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boosting the alcohol just a little

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fins2rit

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I plan on adding a little sugar to my brew just to bump up the alcohol but when during the boil should i add the sugar. I am assuming at the beginning but just wanted to see what you guys think..
I am adding about a half a pound to a 5 gallon batch..

Thanks for any input...
 

Jesse17

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It's up to you, the point of adding it to the boil is to sterilize the sugar, and dissolve it. Neither of these require more than 10 min. to accomplish, but if you add it at the beginning of the boil, it will raise your boil gravity, which will reduce your AA/IBU extraction from your hops. Although, I don't think 1/2 lb. will affect it badly if you're doing a full boil.
 

brewt00l

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Last 5-10 minutes is fine...like previously mentioned you are just looking to dissolve the sugar into the wort.
 

RichBrewer

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Do yourself a favor and don't use sugar to bump the alcohol. It will add less than desireable flavors to your beer. Like Chris_Dog said. Add some DME or you could even add some honey which will not add any undesirable flavors in your beer.
 

Poindexter

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I am with the group consensus, skip the sugar. Just brew a higher gravity style if you really want more kick.

I have made a few different recipes of English Pale Ale by now. The one with the style appropriate 6 ounces of invert or Demerara sugar was my least favorite.

Watery, thin, blech.
 

Tommish

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RichBrewer said:
Do yourself a favor and don't use sugar to bump the alcohol. It will add less than desireable flavors to your beer. Like Chris_Dog said. Add some DME or you could even add some honey which will not add any undesirable flavors in your beer.
+1 on the honey. I have used it in a couple of recipes and it does not detract at all from what I would call "beer flavor." It does lighten the character of the beer somewhat (as would sugar) which can be good or bad depending on the style you are making, but a 1/2 pound won't lighten it much.
 

brewt00l

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IMHO it's fairly incorrect to make the generalization that sugar = off flavors or watery beer.

Many big IPAs and Belgian styles include sugar as a kettle adjunct. Like many ingredients, the percentage used and the purity of the ingredient have a direct impact on what it imparts to the end resulting beer flavor and body. Used with some understanding, there is nothing inherently bad about using sugar as a kettle adjunct.

Granted the it's a bit more transparent and fool proof to just up the DME or use something like AHS' blended boost.
 

RichBrewer

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orfy said:
Nothing wrong with sugar in the correct amount if it's in style.

There is everything wrong when it's used without thought just to boost ABV.
Exactly and when sugar is used as an adjunct it is more likely to be less refined than granulated sugar to impart flavor into the beer. Things like molasses and Belgian candi not only add fermentables but also add flavors that enhance the beer's flavor.
 
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fins2rit

fins2rit

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RichBrewer said:
Do yourself a favor and don't use sugar to bump the alcohol. It will add less than desireable flavors to your beer. Like Chris_Dog said. Add some DME or you could even add some honey which will not add any undesirable flavors in your beer.
RichBrewer wont the honey add a honey taste to the beer?
honey does sounds like a good Idea..
 

Yooper

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Honey ferments out pretty completely, so you won't notice a honey taste but the beer will be a little bit thinner and more dry as a result. It doesn't add body but does increase fermentables.
 
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