Brewed a really nice American Stout last night. notes of chocolately roasted coffee all throughout. the predicted abv was 6% according to kit which i followed to a T, but as i was taking my OG i dropped the hydrometer and it broke. My question is, similar to dry hopping (im not going to dry hop) what are some post fermentation additions some people do. And, since they most likely are not antimicrobial, how can I sanitize them before adding to my carboy? Was considering cocoa and/or whole coffee bean. It's a 5 gallon batch and I don't want to over do it on any flavors, so quantity recommendations are welcome too.

Secondary question: is there a way to find my abv now that I missed the OG?

thanks, you guys are helping me tremendously.

  • Did you measure the SG at the start of the boil?
    – bughunter
    Jul 9, 2015 at 16:22

2 Answers 2


Basically, you don't need to worry about it. I add coffee beans without any sanitation at all. I've even added unsanitized mushrooms right out of the woods without problem. By the time you add that stuff, there's not only alcohol n the beer, but it has a low pH. Those two things combine to make it very resistant to infection.


Denny's answer is pretty accurate, I think. After fermentation is mostly complete, the beer is fairly resistant to infection.

Regarding what post-fermentation additions people do, the answer is LOTS! Dry-hopping, fruit additions, vanilla, chocolate, wood, liquor, chili peppers, and coffee are all pretty common. I'm sure that I'm leaving out some other common ones as well. For an American Stout, I'd say that dry-hopping, vanilla, chocolate, liquor, wood, and coffee are all very common and can be used in combination with each other. It really depends on the flavor profile you are looking for.

To answer your other question, there is no way to find ABV without knowing what the OG was. You can guess in the ballpark if you trust that you made the recipe and achieved the assumed efficiency, but it's really just a guess.

  • i didn't use a hop bag for my dry hopping and it worked fine. is it okay to treat these additions the same way? I've just been putting a nice filter on my racking cane to keep out the unwanted sediment. Jul 9, 2015 at 16:00
  • 1
    Well, a bag might make it more convenient, but at long as you can keep the unwanted stuff out, it doesn't really matter how you do it. Cold crashing helps a good bit as well. Jul 9, 2015 at 16:15

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