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tjndaltx

Adding LME and Sugar to wort

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Hi everybody.

 

New here and new to home brewing.

 

I just bought a Mr. Beer and have started an American Lager as it came with the keg.

 

I talked to my lhbs and asked them about increasing ABV - and they suggested adding a pound of sugar. I had also read about adding LME to the wort.

 

So I did both - I added about 8 ounces of Pale LME and about a pound of table sugar (didn't have any corn sugar).

 

I am basically just asking is what kind of consequences can I expect from the additions? Flavor, exploding bottles? Gee, I hope not.

 

Thank you very much in advance.

 

TJ

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15 minutes ago, tjndaltx said:

Hi everybody.

 

New here and new to home brewing.

 

I just bought a Mr. Beer and have started an American Lager as it came with the keg.

 

I talked to my lhbs and asked them about increasing ABV - and they suggested adding a pound of sugar. I had also read about adding LME to the wort.

 

So I did both - I added about 8 ounces of Pale LME and about a pound of table sugar (didn't have any corn sugar).

 

I am basically just asking is what kind of consequences can I expect from the additions? Flavor, exploding bottles? Gee, I hope not.

 

Thank you very much in advance.

 

TJ

well... you had a can of MRB HME, lets say that's 4.5% with out boosters.  Add 8 oz LME would bring you up to around 5%.  The sugar will bring you up to about 8%.  That was a lot of sugar to add.  I just brewed a batch 5x your size and I only used about 10 oz of corn sugar.

 

you wont have bottle bombs unless you bottle it too early.  make sure you go the full 3 weeks in the LBK.  All you did is make a light bodied beer even lighter while increasing the ABV assuming your fermentation goes well.  No biggie, 8% is a bit much for me but maybe youll love it.  Next time skip the sugar and do some calculations before throwing things into your brew kettle.  Try to understand what ingredients do before adding them too.  

 

When I started brewing I made a 3.3lb lme batch with like 4 lbs of carapils cuz everyone on here says its so nice.  That was not a very good idea but I drank the beer anyway

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Thank you so much for the input.

 

I actually was not trying to get to 8% alcohol level. I thought I might get it to 5.5 or 6. Oh well, as long as it doesn't explode I'll try to live with it.

 

I agree....more research would definitely improve my mission.

 

Thanks again!!!

 

TJ

 

 

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I'm really excited about home brewing. Good thing I'm fairly patient, because I'll wait the full term before bottling or drinking.

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Agree.  But you really don't want to ever add a pound of sugar to a Mr. Beer batch as was explained.

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Thank you, Rick.

 

I have taken all this advice to heart and will make good effort to brew a good, balanced beer. Do I know how to do that? No, but if I aim at nothing I'll hit it every time. LOL

 

So again, thank you.

 

TJ

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Tip 1 - brew the recipe as it exists.  With the included booster, it's 4.1%.   Don't start making changes until you know the taste of the base refill.  

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28 minutes ago, tjndaltx said:

3.1 ABV is a bit low for me.

 

Thank you for that info.

Welcome to the hobby...and down the slippery slope.  :)

 

As Rick said, a standard HME is 3.1% ABV.  The craft refills are 5.5%.  There are many, many ways to increase ABV.  Some affect flavor, some don't.  Adding LME will do both.  As you continue with the hobby, you'll notice that many recipes that have added LME (or DME) also have added hops.  That's because adding more malt extract makes the final beer - you guessed it - more malty.  So hops are added to the boil for a short time, at flameout, or as a dry hop in order to balance the final brew.

 

Adding sugars also increases ABV.  Depending on the type of sugar you use, you may notice a change in the taste of the final beer.  People use table sugar, brown sugar, agave syrup, lactose, candy sugar, honey, maple syrup...you name it, people probably brew with it.  I recommend reading up on what these can do before brewing with them as the end result may not be what you expect.  A great example of this is honey.  If you add honey to a brew, your beer will NOT have a honey taste to it.  The yeast will tear through all of the sugars in the honey; what's left is a "dry" flavor.

