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Old 10-03-2012, 07:03 PM   #1
papa87
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Default ABV tampering advice, what do you think?

So, 5 days into my first batch fermenting away, I've read and been enlightened enough to recognize I've made some pretty laughable errors (as you'll see) that I'm shaking my head about now. The biggest flaw IMO is the painfully obvious lack of LME (Somehow used 3.3 lbs instead of the typical 6.6lbs). It is my understanding the VERY best I could hope for with grain assistance is maybe 3.0-3.5 ABV, but I'm worried I won't even be pushing that. Other errors include... steeping the grains too hot and short (165 for 30 mins), no OG reading, and overpitching yeast (2-11g pkts). So...on to the questions....#1- Some beers from 3 to 4 ABV are quite enjoyable for some, does a recipe such as this have any shot at landing in that ABV range? #2-if not, should i pitch in some sugar/honey/dry extract in the primary to attempt upping the ABV as a last resort? (so I'm not sipping what is basically an NA beer). I appreciate the patience with noobie silliness. My recipe was as follows...

3 Gallon Boil, 5.0 Gallon Batch

3.3 Lbs Bavarian Wheat LME (60 minute boil)
1.0 Lbs Flaked Wheat (30 mins @ 165)
1.0 Lbs Munich Malt (30 mins @ 165)
1.0 Lbs White Wheat Malt (30 mins @ 165)
0.50 oz Liberty Hops (60 minute boil)
1 Tbsp Corn Sugar (late addition, 15 minute boil)
2 (11g) pkts Safale WB06 wheat beer yeast

Despite the endless errors, it does at least have all the characteristics of healthy fermentation thus far (bubbling rate, healthy appearing krausen, 65-70 F, etc.)

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Old 10-03-2012, 07:25 PM   #2
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Wheats are a perfect style for fruit additions. You could rack this guy to secondary after primary fermentation, add 4-6lbs of fruit or 3-4 lbs of fruit puree in secondary, let it ferment out, and boost your ABV a little in the process without throwing the beer's balance out of wack.

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Old 10-03-2012, 07:51 PM   #3
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I appreciate the reply, I had not considered that. I wish I had done the original gravity. Im really curious where this one will end up. I'd probably hold off the fruit/sugar additions if I could safely say it's at least 3's for ABV. I'd shrug, laugh, and chalk it up to a first batch while enjoying it for what it's worth. 2's or below I'd probably be exploring what you suggested along with alternative ways to up the ABV without sacrificing taste. Part of me says first ever batch, just hold off and see how it goes....and the other part doesn't want to be drinking 54 beers that are 1.8% ABV haha

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Old 10-03-2012, 08:12 PM   #4
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According to Beer Calculus your beer will end up in the 3.2% range but without knowing the alpha acid of the bittering hops it looks like it will be a very sweet beer. Beer Calculus assumes that the alpha acid would be about 5%.

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Old 10-03-2012, 08:58 PM   #5
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thanks I appreciate the calculator check and found it very useful! yeah it appears my IBU's are @9.3 which is low even for wheat. hopefully the hops offset it enough to not be like drinking molasses

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Old 10-04-2012, 12:49 AM   #6
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I'm pretty new, but is steeping the grains at 165 for 30 min too hot or too short? Those numbers don't seem unreasonable to me.

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Old 10-04-2012, 12:55 AM   #7
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Both. U want 150 for 60. I'll be surprised if u get more then 3%

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Old 10-04-2012, 01:06 AM   #8
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You could boil up another couple pounds of DME with more hops than the first attempt to make wort with higher bitterness to add to your fermenter. Add this to the fermenter when the fermentation slows. Staggered sugar additions like this will reduce the chance of stressing the yeast, and help increase the ABV and bitterness. That way you can save the batch.

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Old 10-04-2012, 01:08 AM   #9
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For an extract where you are just steeping? I was way off. The recipe I read told me 160f for 10 min. Are the strategies for steeping in extract recipes vastly different depending on styles or was mine just bad? Sorry to hijack, I'm just very surprised.

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Old 10-04-2012, 01:37 AM   #10
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Steeping for short time is normal with extract brewing. Probably 30 min. But definitively lower temp

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