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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Increasing ABV
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:27 PM   #1
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Default Increasing ABV

I plan on doing an extract recipe from Austin Home Brew, who I really like there recipes. I plan on doing a citra pale ale and the ABV is 5.1. I like my beers 6.5ish percent. AHB sales a boost which is basically 1 lb of sugar. They say I can add up to 3 lbs without changing the flavor. Any suggestions or recommendations? Thanks

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Old 04-25-2013, 07:38 PM   #2
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I use DME to boost the ABV. I have used the Austin boosters in the past with no ill effects, but I always have DME laying around so I usually use that.

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Old 04-25-2013, 07:42 PM   #3
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W00t another Austinite!

I have a Honey Hibiscus Wit that is standard 4.8% ABV but, I added more malt to make it around 8% ABV (I'll find out the FG is on Tuesday). You can always add the alcohol sugar boosters but adding more malt makes it stronger too.

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Old 04-25-2013, 07:42 PM   #4
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Adding sugar will thin the beer. I'd personally look to add DME, using atleast 1 for 1 with sugar. Sugar also 'drys' the beer, making it less sweet.

8 grav points change is about 1% abv, you are after 1.4. so about 11 more points of gravity (ie going from say 1.050 to say 1061). But this is more complicated. Sugar ferments 100%, DME ferments at the typical attnuation of the yeast, about 75% -it varries, but 75% is a good general guess. So thus for 11 points of Delta, you need like 15 to 16points of DME.
on a 5 gallon recipe, 1lb of DME adds about 9points, so in our case you need about 1.5lb of DME - well that would be 13 points.

Another options woudl be to use a mix of DME and sugar, based on my prior paragraph, you could add 1lb of DME for 9 points - but only 7 of change, needing 4 more points. 1/2lb of Sugar woudl get you about 4 to 5 more points. Total OG change +13 to 14, total FG change +2 or 3. ABV about + 1.4%

In general no more than 20% of the fermentables shoudl come from adjuncts. 80% or more from malts.

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Old 04-25-2013, 08:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ACbrewer View Post
Adding sugar will thin the beer. I'd personally look to add DME, using atleast 1 for 1 with sugar. Sugar also 'drys' the beer, making it less sweet.

8 grav points change is about 1% abv, you are after 1.4. so about 11 more points of gravity (ie going from say 1.050 to say 1061). But this is more complicated. Sugar ferments 100%, DME ferments at the typical attnuation of the yeast, about 75% -it varries, but 75% is a good general guess. So thus for 11 points of Delta, you need like 15 to 16points of DME.
on a 5 gallon recipe, 1lb of DME adds about 9points, so in our case you need about 1.5lb of DME - well that would be 13 points.

Another options woudl be to use a mix of DME and sugar, based on my prior paragraph, you could add 1lb of DME for 9 points - but only 7 of change, needing 4 more points. 1/2lb of Sugar woudl get you about 4 to 5 more points. Total OG change +13 to 14, total FG change +2 or 3. ABV about + 1.4%

In general no more than 20% of the fermentables shoudl come from adjuncts. 80% or more from malts.
+1. I'd be really hesitant to add 3 lbs of sugar to boost the ABV of a 5-gallon batch of Pale Ale. If you do add the mix of DME and sugar as described above, you should consider bumping your hop additions accordingly.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:40 AM   #6
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I've never used their booster, but I suspect it is probably a mixture of corn sugar and Malto-dextrin. Designed to ferment out a little more than malt extract, but not thin out the beer as sugar would do.

3 lbs seems way too much. I'd suggest sticking with about a pound if you use it. I suspect a pound will increase 5 gallons by about 0.7% abv.

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Old 04-26-2013, 06:23 AM   #7
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The yes you right on what the boost is. AHB claims it will raise the ABV up to 1%.

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Old 04-26-2013, 12:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bobbyb619 View Post
I plan on doing an extract recipe from Austin Home Brew, who I really like there recipes. I plan on doing a citra pale ale and the ABV is 5.1. I like my beers 6.5ish percent. AHB sales a boost which is basically 1 lb of sugar. They say I can add up to 3 lbs without changing the flavor. Any suggestions or recommendations? Thanks
Wait, you say you really like Austin Homebrew's recipes but then you say you don't like this one and want to make changes to it. Why not look for a recipe that has the alcohol that you want but is balanced. Adding sugars or malt extract is going to unbalance the recipe or dry out the beer. Adding hops may or may not bring that balance back.
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:41 PM   #9
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Wait, you say you really like Austin Homebrew's recipes but then you say you don't like this one and want to make changes to it. Why not look for a recipe that has the alcohol that you want but is balanced. Adding sugars or malt extract is going to unbalance the recipe or dry out the beer. Adding hops may or may not bring that balance back.
i agree. there are tons of kits online, so you are bound to find one that fits what you are looking for.
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:57 PM   #10
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You can add Brewer's Crystals to boost the ABV of a beer by 1% or so without any ill effects, unless it's a very light-flavored beer. But to echo what other people have said, I would suggest brewing the recipe as designed or asking Austin Homebrew to customize the recipe to meet your specifications if they offer that service.

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