Can I use priming sugar to boost alcohol content? - Home Brew Forums

 Home Brew Forums > Can I use priming sugar to boost alcohol content?

09-30-2012, 06:49 PM   #1
RDC4687
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Aug 2012
Charlotte, NC
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One I started kegging my brew i have all these extra priming sugar packs. Can i use them to add alcohol? I know "alcohol boosters" packs are basically just corn sugar so I am assuming I can.

So I have 25 oz's of priming. Can I add that much? Add it to the end of the boil? Will it effect the flavor?

I will be making an "Arrogant Bastard" clone. Estimated OG 1.073, est FG 1.015-1.026. Using WLP001.

09-30-2012, 06:59 PM   #2
frazier
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Dec 2009
illinois
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It will dry out the beer a bit, which in a big beer is probably OK. It'll boost the ABV by 1.5 to 2 points. End of boil is fine.
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09-30-2012, 07:34 PM   #3
RDC4687
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Aug 2012
Charlotte, NC
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by frazier It will dry out the beer a bit, which in a big beer is probably OK. It'll boost the ABV by 1.5 to 2 points. End of boil is fine.
Thanks for the help. I think i will just go with 15 to start..

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10-02-2012, 03:26 PM   #4
clemistry
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Calgary, AB
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I also wondered this, so I calculated it for dextrose, using the molecular weights of dextrose & ethanol, density of ethanol, and reaction equation (1 dextrose --> 2 ethanol + 2 CO2)

A simplified formula for this is:
Additional alc content = 0.48 x (oz of dextrose added) / (US gal of beer)

So for 25 g of sugar in 5 gal of beer, you would increase your alc content by 2.4%, assuming all of that extra dextrose is consumed.

I'm new to brewing but my background is chemistry. There could be other factors that affect this (eg alcohol tolerance of your yeast), but this formula represents the theoretical maximum alcohol content you could get.

I primed my first (and only thus far) 6 gal batch with 4 oz of sugar and got an additional alc cont of 0.1% (formula says I could get up to 0.32). This is after about 3 weeks of conditioning at 16C. Maybe it's not finished consuming that sugar; I can't say at this point as I don't have the experience in that dept yet.

10-02-2012, 04:09 PM   #5
helibrewer

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Santa Rosa, CA
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by clemistry I also wondered this, so I calculated it for dextrose, using the molecular weights of dextrose & ethanol, density of ethanol, and reaction equation (1 dextrose --> 2 ethanol + 2 CO2) A simplified formula for this is: Additional alc content = 0.48 x (oz of dextrose added) / (US gal of beer) So for 25 g of sugar in 5 gal of beer, you would increase your alc content by 2.4%, assuming all of that extra dextrose is consumed. I'm new to brewing but my background is chemistry. There could be other factors that affect this (eg alcohol tolerance of your yeast), but this formula represents the theoretical maximum alcohol content you could get. I primed my first (and only thus far) 6 gal batch with 4 oz of sugar and got an additional alc cont of 0.1% (formula says I could get up to 0.32). This is after about 3 weeks of conditioning at 16C. Maybe it's not finished consuming that sugar; I can't say at this point as I don't have the experience in that dept yet.
Is that increase in alcohol based on a SG reading or a lab test? It may be that the variables affecting SG make very small changes difficult to measure accurately.
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10-02-2012, 04:23 PM   #6
wiescins
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Chicago, IL
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Use this (http://www.rooftopbrew.net/abv.php) to calculate ABV based on OG & FG. When estimating OG priming sugar has ~46 PPG.

10-02-2012, 04:46 PM   #7
FuzzeWuzze
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Beersmith says 16oz(1lb) of Corn sugar(Dextrose) would raise you about 1.5% ABV per 5 gallons if added after the boil.

10-02-2012, 04:50 PM   #8
Double_D

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Feb 2011
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by FuzzeWuzze Beersmith says 1oz of Corn sugar(Dextrose) would raise you about 1.5% ABV per 5 gallons if added after the boil.
No way. Something's got to be wrong there. 1oz of dextrose = 1.5% abv in 5 gal?

10-02-2012, 04:56 PM   #9
FuzzeWuzze
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Double_D No way. Something's got to be wrong there. 1oz of dextrose = 1.5% abv in 5 gal?
Thanks...i meant to say 1#...fixed

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10-02-2012, 04:56 PM   #10
Bricks41
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Aug 2012
Dublin, OH
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by FuzzeWuzze Beersmith says 1oz of Corn sugar(Dextrose) would raise you about 1.5% ABV per 5 gallons if added after the boil.
I don't have time to research it, but I can easily say that is not even close...

You prime your beer with anywhere from 3-5+oz. of corn sugar before bottling, so by your statement, you would automatically boost your abv by 4.5-7.5% simply by bottling.

EDIT: I would agree with the 1 lb versus oz