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upping the Octane... (abv question)

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stevenryals

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How effective is priming sugar at upping the ABV by putting it in the end of the boil before fermentation.. ??? lets say orig gravity is supposed to be 1.048.. how much would the priming sugar raise the OG?
 

brewmasterpa

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priming sugar is corn sugar. you can plug in the numbers to recipator or beer smith and get your calculations, but it really depends on the amount, how big a batch, and how long a boil. careful with that stuff, a little goes a long way. if youre making a 5 gallon batch with a 60 minute boil and youre using 9-10 lbs of grain (all grain) and you used 12 oz of that stuff, you can raise your abv by almost a full point!! careful. now if you use too much, you can have adverse flavors, problems with head retention, hazing issues, and so forth. so take it easy with that stuff. it makes more sense just to add extract, or grain if youre doing all grain.
 

bull8042

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Yeah, you want to be careful just jacking up the ABV of a recipe by adding fermentables. It will effect the flavor profile a lot. If you want more alcohol, follow a recipe that has a higher starting gravity to begin with instead of monkeying around with a low ABV one. I bumped the alcohol up in a hefe to please some of my German friends back when I was doing extract kits by increasing the DME..... It didn't turn out nearly as well as what I wanted, but it had plenty of fire.
 
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stevenryals

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I think i'm going to try to add just a wee, maybe 1/2 a bag of priming sugar near the end of the boil.. and just see what that does..

5 gallon batches using extract.. and I always keg so I have lots of priming sugar that i dont need..
 

brewmasterpa

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5oz bag?? you can use the whole thing in a 5-gallon without really affecting it too much. remember, adding sugar is the same thing as adding water--no flavor change until you hit a plato---then big flavor change. 5oz wont do too much for abv though, maybe
.3%. again, i think youd be better off adding .5 lbs of dme, youd get the same result alcohol wise and youd end up with body and flavor in the end.
 
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stevenryals

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so, adding DME brings about better results without the risk of the off flavors that fermentables brings..

I understand.. 10-4 :)

Thanks...
 

CBBaron

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Sugar is converted to alcohol by the yeast. A rough estimate is multiply the SG points difference by 125 to get the ABV. 5oz of priming sugar adds about .002 to the gravity of a 5gal batch and will fully ferment adding about .25% ABV. It will add the same whether you add it to the boil or add it at bottling. The only difference is you capture the CO2 in the bottle resulting in a carbonated beverage.

A small amount of corn sugar will not affect the beer much except to make it seem drier. Some belgian beers and IIPAs will use up to 10% sugar. However those beers are higher gravity beers with more malt than your average 5% ale.

A better idea is to use a recipe with a higher gravity. This will have a balanced beer with more malt, more hops and more alcohol. Adding one component without other adjustments will likely throw out the balance of a beer and have a poor result.

Craig
 
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stevenryals

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so, since my recipe was sent with priming sugar, I'm losing .25% alcohol by kegging instead of bottling?

What i mean is, isn't tha tpart of the recipe, so should keggers be adding the sugar to the boil to get the same result as those who bottle (adding it at the bottle)???
 

bull8042

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Sugar is converted to alcohol by the yeast. A rough estimate is multiply the SG points difference by 125 to get the ABV. 5oz of priming sugar adds about .002 to the gravity of a 5gal batch and will fully ferment adding about .25% ABV. It will add the same whether you add it to the boil or add it at bottling. The only difference is you capture the CO2 in the bottle resulting in a carbonated beverage.

A small amount of corn sugar will not affect the beer much except to make it seem drier. Some belgian beers and IIPAs will use up to 10% sugar. However those beers are higher gravity beers with more malt than your average 5% ale.

A better idea is to use a recipe with a higher gravity. This will have a balanced beer with more malt, more hops and more alcohol. Adding one component without other adjustments will likely throw out the balance of a beer and have a poor result.

Craig
YEAH! That is what I was trying to say..... I just used different words....
 

CBBaron

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so, since my recipe was sent with priming sugar, I'm losing .25% alcohol by kegging instead of bottling?

What i mean is, isn't tha tpart of the recipe, so should keggers be adding the sugar to the boil to get the same result as those who bottle (adding it at the bottle)???
Sounds like a reasonable thing to do if you are kegging.
5oz of corn sugar is not going to make a difference one way or the other. The priming sugar is not usually included when people calculate OG, FG and ABV. It is such a small difference that it can be ignored. So if you need to do something with it throw it in the boil, if you want to have it for making that big IPA or Belgian Strong then save it.

Craig
 
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