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Old 09-28-2007, 11:12 PM   #1
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Default How much honey or sugar can I use?

Does anyone have a rule of thumb concerning how much corn sugar, or honey I could throw into a batch to boost the ABV without getting a cidery taste. 1 cup of honey? 2 cups? More? I want to have the option of pushing the envelope as much as I can but still avoid the cidery taste. I usually brew Ambers- all extract or partial mash.

I know there are a lot of variables depending on the recipe. But if I knew it would always be safe with say 2 cups of honey without a cidery taste (or more or less), I'd probably just stick with that for each batch because I usually don't plan on throwing in additional sugars. Then I have a few homebrews while brewing, and gremlins sneak into my kitchen and start making rocket fuel. If I don't let them get away with something, they'll start going through my spice rack, so I usually let them throw in a cup or two of honey, and at that point I can't really do the math. How much goes in depends on how buzzed I am.

Anyway, if you can't give a rule of thumb, here are some specifics, but I'd appreciate a rule of thumb if anyone has one:

Steeping 1 lb of crystal 40 and 1 lb of crystal 60

Then adding 6 lb Light malt syrup and 1lb amber DME

Bittering hops: 1 oz Northern Brewer (not a hophead)

½ oz Willamette flavoring

½ oz Willamette aromatic

Pitching on Wyeast Irish ale yeast cake


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Old 09-28-2007, 11:36 PM   #2
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Well, I don't know about how much to boost the ABV, but Papazian's The Home Brewers Companion says to use 1 cup for priming sugar. I don't know if that gives you a starting point. I would think it would be much more than that.

Maybe look at Mead standards. That might give you an idea of how much honey to add, depending on what your target ABV is.

Hope that helps.


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Old 09-28-2007, 11:50 PM   #3
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For corn sugar, I've read up to around 20% or so, but that's probably pushing it. You'tr MUCH better off using DME to boost the gravity.
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Old 09-29-2007, 12:40 AM   #4
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20% if you're making a strong belgian ale or something, but if you put too much in a regular beer, it will end up tasting cidery.
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