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Old 12-31-2008, 01:57 PM   #1
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Default Boosting ABV%

Hey guys I am new here and have been using my "mr beer" kit for a year now and over Christmas recieved a "true brew" brewing kit (5 gallon batchs). I got a couple kits with it, an amber ale, and a pale ale. I believe both of these have a ABV% of 5.2. I would like to shoot for around 6.5% if possible. Do I need to add more liquid malt or corn sugar, or dry malt. Like I said, I am new, and really enjoy the hobby, but would like to branch out from the kits and start putting my own signature on it.
Thanks guys, and hope to be posting on here more.

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Old 12-31-2008, 02:06 PM   #2
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More fermentable sugar = more alcohol. Do a forum search for the word "boost."

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Old 12-31-2008, 02:20 PM   #3
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FYI: Austin Homebrew Supply carries an alcohol booster that supposedly adds 1% to a 5 gal batch without adding any off flavors that can occur when using too much extra sugars. I cant say for certain that it truly adds 1% extra ABV but I never noticed any off flavors when I used it.

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Old 12-31-2008, 02:24 PM   #4
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hey man, there are a lot of variables to your questions, how many gravity points are you gonna get depends on the type and brand of DME, is that kit something you brew 2 gallons of concentrated wort, then top up with water, if that was the case you can take a gravity reading, then calculate what gravity you would need to brew with DME and water to add to that wort, etc etc etc.... lots of calcs that are a great learning tool for a new brewer to figure out and work through, which i would recommend and could walk you through or just buy this stuff Austin Homebrew Supply

i havent used it before but ive talked to other people who have....... see if that works out for ya...... beersmith (software) can help you do a lot of the calculations.... hope this helps if not say so and we'll hammer it out

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Old 12-31-2008, 02:28 PM   #5
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The austin homebrew mixture works fine, but I wouldn't pay shipping just for that.

It's a mixture of sugars and DME, nothing super special about it.

If you've got some DME or corn sugar you can use those and be fine.

Doing either *will* change the taste of the beer though, there's no way around it. Not much in that small of an amount if done well but it will effect the taste.

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Old 12-31-2008, 02:36 PM   #6
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I've found it affected the mouthfeel more than the taste.

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Old 12-31-2008, 03:05 PM   #7
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Yes you can add more extract. If you search you can find out the extract potential of your particular DME or LME which will be given in units of points per pound per gallon. You can probably find out how to do the calculations in John Palmer's online book "How to Brew" (free). You also may want to up the hop additions as the resulting beer may be unbalanced (overly malty)

Travis

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Old 12-31-2008, 03:24 PM   #8
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It will also throw off the balance of the hops, begging for a correction on those as well to rebalance the recipe.

My recommendation is to make the batch first per recipe and then tinker as your palate tells you you can. An arbitrary boost to ABV most often hits my palate as cloying and heavy and makes me long for a lighter session type beer. You might find when you make the recipe that it has no room for more malt flavor and mouthfeel or sugar dryness, in which case you could simply go with a style better suited for high ABV - like an RIS or an IPA. Just my $2

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Old 12-31-2008, 04:49 PM   #9
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Thanks for all your information guys, it can really get intimidating walking into a homebrew store for the first time. Hope to get some more help down the road.

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Old 12-31-2008, 05:18 PM   #10
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As others have suggested BrewVint Alocohol boost from Austin Homebrew Supply will boost the alcohol and not effect flavor.

I have used it dozens of times times I buy it in bulk from AHS and it has NOT effected my flavor and HAS boosted my alcohol. In fact when i use it in a recipe where i have not used it prior, the batch where i used it tends to be crisper then the other.

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