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Old 07-25-2007, 05:13 PM   #1
Movinfr8
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Default why low alcohol?

Have just bottled my second batch and just got a hydrometer.
I noticed the first batch of brown ale didn't give me a hangover, and my wife pointed out that it also lacked a buzz! Not having a hydrometer, I dunno what it was but I will fix that problem from now on. The only thing I can think was heat, it was in our bedroom in the mid 70's. the second batch, a pale ale, had a f.g. of 1.10, but I dunno the o.g.. the yeast was nottingham dry. any help is appreciated...
Norm

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Old 07-25-2007, 05:19 PM   #2
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I'd just put it down to experience and use the hydrometer next time.

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Old 07-25-2007, 05:30 PM   #3
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We all brew for our own reasons, but I think it's really weird that you are complaining about a lack of a hangover. Is that what you were trying to brew? A hangover?

Homebrew rarely gives you a hangover, even if you DO overindulge. Countless threads are already around that discuss this phenomenon and there really isn't much to be said about it that hasn't already been said. Anyway, if you really want a hangover, I recommend using a very highly-attenuating yeast at an elevated temperature, this ought to produce more fusel alcohols and phenols and other nasty things that should give you the headache you are looking for. It will also speed up the fermentation. In addition, I suggest filtering your beer. Yeast is a natural source of Vitamin B, known to cure most symptoms of a hangover. So filtering, higher attenuation, and higher temperatures should generally help you to achieve the superior hangover you are seeking.

Secondly, the alcohol intake through homebrew can be deceptive due to the greater degree of flavor that is present. Homebrews, especially middle-of-the-road ones like a brown ale, tend to be exceptionally smooth and flavorful relative to the commercial versions. This is due both to the use of more ingredients (oftentimes) and the lack of pasteurization or filtering (most of the time). I never feel quite as drunk off of homebrews... that is, until I try to do something like go for a walk.... errr.. a stumble. If I just sit on my butt, it's just a really mellow light buzz. It's definitely deceptive. Othertimes though, it goes the other way, and I can have a really flavorful beer that people SWEAR must be really strong, when it's really only around 4 or 5% ABV.

Anyway, I assume you are doing extract? If you post the recipe with quantities and how much beer you wound up with (5 gallons even? Or a little more or a little less?), pretty much anybody here will be able to calculate your alcohol content.

But regardless, if it started as wort and now it tastes like beer, you can be assured, the alcohol was present.

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Old 07-25-2007, 05:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Movinfr8
the second batch, a pale ale, had a f.g. of 1.10, but I dunno the o.g.. the yeast was nottingham dry. any help is appreciated...
Norm
I assume 1.10 is a typo, and the FG was 1.010 ?

Assuming this was an extract batch and it was a reasonable amount of ME for a pale ale, there's plenty of alcohol if it finished at 1.010. If you post your recipe and batch size, someone here can tell you the ABV.
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:54 PM   #5
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My first batch is like this too. Don't know why, but fermentation stopped at about 2.5% ABV. I was afraid that fermentation had stuck, and that I might get bottle bombs... but nothing of the sort. Nicely carbonated and good tasting after 3 weeks in the bottle. I call it my butter-beer because I can have 2 after work before dinner and get nothing but a mild warm and pleasant feeling. Relax and enjoy it.

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Old 07-25-2007, 06:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orfy
I'd just put it down to experience and use the hydrometer next time.
yeah, if you don't know what you started or ended with...there's really no way to figure it out. take those readings!
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jowens
My first batch is like this too. Don't know why, but fermentation stopped at about 2.5% ABV.
My first batch went from 1.048 - 1.024 in a week. My dad still calls it near-beer. Lol.

Turns out i didn't aerate the wort at all when i pitched along with innumerable newbie mistakes. Just chalk it up to experience.
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efreem01
My first batch went from 1.048 - 1.024 in a week. My dad still calls it near-beer. Lol.

Turns out i didn't aerate the wort at all when i pitched along with innumerable newbie mistakes. Just chalk it up to experience.
Whew, glad to know I wasn't the only one
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:57 PM   #9
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A hydrometer gives you potential ABV and you need the starting gravity and the finish gravity to figure actual ABV out. A final reading of 2.5% = 1.010, which is fairly good.

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Old 07-25-2007, 11:49 PM   #10
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thanks,
I was really thinking there may be a lack of fusel alcohol, as I had read that it was a source of hangovers. Not that I was LOOKING for one! I had 3 Newcastle brown ales Sunday night and they reminded me quite well what it was like! Also reminded me what alcohol was like! At least I think that was going thru my mind as I was stumbling to bed! Yeah I know, lightweight yadda yadda
thanks,
Norm
p.s. other than keeping it cool, and correct ph, any tips on keeping fusel alchohol down?

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