Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Two questions

I am new to this as I am just about done bottle conditioning my second batch. I have two questions: 1. How can I raise the abv? I am using the extract kits and wasn’t sure if the alcohol level could be adjusted.

  1. My first batch didn’t really get as carbonated as I would have liked (except a few that got overly carbonated). I didn’t stir the priming solution in, I just siphoned the beer in with it so I thought this might be my problem. But I was curious can carbonation levels be raised or lowered by the amount of sugar you add before bottling?

Thanks in advance.

  1. ABV can be raised with more grain/malt syrup. You can also add table sugar, your beer will finish drier however, don’t think you want to use more than 10-15% sugar though.

2.Yes, carb levels can be raised or lowered depending on the amount of sugar used. Make sure you stir you bucket every 6-12 bottles.

Congrats on getting started.
To answer your questions:

1.) To raise ABV, it’s as simple as adding more sugar to your wort. And by sugar, I mean things like Honey, Extra Malt Extracts (either dry or liquid), Etc. The more of those you add, the higher your OG reading will be, and when fermentation is done, you’ll be left with a higher ABV Beer.
Be careful though - as you may have to pitch more yeast to accommodate (or just make a higher volume starter).

2.) You sort of answered your own question. The more sugar you prime with, the higher your carb levels will be. Be careful, though, as too much, and you’ll have some bottle bombs.
I’m not sure of the exact formula for a 5 gallon batch, but generally, if you’re brewing with a kit, it will give you instructions.
Make sure you’re at a decent temperature too. I keep my bottles conditioning between 65 and 75 degrees. If they’re too cold, or too hot, you won’t get your desired result.
Add the priming sugar mixture to the bottom of your bottling bucket, then rack the beer out of your fermenter into the bottling bucket. It’ll mix it plenty for bottling.

Good luck!

The answer to both your questions is yes; you can up the ABV and the carbonation. More sugars during/before fermentation for ABV and more before bottling for increased carbonation.

What I would recommend is downloading Beersmith. You can get a free trail addition online.
In it you can enter in all the ingredients you are using and then add more extract/sugar/honey to increase the ABV. It does all the calculations for you. You can also set your carbonation levels and it will tell you how much priming sugar to use. It’s a great resource.

Northern Brewer has a priming calculator when bottling.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/priming-sugar-calculator/

Pretty simple to use. Choose a style or kit, input current temperature of the beer and volume. It will tell you how much priming sugar (or whatever you use) to make a solution out of.

And there’s no need to stir the beer/priming solution after every few bottles. Just make your solution (boiling water / sugar for about 10min on the stove) add the liquid to your bottling bucket (yes adding it hot is fine) and as you siphon your beer over give it a good stir… and again several times during siphoning. Don’t splash it around. Just stir. I’ve done it this way for about 30 batches of beer and have never had a problem.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com