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How do I control the alcohol content?

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beardedbrew

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I thought I read somewhere that if I add sugar or honey to my wort when boiling, it will increase my alcohol %. Is this true? If not, how can I increase it?

Here's another question (unrelated):

I've heard long boils = Hot Breaks and help with DMS

What the hell does this mean?? I don't know what "Hot Breaks" are or "DMS"

Thank you!
 

Brewing Clamper

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Yes adding fermentable sugars will increase the %AVB but be careful, if you add too much simple sugars or honey (99+% fermentable) you'll start getting a cidery taste in your beer. If you want to boost the acohol warmth a little bit you can just increase the amount of extract you're using. I'm assuming you're an extract brewer, so you don't really have to worry about hot breaks or DMS production too much. At this point, the duration of your boils is mostly for hops utilization.
 

ohiobrewtus

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The link above will explain it all very well.

Whatever you do, don't watch Craigtube videos on YouTube :)
 

HP_Lovecraft

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The general rule of thumb is for every pound of sugar (dextrose,honey,etc), it will add 0.009 to your OG, and add 1.2% to your final Alchohol amount.

So if you are making a Pale ale at 1.045 @ 5% ABV, and add 2 pounds of sugar, it will bring it up to 1.070 @ 7.4% ABV.

Sounds good? This works in small amounts fairly well, without adding any off flavors. The main negative is it thins out the body a bit, which may diminish (or enhance) the style of beer.

In large amounts through, you might not like the results. The problem is that pure sugar lacks the nutrients that yeast needs to survive. Fortunetly, malt has EXTRA nutrients, but if the sugar amount is high enough, the lack of nutrients force the yeast to behave differently, producing cidery flavors.

nick
 

Brewing Clamper

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ohiobrewtus said:
The link above will explain it all very well.

Whatever you do, don't watch Craigtube videos on YouTube :)
God I swear that man means well, but he's making swill! Poor bastard, we ought to send him a variety pack of good beers and a "how-to" video of our own!
 

Donasay

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I actually made a "Craig Tube" style beer for one of my friends who is a BMC drinker. Steeped a lb of grain, and added a 3.3lb can of extra light extract then 2lbs of dextrose, boiled for 1 hour with an ounce of hops. I did primary at 50 and then I lagered it for 3 weeks at 38, my friend who loves BMC said it was decent, and much better than the last beer I had him try (an IPA with 80 over IBUs).
 

PseudoChef

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Donasay said:
I actually made a "Craig Tube" style beer for one of my friends who is a BMC drinker. Steeped a lb of grain, and added a 3.3lb can of extra light extract then 2lbs of dextrose, boiled for 1 hour with an ounce of hops. I did primary at 50 and then I lagered it for 3 weeks at 38, my friend who loves BMC said it was decent, and much better than the last beer I had him try (an IPA with 80 over IBUs).
If you added hops and boiled longer than 15 minutes, then it's not CraigTube beer. Also noting the lack of feathers...
 

grasshopper1917

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I mkae my beer similar to his - one can of pre hopped canned kit - one container of liquid malt extract - sometimes a little brown sugar or corn sugar depending on the stlye and personally i think by beer turns out good. I havent had any complaints yet......

I have to admit though im not a connesuer just like tryig different beers that taste good - thats what its all about to me.
 

reshp1

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Hot break is the coagulation of proteins in the wort when boiled. You should have some foaming along with white flecks of protein churning around in the wort as you boil. These will settle out in the bottom of the kettle as you're cooling the wort (looks like sludge) and most should be left in there when you transfer to your fermentor and/or strained out. Getting a good hot break will help with clarity and flavor stability later since you're removing some of the problematic proteins.

DMS is a compound that smells and tastes like over-cooked cabbage or corn. Give a bottle of Miller Lite a sniff. :D Boiling drives off much of the DMS, as long as you leave the kettle uncovered.
 

Fargo

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The link above will explain it all very well.

Whatever you do, don't watch Craigtube videos on YouTube :)
I have been watching CriagTube for over a year now. This guy is way under estimated on here. I wouldn't be brewing if it wasn't for his videos. He breaks things down so well. I fallow his instructions and get great beer. I'll probably move to all grain brewing at some point. Oh and the guy sings like OMG...

(I dare anyone here to have the courage to do that)

And the best hydrometer video I've seen on YT:

So, don't watch his videos, and miss out on his wisdom.

Cheers
 
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