Author Topic: Low Alcohol Beer Ideas?  (Read 2744 times)

Offline pyrite

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Re: Low Alcohol Beer Ideas?
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2012, 04:37:27 PM »
I'll take the advice of not using American Pale malt and mashing at higher than normal.  Since the gravity is so low it's almost certain that if there are any flaws in this delicate creation they would be amplified.  It seems every ingredient including malt, hops yeast and water have to be of the highest quality

I have tasted a couple mild's in the range of 3-3.2% but to me they just seem like they were lacking taste.

You guys have some interesting creations such as the brown ale, the rye stout, the mild ale, and the ordinary bitter.   
 
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Online dbeechum

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Re: Low Alcohol Beer Ideas?
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2012, 11:49:45 PM »
Here's one that was included in an article I did in Zymurgy a few years back. This one is pretty damn awesome and I had to laugh when I rounded a corner in Minneapolis at Club Night and found it on tap at someone's booth!

Schoolhouse Tafelbier
For 5.5 gallons at 1.025, 7.2 IBUs, 6.0 SRM,  60 minute boil
Malt/Grain/Sugar/Extract
3.75 lbs   Belgian Pilsner Malt
1.0 lbs   Caravienne Malt   
0.25 lbs   Aromatic Malt
Mash for 60 minutes at 155F.
Hops
0.5 oz   Czech Saaz (Pellets)   3.2%AA   60 minutes
Pull the first gallon of your runnings and concentrate in half to build caramels
Spices
1 tsp   Freshly Cracked Black Pepper   5 minutes
Yeast
Wyeast 1214 Belgian Ale
Drew Beechum - Maltosefalcons.com
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Offline pyrite

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Re: Low Alcohol Beer Ideas?
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2012, 06:43:42 AM »
That's flattering someone had Schoolhouse Tafelbiert on tap.  Thanks for the recipe. 
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Offline kgs

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Re: Low Alcohol Beer Ideas?
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2012, 08:43:35 PM »
Just one more thought: I'm not sure what your objective is, but one of my best investments early on in my brewing several years ago was two cases of 7-oz bottles. I always bottle part of my batches in these bottles. I am even thinking of buying another case or two. I can enjoy a 7% homebrew without incurring the calories and alcohol of a 12 oz bottle. A "split" is a wineglass of beer, perfect for dinner.

I do like all the tips for good session brews, plus the anecdote about the Tafelbier. I'm a fan of dry stouts for that reason. Let's hear it for sessionable beers those of us under 5 feet tall can enjoy on a regular basis (though I do enjoy the occasional Maredsous 10 ;-) ).  But portion management is one more trick to consider.
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Offline pyrite

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Re: Low Alcohol Beer Ideas?
« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2012, 09:24:16 PM »
Kgs, using splits is a great suggestion.  I'll have to get some for my high gravity beers. 

My thought:  I don't think I've ever tasted a beer of 3% or lower abv and said dang that is a truly great beer.  I've tasted beers of 5%-6%-7%-8%-9%-10% abv-etc.. and have thought that some were great tasting beers.  However, I can't say the same for a low gravity beer of 3% abv or lower. 

I've tasted craft brewed English MILD brown ales, and thought they were great examples of the style.  But they did not not fall into the category of being some of the greatest beers I've ever had. 

My objective is:  To try and make a beer of 3% abv or lower, that is great tasting. Maybe this low gravity beer will not belong to any particular beer style category. Sometimes I just want to drink a cold and fizzy malty beer that is great tasting without getting a buzz.  Sometimes I might want to drink the heck out of it, and sometimes I might just want to have one.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Low Alcohol Beer Ideas?
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2012, 10:21:55 AM »
The English Mild style (read: most low-gravity beers) don't really impress me. The grand exception is when they are cask-conditioned. The freshness of a dry-hopped, cask-conditioned, low-gravity ale is a unique beer experience. I think some of the subtleties from high-quality malts are lost in a beer that must be conditioned for 3+ weeks before drinking. You need to retain this level of complexity when dialing down the ABV.

Try Mike Tonsmire's approach: no expensive hand-pump - he just uses a spare keg:

http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2011/02/american-bitter-gravity-cask.html

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Offline pyrite

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Re: Low Alcohol Beer Ideas?
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2012, 11:15:15 AM »
 kylekohlmorgen, I am a big fan of the mad fermentationist, but have never seen that blog post. Thanks for posting that link.  Most of the low gravity beers (3% or lower) I have tasted, have in most cases been one dimensional.  Therefore, I like Mike Tonsmire's approach of trying to retain a certain level of complexity when dialing down the ABV.  I will absolutely try this.   

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Offline euge

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Re: Low Alcohol Beer Ideas?
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2012, 11:39:48 AM »
Are we talking low alcohol or low calorie or both? One approach I tried was a low SG such as 1.038 and mash low between 146-148F. This produces a refreshing beer with plenty of body remaining. I hop around 30 minutes for flavor and bitterness.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Low Alcohol Beer Ideas?
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2012, 12:21:31 PM »
how about something that is about 3 pounds each vienna and munich 20l then throw in a little 60l crystal/5gallons should come in just under 3%
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Offline pyrite

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Re: Low Alcohol Beer Ideas?
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2012, 01:57:08 PM »
Are we talking low alcohol or low calorie or both?

At this point I'm strictly foucusing on producing a very low gravity beer that tastes great. At this point I'm not concerned about the amount of calories.  The style of the beer does not matter either just as long as the low gravity beer tastes great.

I guess what I should be asking is, have you ever brewed or tasted a low gravity beer that was phenomenal? 

 
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Offline pyrite

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Re: Low Alcohol Beer Ideas?
« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2012, 02:00:27 PM »
how about something that is about 3 pounds each vienna and munich 20l then throw in a little 60l crystal/5gallons should come in just under 3%

yeah, I think munich and vienna are going to play a roll in making this.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Low Alcohol Beer Ideas?
« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2012, 02:33:33 PM »
Are we talking low alcohol or low calorie or both?

At this point I'm strictly foucusing on producing a very low gravity beer that tastes great. At this point I'm not concerned about the amount of calories.  The style of the beer does not matter either just as long as the low gravity beer tastes great.

I guess what I should be asking is, have you ever brewed or tasted a low gravity beer that was phenomenal?

I think the most striking and great low ABV beers I have had were lambics. The added complexity from the brett and other bugs makes up for what is lost with lower gravities. I also think that by mashing really high (like 160-162) and using only first runnings you can get alot more flavour with a lower abv.
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Offline pyrite

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Re: Low Alcohol Beer Ideas?
« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2012, 05:39:05 PM »
morticaixavier,   I've been thinking of brewing up a low gravity sour.  Although, I've never tasted a very low gravity sour, I think you make a good point about using wild yeast strains, so that the beer can develop complex flavors.   
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