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my alcohol content is to low

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whitehole

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Hello...
I'm new to this forum and I brewed an american amber ale, using malt and malt extract. However after sitting in the carboy after 4 days it stopped bubbling and I checked the alcohol content and its very low. What can I do to get the alcohol content up on the beer because I do not want to throw the batch out. It tastes good but I want more alcohol.

thanks.....
 
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whitehole

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initial gravity was 1.31 and final was 1.12 I'm pretty sure for the final.
The recipe was from a kit I bought at a brewing shop
 
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whitehole

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malt grain, liquid and powder malt extract, two kinds of hops with the same acid content, yeast sorry to be vague but i'm new to this and threw the stuff away when done. Its a 5 gallon batch.
 

Yooper

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Well, if you could say if you used a can of liquid, and a bag of dry, etc, and the approximate amounts, we could be more helpful. As it is, I'm going to say that your original gravity was more than your reading, and just wasn't mixed up well. I can't imagine a kit that would give you two kinds of extract and an og of 1.031. I think that your ABV is higher than you think.
 

BuffaloSabresBrewer

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YooperBrew said:
Well, if you could say if you used a can of liquid, and a bag of dry, etc, and the approximate amounts, we could be more helpful. As it is, I'm going to say that your original gravity was more than your reading, and just wasn't mixed up well. I can't imagine a kit that would give you two kinds of extract and an og of 1.031. I think that your ABV is higher than you think.
+1
When using an extract kit there is rarely a problem with having the correct gravity readings. When you added you wort to the water in your fermenter you probably didnt still well enough(as Yopp stated). The thicker malt extract will sink to the bottom and the water will float toward the top. When you took your gravity reading you probably got more water than sugar.
What did your kit say your OG was supposed to be?
Where did you get the kit?
 
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whitehole

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ok found the list

3.3lbs - plain amber malt extract
2lbs - plain amber dry malt extract (powder i'm guessing)
8oz. - crushed crystal malt 60L
1 oz - willamette hops (bittering)
1oz. - willamette hops (finishing)
beer yeast

and we got 5oz. priming sugar

it says the starting gravity should be 1.042 - 1.045
 

reshp1

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You're starting gravity seems low. The amount of extract you listed should get you in the 1.042 range in a 5 gallon batch. Did you dilute it too much? If you really want to boost the alcohol content, you can add a pound or two of dry extract in just enough water to dissolve it completely, boil to sanitize and cool to room temp.
 

Bobby_M

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You just didn't stir well enough when you took your first gravity sample. I'm sure it's fine. The sugar is kind of built in to extract and can't go anywhere.
 
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Here's the most likely scenario:

You didn't mix the extract well enough prior to taking the OG reading, so much of the extract settled to the bottom of the vessel. You likely didn't correct the reading for temperature, either. The actual OG was exactly what it should have been.

Then, you misread your hydrometer at the end of fermentation, mistaking the alcohol potential scale for actual ABV. That scale is nearly useless in beer making, so just ignore it.

The formula for ABV is: (OG - FG) x 131

Assuming the OG was in the correct range, your beer is about 4% ABV. It's just fine!
 

WillPall

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If you're not going to do a secondary you may want to let it sit in primary for at least a few more days to try to let as much sediment settle out. Otherwise, go for it!
 

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I usually recommend bottling no sooner than two weeks after brewing. I know it's hard to wait, and the instructions say you can bottle sooner.

But, even after fermentation seems to be finished, there is still some activity going on that is good for your beer. The yeast are "cleaning up" after themselves, actually eating their own waste products and reducing off-flavors. Some beers bottled too early will have a green apple taste and/or smell to them, as well as a butter taste. That goes away if you are able to leave it on the yeast cake another week or so.

Four days really is too early to bottle.
 
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whitehole

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ok thanks for the info
I can tell this forum is gonna help me out so much
thanks again
 

mrbungeeman17

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whitehole said:
Hello...
I'm new to this forum and I brewed an american amber ale, using malt and malt extract. However after sitting in the carboy after 4 days it stopped bubbling and I checked the alcohol content and its very low. What can I do to get the alcohol content up on the beer because I do not want to throw the batch out. It tastes good but I want more alcohol.

thanks.....
I'm still new to this hobby, but do want to say the you should not let ABV% determine weither you ever dump a batch. I too struggles with hitting my intneded OG and FG on my first 3-4 batches, as i think may people do, and the ABV came out considerably lower then intneded. Howevery, the beer still tasted darn good just as you stated. Good tasting beer is good tasting beer in my opinion weither it is 4.5 or 12.5.
 

blacklab

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EDIt - Just noticed that this has all been said above.

I'm guessing you did a partial boil, and then topped off with cold water to cool / get to your five gallon volume?

If the water is not completely mixed with your wort, you will often get a funky reading on the hydrometer. Meaning - you probably got a sample with more more water than wort, therefore lowering your gravity readying below actual.

As Bobby said - you didn't lose any sugar during the process - it was all there in the extract to begin with.

So - let it sit in primary until you get the desired FG reading, 1.12 is not finished. At least another week I would think. Then rack to secondary for two weeks, then bottle.
 
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