I am brewing my first kit beer. I want to set aside one gallon and make a high ABV batch. I am brewing a honey wheat and adding jalapeño. How would I make the higher ABV and what would the technical name be? Imperial witbier?

  • Make sure your yeast are amenable to high alcohol levels. Some will get stressed and you'll wind up with off flavors in your beer. For your first brew I'd recommend just following the directions and getting your process down, otherwise if it doesn't turn out right you won't know if it's your process or the additions.
    – TMN
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 16:20

2 Answers 2


First: It is your first brew! Relax. Brew it and THEN start playing. There is a lot of things you need to get used to. But it is up to you. :)

You can follow thesquaregroot's answer, or you can alter the abv in a different way:

Brew the beer and let it ferment in two fermenters, where the one fermenter is the one gallon one that will be made special. When fermentation starts to slow down on the "special" fermenter add extra sugar. You can use DME, table sugar, honey, etc.

You can get calculators online that will tell you now much ABV you will get from sugar additions.

Remember that your yeast has limitations on how much ABV it can survive in, so make sure you do not exceed that amount.

As you are adding jalapenos it will be a Fruit/Spice/Herb beer with a base of (probably) Imperial Wheat. Witbier has lemon/orange zest and coriander.


Assuming you're doing a partial boil (e.g. boiling 3 gallons and adding water to reach a target 5 gallons), you could just take a gallon post-boil and a proportional amount of water to the larger batch (i.e. two thirds of the additional 2 gallons).

Of course if you're targeting a specific ABV it may be more complicated to calculate but you could use a similar method with a different boil size to achieve a desired original gravity.

As for the name I think it would depend somewhat on the ABV but imperial witbier seems reasonable.

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