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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > how to increase alcohol level?
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Old 05-08-2006, 10:33 PM   #1
calman
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Default how to increase alcohol level?

Hello,
If I want to increase 2% of alcohol level in my 5 gal kit beer, how much sugar should I put in? When to add the sugar? and is table sugar good enough?

Thanks.

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Old 05-08-2006, 11:54 PM   #2
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I wouldn't use sugar. Use some malt extract. Add about 2-2.25 lbs of light dry malt extract to the 5 gallon batch to bring the % up about 2%

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Old 05-09-2006, 12:49 AM   #3
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But keep in mind that there is a balance between hop flavor/bitterness and malt sweetness. If you're increasing the amount of sugars (more malt = more sugars), then you will change the balance of the recipe unless you also increase the hops by the same amount.

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Old 05-09-2006, 12:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cweston
unless you also increase the hops by the same amount.
Forgive and correct me if I am wrong here, but you shouldn't necessarily assume that you can increase the hops at the same proportion as you increase malt and expect similar results. For instance, you can't simply double a five gallon recipe if you are using a ten gallon system.

You may want to work all of this out at the recipator, just to be sure.
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Old 05-09-2006, 12:55 AM   #5
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You can use corn sugar, rice syrup or wheat extract to increase ABV without changing the malt/hop balance or the basic flavor. About 1.6 pounds of corn sugar will give you an increase of 2% ABV. Table sugar will give a cidery flavor to your ale, I only use it to boost ABV in ciders.

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Old 05-09-2006, 01:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonvolt
Forgive and correct me if I am wrong here, but you shouldn't necessarily assume that you can increase the hops at the same proportion as you increase malt and expect similar results. For instance, you can't simply double a five gallon recipe if you are using a ten gallon system.
Actually, I think you can just double a 5 gallon recipe to get a 10 gallon recipe. There was a thrad about this recently--wasn't that the consensus?


I personally wouldn't mess with it at all--if I want a higher ABV beer, I'd brew a higher ABV style. But I'm a big believer in the BU:GU stat as one of the most important aspects of any style. If you mess with that much, the beer won't taste the same.
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Old 05-09-2006, 01:23 AM   #7
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anarchy beer - thats why I love to homebrew

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Old 05-09-2006, 02:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cweston
Actually, I think you can just double a 5 gallon recipe to get a 10 gallon recipe. There was a thrad about this recently--wasn't that the consensus?


I personally wouldn't mess with it at all--if I want a higher ABV beer, I'd brew a higher ABV style. But I'm a big believer in the BU:GU stat as one of the most important aspects of any style. If you mess with that much, the beer won't taste the same.
Dunno about the other thread, but if ya use ProMash and lock the ingredients to the batch size, going from 5 gallons to 10 doubles everything (malt and hops) and the OG, IBU and SRM numbers don't change...just FYI...

As to the BU:GU... shouldn't be hard to figure out the new IBUs from the new expected OG and keep the ratio the same, no? Just add a few more grams of hops depending on calculations and there you are... this is what homebrew is all about, wouldn't you agree?

calman, can you give us the info on the kit? (extract, grains, hops, etc.)... I can plug it into ProMash and give you some idea of what you might do with it...

later,
mikey
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Old 05-09-2006, 02:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mykel Obvious
As to the BU:GU... shouldn't be hard to figure out the new IBUs from the new expected OG and keep the ratio the same, no? Just add a few more grams of hops depending on calculations and there you are... this is what homebrew is all about, wouldn't you agree?
Exactly--that was my point.

If I were adding malt to make a bigger beer, I'd adjust the hops concomitantly* so the BU:GU ratio stays roughly the same. BU:GU ratio is something I always pay carefull attention to when designing recipes.

As someone pointed out, sucrose and corn sugar are 100% fermentable, pretty much, so they will up the ABV without affecting the balance of flavors much. They will make the body/mouthfeel different (drier than it would be if you added more malt).

(*sorry: I've been reading papers all day + evening.)
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Old 05-09-2006, 04:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cweston
concomitantly* (*sorry: I've been reading papers all day + evening.)
Ooooohhhhhh!!!! Good word usage!!!! ::golf clap::

Bravo!!!



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