Increase ABV Without Sacrificing Flavour

Discuss making up beer kits - the simplest way to brew.
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ChrisA
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Increase ABV Without Sacrificing Flavour

Post by ChrisA » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:02 pm

I have purchased the ‘Muntons Gold Continental Pilsner’ two tin kit and I will be adding 12g of bulldogs fuggles finishing hops and 500g of brewing sugar on the recommendation of my local home brew shop. The conditioning / dispensing will be from a corney keg.

Question is should I add 1kg instead of 500g to get the ABV up (being mindful the instructions don’t mention adding any additional sugars)?

I like a drink that packs a punch and if I had the choice 6.5% would be an ideal strength however I don’t want to add to much sugar and it ruin the taste. I’m working on the logic that the additional sugar doesn’t really effect the taste and it’s primary job is to increase the alcohol content, is this correct?

Cheers Chris!

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Jocky
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Re: Increase ABV Without Sacrificing Flavour

Post by Jocky » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:28 am

Alcohol does have a flavour, so that will go up, and you may find the beer a teeny bit thinner as alcohol has a lower density than water.

An alternative is to add some malt extract instead of some of the sugar.
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ChrisA
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Re: Increase ABV Without Sacrificing Flavour

Post by ChrisA » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:43 am

Thanks jocky I will look into malt extracts.

For this particular brew through do you know if more than 500g of additional sugar will cause any adverse effects?

I don’t want to add the whole 1KG bag of sugar and then find out it overwhelms the yeast halting fermentation, spoiling the batch or even worse it causes a blow out?

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Jim
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Re: Increase ABV Without Sacrificing Flavour

Post by Jim » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:13 am

Adding sugar does dilute the flavour - this was a fault of the kits that were around when I were a lad, they all specified adding an entire 1kg bag of sugar and were pretty horrible. They used to result in pretty bad hangovers as well.

If you add malt extract as Jocky suggests, that will add flavour as well as strength.
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MTW
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Re: Increase ABV Without Sacrificing Flavour

Post by MTW » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:55 am

If I were adding sugar to a kit nowadays, I'd be doing it after about 48 hours of fermentation, in a small dilution, boiled and cooled. I think this would avoid some of the more fruity and unwanted alcohol flavours I had in kits many years ago.

Make sure to pitch plenty of carefully rehydrated yeast. If you're upping the gravity, then potentially you need more yeast. I'd sub the pack for something like US05 that I knew had been well stored cool along the way. Unless you're fermenting cool (say under 13C) then it's really an ale fermentation anyway, and I've tasted some good 'lager' ales with that. Too little yeast combined with a higher gravity and a load of simple sugar, especially early on, would be the worst scenario for me.
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Robwalkeragain
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Re: Increase ABV Without Sacrificing Flavour

Post by Robwalkeragain » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:14 pm

Use 1kg dried malt extract or beer kit enhancer (50:50 sugar and malt extract.)
1kg sugar will be detrimental to the beer.

ChrisA
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Re: Increase ABV Without Sacrificing Flavour

Post by ChrisA » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:55 pm

Thanks everyone for the replies I will definitely look into the malt extracts for my next brew!

Would you all advice that even 500g of additional brewing sugar would be to much?


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guypettigrew
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Re: Increase ABV Without Sacrificing Flavour

Post by guypettigrew » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:42 pm

Why not try adding 1kg of dried malt extract to this brew? If you've already got the brewing sugar and want to use it, then add no more than 500g and add another 500g of dried malt extract. A lot of home brew shops sell DME in this quantity, so you won't have to weigh it out.

Adding this much extra (however you add it) might throw the hop balance out from the intended end result. No worries, though, you'll still have a drinkable beer!

Just, please, don't use 100% sugar to add to the kit if you're going to add 1kg of it.

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WalesAles
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Re: Increase ABV Without Sacrificing Flavour

Post by WalesAles » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:39 am

Chris,
If I was doing this brew, I would add 1Kg Light Malt Extract at the start of the brew.
There are 3 types, light, medium and dark. You decide which one to use depending on the beer style.
I would advise you to mix it up in the FV with an electric drill and a plasterers whisk ( it`s hell using a plastic spoon)! #-o
As others have said `don`t use brewing sugar`.
I would also use the Yeast that comes with the kit.
Happy Brewing and keep us posted.

WA

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