Uppin' the Alc %

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brentt03

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I had an IPA I brewed and it hit 5.6% when it was estimated to be at 6.14%, I would like this to be at 6.5%ish.....whats the best route to take to get it there??
 

cms

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There are two ways to do it.

1. Begin with more fermentable sugars in the wort
2. Find a way to increase the attenuation of the yeast

Without knowing more about your recipe and procedure, it will be impossible to know which (or both) 'knob to turn'. But assuming that your yeast did an adequate job (depends on the strain, but 75% attenuation is typical) you would want to start with more sugars. That means more extract (if you're an extract brewer) or more mashed grains (or increased mash efficiency).
 

scsi

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I've used the Alcohol Boost packs from Austin Homebrew a few times:
http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?products_id=10137

Forrest explains why it's good:


Our Alcohol Boost is not DME, LME or corn sugar. It is a blend of 55% Maltose and 45% Glucose. Corn sugar is Dextrose.

Many breweries use this sugar as an economic way to boost alcohol content without effecting flavor.

They did the job when I used them, I couldn't detect much of a flavor difference...
 
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brentt03

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This is a 3.5gal batch, the grain bill is:

5.6lb Pale Malt (2 Row)
1.4lb Vienna Malt
.70lb Rye Malt
.35lb Cara-Pils
.35lb Crystal 40

Estimated OG: 1.064
Estimated FG: 1.017

Changing the Values to:

5.75lb Pale Malt (2 Row)
1.5lb Vienna Malt
.75lb Rye Malt
.50lb Cara-Pils
.50lb Crystal 40

gives a final ABV of 6.57

I am just hoping that the flavor profile doesn't change all that much.
 

GreenDragon

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Are you bottling it? Did you already bottle it? I'm just a newb but I thought the priming sugar and bottling added .5% which would put you at 6.6%??

Like I said.. I'm very new to this so I'm most likely wrong. Kinda wondered about this cause that means all the keggers are missing out on a decent amount of alcohol.
 

itsme6582

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Ever had Corona and Bacardi Limon? How about a beer bong with a little Jack? That's a sure way to boost the alcohol.

Try adjusting your efficiency value. As you lower it, any brewing software will adjust your estimated OG. Play with that number until your numbers match. Then you can scale up your grains to get your OG where you need it.

You can also decrease your mash temp. If you mash in the low 150s you will get more fermentable sugars. However, this will effect FG not OG. BobbyM has a good video explaining how this works.

I can't imagine that adding a little sugar at bottling time will give you nearly a 10% increase in alcohol. Maybe it'll go up 0.05. 1% seems much more reasonable but my guess is it's even less than that.
 

Hockeyhunter99

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how long has it beenin Primary, then secondary. 1.017 could come down a little. your attenuation is around 73% what yeast strain did you use?

many options
 
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brentt03

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how long has it beenin Primary, then secondary. 1.017 could come down a little. your attenuation is around 73% what yeast strain did you use?

many options
It's already bottled.

I used Wyeast 1272; it was in primary for about a week, and in secondary for about 2 weeks.
 

Hockeyhunter99

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there is a chance you just didn't let it sit long enough,

the difference between 73% and 75% attenuation is quite a lot ABV.

75% attenuation will give you 6.3%ABV (by calculation only, need to know true OG).
 

Golddiggie

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You didn't post the temperature you mashed at, and for how long. As already indicated, lower mash temps will result in a lower FG, and higher ABV... Higher mash temps will result in a higher FG and lower ABV...

Also, running your original recipe through Beer Smith, for a 3 gallon batch, to get an OG of 1.060, you had an efficiency of 60%. FG estimate is 1.015, for an ABV of ~5.75%... You could have pulled it off the yeast too soon, at a week. I would have left it on the yeast for 2-3 weeks at least. Check the SG a few days apart to make sure it's at an actual FG before racking/bottling/etc... Still, if you hit an FG of 1.017, that's pretty damned close to the estimate. As I already mentioned, mash temps can really help with the brew's FG...
 

Hockeyhunter99

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73% is on the lower side of the specs for you yeast strain but still normal.

personally i would let it sit longer in the primary and let the yeast get every last drop.

i have a harvested PacMan strain that i use for my IPAs that is close to 78% att.

works similar to all the other american ale yeasts.
 
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brentt03

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If I can recall correctly, mash temp was around 156-158 for an hour. Was able to hold it pretty well for the whole hour! Could have been when I sparged, the temp was too high?!?

Looks like the solutions or route to take would be to increase amt in the grain bill, lower mash temps (152-154) and allow it to sit in primary for longer (2-3 weeks)
 

Hockeyhunter99

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that would be the next step. since this is could be concidered an exact science, i would change variable at a time
 

Golddiggie

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Mash temp also determines how much body a brew will have (amount of sugars that can be fermented)... Higher mash temps produce less fermenting sugars, while lower temps produce more. If you're looking for a more medium to medium-light bodied brew, mash in the 150-152F range. If lighter, then 148-150F would be good. Full body is typically in the 158F+ range.

I would suggest reviewing some clone recipes that list all grain steps so that you can see how those brews are done. Use that as a guide for your own processes... I'm leaning towards mashing in the medium to medium-light range on pale ales, or lighter brews. For things like stouts and porters, I would tend to mash a bit higher, but probably not above ~156F, unless it really needs a lot of body...
 
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brentt03

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Oh, and most of the time I held the mash temps at 154-156 (that was my goal).

I want the brew to have body but higher alc % too. 154 seems to give a good result, and with upping the grains I should get the results I was hoping for (fingers crossed)
 

ksbrain

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To increase ABV and change nothing else, just add base malt. If you increase everything, you'll also make it darker and otherwise increase the specialty malt character of your recipe. So in your specific example, just increase Pale Malt by 0.5# and you would be there (assuming all the efficiency stuff that's been covered already)
 
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