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Old 04-08-2009, 12:39 AM   #1
ernestmyname
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My brewing friend told me that the homebrew I tried of his was 12% alcohol. I believed him.

After doing some research, I asked him how he got 12% from an extract kit that had a target ABV of 6%. He said that he simply doubled the amount of wheat DME from 6 pounds to 12 pounds. He has never used a hydrometer with any of his home brew.

I have enough sense to know that the beer wasn't really 12%. This isn't even mentioning the fact that he used liquid yeast and didn't use a yeast starter. Better yet, he smacked the pack minutes before he poured the whole thing in his cooked wort.

Where can I find some reading material on what range of ABV is achievable from extract brewing, only using a single stage fermentation?

 
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:56 AM   #2
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you can attain that with single stage fermentation, with the right yeast, itll have lots of esther and fusol acid and may not come out right, but its possible. it sounds like his method was not probable for doing this though. i dont think he doubled his abv by doubling the malt though, too much alcohol. plus it takes quite a bit of time. but it is possible.
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:14 AM   #3
ernestmyname
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He let his ferment until it quit bubbling. He said it usually took 14 days.

 
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:55 AM   #4
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doubling the malt extract will double the OG. But that's it. That should have an OG of 1.108. A 1.030 FG would give him 70% apparent attenuation, which would probably be better than what really happened with the method he used and an ABV of 10.4%

 
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:04 PM   #5
Yooper
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To me, a good beer isn't just about making it higher ABV. Sometimes a beer with double the malt (but the same number of hops) just is too "thick" and sweet. To make a good high ABV beer, you need more hops to balance all that malt. Sometimes, a good high ABV beer has adjuncts in it, so that it's not so heavy. Think of a Belgian triple- high alcohol, but lighter tasting, and lighter bodied. That comes from using malt, and a smaller quantity of sugar, and it's still balanced with hops to make a nice drinkable beer.

I'd suggest looking at some "wee heavy" type recipes if you're interested in good but heavier high ABV beers, or consider a Belgian triple if you're like to make a thinner bodied spring/summer high ABV beer.

12 pounds of extract in a 5 gallon batch (if it's liquid) will give you about 8% ABV. 12 pounds of dry extract will give you about 10%ish.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:08 PM   #6
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Download the trial version of Beersmith and you can somewhat play around with the extract amounts and see the effects on gravity and alcohol volumes.

I'd bet your friend was around nine or ten percent, which is still a bit above the 6 percent. But unless you actually check with a hydrometer, you won't really know for sure IMHO.

 
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Old 04-08-2009, 06:14 PM   #7
THart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
12 pounds of extract in a 5 gallon batch (if it's liquid) will give you about 8% ABV. 12 pounds of dry extract will give you about 10%ish.
Have you experienced this? Just wondering. I tried brewing with all DME for a while but the FG always seemed high. When I asked about it at the brew shop I was told that while DME gave a higher yield it also contained a higher proportion of unfermentables.

 
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:10 PM   #8
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some DME is high in unfermentables... the brand name starts with an L....lallamander or something.
I don't use extract anymore and when I did it was Breiss ...all DME is not created equal...though the higher quality ones are good.
and Yooper sticks to quality
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THart View Post
Have you experienced this? Just wondering. I tried brewing with all DME for a while but the FG always seemed high. When I asked about it at the brew shop I was told that while DME gave a higher yield it also contained a higher proportion of unfermentables.
That hasn't been my experience. It seems like I get more unfermentables with liquid extract, but it's been a while since I've done a beer with extract at all.

A few years ago, I did have some beers that used liquid extract that I couldn't get to go below 1.020. Still, if you start at 1.085 or so, that's 8.5% ABV and definitely a "big" beer.

If you use a DME like "extra light", there shouldn't be very many unfermentables. If you look at the whole recipe, you could add sugar to add fermentables if you want a higher attenuating beer. It's the whole recipe to balance, though, not just adding extract or sugar to boost the fermentables.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:13 AM   #10
THart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore View Post
some DME is high in unfermentables... the brand name starts with an L....lallamander or something.
I don't use extract anymore and when I did it was Breiss ...all DME is not created equal...though the higher quality ones are good.
and Yooper sticks to quality
I don't remember a brand name, the only thing that comes to mind is that it was European origin.
Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore View Post
I don't use extract anymore
Ooops, thought this was the extract brewing forum.
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