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full_too_pale

Sugar and alcohol content

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I am trying to get an idea for the alcohol content of a beer I just made; I still haven't got a hydrometer yet. I managed to find a Mr. Beer kit on clearance so I put this recipe together:
1 can American light
1 pound Muntons Plain Amber Dry Malt Extract
1 cup of sugar
The guy at the home brew store said the Munton's would add anywhere from 1-2% alcohol content. Roughly, how much does 1 cup of sugar add?

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Is added alcohol content all you're going for? A better option might be more LME or DME. That will boost alcohol content as well as flavor/body. Plus, I believe the extra sugar will require more time to condition out.

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You really don't want to be adding sugar. Just the DME would have been enough. On www.screwybrewer.com you can download QBrew AND the Mr. Beer data, then put this into QBrew and know exactly what it SHOULD have come out to. However, without a hydrometer you won't know exactly, it's usually a bit difference.

And yes, with the sugar you'll need to let it condition longer than 4 weeks.

You may want to spend some time reading on the forums. Sugar is not something anyone recommends to add to your brews.

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Not knowing the exact volume of your batch, I assumed it is an LBK, and I also assumed it was somewhere between the standard 2.13 gallons and the overloaded 2.5 gallons, so I settled on 2.25 gallons.

Roughly speaking, you should come up with an OG around 1.058, a FG of around 1.014, for a difference of 0.44, which would give you an estimated ABV of around 5.7%.

And yes, all malt is better than adding sugar, but you're not out-of-bounds with that one cup you added. I add a little on some batches, myself, mostly to stretch the volume at the last minute.

Personally, I'd be more concerned about adding a little bit more hops to balance out that pound of DME. You're right at the borderline, there. I guess it depends on how much you like or don't like hops. I always add another half ounce of hops now when I add a pound of malt to an otherwise balanced recipe.

If you do decide you'd like a little more hop presence, it's not too late. You can still do a dry hop or even add a little "hop tea" to the fermenter in week 2.

Good luck!

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Yes, I know about LME and DME, and I know about not adding sugar. This was merely an experiment for taste since I got the kit on clearance.

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"full_too_pale" post=381022 said:

How much extra conditioning time should I give it because of the added sugar?

There's really no exact formula for that. I think it's a small amount of sugar, so it should be a small amount of time. I'd still do the usual testing of one bottle at 4weeks conditioning and another each week until you like what you taste, then chill and drink the rest as you wish. That practice will help you come up with your own personal timing for your beers going forward.

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Many ipa's add sugar. It's a great way to create a crisp dry beer.

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"richtazz" post=381012 said:

Enter your ingredients here and see what you get. Screwy put a lot of work on all this, and he is a genius!

http://www.thescrewybrewer.com/p/brewing-tools-formulas.html

While there get QBrew it will give you a good idea of what to expect, and it has a MR B database for the HME & UME. I prefer Beersmith but I do all my own recipes

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I have to agree with JoeChianti about adding a small amount of sugar not being a disaster. It's understood that too much sugar will thin out a beer, making it cidery and requiring more conditioning time.

But adding some sugar doesn't mean ruined beer. There was a thread regarding this that used to be a sticky, but it's gone now, apparently.

http://community.mrbeer.com/forum/8-new-brewers-and-faqs/65050-new-brewers-please-read-malt-to-adjunct-ratios

This can help people develop an understanding of how to tweak a beer, add flavor, make use of various adjuncts, including various types of sugar and fruit, with less anxiety about making a batch that falls short of expectations or, worse, is destined for the drain.

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Welcome aboard The Obsession full_too_pale! If you're like the rest of us here you'll soon be awash in a sea of beer and setting sail on many great brewing adventures. There's lot's of information here and plenty of hands to help you get under way. You'll soon be producing some memorable beers and having a lot of fun too in the days ahead.

Navigate on over to our Advanced Brewing Techniques area of the forum and read over the

option=com_kunena&Itemid=124&func=view&catid=18&id=202417" target="_blank" title="http://community.mrbeer.com/index.php?

option=com_kunena&Itemid=124&func=view&catid=18&id=202417">'4 Things Every Brewer Should Know About Yeast'

sticky. Yeast is a living cell, keep them healthy and they'll ferment you up some awesome tasting beers.

Set your course and sail on over to our New Brewers and FAQs area of the forum and read over the 'Malt To Adjunct Ratios' sticky.

Remember for the best tasting beer you'll want no less than 80% of the alcohol to come from malts and no more than 20% of the alcohol to come from sugars or other adjuncts.

Give your beer at least 2-3 weeks to ferment and another 3-4 weeks to carbonate and condition before refrigerating. I know it's going to be hard to resist popping them open sooner, but like with anything homebrewing it'll be worth the wait.

When using any priming calculator enter the warmest temperature that your fermenting beer has endured between the time you pitched your yeast until bottling day. This has to do with the beer's residual level of Co2, or the ability for beer to absorb Co2 into solution during fermentation. For a typical Ale fermenting around 70F the residual Co2 will be around .83 volumes, which is then subtracted from whatever Co2 level you entered as your target.


Example 1: Beer was fermented at 70F and bottled at 70F - Enter 70F for the temperature
Example 2: Beer was fermented at 70F and bottled at 60F - Enter 70F for the temperature
Example 3: Beer was fermented at 70F and bottled at 80F - Enter 80F for the temperature

Higher levels of Co2 will stay in solution when the beer is colder, as the beer warms up more Co2 will be released from solution. Hope that helps.

This is my glass of beer. There are many like it, but this one is mine. Without me my beer is useless. Without my beer, I am useless. ~ Screwy Brewer

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"FedoraDave" post=381104 said:

I have to agree with JoeChianti about adding a small amount of sugar not being a disaster. It's understood that too much sugar will thin out a beer, making it cidery and requiring more conditioning time.

But adding some sugar doesn't mean ruined beer. There was a thread regarding this that used to be a sticky, but it's gone now, apparently.

++1000 Dave a lot of new brewers need to remember that just adding sugar to get more alcohol is in general not a good idea. When adding sugar to be true to style...................... well that is another story. Belgiums, Saisons, and other beers from the Flanders region needed that is how the are brewed. I am German and no longer agree with the purity law. I like about 5% to 7% sugar in my pils and about the same in my IPA's. I like dry beers. Just be careful with sugar that is why brewing software is so important

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