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Rule of Thumb for adding Sucrose

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BJYount

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Hi Folks,

I'd like to add Sucrose to the wort to elevate the alcohol content. Is there a rule of thumb for how much sugar to add? Something like 1 cup per 5 gallons?

And when do I add the sugar? It seems like I'd add it when I add the malt, is that correct?

Thanks
Bart
 

Rob2010SS

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I usually add it in the last 15 min of the boil. You could add it in the boil whenever you want I think. I don't think there would be any repercussions for adding it too early.

As far as rule of thumb for how much, it depends on what your goal is. How much do you want to elevate the ABV and what is your batch volume? There are calculators that can help you figure that out.
 

Yooper

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Remember that simple sugars thin the body of the beer and help it to finish with a dry finish so you don't want to overdo it. It depends on what you're making- a pound is great in a high gravity IPA or Belgian triple, not good in an oatmeal stout.
 
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BJYount

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As far as rule of thumb for how much, it depends on what your goal is. How much do you want to elevate the ABV and what is your batch volume? There are calculators that can help you figure that out.
Do you have a link to the calculator that you refer to.

Thanks
Bart
 

Rob2010SS

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The Brewers Friend calculator will work for that. Plug in a few details about your batch, add in the ingredients, then you can select your sugar and add different amounts to see what happens to the ABV. The only thing about this calculator is it approximates your yeast attenuation so it's not exact, but will get you close. There might be some others that get you closer.

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cactusgarrett

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As Yooper mentioned, adding too much can yield a thin, cidery feel/taste. That being said, I've added 2lb in a 5gal batch to elevate the OG without contributing taste/color and I hadn't noticed anything out of the ordinary.

As far as timing, you could add it in the boil, but the longer you boil the more color you contribute, if even just a little.
You could add it in the primary, too. One trick I'm fond of is to add sucrose to the fermenter when fermentation is at it's height. That way the yeast are healthy enough so as to avoid any additional stress the higher gravity (adding before fermentation) would impart.
 

ncbrewer

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The Tinseth formula and others have long shown hop utilization is dependent on boil gravity. But then a few years ago there was a strong theory that boil gravity doesn't affect hop utilization at all. If I've kept up correctly, mainstream thinking now is that it does, but it may be related to break material in the boil. If so, sugar probably shouldn't be counted with boil gravity for calculating hop utilization. In order to cover both possibilities, it may be best to add sugar after the boil.
 

cactusgarrett

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it may be best to add sugar after the boil.
Good point. I'd be interested to see some work comparing the resulting IBU (calculated or perceived) on two batches: both where the same target BU:GU is sought, but the BU in the boil differs based on the sucrose being added pre vs during fermentation.
 
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