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Old 02-20-2011, 02:26 PM   #11
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Well, that is a low ABV kit to begin with. A nice "session" beer!

I'd suggest that getting a different kit, that better suits your needs. The reason is that bumping up the ABV really isn't as simple as just adding more fermentables. You'd also need to add more hops, to keep the balance the same, so you'd be reworking the recipe. It's not uncommon for extract batches to finish on the high end of the anticipated FG. If you want more attenuation, you could try a different yeast strain but that might only give you a couple more points of FG anyway.

In other words, ditch the Brewer's Best kits (which are OK but not great) and get a nice kit from Austinhomebrew.com or northernbrewer.com. They have hundreds of great kits that will be much better than the Brewer's Best kits that come with canned LME.

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Old 02-20-2011, 02:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rkzink View Post
Ok, for example. The last batch I did was the Scottish Ale from Brewer's Best. I followed the directions for brewing (I even set a timer so that I know I am steeping/boiling for the proper length of time).

The OG that I came up with was 1.035 and the kit specified that the OG should be 1.034 to 1.038.

The FG that I had was 1.014, and the kit specified that it should be 1.010 to 1.014.

The kit said the final alcohol content should be between 3.25% and 3.5%. My calculations put it at 2.75%.

I don't mind having a beer with low alcohol content, but I just wish it was more in the range of what the recipe says. I get that if you're on the low end of the OG and the high end of the FG, then you won't get the expected alcohol content, but since this keeps happening, I want to know what I can do to bump the content up slightly.

I like the suggestions of boiling longer/adding less water. Would I increase the boiling time after adding LME/DME then?

Thanks!
The recipe is just wrong when it comes to ABV then. From my calcs, the ABV could be anywhere between 2.6 and 3.6 from the OG/FG ranges they provided.
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:05 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Well, that is a low ABV kit to begin with. A nice "session" beer!

I'd suggest that getting a different kit, that better suits your needs. The reason is that bumping up the ABV really isn't as simple as just adding more fermentables. You'd also need to add more hops, to keep the balance the same, so you'd be reworking the recipe. It's not uncommon for extract batches to finish on the high end of the anticipated FG. If you want more attenuation, you could try a different yeast strain but that might only give you a couple more points of FG anyway.

In other words, ditch the Brewer's Best kits (which are OK but not great) and get a nice kit from Austinhomebrew.com or northernbrewer.com. They have hundreds of great kits that will be much better than the Brewer's Best kits that come with canned LME.
See, I'm not talking about just this particular batch. I did a Holiday Ale from Brewer's best that was supposed to be 7-8%, and I think mine ended up to be something like 6.3%. It was a fine beer, but if I'm given a range for alcohol content, I want to be sure my processes are hitting that range, and I definitely don't want to have to modify the recipe to do that.

I think you're onto something with changing to a different kit. My homebrew shop does their own kits, so I'll give one of those a try for the next batch.

Thanks!
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:07 PM   #14
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The recipe is just wrong when it comes to ABV then. From my calcs, the ABV could be anywhere between 2.6 and 3.6 from the OG/FG ranges they provided.

Didn't think to check that, thanks! Then maybe my beer isn't so messed up after all (kidding!).
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