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Old 01-04-2012, 10:07 PM   #1
Mrcrowley269
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Nov 2011
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Have a friend that has started brewing. He bought a kit it is a dark ale. Right now it is at 3.96 abv. He wants to bring it up to let's say 5-6 abv. He is telling me the OG was 1.050 , 5 days later 1.020. I know he should take another reading, but think the kit only called for 4 abv. Can it be increased with table sugar, and how do You figure how much sugar to add? Is there a table like 1 lb sugar = 1 abv increase?

 
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:16 PM   #2
OHIOSTEVE
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First off I would highly recommend against doing this. It will thin out the beer, change the balance, and mke it not as drinkable IMO.. however 1 pound of sugar will raise the gravity of 5 gallons of liquid .009. I am not sure of he formula to go from gravity to ABV.. I just look at my hydrometer.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:05 PM   #3
jayavery
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Apr 2011
san diego, ca
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don't. just brew another beer, a bigger beer ..

 
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:24 PM   #4
BryceL
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I agree, don't change the recipe. That was my biggest mistake when I first started...I would blindly add honey or sugar to boost the alcohol and thought it would add nice flavors. It's best to learn first, then start tinkering with recipes. My first 4 beers turned out absolutely terrible! Nothing wrong with a nice 4% session beer!

 
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayavery View Post
don't. just brew another beer, a bigger beer ..
Or, if the goal is a quicker buzz, just drink twice as many of what's already been made.

 
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:54 AM   #6
daksin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyspade View Post
Or, if the goal is a quicker buzz, just drink twice as many of what's already been made.
I like to imagine that we who learned the craft stopped drinking for effect in high school...
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:56 AM   #7
Revvy
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Brew a stronger beer recipe, NEXT TIME.

If you want a stronger beer, or a fruit beer, get the right kit, or brew the right recipe from the get-go. Don't just decide that the creators of said recipe or kit don't know what they're doing and the beer needs to be stronger, faster, braver, or fruitier.

I recommend new brewers do for their first couple kits, as is, so you can concentrate on the process of brewing, and not recipe creation..

Also kits are 'fool proof' meaning they have been vetted in terms of being good recipes (afterall a company's reputation is at stake) and therefore as long as you follow directions then your beer will turn out and so you can relax and concentrate on learning the process of brewing, AND if you make a mistake, and have a set kit, then it is easier to troubleshoot, because again you know then kit was already "perfect" to begin with.

If you want a strong beer, don't choose a normal gravity beer and decide that since you read about boosting gravity by adding more sugars to just add more sugar, choose a beet of the grav you want, just like if you wand a peach beer, don't choose a non fruit beer recipe and try to "figure out" how to add the fruit...get a kit or recipe that has everything you need in the right quantities you need. Recipes are about a BALANCE between flavors, bitterness, aromas, what have you, and until you get a few batches under your belt, and learn the fundamentals, stick with the already proven and balanced recipes. That way you don't have the extra step of trying to figure out what went wrong if the beer doesn't taste good.....if the recipe or kit already tastes good (and they would have gone through tastes tests and ALREADY before you got to them- you know they are already good, if not award winning beers, if you went with a kit or book recipe, they have been vetted) if there is something not right, you will have an easier time trying to figure out what went wrong in terms of your brewing PROCESS, not because you went off the ranch and on top of trying to actually learn to brew, you also through a bunch of crap into the equation.

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.

At this stage you don't know enough yet, and you won't learn just by jacking a recipe o your first time out of the box. Don't start altering recipes on your first batch, or else you're gonna be posting a thread titled, "Why does my beer taste like I licked Satan's Anus after he ate a dozen coneys?" And we're not going to be able to answer you, because you've screwed with the recipe as well as maybe made a few noob brewer mistakes that typically get made, and neither you, nor us, are going to be able to figure out what went wrong. Because there's too many variables.

Just brew a couple batches and learn from them, and read books about recipe creation before you start messing around. It's not about tossing stuff into a fermenter and seeing how it turns out.
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:38 AM   #8
kevokie
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Solid answer from Revvy.

 
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:08 PM   #9
dlawhon
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Dec 2011
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Ok, I am the noob , we were talking , it's a true brew brown ale kit, it's hot in south Texas corpus Christi , after putting it in the bucket the next morning it was bubbling away, I was excited, my temps got up to 77-78 before I realized it and wrapped a wet towel around the bucket with a fan to help cool, I need a temp control fridge but, have not aquired one yet (1st brew) its winter ect, anyway I thought I might have killed the yeast because of the temp, and it's not bubbled since, so I was worried, thought the bucket might be leaking so after 6 days I put it in the carboy to see, still has not bubbled since, I know I should have waited, I'm learning the hardway, we just thought it might wake the yeast up by adding sugar, I'll be happy with 4.0 if I can get that and learn how to read the damn sg thingy

 
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:48 PM   #10
BryceL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlawhon View Post
Ok, I am the noob , we were talking , it's a true brew brown ale kit, it's hot in south Texas corpus Christi , after putting it in the bucket the next morning it was bubbling away, I was excited, my temps got up to 77-78 before I realized it and wrapped a wet towel around the bucket with a fan to help cool, I need a temp control fridge but, have not aquired one yet (1st brew) its winter ect, anyway I thought I might have killed the yeast because of the temp, and it's not bubbled since, so I was worried, thought the bucket might be leaking so after 6 days I put it in the carboy to see, still has not bubbled since, I know I should have waited, I'm learning the hardway, we just thought it might wake the yeast up by adding sugar, I'll be happy with 4.0 if I can get that and learn how to read the damn sg thingy
Those temperature will not kill the yeast, you will likely just have some off flavors due to the higher temperature. More than likely the yeast were supper active due to the high temperature and your fermentation finished quickly. Checking the gravity will tell you everything you need to know.

 
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