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Raising Gravity

I’m getting ready to brew a batch of oatmeal stout and was talking to one of the folks at a local supply store and he was telling me I could boost the alcohol content by a full point by adding a pound of sugar to the boil. Has anyone done this with success? What about changing the taste?

Since table sugar is 100% fermentable this is true. As far as taste, I have read that the yeast will attack the simplest stuff first (the sugar) so some people have reported the yeast not finishing the job on the less fermentable sugars.

I can’t claim this is true or false as I have no tried it but some people suggest boiling the sugar in water separately and adding it a few days after the fermentation has begun.

Actually, one lb. of sugar will raise a 5 gal. batch by 9 points. Sugar has 45 points/lb./gal.

Actually, one lb. of sugar will raise a 5 gal. batch by 9 points. Sugar has 45 points/lb./gal.[/quote]

Yeah, sorry I was thinking 1% ABV (not gravity points) assuming FG is the same its a little over 1%

So how much would you add? I still have the 5 oz pack of priming sugar left over from my last batch of beer.

For an oatmeal stout, I wouldn’t add any at all. It will thin the body, which is at cross purposes for using oatmeal. BTW, you’ll need to mash oatmeal with some pale malt in order to convert the starches.

For an oatmeal stout, I wouldn’t add any at all. It will thin the body, which is at cross purposes for using oatmeal. BTW, you’ll need to mash oatmeal with some pale malt in order to convert the starches.[/quote]
Thanks Denny I appreciate the advice from one with your experience. I will not add the sugar. As far as the mash goes it’s a “mini-mash” kit so think I got it. It calls for soaking in 155º water for 45 minutes then steeping with 170º water then do boil with malt extract and hops. I actually bought a nice stainless steel cullender just for this purpose.

I usually agree with Denny, but not always…

Call me crazy but if you want more alcohol, go ahead and add a pound of sugar.

Brew the beer YOU want to drink.

I’m new to brewing but not drinking :slight_smile: I have a great appreciation for awesome beers. My fridge contains Sam Smiths Oatmeal Stout, Sam Adams Octoberfest, Rogue Shakespeare Stout, The Poet Oatmeal Stout, Liberator Doppel Bock, Victory Fest beer. There is no Bud or Bud lite or miller or coors or any of that garbage…I try not to be a beersnob but I guess I am, because if I couldn’t get the beers I liked I probably would just drink Tequila. That said I am also a really good cook and every time I try a new recipe I always follow it to the letter, I work to improve it the 2nd or 3rd time around. I would think “cooking” up a batch of beer from a kit isn’t a lot different, follow the directions and see how it turns out. If you think you can improve on it try it the next time. Thanks for all the advice but I think I will follow the directions and see how it turns out. Maybe add some sugar on the next go around. I probably shouldn’t have asked such a question until I’ve had a few more batches under my belt…thanks again guys.

Add more grain ( DME or LME if you are extract) and not sugar. Sugar will dry it out as well. So if you want a dry oatmeal stout go for it.

[quote=“dmtaylo2”]I usually agree with Denny, but not always…

Call me crazy but if you want more alcohol, go ahead and add a pound of sugar.

Brew the beer YOU want to drink.[/quote]

Dave, I agree with that philosophy, but I don’t know if the OP is willing to sacrifice the oatmeal stout character for a little more alcohol. That’s the tradeoff he’s looking at, and of course it’s his decision which way he wants to go.

Why not add a pound of DME instead? Raises gravity and will not thin the body.

Since it is a mini-mash kit, the recipe includes extract, which already contains some unfermentable sugars that tend to increase body. I usually advise extract brewers to throw in some plain white table sugar into any extract recipe. In this recipe, a full pound might not be appropriate but it wouldn’t be out of place. Hence my recommendation to go ahead and throw in a pound of sugar if he wants. Or a half pound of that and a half pound of extract. Whichever. With experience, a brewer will know what’s best to suit his own tastes.

It seems to me that the first question most new brewers ask is “how can I raise the alcohol content?”

What is it with more getting more booze in your beer?

[quote=“stompwampa”]It seems to me that the first question most new brewers ask is “how can I raise the alcohol content?”

What is it with more getting more booze in your beer?[/quote]

They want a cheap, fast buzz. :wink:

I would like to know how to make a killer brew with a 1% ABV. Drink a tasty drink all night and no hangover. 8)

Wrong hobby for that!

That would be interesting actually. Double IPAs and Imperial Stouts are good and all…but they’re so heavy and sometimes too boozy to really appreciate the complexities.

As stupid as it sounds, I like big beers because it takes me longer to get through 5 gallons. If I only brewed 3% beer exclusively, I would probably need to start a new batch every week. With big beers, I can keep up with my thirst easier.

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I added in 1 lb of dark brown sugar and got a very good ABV and definite brown sugar aftertaste. Delicious!

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