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Old 03-30-2010, 02:56 AM   #1
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Default Use corn sugar/extract in the fermenter to up ABV?

I did my first brew yesterday, and to make a long story short, I screwed up some of the measurements and I ended up with an OG of 1.030. I was disappointed at first at having such a low OG, but then it occured to me that I could add some corn sugar or malt extract to up the gravity while it's in the fermenter. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks,

Rich

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Old 03-30-2010, 03:24 AM   #2
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you would want to boil the extract to make a wort before you add it, and you can add boiled and cooled water with sugar in it but using just sugar would make it taste a little less like beer. Although unlike some opinions, I find a balance of corn sugar and malt to boost ABV works with GREAT results.

So as long as you have enough room in the carboy, I would say making more wort would be the best bet. You can always add sugar to the wort too.

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Old 03-30-2010, 03:42 AM   #3
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Corn sugar can also dry out the beer or make it cidery, depending on how much is used.

If you did not do a full boil then chances are your beer wasn't mixed well with the top off water and gave you a false reading. It happens a lot.

For this reason I recommend taking a reading (then give the wort a slow stir or two to meld the wort and water) than take another one about 15 minutes later before adding your yeast. The final measurement will be the correct one.

If you followed the recipe then the sugar you need to make a good brew is already in there as well as the proper amount of hops to keep it balanced. Adding more sugar may throw that balance off and produce a sweeter brew.

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Old 03-30-2010, 12:18 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips.

I did not add all of the extract the recipe called for because I ran out of room in my pot (new 5 gal. pot is on the way), and in addition to this, I ended up with more water than the recipe called for (next time, I won't add the pre-boiled water to the fermenter until after the wort has been added so I can make the batch precisely the correct size). And so, I think the batch could stand a bit more extract.

Right now the airlock is bubbling away. Should I wait until fermentation slows down before I add more wort? Or is now the right time to do it?

Thanks,

Rich

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Old 03-30-2010, 10:21 PM   #5
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I'd just add it in now. don't worry about boiling the extract, really. It's been boiled once. Just get some water to boil (just enough water to dissolve the extract in... you don't need much), take it off the heat and add your extract. Mix it well and let it cool and pour it in. It'll mix as it ferments.

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Old 03-31-2010, 12:35 PM   #6
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UPDATE: Bubbling in the air lock peaked yesterday afternoon at about once every 20 seconds, and tapered off to about once per minute by the evening. This was less than 24 hours after pitching the yeast. About 11pm last night I added another 3.3 pound container of LME to the fermenter. This morning the airlock was going crazy, bubbling once per second. I'm glad I added the LME. Hopefully this will push the ABV up to a "normal" 5 or 6 percent. I just hopr it will taste good. Only time will tell.

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