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Wonder about adding more DME for a high alcohol content

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1972Buick455

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Hi there,
Doing Northern's Bavarian Hefeweizen and would like to kick it up a notch. Would there be any harm in adding an extra 1.5 lbs of Golden Light DME, which I just happen to have lying around? How about adding the extra 1.5 lbs that I have left after that to the Big Honkin Stout? (Brewing two batches today, shout is the second) Would that be to much DME? Using wyeast 3068 on the wheat and wyeast 1332 ale on the stout. Any thought appreciated. 15 minute into the boil!!!
 

BigB

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Adding that little bit of DME won't hurt anything. It will slightly up the ABV, but in doing so, it will also slightly dry out the beer... probably wouldn't be perceptible though.
 
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1972Buick455

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Finished boil, cooled pitched yeast. O.G. came out at 1.060. Northern doesn't say on there sheet what is expected to be. Sound right to anyone (or not).
 
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1972Buick455

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Not on sheet but it was on the box 1.049 so I bumped it up .011
 

Cpt_Kirks

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Corn sugar is very nice for bumping up the ABV. As long as you don't overdo it, there is no noticeable change in the beer...other than a bit more kick.

:drunk:
 
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1972Buick455

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How much corn sugar +- is good? Is DME lower risk as far as changing flavor? Asking because I really don't know! Thanks for the help.
 

zachattack

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Since corn sugar is nearly 100% fermentable, it will increase ABV but also dry out the beer and thin the body (relative to the amount of alcohol). DME is around 75% fermentable, so it will increase ABV but proportionally leave some body and residual sweetness.

It's usually not the best idea to simply change the gravity of a recipe without changing the hops, specialty malts, etc. to help balance it. NB designs the recipes based off certain IBUs, BU:GU ratios, grain percentages, and other factors. So by boosting the OG this way you're changing the malt presence in the beer and throwing it slightly off balance compared to the original recipe. Not necessarily a bad thing, but definitely different!

It sounds like you're starting to play around with your own recipes, so I'd recommend checking out the free trial of Beersmith! It's easy to mess around with different ingredients/volumes/etc. and see how the recipes change. You can also pick up "Designing Great Beers" which gives a great overview of recipe formulation for most beer styles.

Finally, the math for OG is pretty simple when you're talking about extract or sugar. If you have the Briess Golden DME (http://www.brewingwithbriess.com/Assets/PDFs/Briess_PISB_CBWGoldenLightDME.pdf or http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/briess-dme-gold.html), it's listed as 43-44 ppg. That means if you added 1.5 lbs, you'd add 44 * 1.5 = 66 total gravity points. For a 5 gallon batch, that should add 66 / 5 = 13.2 points to your OG.
 

RIC0

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So maybe it's best to add say .5 lb sugar and .5 lb DME to a batch which should keep the flavors about the same?


Not sure how much ABV that would add???
 
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1972Buick455

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Thanks all for the advice and comments it's interesting that beer fermented so incredibly violently that it blew the airlock of the carboy. I woke up this morning and beer was everything everywhere and bubbles we're going all the way to top of the carboy. When it blew the airlock it splattered my big screen TV with hops and beer. It will be really interesting to see how this and I think I need to name this beer something related to my big screen TV. Any ideas for naming this beer? Ha. Ha.
 

logan3825

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My personal rule of thumb is to add no more than 0.5LB of table sugar per LB of DME over 5LB.(or 6lb LME) So if I have a recipe that starts at 6lb LME and 2LB DME I wouldn't add more than 1LB sugar. Less if I didn't want it to dry out as much.
 

Cpt_Kirks

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How much corn sugar +- is good? Is DME lower risk as far as changing flavor? Asking because I really don't know! Thanks for the help.
The standard rule of thumb is to use no more than 20% sugar.

DME is more likely to change the flavor, sugar just thins the beer out a bit and adds alcohol.
 
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1972Buick455

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20% is worth a try next time around. I think I'm going to name it Sony Wheat this time! TV screen is ok BTW
 

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