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Old 06-06-2009, 06:57 AM   #1
BillyDee
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Default How to make stronger beer (around 5.5%)

The kit recipe I am following says to add '2 level teaspoons of sugar to a 2 litre bottle'.

If I want stronger beer, do I add more sugar and how much or will it be too sweet? Am I better off adding corn sugar rather than granulated sugar?

Thanks for all the help..it is a great forum and I am glad the experienced guys are more than willing to hlep us noobies.

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Old 06-06-2009, 07:09 AM   #2
ChshreCat
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I believe that's referring to your priming sugar to carbonate the bottle. Adding more sugar will cause it to over carbonate and possibly assplode your beer all over your kitchen.

Corn sugar is the sugar of choice, but in a pinch you can use table sugar, though you'll want to adjust the amount since they aren't interchangable.

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Old 06-06-2009, 08:08 AM   #3
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Since priming sugar only creates a small amount of alcohol, if you want to make the beer stronger, you have to do it when you first brew it. Corn sugar can work then, adding alcohol without adding body or flavor, but that won't make for a very good beer in many cases. To be more specific, it's not always bad but it doesn't suit all beers and should be in moderation in any case, only a relatively small percentage of the fermentables. Adding more malt (or malt extract, since I assume that's what you're using) is better, but also makes the beer heavier, requiring more or different hops to balance, and so on.

This all sounds complicated, but don't worry, it isn't really. I've just gone through learning it all quite recently myself. If you're getting ready to bottle I'm afraid it's too late to strengthen your current kit, but for future beers if you want to make something strong just look for a kit or recipe that makes a style of beer you like at the alcohol level you want. The recipe database here is excellent, there are fine books to choose from, and most brewing supply stores will have kits(though some with better quality and variety than others.) Just be warned: stronger beers take longer to ferment, longer to carbonate, and longer to age to perfection than milder ones, so they take more patience. Usually this only becomes really pronounced once you get to really strong beers, but it's a general rule of thumb for most styles.

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Old 06-06-2009, 10:58 AM   #4
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What Robot said - your alcohol content is dependent on the sugars in the wort before you ferment - adding more than just priming sugar when you bottle will give you an end result you don't want (beer and broken glass everywhere to be specific). Even as a beginner I never added sugar to increase abv - if you want a stronger beer then select a kit or recipe that is intended to be stronger. Also, read Palmers How To Brew - it's available free online and will give you a better understanding of how the process goes.

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