Author Topic: How low can I go?  (Read 1592 times)

Offline yso191

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How low can I go?
« on: November 15, 2013, 01:00:23 PM »
So I am thinking about brewing a very low alcohol IPA.  I still want all the beer flavor, just really low ABV.

So how do I balance this out?  How low have you brewed an IPA, and were you happy with it?
Steve
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: How low can I go?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2013, 01:21:48 PM »
I brewed one (okay, a few) of those session IPA things. I would say my favorite was an OG of 1.048 and FG of 1.013, mashed at 157F, US-05. Otherwise, it's just too thin and lifeless.
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Online HoosierBrew

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Re: How low can I go?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2013, 01:56:36 PM »
I brewed one (okay, a few) of those session IPA things. I would say my favorite was an OG of 1.048 and FG of 1.013, mashed at 157F, US-05. Otherwise, it's just too thin and lifeless.
+1.  I think the lowest one I was happy with was ~ 1.044 OG .  But that was mashed @ 158 or 159F.  Much below that and I felt it was diminishing returns, in terms of being too watery.
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Offline dolecek21

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Re: How low can I go?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2013, 02:18:26 PM »
I know some people substitute the us pale/2-row that they would normally use in an IPA with a British Pale Malt in addition to the higher mash temp to add more body in low ABV IPAs. My lowest is probably about 1.045 OG, but there is a brewery in my neighborhood that has a couple in the 4.0 range that are pretty good.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: How low can I go?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2013, 02:20:43 PM »
I brewed a 1.038 bruiser with 12 oz of hops in 5 gallons. it was very very hoppy. I mashed at 162 and it just barely made it past totally unbalanced and into the realm of drinkable. I can post the recipe when I get home I think. not sure if I still have it but I'll look. I think if I was going to do it again I'd load it up with some more crystal malt and see if I could build a little more body.
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Offline duboman

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Re: How low can I go?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2013, 03:28:05 PM »
I just bottled up a English Bitter with an OG of 1.042 and FG 1.015 hopped with EKG and mashed at 155. I haven't opened a bottle yet as they're not quite ready but the bottling sample tasted really nice with a good balance of malt and bitterness. Looking forward to popping one pen this weekend!
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Re: How low can I go?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2013, 04:10:09 PM »
I read an article or two after Founders released their All-Day IPA, the session IPA.  It took them forever to get the recipe right and they almost threw in the towel. I've made many 1.038 - 1.040 milds and ordinary bitters, but it's definitely a different animal to build enough body to support IPA-like hopping. Tricky.
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Offline denny

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Re: How low can I go?
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2013, 09:57:51 AM »
So I am thinking about brewing a very low alcohol IPA.  I still want all the beer flavor, just really low ABV.

So how do I balance this out?  How low have you brewed an IPA, and were you happy with it?

I'm sorry, but I gotta say it...very low alcohol is NOT an IPA.  Brew what you like, but name it accurately so we can all understand what you're talking about. 

OK, now you can all tear into me....
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: How low can I go?
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2013, 10:17:14 AM »
I agree Denny, but not just for your reason. If you hand someone something called X but it tastes like Z, they are going to be surprised. Replace someone's milk with oj and watch the reaction.
Its not so much guarding the guidelines as it is preparing the mind for what the mouth is getting.
But you are right too, hard to give advice on Z when its actually X and just calling it Z.

Offline repo

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Re: How low can I go?
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2013, 10:36:14 AM »
I agree Denny, but not just for your reason. If you hand someone something called X but it tastes like Z, they are going to be surprised. Replace someone's milk with oj and watch the reaction.
Its not so much guarding the guidelines as it is preparing the mind for what the mouth is getting.
But you are right too, hard to give advice on Z when its actually X and just calling it Z.

And one could argue that just as milk can be whole, 2% or skim for example. Ipa can be double, session or black. 

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: How low can I go?
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2013, 12:39:38 PM »
Yes and no. In this thread we're making skim milk but wanting all of the flavor of whole milk. Without some serious chemistry that's not going to happen. Call it what you will, I don't see how anyone could make a reduced abv IPA with all the big beer flavor. Hence Session IPA, or Hoppy Hybrid, or whatever nomenclature.

Offline denny

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Re: How low can I go?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2013, 01:00:41 PM »
I agree Denny, but not just for your reason. If you hand someone something called X but it tastes like Z, they are going to be surprised. Replace someone's milk with oj and watch the reaction.
Its not so much guarding the guidelines as it is preparing the mind for what the mouth is getting.
But you are right too, hard to give advice on Z when its actually X and just calling it Z.

And one could argue that just as milk can be whole, 2% or skim for example. Ipa can be double, session or black.

But those still fall within the definition of mile.  IPA is defined as having an ABV from 5 (English) to 7.5 (American).  As always, I say make what you like to drink.  But for the sake of clarity, don't call it something that it's not.

To the original question.....I'd use a heavy dose of crystal and mash high, kinda like you were making mild.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: How low can I go?
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2013, 01:42:25 PM »
Agreed. But I stand by my point that it won't still have all the flavors of an IPA. Example, the only way to make a low calorie snickers bar that tastes exactly like a snickers bar is to cut a snickers bar in half. If you cut out half of the sugar it won't taste like the original regardless of what you call it.

Offline repo

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Re: How low can I go?
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2013, 01:56:23 PM »
I agree Denny, but not just for your reason. If you hand someone something called X but it tastes like Z, they are going to be surprised. Replace someone's milk with oj and watch the reaction.
Its not so much guarding the guidelines as it is preparing the mind for what the mouth is getting.
But you are right too, hard to give advice on Z when its actually X and just calling it Z.

And one could argue that just as milk can be whole, 2% or skim for example. Ipa can be double, session or black.

But those still fall within the definition of mile.  IPA is defined as having an ABV from 5 (English) to 7.5 (American).  As always, I say make what you like to drink.  But for the sake of clarity, don't call it something that it's not.

To the original question.....I'd use a heavy dose of crystal and mash high, kinda like you were making mild.

Somewhere in England on old curmudgeon is explaining the same thing to a kid who wants to make an American IPA.  ;)   

I find it entirely clear what to expect when I order a session ipa, double ipa or black ipa. 

Offline majorvices

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Re: How low can I go?
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2013, 03:11:16 PM »
How about unsweetened ice tea boiled with hops? ;)
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