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Old 03-30-2012, 02:00 PM   #1
KavDaven
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Default How do I increase the ABV on a TB Porter?

Later today I'll brew up a True Brew All Malt Porter.

(OG 1.043 - FG 1.012) * 131.25 = 4.06 ABV

3.3 lbs Muntons DME
2 lbs dark dried malt extract
8 ox Malto Dextrin
6 oz Muntons Crushed Chocolate
1 oz UK First Gold Hop Pellets

Instead of using the Muntons Active Brewing Yeast, I'll be using Danstar Windsor British style ale yeast.

How could I possibly increase the ABV from 4% to 5 or 6%?

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Old 03-30-2012, 02:11 PM   #2
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Why do you want to increase the ABV%?

There are many ways of getting there; how exactly to go about it depends on your intent. If all you want is a quicker method of inebriation, just add a pound or so of table sugar. If you have a different intent, it gets more complicated.

Bob

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Old 03-30-2012, 02:35 PM   #3
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4% ABV just seems a lil' low.

Not that I want a zip line to inebriation but I just thought, without checking the kit, that a porter would be a stronger ale. Heck, my recent weizenbier was 4.75%, basically a lawnmower beer. I was imagining a dark porter to be slowly drank in a dark corner of a pub.

Simple means:
I've thought about 1lb table sugar, 1lb honey or more DME.
But what would these additions do to the taste?

Complicated means:
Oak cubes and a cup of bourbon in the secondary?

Any suggestions?

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Old 03-30-2012, 02:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KavDaven View Post
4% ABV just seems a lil' low.

Not that I want a zip line to inebriation but I just thought, without checking the kit, that a porter would be a stronger ale. Heck, my recent weizenbier was 4.75%, basically a lawnmower beer. I was imagining a dark porter to be slowly drank in a dark corner of a pub.

Simple means:
I've thought about 1lb table sugar, 1lb honey or more DME.
But what would these additions do to the taste?

Complicated means:
Oak cubes and a cup of bourbon in the secondary?

Any suggestions?
A pound of sugar or honey will boost the ABV but maybe give the beer a drier finish. Adding more malt may give more body and ABV (about .9%) but since you already have dark extract in there it might also increase the sweetness a tad. If I absolutely couldn't live with 4.5% ABV and needed another pound of something to get it to 5.4%, I'd use the light DME.

I don't know how well bourbon and oak go with that porter- it might not be "big" enough to support the tannin and flavor supplied.

Porters are traditionally 4-5.5% ABV and not heavy at all, although it has some restrained roast character and some body. They tend to be quaffable, and easy drinking. Unless you're thinking of something like a robust porter? But then you'd need a different recipe.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:17 PM   #5
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Easiest way to do this is just add less water. Use the same ingredients but only enough water for a 4g or 4.5g batch.

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Old 03-30-2012, 04:31 PM   #6
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4% is quite appropriate for Porter, in my opinion. Many commercial Porters are in the 4-5% range.

I'd add a 8-12 ounces of brown or turbinado sugar and call it done. As Yooper notes, dark extracts will tend to finish chewy, and Porter doesn't need to be so full-bodied. Increasing the OG with sugar will reduce the inherent body somewhat.

I'd also inch the hops up, maybe 1.5 ounces. Not much more than that.

Cheers,

Bob

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Old 03-30-2012, 04:48 PM   #7
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swap out the maltodexrin for an equal weight of a fermentible of your choice.
recipe doesn't look like its going to taste thin and need it anyways.

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Old 03-30-2012, 10:43 PM   #8
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Ok, let the cringing begin.

This is what I've decided on. There were many options and according to quite a few brew masters, none of them wrong, well not entirely anyway.

The idea was to increase the ABV by a bump. If I wanted to take a zip line to inebriation town I'd just drink the crap Taaka vodka I use for my air locks. So, bump the potential ABV, just a bump, to try and secure a 5% ABV which is within the normal Porter range of ABV. All of this without sacrificing on taste and enjoyability.

Anyways, this is what I came up with. Not my original thought in anyway. More of an amalgamation of whims by many great and possibly misled and somewhat intoxicated zymurgists.

I bought a pound of dried LME. I reserved 1 1/4 Cup of it for later during the bottling process (more on this later). Following the kit instructions, after steeping the specialty grains I'll bring the water to a boil, remove from heat and add all the extract, dried and canned to include even the priming sugar . Bring back to a boil for 30 minutes. Then drop temp and pitch.

Remember, I reserved 1 1/4 Cup of the dried LME, this will become my priming agent. The idea here is to increase head retention and decrease the size of the carb bubbles in the bottle.

One guy at the LHBS said the difference between a cheap or expensive bottle of champagne was the size of the bubble. A few eyebrows went up when he said that. I thought maybe he'd run for the door. But then a few of the patrons began to visibly imagine the possibility with chins in hand. Dextrose isn't the one and only priming agent. One suggestion was the use of molasses.

Eh, what do I know? I knew I didn't want a honeyed porter. So, I'll try the champagne bubble idea.

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Old 03-31-2012, 12:57 AM   #9
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Ok, OG is 1.058. If, IF, I had followed the kit instructions my target OG range would be 1.043-1.045. So, my additions increased OG by 0.013. If I can get this brew down to 1.012 then...

(OG 1.058 - FG 1.012) * 131.25 = 6.03% ABV

HOLY CRAP!!

Apparently, I overshot my little bump. I only wanted an increase of 1% ABV to a 5% ABV. Instead, I overshot by a full 1% to an ABV of 6%. Assuming that the Danstar Windsor can get the FG to 1.012, which previous posts seem to indicate that I will have a higher FG, thus lower ABV and ultimately sweeter porter. Hmm, how sweet will be too sweet?

Gonna pitch and wait two weeks for the FG. Why did I ever think I had the patience for this?

Ok, how can I figure the parts per million? How do you scientifically determine the amount of fermentables needed to increase ABV?

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