How to increase ABV in a Beer recipe?

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by KKDawning, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. KKDawning

    KKDawning New Member

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    Hi guys,
    I am a new member here and I am wondering how can we we increase the alcohol in a recipe? Consider that I am using beer kits containing malt extract and yeast and some hops.
    Thank you.
     
  2. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Best way is adding DME that way it'll still provide some maltiness and won't thin the beer out like when you add simple sugars.l like dextrose or cane sugar.
    Add any alcohol boosting sugar to fermenter never at bottling. Enjoy!
     
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  3. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    If the style can stand being a bit drier and less malty table sugar is the traditional approach.

    The other approach is to buy some dry malt extract and add that during the boil.

    I'd watch adding much more than 1-2% ABV to the recipe with either approach. Could make it unbalanced.

    You could look at partial mashing if you want to go beyond these simple approaches.
     
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  4. KKDawning

    KKDawning New Member

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    Thanks for the answer. The problem is that I tried brewing sugar (dextrose) which was in a cidar recipe and I added some more table sugar (0.5 kg) just to experience. It seems that that extra table sugar didn't change the ABV. So, I just don't know if the added sugar was not a good sugar to use or I didn't use enough to increase the ABV. Can you tell me what can be wrong here? What about the yeast? How yeast can affect ABV?
     
  5. KKDawning

    KKDawning New Member

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    I am using Beer kits containing malt extract. I am not mashing at the moment. :)
     
  6. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Yeast have different attenuation characteristics and flavour characteristics. Yes if you want alcohol just add sugar and distillers turbo yeast or any yeast like wine yeast with high alcohol tolerance threshold :D! I'm getting a hint of nubeness here exactly what I endeavoured to do when I first got into the HB Scean add simple sugar to make high ABV beers. Yep I got there and the result one or two and i was tipsy half drunk and ready for bed. Over time how alcoholic the beer your designing will he will be last on your mind but more so how much flavour and complexity you can bring out with either hop or malt or both will be what drives you forward in the HB Scean.
    The half kilo sugar of any sort will raise ABV btw but you've got to have a realistic approach to what your trying to achieve by upping the ABV...
     
  7. KKDawning

    KKDawning New Member

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    Do you have any recipe or guideline that I can try try with malt extract? Thanks
     
  8. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    What style of Beer would you like to make?
     
  9. KKDawning

    KKDawning New Member

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    Any beer that contains around 8% alcohol works for me.
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Answer: Add sugar. Any sugar. DME, table sugar, honey, any sugar will increase the ABV of the finished beer. Except lactose, it's not fermentable.
     
  11. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I'd suggest looking at brewing styles that already have that characteristic at first until you have a few brews under your belt.
    Not saying an Imperial American light lager isn't doable, it's just that you also need balance or you're drinking slightly flavored rocket fuel
     
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  12. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Have a look around on the recipies on this site I'm sure you'll find one that looks tastey. You can narrow down your search I'm sure to 8%ABV beers I'm no help in this heavy beer department my strongest would be mid 6 and then there is barleywine at 10 percent!
     
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  13. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Cheaper to just buy some Steele Reserve if you want a low budget buzz. Otherwise, brew a style with higher ABV. Adding simple sugars will thin out body, reduce flavor and may produce undesirable alcohol compounds.

    I went the add a bunch of sugar route on my first batch and learned my lesson. Beer is a wonderful thing when brewed properly. Swill is swill no matter how it is produced.
     
  14. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    For one, Northern Brewer has extract kits with higher ABV's. This link is for an IPA over 8%
    https://www.northernbrewer.com/collections/extract-kits/products/queen-of-africa-ipa
    If you are new to brewing (I am still in my first year myself), the best advice is to brew from a pre-defined recipe, or a kit. As others have noted, you can add simple sugars to boost ABV, but there is an effect on flavor and finish that you may or may not like in the end.

    Do you have a local home brew shop?
    If you do, they are likely experienced home brewers themselves and are probably more than happy to help you sort out the best ingredients to brew what it is you are looking for.
     
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  15. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    This is good information, unless of course the end goal is just the ABV. If that's the goal, then just buy cheap Vodka.
    Brewing higher alcohol beers well, will require better yeast management in all aspects.
    Cheers
     
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