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Old 12-14-2011, 11:08 PM   #1
MrThirsty
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Default IPA abv issue

I've been fiddling with an IPA recipe for a few batches, and finally I have created an ale that is perfect for me, except for the abv. I'd like to achieve about 7.5% but I don't want to detract from the flavor I'm getting now. It's hopped 100% using citra hops (pellet) - 2 oz for 60 min, 2 oz final 15 min, 1 oz after the boil. I don't know the precise abv of my current recipe, because my OG reading was erroneous - way too high (my bad). Two questions:

1. Based on ingredients, roughly what abv should I expect? I'm using 8 lbs Alexander pale lme, 1 lb Carlson Briess pilsner dme, 1 lb cracked Munich malt, and 8 oz Muntons crushed crystal malt. Yeast is 1 pkg dry Fermentis Sofale s-05 ale yeast.
2. To yield 7.5% abv, how can I tweak the recipe without substantially altering the flavor?

Thanks for any advice.

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Old 12-14-2011, 11:19 PM   #2
BryceL
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I can't help you out with the numbers right now since I'm not on my home PC with beersmith, maybe someone can get to it before I can. What I do is just plug my ingredients into the program and just start increasing the amount of each ingredient while keeping the percentage for each one constant. I then bump up the hops with it to keep the IBU/OG ratio the same. I'm assuming that you don't have a program like that yet but if you do you can start to mess with it. This is just my technique, you may get some other suggestions. Welcome to the forum!

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Old 12-15-2011, 12:41 AM   #3
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I think you'll hit right about the ABV numbers you want.

If you aren't happy with that though, I would still leave it alone personally. Taste the wort at bottling and if it doesn't have the body and sweetness you want adjust with a little maltodextrin in with your priming sugar (maltodextrine is only 5% fermentable).
That'll give you a little more body and sweetness to stand up to your bitter brew if it is a little too fierce

Trying to squeeze a little more alcohol out of a wort that is already boiled and fermenting has always struck me as a risky proposition. Try to identify why you didn't get the OG you were shooting for and adjust in the future. And learn how to read that hydrometer and adjust for temp, it's the second most important skill for a brewer!

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Old 12-15-2011, 02:17 AM   #4
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OG would be around 1.068:

8 lbs LME = 288 gravity points
1 lb DME = 45 gravity points
1 lb Munich = 0 gravity points if not mashed (maybe 27 if mashed).
0.5 lbs Crystal = about 10 gravity points

Total = 343 points (370 if you mash the Munich). In 5 gallons that will = 1.068.

You don't say what your FG is. Assuming you get 75% attenuation it would be about 1.017, and give you an abv of about 6.7%.

If you want to get to about 7.5%, you could just add 10 ozs of cane sugar. It is tasteless (no cider taste), and will just add to the alcohol. It might lower the FG by a point, but will not dry it out excessively. Add it at the end of the boil, or even after the main fermentation is slowing down.

If you actually mashed the Munich, you would be close to your 7.5%.

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Old 12-15-2011, 02:23 AM   #5
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OP - I plugged in your numbers and you'd need about 1.25lbs more DME to hit your target ABV - but not being a brew scientist - I'm not sure how much you'd have to adjust your hops to balance out the extra alcohol.
Personally - taste is much more important than ABV. If you like it, success! You just drink a few more ounces to get the same effect.

Cheers!

PS
I'm just down the road from you in Oakton.

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Old 12-15-2011, 01:28 PM   #6
MrThirsty
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Thanks to everyone for all the info and advice. I will definitely follow up. I'll be brewing my next batch overseas where a decent IPA is not available, and I want to be real careful about altering the formula since I'll be forced to drink the results anyway. Hey jmprdood - if you'd care to try one of my citra ales I'll bring one by. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

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Old 12-15-2011, 01:53 PM   #7
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MrThirsty - PM me and we'll get together - I have a couple of brews in the pipeline you could try as well

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