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Old 12-29-2013, 03:19 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the info. As of right now I am using beer kits. It comes with one little packet of yeast. If I want to get more aggressive with my yeast pitch to raise my ABV ; do I just buy another yeast packet, Rehydrate it and pitch it along with the packet that comes in the kit? You don't think that would be detrimental to the overall taste of the beer?

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Old 12-29-2013, 03:37 PM   #12
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Default Why is my ABV so low?

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Thanks for all the info. As of right now I am using beer kits. It comes with one little packet of yeast. If I want to get more aggressive with my yeast pitch to raise my ABV ; do I just buy another yeast packet, Rehydrate it and pitch it along with the packet that comes in the kit? You don't think that would be detrimental to the overall taste of the beer?
Pretty much unless you use a liquid yeast. Then you'd make a starter to increase the amount of yeast cells you have. Pitching 2 packets won't have any negative influence on your beer either it will probably make it cleaner tasting. Under pitching is what can stress the yeast and cause off flavors leaving you with crappy beer. Really most homebrewers use a lower pitch count than commercial breweries do so I don't think you'll be overdoing it.
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dirtfang View Post
Thanks for all the info. As of right now I am using beer kits. It comes with one little packet of yeast. If I want to get more aggressive with my yeast pitch to raise my ABV ; do I just buy another yeast packet, Rehydrate it and pitch it along with the packet that comes in the kit? You don't think that would be detrimental to the overall taste of the beer?
It depends on what strain it is and how many grams are in the packet. But you are better off over pitching a little rather than under pitching. You can use the Pitch Rate Calculator on mrmalty.com to get an idea of how much you should pitch. But just increasing your yeast count doesn't mean you will raise your ABV. You have to have the fermentable sugar in there for the yeast to eat.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:21 PM   #14
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But just increasing your yeast count doesn't mean you will raise your ABV. You have to have the fermentable sugar in there for the yeast to eat.
Being that you're just getting started, I would stick to this advice rather than trying to play around with too many variables at one time.

To take the above statement a little bit further: if you want a little more alcohol, just keep your present recipe as is and add some additional malt extract to your next batch. .5# to 1.0# of additional extract won't change the flavor of your final beer too much but will give you a little more alcohol. Try it and see what happens. Your yeast will most likely give you the same attenuation % if you keep the same fermentation conditions, but your gravities would look something like OG 1.046 and FG 1.011. Understand though, different styles have different gravity ranges to make them taste like what they're supposed to taste like. If you add TOO MUCH additional extract without adjusting your hopping rates, you'll get your extra alcohol but the beer may have a little more malty character than what you originally started out with.

For me, I tried reading and learning as much as I could when I first started (mid to late '80's), but I learned the most from my mistakes and also from deviating SLIGHTLY from proven recipies to see what I ended up with when "a little more of this" or "a little less of that" was thrown into the recipe.

It all takes time.
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