Spiced winter ale

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Merds

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I just got a spiced winter ale kit from NB (it was a great price and I love spiced ales and its still freezing raining here, so still great time for it).

My question is this is a bit lower ABV and I was curious for any ideas to kick it up just a bit. I love Breckenridge winter ale which is about 7%. Thanks for any advice.
 

Fly_Guy

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You can add any sort of sugar. Whether it's honey, maple syrup, plain sugar, a juice concentrate of some sort or even a bit extra dme. The plain sugars will dry the beer out a bit though.

I think the honey would be super tasty, probably around the 12 oz mark. Off the top of my head I'm not exactly sure how much extra abv this will add though.
 

Lefou

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You might try Belgian Candi syrup, too. I recommend the D-45 or D-90 for a spiced ale.
A bit less expensive than clover honey. You'll get an ABV boost, color, and some extra flavor from caramelized beet sugar, too.
Sixteen ounces in one gallon adds about 32 points of gravity, so you'd get 6 points in five gallons.
 

Lefou

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So ... if the kit specifies a 1.047 SG for 5 gallons, to get a 6% ABV, you'd need roughly two 16oz. packets of the D-45 for twelve points of gravity. Using D-90 would probably darken the wort a bit much, but the gravity would still be the same.
In order to keep your color stable, I'd add the sugar at the end of the boil.
 

Lefou

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By the way, if you increase gravity to get a higher ABV, I'd recommend using two packs of dry yeast. It might increase the price of your brew slightly, but cuts the risk of your yeast stalling in a higher gravity wort.

Just slightly off-topic .... more often than not, I avoid Sam Adams beers, but one I did like in particular was the Old Fezziwig seasonal because the hopping for that beer is done differently.
 
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RM-MN

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When you bump up the alcohol content of the beer you need to be aware that it takes more time for the beer to mature. I'd hazard a guess that it will be near its peak flavor in about 3 months. The spice will begin to lose its flavor by about 6 months and be totally gone in a year.
 
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Merds

Merds

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By the way, if you increase gravity to get a higher ABV, I'd recommend using two packs of dry yeast. It might increase the price of your brew slightly, but cuts the risk of your yeast stalling in a higher gravity wort.

Just slightly off-topic .... more often than not, I avoid Sam Adams beers, but one I did like in particular was the Old Fezziwig seasonal because the hopping for that beer is done differently.
Agreed - that is a good winter ale
 

TGFV

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I would do a mixture of dme and sugar to increase the abv while keeping the levels of flavour similiar.

As for the loss of spice flavour, you can bulk age and then add a tincture of the spices in when bottling. Did this for a pumpkin saison that went too low (pumpkin brews are famous for higher OG due to unfermentables in the in it, on top of all the unfermentables grains) that ended up nearly 2% too high.
 
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