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Old 09-15-2012, 02:31 AM   #1
Jun 2012
College Station, Texas
Posts: 28
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So I've recently read that some people will add highly fermentable sugars, say honey, a few days into primary fermentation right on top of the krausen. The idea is that the yeast has already been working on the more difficult to breakdown sugars and now by adding easily fermented sugars your yeast will get a little kick and also increase the ABV. Am I on the right track here?

I buy a lot of my beer supplies from Austin Homebrew. They offer a 1% alcohol boost which is just maltose and glucose. I typically add this when I throw in my whirlfloc, at 15 minutes. Could I add this sugar the way i mentioned above? Maybe boil the sugar in a couple cups of water then add it during the primary? Would this help, hurt or have no effect?


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Old 09-15-2012, 01:53 PM   #2
beergolf's Avatar
Jan 2011
collingswood, nj
Posts: 6,038
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You can add the sugar anytime you want. If the brew is not a real high gravity brew I just add it during the boil. Sometimes for a bigger brew I will hold off adding it until fermentation slows down. I often do that with some of the big Belgians I brew. You are right about the theory that the yeast can work on the more complex sugars and then when things slow down adding the simple sugar will get the yeast going again.

There are a lot of opinions about this, so try it and decide for yourself. If you make a big enough starter I don't seem to think it matters but some say that adding it later puts less stress on the yeast.

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Old 09-18-2012, 03:21 PM   #3
TopherM's Avatar
Mar 2011
St. Petersburg, FL
Posts: 3,974
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Just add in moderation. Adding alcohol will often throw off the bitterness/maltiness/alcohol balance that was intended in the original recipe.

Something like a 8% ABV Hefewiezen/Lager/Amber/Blonde/Kolsch, etc. just doesn't make any sense because they typically don't have enough bitterness and maltiness to mask that much alcohol.

With a little forethought, proportionally increasing the grain and hops in a given recipe is a much better way to add alcohol than tossing in random simple sugars.

Adding simple sugars is basically the same thing as adding a few shots of grain alcohol. If you wouldn't pour grain alcohol right into your brew, you probably shouldn't be adding simple sugars just to bump ABV.
Primary #1 - Midnight Ryeder (Midnight Wheat and Rye)
Primary #2 - Florida Weiss
Primary #3 - Kane-DOH APA (Honey Citra APA)
Secondary #1 - Downtown Flanders Brown (brewed August 2012)
Keg #1 - Raspberry Florida Weiss
Keg #2 - Cinnamon Raisin Cider
Keg #3 - NONE!
Bottled - NONE!

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