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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > How to increase Alcohol Content in beer?
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Old 10-05-2007, 04:52 AM   #1
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Default How to increase Alcohol Content in beer?

Total noob, started with a mr. beer kit couple years ago, but wife just gave me a "deluxe" brewers best home brew kit. I'm starting simple with brewers best pre-packaged recipe kits, rabbit pellet hops, can malts etc. Have 1 batch fermenting now, and another kit ready to boil.

My question is this...how do I kick the alcohol content up a couple percentage points and make an extra stout brew for my third batch? yet keep the flavor palatable and not going into hard cider taste range.

yeast feeds on the sugar and by-product is alcohol, so sweeten up the wort will give the yeast more food, and do i need more yeast to eat the additional sugars? does fermenation temp change %alcohol content?

basically I want my third batch to be extra stout, around 6-6.5% alcohol, but not taste like hard cider. is that possible? if not what is reasonable.

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Old 10-05-2007, 04:55 AM   #2
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I might be wrong on the amounts here, but I think that you get roughtly a 1% ABV increase for every pound of fermentable sugar that you add to the wort.





Am I right guys?

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Old 10-05-2007, 05:01 AM   #3
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I think that calculation is right, though I wouldn't add more than a pound or two of sugar, some Belgian abbey ales use up to 15% sugar for the grist, but it's also because they want the beers to be dry. Except your beer to dry out when you add more sugar, since the yeast will ferment them completely because they are simpler sugars. If you use corn sugar or turbonado, at about 10% of the grist, you should not have to worry about the flavor becoming cidery.

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Old 10-05-2007, 05:04 AM   #4
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roughly...really depends on what kind of sugar, no matter what it's less than 1% usually.

i'd just add malt extract

there are plenty of good stout recipes at the ABV you're suggesting. check out the recipes section and also this site to give you some ideas

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Old 10-05-2007, 05:16 AM   #5
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You can also add honey. I would stick with a known recipe tho untill you get a little more experience.

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Old 10-05-2007, 05:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talleymonster
I might be wrong on the amounts here, but I think that you get roughtly a 1% ABV increase for every pound of fermentable sugar that you add to the wort.





Am I right guys?
how fermentable is honey? iff I add a 16oz jar of local honey to the wort, obviously it will effect the final flavor, but will it ferment? or is honey too hard for the yeast to eat and increase final alcohol content?
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Old 10-05-2007, 05:28 AM   #7
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Honey is a good choice because it is very fermentable. It will add a hint of flavor and complexity, while boosting alcohol percentage.

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Old 10-05-2007, 05:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iordz
Honey is a good choice because it is very fermentable. It will add a hint of flavor and complexity, while boosting alcohol percentage.
that's good to hear...think i'll expirement with a small jar of honey in my next wort boil...

just so the bottled beer doesn't get so high in alcohol content it turns into hard cider. see how far i can push the envelope between stout brew and palatable flavor, should i add more hops? or is the small jar of honey fine as it is.
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Old 10-05-2007, 05:42 AM   #9
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You are right, you have to experiment to become familiar with the ingredients, to know how they taste in certain beers. Be prepared to taste some mediocre batches, at the same time there will be some great ones, as long as you take good notes you will be able to reproduce the beer you like. As for adding more hops, that's always a good thing in my books! Just remember to keep it balanced.

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Old 10-05-2007, 05:59 AM   #10
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Acording to Papazian's The Home Brewer's Companion:

Honey is nearly 100% fermentable. It can lighten the flavor and body when substituted for malt.

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