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Old 07-14-2011, 02:33 AM   #1
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Default Can I increase alcohol level after adding yeast?

Nooby here. I just started my first extract brew - a Coopers DIY Lager kit. My starting OG was 1030, and I anticipate the Final Gravity to be between 1012 and 1016 which will be an alcohol level around 3%. Can I increase alcohol level a day after I have pitched the yeast?



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Old 07-14-2011, 02:40 AM   #2
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Sure. Your yeasties, if alive and well, will continue eating fermentables as long as there are fermentables to be eaten. So, if you were to pitch some new fermentables into an already fermenting solution, the yeast will eat 'em up.

To complicate matters a bit, though . . . make sure that what you add has been sanitized. Also, you will notice a very different flavor profile in the end as you are essentially altering the recipe.



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Old 07-14-2011, 03:02 AM   #3
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If you add sugar, your beer will be sweeter. If you really want to add the sugar and make it sweeter, that's fine. But you risk balance. I had a friend who just liked increasing the alc content. He would hop it to balance it, then he would get impatient and add a few POUNDS of sugar to boost the alc content. Most of his beers tasted like smirnoff ice lol.

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Old 07-14-2011, 03:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrayson726 View Post
If you add sugar, your beer will be sweeter. If you really want to add the sugar and make it sweeter, that's fine. But you risk balance. I had a friend who just liked increasing the alc content. He would hop it to balance it, then he would get impatient and add a few POUNDS of sugar to boost the alc content. Most of his beers tasted like smirnoff ice lol.


Sugar ferments out 100%. If anything it will be dryer.
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:08 AM   #5
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Well I could be wrong, but it really depends on what types of sugar you add. Some sugars don't ferment out 100%

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Old 07-14-2011, 03:11 AM   #6
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First brew? Just follow the recipe and don't worry so much about the abv. You'll be happy you did after you experiment on your second brew and screw it up. I'm joking...sort of

Besides, it's the perfect time of year for a low abv lawn mower

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Old 07-14-2011, 03:11 AM   #7
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Well I could be wrong, but it really depends on what types of sugar you add. Some sugars don't ferment out 100%
No. All sugar (sucrose) ferments 100%.
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinpanharry View Post
Nooby here. I just started my first extract brew - a Coopers DIY Lager kit. My starting OG was 1030, and I anticipate the Final Gravity to be between 1012 and 1016 which will be an alcohol level around 3%. Can I increase alcohol level a day after I have pitched the yeast?
If you did the Coopers style of 1 can extract and 1 kg of sugar I would expect you FG to be more in the range of 1006-1008. And usually the OG for these kits are in the upper 30s (for 6 gallons), did you stir the kit to fully mix in the extract/sugar (assuming it is a kit and kilo you are doing )?
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrayson726
Well I could be wrong, but it really depends on what types of sugar you add. Some sugars don't ferment out 100%
Most sugars that people can buy will ferment out 100%. Other sources of sugar (honey, maple syrup, molasses, candi syrup, etc) will generally ferment out 100% of the sugar component, and still adding no sweetness.

There are some sugars (ie lactose) which won't ferment, but generally when people talk about adding "sugar", one can generally assume that the sugar is (or is a source of) sucrose or glucose, and sometimes even maltose. It DEFINITELY makes no sense to assume 100% lactose - and aside from lactose, the sweetening agents used by homebrewers (and home- cider, mead, and wine makers as well) are more accurately termed sweeteners rather than sugars.
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TotemWolf

No. All sugar (sucrose) ferments 100%.
True most of the time, but not always. You're confusing "sugar" with "table sugar". Lactose is an unfermentable sugar. Glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, maltotriose, and (IIRC) galactose, are all fermentable sugars present in wort.


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