Alcohol content - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Alcohol content

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-24-2010, 12:43 AM   #1
beerguy2009
Recipes 
 
Nov 2009
, Iowa
Posts: 137


I had some friends over to bottle beer and one asked if it is possible to raise the alcohol content. I know that corn sugar will raise it but what will it do to the flavor of the beer? I figured that adding 2.5 lbs to the next batch will raise it from 4.3% to 7.2%.
I also noticed when I pluged in the ingredients to the program I am using that the IBU's went down when I added the sugar.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2010, 12:47 AM   #2
pompeiisneaks
Why that human mask?
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
pompeiisneaks's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2009
Redmond, WA
Posts: 853
Liked 52 Times on 29 Posts


IBU's may go down due to dilution, but not sure... or maybe sugars decrease hops utilization. Someone may have to chime in on that one... But as for adding sugar, its best to use something like turbinado sugar in the boil, from what I've read. I'm planning on giving it a try soon. It tends to lend the right kinds of flavors to the beer wort. The corn sugar works, but I don't know much about it. I've used for bottling and for apfelwine w/ great success, but... not w/ beer.

Anyone else w/ input?
__________________
~Phil
Fermenting/Kegged/Bottled NONE :( I moved to the NW and haven't had time to setup my brew rig since! (but hey, I'm in the Pacific NW so there's so much awesome beer I don't need to brew it as much hah!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2010, 12:49 AM   #3
gtpro
Recipes 
 
Nov 2009
Manchester, NH
Posts: 508
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts


the best way to raise the ABV is to use more malt sugars and just make a bigger beer.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2010, 12:49 AM   #4
Edcculus
Recipes 
 
Jun 2007
Greenville, SC
Posts: 4,546
Liked 48 Times on 45 Posts


While dumping in sugar will raise ABV, it will also do a lot of other things to the beer. Mostly undesirable. It will thin the body, lower the FG (dry it out) and could make the beer taste cidery if too much is used. Some beers on the other hand use a little bit of sugar to get higher gravity and keep the body thinner (and more drinkable). Tripels and Double IPAs will often include up to 1lb of sugar. Some Belgian styles use invert sugars too.

Instead of dumping sugar into your beer, why not brew styles that have naturally higher OG? Barleywine, RIS, Old Ale, IPA, IIPA, Tripel, Dubbel. The list goes on. That, or choose a style that uses a little sugar for the right reasons?


 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2010, 12:49 AM   #5
mordantly
Registered User
Recipes 
 
May 2008
Westside..... CenCal - the country that'll never take away my guns or money !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posts: 3,865
Liked 13 Times on 13 Posts


if you just want alcohol, use honey, rice syrup, or table sugar as they are 90%+ fermentables.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2010, 12:50 AM   #6
ajwillys
Recipes 
 
May 2008
Holly Springs, NC
Posts: 1,296
Liked 26 Times on 24 Posts


It will definitely dry it out and could cause some undesirable flavors. I wouldn't recommend going that high. I sometimes add sugar to really big beers because there is so much malt in there anyway and its a good way to dry it out, say for a Imperial IPA.

I've also used this in a barleywine:
http://www.austinhomebrew.com/produc...ducts_id=10137

No way I would use it in a recipe designed for 4.3% though. If you want a big beer, make one that is appropriate, stylistically speaking. If you REALLY want to just raise it with wreckless abandom, just add a couple more pounds of DME (assuming you're doing extract).

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2010, 01:00 AM   #7
z987k
 
z987k's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2007
Anchorage
Posts: 3,518
Liked 29 Times on 27 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
IBUs are affected by OG. The higher the OG, the more hops you will need to get the same IUS.
This is not true. As a side effect of what really happens, higher OG tends to lead to less hop utilization. In this case, adding a bunch of dextrose will not effect the hop utilization near as much as adding a bunch of malt(in whatever form).

Now, I'm paraphrasing from a thread in which we discussed the matter over in the science section, but..

Quote:
Originally Posted by American Society of Brewing Chemists
The variations are mainly due to differences in equipment but are also influenced by the hop product used. In the range 10.5-13.5 P, no relationship between hop utilization and original gravity was found
Here's that article in whole: http://www.asbcnet.org/journal/abstr...sues/47-14.htm

also, in this BBR broadcast, John Palmer talks on the matter, and how he got it wrong early on.
http://media.libsyn.com/media/basicb...3-20-08ibu.mp3
36:40 is where the discussion happens. Bascially he goes over how hop utilization is a function of break material, and because high gravity beers tends to have more break material, they usually get lower hop utilization.

This is a long held and hard to kill myth of homebrewing. It is also why a lot of beer software gets the IBUs wrong as well.


 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2010, 01:06 AM   #8
mordantly
Registered User
Recipes 
 
May 2008
Westside..... CenCal - the country that'll never take away my guns or money !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posts: 3,865
Liked 13 Times on 13 Posts


if a fermentable is nearly completely fermented, it does little to effect the bitterness.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2010, 01:12 AM   #9
z987k
 
z987k's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2007
Anchorage
Posts: 3,518
Liked 29 Times on 27 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by mordantly View Post
if a fermentable is nearly completely fermented, it does little to effect the bitterness.
You mean adding sugar post boil? It will not change the bitterness at all... at least the IBU's. Alcohol has a bittering character.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2010, 01:22 AM   #10
Edcculus
Recipes 
 
Jun 2007
Greenville, SC
Posts: 4,546
Liked 48 Times on 45 Posts


Cool, thanks z987k. Post edited. Now that you mention it, I do remember reading about that recently.

 
Reply With Quote


Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Alcohol content??????? kkocher13 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 06-09-2009 04:22 AM
very low alcohol content gent1987 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 06-05-2009 06:38 PM
alcohol content dqeuvtcxotaa Mead Forum 6 03-04-2008 05:31 AM
my alcohol content is to low whitehole Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 16 02-15-2008 06:36 PM
low alcohol content Mike's Brew and Brat Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 17 11-23-2005 01:20 PM


Forum Jump