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Add sugar post fermentation or let'er be?

I brewed a Weizenbock this past weekend and had some issues. I messed up the amount of mash/sparge water to use and ended up with 6.25/gal of wort when I was looking for 5.25. I also got slightly less efficiency than expected. So, these too combined to make my OG 1.062 when I was looking for something closer to 1.074. This beer is going to be out of range for this style in terms of gravity and ABV. I really wanted a nice strong, dark, wheat beer for the cold February/March months.

My question is, would you leave it as is or do what I am thinking and add somewhere around 1 to 1.5lbs of either cane sugar (my usual choice) or maybe honey to the fermentor to up that gravity and ABV a little bit? I brewed this past Saturday and visual, active fermentation has slowed and almost stopped in the last 24-48hrs. I wanted to up the ABV, but am worried I’ll dry it out too much my adding that much suagar/honey.


I would be worried about drying it out too much. If you are concerned about keeping within the style, why not add some wheat LME? This should bump the ABV and still keep your FG and falvor inline with where you want it.

Wow… I never even considered this. So maybe just boil some wheat dme, cool it, and add to the fermentor? I guess my only issue is my 6 gallon carboy is filled with around 5.5gallons of beer right now. Not sure how much more she’ll take :lol:

EDIT: Is LME technically sanitized? Meaning, can you just pour some LME directly into a fermentor?

I thought I read somewhere that LME is an inhospitable environment for bacteria and you don’t need to sanitize it. I could be wrong on that as I’m pretty sure it was just someone posting in a forum where I read that so it would be by no means an expert opinion.

Hopefully someone else can chime in. I don’t think I have enough room to boil off DME/water and add, but maybe I could just pour some LME in.

Anyone know anything about this?

I’m honestly not sure whether simple sugar would dry it out too much or not, as there are a lot of variables. In a nutshell, if your beer tastes super thick right now, you can probably use simple sugar. But if the beer is kind of on the thin side or medium bodied, then extract is an excellent option.

Whatever you add, personally I would boil it in a little water to kill bugs. Otherwise you are placing your beer at unnecessary risk. I have performed abbreviated boils before (like 1 minute) and still ended up with contamination, so I try to be more cautious about boiling all sugar additions for at least 10 minutes.

I like the wheat LME option here. Maybe a pound or two dissolved in a quart of water (so as not to push the limits of your carboy), boiled for 10 minutes, then cooled. It will be thick(er than beer), but it should diffuse into the rest of the beer in your carboy.

I’m leaning this way. I’ll be sure to leave the blow-off tube attached.

You could also take some of the liquid out to make room for the new. Maybe put it in a smaller fermenter if you have one and see how the two finish and compare them?

As long as you don’t immediately chill from a boil whatever you choose to add, you should be fine in terms of contamination. I have a saison going that calls for adding a pound of cane sugar in 2 cups of water after about a week into the fermentation. I boiled that and shut off the heat and left it on the stove for a few minutes, then crashed it in the garage (20-30F). It was pretty thick on cooling (a simple syrup of sorts). I sanitized the funnel and added it to the batch right through the bung hole in the bucket lid. All appears fine. When I have added honey in the past, along with a lemon vodka extract to Kolsch at the one week point in the primary, I never encountered problems, either. But as Dave said, a little extra caution never hurts. You just don’t need to do a very extended boil is my point. I would probably opt for LME with the wheat beer, but YMMV.


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