Another way to increase ABV is the old-fashioned way:  mashing grains (which produces natural sugars that are eaten by the yeast).  When you make the move to partial mash recipes you'll see this in action.

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4 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

Tip 1 - brew the recipe as it exists.  With the included booster, it's 4.1%.   Don't start making changes until you know the taste of the base refill.  

 

Thanks Rick. I bought a second LBK on eBay - supposed to be new - looks good.

 

I'm going to use it to brew the Mexican Cerveza. I will stick to the recipe this time.

 

Thanks again.

 

TJ

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6 minutes ago, Shrike said:

Welcome to the hobby...and down the slippery slope.  :)

 

As Rick said, a standard HME is 3.1% ABV.  The craft refills are 5.5%.  There are many, many ways to increase ABV.  Some affect flavor, some don't.  Adding LME will do both.  As you continue with the hobby, you'll notice that many recipes that have added LME (or DME) also have added hops.  That's because adding more malt extract makes the final beer - you guessed it - more malty.  So hops are added to the boil for a short time, at flameout, or as a dry hop in order to balance the final brew.

 

Adding sugars also increases ABV.  Depending on the type of sugar you use, you may notice a change in the taste of the final beer.  People use table sugar, brown sugar, agave syrup, lactose, candy sugar, honey, maple syrup...you name it, people probably brew with it.  I recommend reading up on what these can do before brewing with them as the end result may not be what you expect.  A great example of this is honey.  If you add honey to a brew, your beer will NOT have a honey taste to it.  The yeast will tear through all of the sugars in the honey; what's left is a "dry" flavor.

Another way to increase ABV is the old-fashioned way:  mashing grains (which produces natural sugars that are eaten by the yeast).  When you make the move to partial mash recipes you'll see this in action.

I understand, Shrike.

 

I am a little confused about ABV in standard HME. One says 3.1%, another says 4.5%.....not sure which one is correct or are the percentages different for different styles?

 

Thank you.

 

TJ

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4.5 is not correct.

 

Standard can is 3.1%.  Add the booster and it's 4.1/4.2.  A can of the Craft Refill is 5.5 or higher, there are some different ones.  

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3 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

4.5 is not correct.

 

Standard can is 3.1%.  Add the booster and it's 4.1/4.2.  A can of the Craft Refill is 5.5 or higher, there are some different ones.  

 

Got it. Thank you.

 

TJ

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I think the new smaller booster packs add about .7% so a can of HME and a booster gets you a hair under 4%.

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7 minutes ago, gophers6 said:

I think the new smaller booster packs add about .7% so a can of HME and a booster gets you a hair under 4%.

 

True.  But there should be two included.

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8 hours ago, tjndaltx said:

Hi everybody.

 

New here and new to home brewing.

 

Hey TJ, welcome to home brewing. It will quickly turn into an obsession! There is a lot of good info on this forum.

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13 hours ago, Creeps McLane said:

Standard refill online says 5% with two boosters.

 

I see that.

 

Josh would point out that you COULD get 3.7% ABV if you emptied every drop out of the can, used the exact amount of water, etc.  He also said in the same post that most people got 3.1 - 3.2%. (see below).


The new booster packs, per the Mr. Beer site, add 0.65%.  3.1 + (2 x 0.65) = 4.4%.  

 

The cans of standard refill weigh 1.87 pounds.  

 

As noted, non-standard refills have more malt extract and provide a higher ABV (and don't come with booster).  These cans weigh 2.86 pounds, i.e. they contain 53% more malt extract.  53% more on 3.1% = 4.75% ABV.  My batch of Winter Dark got 4.9%.  My Bewitched Amber got 4.8%.  The site claims 5.5%.  

 

Some of the seasonal refills (no longer offered) had even more malt extract, such as the Doppelbock which claimed 7.5%.  It had 4.3 pounds of malt extract, i.e. 50% more than the craft refills.  

 

 

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