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Old 03-06-2013, 03:35 PM   #1
allanyork
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Default checking og?

I made a canned kit of muntons Canadian ale on Sunday night. It called for 1 kg of sugar to get a og of 1.044. I got about 1.040 with that amount of sugar, so I wanted to add more to add a little more alcohol. I added about another kg and it only rose to 1.050. What's the deal? How much sugar should it take to bring the og up to 1.075 or so? Or was it that the sugar sat at the bottom and I couldn't get a reliable reading? I did spin it up a lot, I thought it was mixed well. Think its OK to add more sugar when I rack to secondary in a couple days? Or maybe I should add dry hops?

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Old 03-06-2013, 03:38 PM   #2
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I made a canned kit of muntons Canadian ale on Sunday night. It called for 1 kg of sugar to get a og of 1.044. I got about 1.040 with that amount of sugar, so I wanted to add more to add a little more alcohol. I added about another kg and it only rose to 1.050. What's the deal? How much sugar should it take to bring the og up to 1.075 or so? Or was it that the sugar sat at the bottom and I couldn't get a reliable reading? I did spin it up a lot, I thought it was mixed well. Think its OK to add more sugar when I rack to secondary in a couple days? Or maybe I should add dry hops?
Too much sugar is going to make the beer thin, with a dry finish, and not really all that "beer"like. Beer gets its flavor from malt.

If you want a good tasting beer, for next time leave out the sugar completely and replace it with dry malt extract.

If you want to go all the way up to 1.075, you'd probably be better off not using that kit because the idea of a good beer is about balance- the correct amount of bittering with the correct amount of malt. To have just a ton of fermentables, to boost the alcohol level, without adding the proper amount of hops to balance it will not make a good beer.

For this time, since it's already mostly sugar, I definitely would NOT add more sugar.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:43 PM   #3
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As Yooper said just adding sugar to a kit is not likely to have a desirable result.

Let this one go as it is then get a new kit that is designed to give you the beer that you want. I suggest a better kit with fresh liquid extract, or dry malt extract and steeping grains for extra flavor.

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Old 03-06-2013, 03:51 PM   #4
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Its only 2 kg of sugar in total. And you are saying I can't add hops? Wouldnt this add flavor?

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Old 03-06-2013, 03:52 PM   #5
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Its only 2 kg of sugar in total. And you are saying I can't add hops? Wouldnt this add flavor?
"only" 2 kg of sugar is a lot! How many Kg of malt was used? It sounds like more sugar than malt, which is not a good thing.

Those kits aren't great quality anyway, but by cutting it with even more sugar it makes it less good.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:01 PM   #6
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There's nothing I can do to it? I can't add hops or any grains? I don't know how or when to use these things. I was also asking if I added that much sugar to it then why didn't the original gravity change much?

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Old 03-06-2013, 04:01 PM   #7
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munton's kits are 3.3 lbs/1.5 kg LME

so it's now 57% sugar

it's going to be a very dry beer.

you can add hops, it will be a very dry, hoppy beer

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Old 03-06-2013, 04:06 PM   #8
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So by me adding an extra .010 to the original gravity I ruined the beer?

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Old 03-06-2013, 04:11 PM   #9
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Its all about balance. Would you add a cup of sugar to your plate of spaghetti?
I think you will have a very thin dry cidery beer.

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Old 03-06-2013, 04:14 PM   #10
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So by me adding an extra .010 to the original gravity I ruined the beer?
Well, adding the first bit of sugar was bad enough (next time, use malt extract instead of the sugar). I think they tell you to add 1 kg of sugar? That's already too much, to be honest, but it makes the kit cheaper than if you buy more extract.

Then doubling the amount of sugar means that the "beer" isn't even made mostly out of malt- it's not going to taste all that great. It might be a bit cidery in the finish, without a good malt flavor like beer has.

It's entirely possible that your OG reading is incorrect since it's hard to mix up sugar and water and extract that well.

If you made 23 L of this concoction, the OG is 1.053. It has to be- the sugars in the malt extract are fixed, as is the amount of fermentables in the pure sugar. It will be about 6.5-7% ABV when it's done. That doesn't mean it will taste good- but it will have alcohol in it.

Think of it this way. Say you are making spaghetti sauce, but only have one can of tomato sauce (1.5 Kg). But you want a bigger quantity, so you add 2 Kgs of chicken broth. That might make more sauce, but it won't make it better sauce.

The same is true with this beer kit- you can make more alcohol in it, but it will not improve the quality or the flavor. Each "boost" will water it down by adding alcohol and taking away malt flavor (just like adding chicken broth in a large quantity to the spaghetti sauce).

For now, I'd recommend just leaving it alone and make a new plan for next time.
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