing it slightly off balance compared to the original recipe. Not necessarily a bad thing, but definitely different!

It sounds like you're starting to play around with your own recipes, so I'd recommend checking out the free trial of Beersmith! It's easy to mess around with different ingredients/volumes/etc. and see how the recipes change. You can also pick up "Designing Great Beers" which gives a great overview of recipe formulation for most beer styles.

Finally, the math for OG is pretty simple when you're talking about extract or sugar. If you have the Briess Golden DME (http://www.brewingwithbriess.com/Ass...enLightDME.pdf or http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/briess-dme-gold.html), it's listed as 43-44 ppg. That means if you added 1.5 lbs, you'd add 44 * 1.5 = 66 total gravity points. For a 5 gallon batch, that should add 66 / 5 = 13.2 points to your OG.

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Old 01-07-2013, 06:51 PM   #9
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Well said, Zach.

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Old 01-07-2013, 07:15 PM   #10
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So maybe it's best to add say .5 lb sugar and .5 lb DME to a batch which should keep the flavors about the same?


Not sure how much ABV that would add???

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