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Old 11-22-2007, 04:23 PM   #1
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Default Increasing ABV by using more sugar?

This is probably just a dumb newbie question, but here goes:

If I wanted to increase the ABV of a beer, is it really as simple as just increasing the amount of sugar I mix into the wort? For example, if 1kg of dextrose is needed for about 4.5%, would increasing it to 1.5kg give the beer a higher ABV?

Would I also need to add more yeast to compensate for the higher sugar content?

If this is correct, is there a way to estimate how much sugar I need to get a specific ABV?

Chris

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Old 11-22-2007, 04:28 PM   #2
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The short answer is yes. The long answer is read www.howtobrew.com as you're lacking in a lot of the basics. And just so it's said, add more malt extract, not dextrose. Your beer will thank you for it.

If you want to calculate things out, get yourself some brewing software.

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Old 11-22-2007, 05:04 PM   #3
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adding sugar does indeed work but as stated by Bradsul, more extract is better. Just adding sugar will tend to dry your beer out, too much creates rocket fuel

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Old 11-22-2007, 05:20 PM   #4
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And sugar in beer can impart a cidery unpleasant taste.

Instead of sugar, use more malt extract. It will also boost the ABV without drying out the beer and making it cidery.

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Old 11-22-2007, 06:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradsul
The short answer is yes. The long answer is read www.howtobrew.com as you're lacking in a lot of the basics. And just so it's said, add more malt extract, not dextrose. Your beer will thank you for it.
I did read it, and if I'd been able to find my answer there, I wouldn't have needed to come here. Palmer's book covers only the basic "how to" questions, and none of the questions of "why am I doing it this way?"

Granted, I may have missed something and am simply not capable of finding what I'm looking for there, so maybe I do deserve the dumb newbie treatment.

Thank you.

Chris
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Old 11-22-2007, 07:23 PM   #6
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nothing wrong with a little sugar.
stick with 250g per batch untill you know what you are doing.
It's pointless making a higher ABV beer if it tastes ****.

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Old 11-22-2007, 07:50 PM   #7
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Thanks. And apologies if my last post seemed a bit defensive.

I'm mostly asking right now so I understand better how the dextrose the kits suggest adding really affect the beer and how to guess at ABV when I start experimenting with steeped grains in the future.

Thanks again.

Chris

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Old 11-22-2007, 09:52 PM   #8
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No worries. I didn't realize you were using those kit&kilo things. Definitely don't follow the instructions they give you; they will give you beer, but it won't be all that good.

Instead of the 1KG of dextrose, add 1.2KG of the lightest DME you can find. Then if you want to go up from there, add more DME to increase the ABV. 500G per 23L will increase your gravity by roughly 0.008. Without knowing the kit specifics you can't really predict the gravity beforehand. You'll need to go to an actual recipe to get that.

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Old 11-23-2007, 05:56 AM   #9
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Depends on the style of beer that you're making. A really big beer can often use some sugar to avoid being too thick and syrupy, depending on the style. But in general a bit of sugar is fine as long as you don't overdo it (having 20% of your fermentables sugar should be fine).

Adding more yeast probably won't be necessary.

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Old 11-23-2007, 02:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradsul
I didn't realize you were using those kit&kilo things.
Ah. Sorry. I need to be more specific about that here; it would create less confusion when I ask questions. Sorry about that. I've been using those so far, but I think I've done my last one. Next up is switching to non-hopped malt extract syrup and steeped grains/hops.

If I'm understanding what's being said here, it sounds like there's enough sugar in the extract itself so I won't actually need to add extra sugars to the mix. Is that right? As I move into steeped grains, should I just use dextrose only as a priming agent?

Chris
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