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Tom Powell

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Hello

I'm just starting my brewing hobby having brewed only 2 batches (first was an American Pale Ale kit - followed the instructions religiously, the second was a St Peters stout kit which I added 500g lactose sugar and cocoa nibs).

Today, I have used a Wilko Premium Wheat Beer kit (limited edition?), 1kg of brewing sugar, 500g of light DME, and topped it up to 20 litres instead of 23 in the hope of a higher ABV. I plan to let it go for however long it takes.

My OG is 1.046 - is this normal? What sort of strength should I expect? Any tips on how to get the most out of my brew?

I am very new to this but I'm learning!! Any tips or guidance
 

RM-MN

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followed the instructions religiously,
Which religion? The one where you only go to church on Easter and Christmas or the one where you go at least 3 times a week?

The amount of alcohol that your beer ends up with depends on the amount of sugars divided by the quantity of the wort with a further modification depending on the yeast used. If you use a yeast that only attenuates 65% you get less alcohol than if your yeast can attenuate 75%.

If you added some dry or liquid malt extract you would get more alcohol and possibly more body to the beer if that is your goal. My goal is to make good tasting beer and if it turns out to be a 4% alcohol beer, fine.

Beer is better if the recipe is balanced between the maltiness retained and the bitterness of the hops. Adding malt extract to gain alcoholic content may disrupt this balance. I have learned to take recipies from the database on HomeBrewTalk and modify them to fit my grains and taste.

Most kits will do exactly what they say except that they omit the part about better flavor if fermented cool and leaving the beer alone until the ferment is over and the yeast and trub have had time to settle. I have bought kits that said to bottle at one week but my beers improved when I made 10 days a minimum and often let them go 3 to 4 weeks in the fermenter. I try to keep my fermenting beer between 62 and 64F as I found that that makes better tasting beer than letting them get warmer and still is warm enough to make the yeast work.
 

rburrelli

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Hello

I'm just starting my brewing hobby having brewed only 2 batches (first was an American Pale Ale kit - followed the instructions religiously, the second was a St Peters stout kit which I added 500g lactose sugar and cocoa nibs).

Today, I have used a Wilko Premium Wheat Beer kit (limited edition?), 1kg of brewing sugar, 500g of light DME, and topped it up to 20 litres instead of 23 in the hope of a higher ABV. I plan to let it go for however long it takes.

My OG is 1.046 - is this normal? What sort of strength should I expect? Any tips on how to get the most out of my brew?

I am very new to this but I'm learning!! Any tips or guidance
It is a wheat beer, but you don’t have wheat in the ingredients?
 
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Tom Powell

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Which religion? The one where you only go to church on Easter and Christmas or the one where you go at least 3 times a week?

The amount of alcohol that your beer ends up with depends on the amount of sugars divided by the quantity of the wort with a further modification depending on the yeast used. If you use a yeast that only attenuates 65% you get less alcohol than if your yeast can attenuate 75%.

If you added some dry or liquid malt extract you would get more alcohol and possibly more body to the beer if that is your goal. My goal is to make good tasting beer and if it turns out to be a 4% alcohol beer, fine.

Beer is better if the recipe is balanced between the maltiness retained and the bitterness of the hops. Adding malt extract to gain alcoholic content may disrupt this balance. I have learned to take recipies from the database on HomeBrewTalk and modify them to fit my grains and taste.

Most kits will do exactly what they say except that they omit the part about better flavor if fermented cool and leaving the beer alone until the ferment is over and the yeast and trub have had time to settle. I have bought kits that said to bottle at one week but my beers improved when I made 10 days a minimum and often let them go 3 to 4 weeks in the fermenter. I try to keep my fermenting beer between 62 and 64F as I found that that makes better tasting beer than letting them get warmer and still is warm enough to make the yeast work.

Thanks for the advice. I don't think I'm quite ready to start brewing from scratch with grains so I'd like to tweak kits/extracts to get to my desired taste. My stout worked amazingly and I'd love for my wheat beer to do the same.

If I start with a standard kit, what steps can I make to improve it? I know I can add more sugar to increase the fermentables and raise the ABV, yet I don't want my beer to be thin and would certainly prioritise taste over strength. Today, I opted for just 500g of light DME in the hope it would add slightly more for the yeast to eat without drastically changing the taste. Is this enough or could I use more and utilise a blow-out tube?
 

RM-MN

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Thanks for the advice. I don't think I'm quite ready to start brewing from scratch with grains so I'd like to tweak kits/extracts to get to my desired taste. My stout worked amazingly and I'd love for my wheat beer to do the same.

If I start with a standard kit, what steps can I make to improve it? I know I can add more sugar to increase the fermentables and raise the ABV, yet I don't want my beer to be thin and would certainly prioritise taste over strength. Today, I opted for just 500g of light DME in the hope it would add slightly more for the yeast to eat without drastically changing the taste. Is this enough or could I use more and utilise a blow-out tube?

I'm not ready to start brewing from scratch with grains either and I've been brewing for years. I look at recipes and then modify them. Small modification first, then bigger ones if I like how the beer turned out.

Adding plain table sugar will thin your beer as the yeast can and will eat all of it. Malt extract has some sugars or long chain molecules similar to sugars that most yeast can't break down and eat. Your choice of adding the DME was a good one. If you go to far with the DME and don't increase the hops you get a beer that is unbalanced. I've drunk one of those at a brew pub. I won't again.

Unless you do like I do and make small batches of beer in a big fermenter that has lots of room for the krausen, using a blow off tube is recommended.....unless you really enjoy cleaning krausen from the ceiling and walls.

Wait and see how your beer turns out with the 500g of DME. If it tastes great, next batch you can try adding a little more. If you don't like how it turns out, next time skip it or add more hops in the boil for more bittering to balance out the sweetness.
 

IslandLizard

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The wheat is in the 1.8kg of extract I believe
You didn't list that in your original post...
It all makes more sense now, thanks!

My OG is 1.046 - is this normal? What sort of strength should I expect?
I plugged this into BeerSmith:
1.8 kg Wheat LME
0.5 kg Wheat DME
1 kg Dextrose (Brewer's Sugar)

Is this correct? ^

In a 20 liter batch the OG would be 1.050.
Your measured OG of 1.046, being 4 points lower, could be due to incomplete mixing, higher batch volume, lower yield from ingredients (thinner LME), etc. But close enough.

Depending on the yeast used, (and some other factors) expect a FG of 1.004-1.008 and an ABV of 5.6-6.0.
 

GoodTruble

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Online says this extract beer is supposed to 4%. You are probably more than on track to hit or exceed that number.

[original gravity (ie "OG") - final gravity (FG)] x 131.25 = ABV

FG on light beers will generally be 1.008-1.015. Heavier/darker beers will generally be 1.015-1.025 (these are VERY general numbers to help estimate eventual ABV).

1.046 - 1.010 = .036
.036 x 131.25 = 4.72% ABV

Things look good/normal.

Keep on brew'n.
 
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