If you aren't balancing your recipe out, and just adding simple sugars for the simple purpose of copping higher buzz, you're going to make something that tastes like bad cider.
In Belgian and strong beers it is used to boost the alcohol and thin the body of already very malty beersm that would be like cough syrup if we didn't. Indescriminantly throwing sugar in any old recipe is a recipe for disaster.
What are you after making great tasting beer (like most of us are) or just copping a cheap buzz?
Originally Posted by BigEd
Make the kit the way it's designed and then brew something bigger next time is my suggestion. This question (boosting alcohol content) gets asked all the time and while the simplest thing is to just add more fermentable ingredients this will cause an in-balance in the recipe. For the beer to taste like it should many of the other aspects of the recipe would have to be altered as well. To make a crude analogy, you can put a bigger engine in a car to boost horsepower but now will the transmission, brakes and tires be adequate? Enjoy the Scottish ale for what it is and plan for a bigger brew next time around.
It's not about just slopping a bunch of stuff together, it's really about how everything works together.
If you want a higher abv beer, then make your next kit higher. It really isn't about the booze, but the flavor that most of us care about. We're not brewing to get whacked, but to make great tasting beer.
For example a mild IS a great tasting beer, despite it's low alcohol content. Because there's not a high alcohol backbone, you can really get some nice subtle flavors it it.
Besides, Beer recipes are a balance...and if you add to one variable, that will affect other parts of it...For example if you decide to raise the gravity of a balanced beer...a beer where the hops balance out the sweetness...and you raise the maltniness of it without alaso balancing the hops, then your beer may end up being way too cloyingly sweet. Or if you just add sugar willy nilly it could become overly dry, or cidery.
SO I would just brew this, and enjoy it, don't worry if you get buzzed or not, and make your next batch as high as you want.
My take on this is that there is a difference between true experimentation and throwing things together "willy nilly." I have noticed on here is that a lot of noobs think what they are doing is experimentation, when in reality they are just throwing a bunch of stuff against the wall and hoping it sticks.
Throwing a bunch of stuff in your fermenter and seeing what you get at the end, and ending up making an "is my beer ruined" thread is not the same thing as experimenting.
To me, in order to experiment truly, you have to have an understanding of the fundamentals. You have to know how the process works somewhat. You have to have an understanding of how different ingredients or processes affect the final product. You may even need to know, or at least understand something about beer styles, and what goes into making one beer a Porter and another a pale ale. And where your concoction will fall on the continuoum.
To me it's like cooking or even Jazz. But going back to the cooking analogy. Coming up with a balanced and tasty recipe takes some understanding of things...just like cooking...dumping a cup of salt will more than likely ruin a recipe...so if you cook, you KNOW not to do that...it's the same with brewing...you get an idea with experience and looking at recipes, brewing and playing with software how things work..what flavors work with each other, etc...
That to me is the essence of creating...I have gotten to a point where I understand what I am doing, I get how ingredients work or don't work with each other, so I am not just throwing a bunch of stuff together to see what I get.
I have an idea of what I want it to taste like, and my challenge then is to get the right combination of ingredients to match what is in my head. That's also pretty much how I come up with new food recipes as well.
You'll get there....a LOT sooner, if you focus on the fundamentals, and get your processes in order...rather than just playing around.
I think, if you haven't read a brewing book, that is an important step. I would start by reading this book.
But brew the kit as is, that's how it was designed.