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Old 11-24-2007, 07:55 PM   #1
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Default Raising alcohol content-

Ok- New to the forum and first post!

I am brewing a Woodfordes Norfolk Ale - Nelsons Revenge. Its an amber redish ale or "full flavored premium bitter.

Its 5% from the kit, kit being 3kg of extract. I was wondering if adding a 1.4lb can of pale malt extract would totally screw it up.

Am I even going the right direction? I was looking to make about a 6.5% anywhere near 6-7% is ideal.

cheers



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Old 11-24-2007, 07:58 PM   #2
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I think that would be just fine- it's not too much of an increase and it's probably still within the style. Overall, you are going about it the right way by sticking with extract, rather than succumbing to the temptation to just add some sugar. Be aware though, that the beer will take a little bit longer to ferment. It will probably also have a higher finishing gravity. You might want to make a starter, especially if you are using liquid yeast. And make sure you aerate really well. You should be fine.



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Old 11-24-2007, 08:01 PM   #3
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many thanks-

I was thinking of a 7 day primary and a 10 day secondary before kegging. I want to get this done prior to me leaving for Afganistan for the wife. I dont want to harsh of a taste as she likes lighter beers but loves pales as long as they are not tooo bitter.

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Old 11-24-2007, 08:16 PM   #4
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Generally, all the worst mistakes you make while brewing are the result of doing something when you should have done nothing. Seriously.

So, the first strike against you is that you are on a limited time schedule. The second strike against you is you aren't using a hydrometer to determine when to rack to secondary. In light of these issues, I recommend a procedure that will reduce your risk of making time-consuming mistakes which could add weeks to your beer being ready. My suggestion is.....

Skip secondary. Just let it sit for two weeks in primary, then add knox gelatin boiled in a little water, let it sit for 3 more days, then siphon (being a little extra careful not to disturb the yeast on the bottom) and bottle/keg. It won't condition any faster, but it will be less time consuming and will improve the odds that the yeast will finish their job completely before you keg.

Given that you are on a strict time table, I feel like this is the more prudent approach. I've been doing this same thing a lot lately with my beers that aren't too high of gravity and aren't going to be sitting on the yeast for too long.


PS keep yourself safe in Afghanistan and best of luck on your mission whatever it may be.

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Old 11-24-2007, 08:23 PM   #5
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I see- Normally I wait until I see no action from the primary which is usually 7/8 day. I then transfer to the secondary. For 10. I am a little confused on how to use the hydrometer as reading the general instructions kinda confuses me.

I'll try to clear that up in the other forum as its not an extract specific questions.

Thanks- I am going with a Para rescue squadron. I will stay in the compound and help those crazy bastards. Good thing is I get to miss the harsh Alaska winter. Bad things is I get to experience the harsh Afganistan winter.

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Old 11-24-2007, 10:48 PM   #6
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Being on a time crunch, I too would advise against trying to mess with it. Increasing the OG of a beer increases necessary fermentation time significantly. A 5% beer MIGHT be okay to finish in the time table you are aiming for (though I'd say you'd be better off aiming even lower), but I don't think a 6%+ beer is such a safe bet. ESPECIALLY if you don't know how to use a hydrometer. You should be transferring your beer to secondary based on steady daily hydrometer readings, NOT based on a schedule, especially if that schedule isn't very long. It'd be easy to rack to secondary before it's done fermenting, have it not clear up in secondary, and then wind up with cloudy beer and bottle bombs.

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Old 11-24-2007, 10:58 PM   #7
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Cheers- I see your point and aim to get more well aquainted with my hydrometer. Should I take the advice and maybe give 2 weeks primary and then keg it?

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Old 11-24-2007, 11:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeFlynn74
Cheers- I see your point and aim to get more well aquainted with my hydrometer. Should I take the advice and maybe give 2 weeks primary and then keg it?
Or even 3 weeks primary and then keg it.
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Old 11-24-2007, 11:04 PM   #9
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21 days then Keg! Will try that.

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Old 11-25-2007, 06:33 AM   #10
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Look at the clarity of the beer. If you are happy with it then keg.
Every beer is different so what is good for one is not for another.
21 days for an extract sounds reasonable though.

Anything you add to the primary you can reduce from the keg.
If you fully condition in the primary you'll be ready to go straight after carbonation and settling in the keg. If you go to keg sooner you'll have to wait for it to condition in the keg.



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