Adding sugar to the fermenter

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crowsmith8

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I brewed up a winter ale two weeks ago and overshot the wort volume a bit. I ended up with about 6.5 gallons after the boil when I was shooting for 5.5. So my OG was hurt a little, but it still came in at 1.058 which is fine by me.

Anyway, I had a pack of dry yeast laying around that I didn't have plans for, so I decided to split the wort. 4.5 gallons would follow the recipe as intended and 2 gallons would be used to experiment with.

So I added the dry yeast to the 2 gallons. So far I plan on adding oak chips, and eventually dry hopping it.

I was thinking of other things that I could do to experiment. So I was thinking about adding some brown sugar. I thought this would boost the alcohol and add some flavor. So I have some questions.

Is it okay to add sugar directly to the fermenter?
Will I have to do anything to the sugar first? Add it to water to liquefy it? Boil it?
At what point should I add the sugar?
How do I determine how much sugar to add?
Can I add a little, let it ferment out, then taste to determine the balance, and repeat until I hit a balance I like?
How do I calculate the alcohol when I do this?
Anything else I'm not thinking about?

I've also been considering putting spices in it (don't know which yet) as it doesn't have any how, and it is a winter ale.
Is it okay at this point to put spices in it?
Would I need to do anything to the spices? Boil them?
How would I determine how much to add?
Can I add a little, let it sit, then taste to determine the balance, and add more if need be?
Anything else I'm not thinking about?

Also, if anyone has any other possible experimental ideas, I'm willing to listen, as I'm willing to try just about anything here.

Thanks in advance for any help.
 

Suthrncomfrt1884

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Next time, just boil for a few hours in order to get your wort where you want it.

As far as adding things.... it's up to you. There's not too many things you can't add at any point in the brewing process. Sugar and spices will work fine at any point. You'll want to boil them into a tea as you've mentioned.

What I usually do with spices is take a small, maybe 1000ml sample from my fermentor. I then make a tea from a bunch of spices I intend on using. Then you slowly add little by little until you have your sample right where you want it. The just multiply the amounts you used to get them to work in a 5 gallon batch.
 
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crowsmith8

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Thanks for the response.

I did extend the boil by 45 minutes, but I was up against some time restraints, so I couldn't extend the boil as long as I would have. Not to mention I'm fine with being able to have a little extra beer, and being able to experiment with part of the batch.

Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely try the making the tea approach for the spices.
 
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