Increasing alchohol

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I was thinking of getting an extract with specialty grains heffe kit
from an online retailer and was wondering if it is possible to add
extra malt extract and wheat to the boil to increase the gravity so
that the final beer will have a little more alchohol. maybe 6 or 7 %
instead of 4 or 5. What i'd like to find out is how I calculate how
much to use and if it is a good idea. Like will the higher alchohol
content hurt the yeast or be too overpowering.  I dont like asking at
the local shop because the guy that seems to be on duty everytime i go
in there always looks at me like i am an idiot. I may be, but I hate
that look.

Thanks for any info.

Re: Increasing alchohol;11467 Wrote:
> Hi,
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There are online calculators like the beer recipator found at: that will help in figuring
grain/extract ratios.;11467 Wrote:
>  Like will the higher alchohol
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Typically wheat yeast will handle alcohol levels in the 5% - 10%

Good luck,


::It is my design to die in the brew-house; let ale be placed
to my
mouth when I am expiring, that when the choirs of angels come, they may
say, \"Be God propitious to this drinker.\" -- Saint Columbanus, A.D.
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Re: Increasing alchohol

Thanks for the help!
On Tue, 5 Sep 2006 05:37:15 -0400, wild

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Re: Increasing alchohol

On Mon, 04 Sep 2006 22:59:44 -0600, wrote:

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Yep, you could do that.

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I'm sure there's a calculation somewhere, maybe you could try I haven't looked there but you could try, do a Google
search too.

You can do a rough estimate, if you know what the original kit is supposed
to produce. If you double the malt it will produce *about* double the
alcohol. You should be good up to about 12% to 15% without worrying too
much about the yeast...although if you're going to go that high you may
want to make a starter and step the yeast up a bit.

With the right yeast, and using the right proceedure, you could even get
up as high as 21% or so...but the higher you go the more aging time you'll
need to produce a quality result. At 21/22% you might need to age it for 1
to 3 years.

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Hey, we all have to start somewhere and learn. That guy at the shop
doesn't sound too bright- if he makes people who are just starting out
feel bad because they don't have the knowledge, they aren't going to want
to go to his shop to buy the things they need. Sounds pretty stupid to me.

If I had a shop like that, I'd be more than happy to teach people and help
them- they'd brew more and buy more supplies and I'd make more money.
Hell, there's a lot of us on these groups that do it for free. If you're
really interested in making good beer, check out the rec.crafts.brewing
newsgroup- there are a bunch of good people there.

            Falcon's Rest
          Zymurgical Alchemy
   First Inter-Galactic Guild House Of
The Brotherhood Of St. Cathode Of Anode

Re: Increasing alchohol

Thanks for the tip on the rec brewing group. I have been reasding for
days and am barely half way through all the messages I got when I
Is there an archive for the group anywhere?

Thanks again,
On Tue, 05 Sep 2006 12:03:56 GMT, Zaphod Beeblebrock

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Re: Increasing alchohol wrote:
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I think there is an archive somewhere, but I can't remember where.

Another great resource is  This is the Homebrewers Digest
website.  A lot of the same folks on the RCB group also hang out of the
forum on HBD.  When you bring up the site, just scroll down to the
Discussions link on the left hand side of the page.  Lots of great info
there plus there is a search feature that will let you look through
years of archives.  Before you can post you do have to register.  This
is free and is required to keep the spambots from automatically posting
crap to the site.  Once registered you can also subscribe to the Home
Brew Digest.  This is an email based daily compilation of questions,
answers and commentary by members of HBD.  You can also post questions
to the digest.

Lots of great resources out there once you know where to look.  If you
like fun as well as great homebrewing information check out  This website has a great forum for posting
your questions.  Lots of award winning homebrewers and craft brewers are
regulars on there.  Lots of photos also posted there so you can actually
see brew systems used by other folks.  This site is actually an adjunct
to the webcasts put on by those folks.  The primary webcast is on Sunday
nights (5:00 pm, Pacific time).  This is a live 2.5-3 hour program on
brewing and brewing related activities.  They bring in lots of guests
such as the head brewers from various craft breweries.  They have had
Chris White (founder of White Labs) on there a couple of times.  During
these webcasts listeners can call in by phone, or submit questions and
comments via the chat room on the website.  In addition to the great
brewing information that comes across, there is a lot of irreverent fun
and lots of drinking.  A lot of us homebrewers send them beers for them
and the guests to sample and critique on the air.  Nothing like having
the head brewer from the Russian River or Gordon Biersch breweries
reviewing your beers for you!  Everyone is friendly and glad to help.
Just be warned that this is an adult forum and sometimes the language is
not suitable for youngsters to listen to.  Check them out.

Bugeater Brewing Company

Re: Increasing alchohol

Awesome. Thanks for the resources. I've got about ten brews I wanna
I'll check these resources, but is there anything off hand you'd
recomend for brewing lambics? I have wild brews but am working 70-80
hrs a week and have a 9 month old. so reading is very sporadic.
I'll post this elswhere but thought maybe someone might have a quick
answer. I want to brew a wit like celis white. Which when i tasted
some seemed a lot more tart than hoegaarden. I'm wondering what could
i do to give my wit that kick?

Thanks for all the info and help!!!!
On Thu, 14 Sep 2006 20:09:41 -0500, Wayne

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Re: Increasing alchohol

I would try something simple like brewing to less of a final volume (add
water). Experiment away.

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Re: Increasing alchohol

BierNewbie wrote:
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A really quick guestimate is about a pound of DME  1% alcohol if I
remember correctly.  Thats a really rough approimation though.  One
thing to consider if you do this though is you will need more hops to
balance the additional malt flavor.  Play with the recipe on sites liek
thr recipator listed earlier and get something you think will be good.

Re: Increasing alchohol

On Mon, 04 Sep 2006 22:59:44 -0600, ""

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An easier way to increase alcohol is to 'fortify' you beer with the
addition of grain alcohol.  This has been told to me how people use to
add some zest to weaker/sweater brews.

Now what I would try, via fermenation, by increasing fermenable sugars
with higher alcohol tolerant yeast.

But then this is just a guess, fun part about home brewing, is that
you can try and test, till you like.  :D


tom @

Re: Increasing alchohol

Let me say this another way:

Make your beer kit with less than the called for amount of water. This
will increase your specific gravity which will result in more alcohol
AND keep the beer/hops/alcohol ratios in balance.

If you are making a 5 gallon kit at an origional gravity of 1.040 and a
final gravity of 1.009 then make it to just 4.5 gallons and your
specific gravity should go to 1.045. That would result in your alcohol
by volume to go from 4.1% up to 4.8% approximately.

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Re: Increasing alchohol
On Mon, 11 Sep 2006 02:38:23 -0400, BierNewbie

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