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Old 12-22-2011, 12:46 AM   #1
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Default Alcohol levels

How can I increase the alcohol levels in my brew? I know its based on the amount of extract i put in, however how can I break it down to the percentages? Say from a 5% apv, to a 10% apv.

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Old 12-22-2011, 12:54 AM   #2
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How can I increase the alcohol levels in my brew? I know its based on the amount of extract i put in, however how can I break it down to the percentages? Say from a 5% apv, to a 10% apv.
The amount of fermentables is the biggest portion of how to determine ABV, but there are a couple of other things to keep in mind. One is that most ale strains stop at 9-10% and also that attenuation may change the finishing gravity in a smaller beer.

It's important to use a hydrometer to help you find out where you start, so you know about where you should finish.

Consider that dry malt extract (DME) will give you 1.009 in 5 gallons while liquid malt extact (LME) will give you 1.007 in 5 gallons. That's the basic premise on recipe building.

What that means is that 10 pounds of DME will give you 1.090 in 5 gallons. It will probably ferment down to 1.018-1.020, or until the yeast strains alcohol tolerance, so about 10% or so.

If you want a 5% beer, 6 pounds of DME is a good place to start (as it will ferment a bit lower, probably to 1.010 or so).
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:56 AM   #3
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or plug it in here:

Beer Calculus . homebrew recipe calculator

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Old 12-22-2011, 01:48 AM   #4
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What a great answer! Thanks man. And I'll check out the website when I get home. Thanks guys.

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Old 12-22-2011, 01:52 AM   #5
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Yooper: what about LME? How many pounds of that? I just purchased my first LME, and the brewer said I needed 6 pounds of LME, compared to the 2lbs of DME I had originally asked for.

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Old 12-22-2011, 02:11 AM   #6
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Yooper: what about LME? How many pounds of that? I just purchased my first LME, and the brewer said I needed 6 pounds of LME, compared to the 2lbs of DME I had originally asked for.
I believe it takes about 20% more LME than DME for equivalent gravity.
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Old 12-22-2011, 03:28 AM   #7
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Yooper: what about LME? How many pounds of that? I just purchased my first LME, and the brewer said I needed 6 pounds of LME, compared to the 2lbs of DME I had originally asked for.
LME has 36 gravity points. That is, when dissolved and made up to 1 gallon of water will give a gravity of 1.036. As Yopper noted, this will give you about 1.007 when dissolved in 5 gallons. DME has 45 gravity points (or 25% more).

So .... 2 lbs of DME = 2.5 lbs of LME to get the same gravity

2 lbs of DME = 45 x 2 = 90 gravity points, or 1.018 in 5 gallons.
2.5 lbs of LME = 36 x 2.4 = 90 gravity points, ..........
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