New brewer question

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by DelicateDelirium, Mar 7, 2012.

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  1. DelicateDelirium

    DelicateDelirium Initiate (0) Feb 1, 2012 Massachusetts

    I just recently picked up ingredients to brew just my second batch and i had a few quick questions:
    1) The beer is a bourbon-barrel vanilla stout and the recipe says 4 ounces of bourbon is all that's needed, i think i would like a more present bourbon taste but i don't want it to overpower the other flavors, do you think 4 ounces would really show through on a 5 gallon batch or how much more should i add?

    2) My second question is that i was told adding extra brown sugar into the malt will help to raise its abv, without brown sugar the recipe is a little over 6% in abv, how much sugar would i have to add to get that number closer to 8 or 9?
  2. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (749) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    8 #s DME and 1.25#s of sugar should get you close to 8%ABV for a 5 gal batch. I would not add any more sugar than that for an Imperial stout or you risk thinning the body too much...add more DME instead to get to 9% and use 2 packets of yeast. Quick and dirty advice only...use a calculator for specifics.
  3. DelicateDelirium

    DelicateDelirium Initiate (0) Feb 1, 2012 Massachusetts

    thanks for the advice, the recipe calls for 7lbs LME and 1lb DME and as far as i know they contribute to abv equally right? So that would 8lbs like you recommended, so should i put in another lb or 2 of DME and the yeast, or will the pound of sugar alone probably put me close to 8%?
  4. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (749) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    No, LME has some water in it, so it will take a little more LME to get the same gravity you would get from the same weight of DME. I'd add your sugar and another # of DME...but you need to use a's one:
  5. TallPaul07

    TallPaul07 Initiate (144) Sep 4, 2010 Indiana

  6. haddon

    haddon Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2009 Kentucky

    It might surprise you how much flavor 4oz of bourbon will show up in a 5g brew. I soaked oak chips with 6-8oz of bourbon and dumped the bourbon into secondary with my chips... the bourbon was overpowering (and I am a bourbon drinker). The only thing you can do is give it a shot and adjust according on the next batch... oh, the joys of homebrewing! enjoy!
  7. C2H5

    C2H5 Disciple (347) Jan 7, 2012 Illinois

    dont add the sugar, it will cause the yeast to produce fusel alcohol and you wont like the taste or the headache
  8. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    That's a pretty bold statement. Most homebrewers add sugar to many of their beers, it is especially common in IPA's. Belgians use sugar quite often as well.
  9. thedude459

    thedude459 Initiate (0) Mar 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    I agree with storm. Unless you are taking 5 gallons of water and adding sugar to it to make prison booze, your not going to get a headache or a bunch of off flavors. Your brew shouldn't be mostly cane sugar though either.
  10. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    +1, know what your using...for sure.
  11. C2H5

    C2H5 Disciple (347) Jan 7, 2012 Illinois

    Belgian Candi vs. Sugar

    Belgian candi is sugar. There is a slight difference though. Belgian candi is fructose and glucose. Table sugar is sucrose. The reason for the difference is Belgian candi has been inverted. Inverted sugar is produced by splitting sucrose into fructose and glucose. Yeast has a field day with fructose and glucose, but struggles a bit with sucrose. To break down sucrose, the yeast must first produce an invertase enzyme. It’s an extra step for the yeast, but the yeast (and most organisms) can do it.
    Some people report the enzyme produced by the yeast can give the beer an off flavor. Just to be safe, it would be better if you can first break your table sugar down into the monosaccharides. To break down the sucrose, you can use an enzyme (from the yeast in your wort), or you can use acid and heat.
    • Belgian candi is inverted sugar
    • Sucrose is a disaccharide made of fructose and glucose
    • Inverted sugar is sucrose broken down into fructose and glucose
    **I stole this from a homebrew website
    MrGreengenes2 likes this.
  12. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    Have you ever used sucrose? Belgians have also been known to use sucrose at times as far as I know.

    Either way...bold statement. I have used sucrose a few times in manageable levels and never got this:
  13. Spider889

    Spider889 Meyvn (1,008) Mar 24, 2010 Ohio

    Stick with the recipe because you can always add MORE, but it's almost impossible to cover up mistakes once they're made. Basically add the directed amount and taste a day or so later. If you feel there's too little flavor then add some more.
  14. C2H5

    C2H5 Disciple (347) Jan 7, 2012 Illinois

    will adding sugar to my brew increase the abv
    yes, but beware because it could give an "off flavor" to the beer

    I gave him a general answer because he stated that it was his second batch of beer. I know there are many factors that I have not taken into account, I was just trying to give him some basic advise.

    I know that many recipes call for sucrose, even non belgian beers, but that's to dry out the beer not raise the abv. I just brewed an ipa with a pound of Honey..I waited until after primary fermentation settled, my temps were good at 65, I still got some fusel taste. When you add a fermentable like sugar to a recipe you risk throwing off the balance of the taste
  15. MrGreengenes2

    MrGreengenes2 Initiate (0) Aug 9, 2008 Indiana

    Interesting facts there C2H5. I am a chemistry lover and am studying dietetics so it is cool to learn the biology of candi sugar.
    OP I would not use any sugar in a stout if you like them thick and heavy, as sugar will make it crisper, drier, thinner. For the bourbon what works the best for me is to get a beer thief, add a certain *low* amount of flavoring (in this case bourbon) and thief a sample to taste. If it is not strong enough repeat. The last thing you want to do is blindly dump a ton in there and ruin a $40 batch of extract brew.
  16. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Initiate (165) Dec 20, 2006 New York

    Inverted sugars such as Belgian candi sugar are still about half sucrose, as not all of the sucrose is broken down into glucose and fructose, so either way the yeast are utilizing their invertase enzyme. Also, it's not uncommon in both commercial brewing and homebrewing to use plain old sucrose, many of us do it without any issues whatsoever.
  17. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    Is that the answer you gave the OP?
  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,653) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “Some people report the enzyme produced by the yeast can give the beer an off flavor.” This is the first time that I have heard that the enzyme produced by the yeast to metabolize sucrose could result in an off flavor.

    Is anybody aware whether this is a genuine problem?

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