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Unusual Session Beers

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We all know that a good session beer is lower in alcohol, yet still satifies the palate. Alts, Kolsch, Mild, smaller Brown's, Dry Irish Stout, Classic American Pilsners, and small ales come to mind.

However i am looking for interesting session beers that are not to style. Beers that start at or below 1.040.

I have been thinking around doing a Belgian Single. But rather than just cutting the grain and hop bill by half and risking an inspid and watery brew, I was wondering if anyone else has ever had success with either this "quasi-style", or other brews that may not be stylistically accurate, but light, refreshing, with lots of good, balanced flavors, but not much alcohol. Recipes would be great, but even just some tips and tricks.

I keep thinking of Belgian style adaptations, because of the wonderful flavor profiles of so many of the Belgian yeast, but I am sure there must be some others out there who may have already either perfected, or are well down the road to creating such satisfying brews.

Additionally, are there particular hops that people find more delightful in a light beer, and others to avoid? I mean, beyond the obvious, such as not using Summit hops. What very low alpha hops shine in the smallest beers?

And finally, what malt additions have you used in a small beer that really gives that brew a satisfying nudge toward this goal?

I've never tried this one, but Randy Mosher has a recipe for a 1.050 Belgian Single in Radical Brewing (p. 123):
6 lbs Pilsner malt
3 lbs. pale ale malt
.5 lb aromatic
.75 oz Challenger (7.5%) at 60 min
1 oz Saaz (3%) at 30 min
.5 oz. Northdown at 5 min
.5 oz Saaz at 5 min
Belgian Abbey ale yeast
Looks like mash temp would be 150 degrees.
Good luck on your quest,

So I assume you are not looking for one of my under 1.100 session beers?

;) Fred


--- Quote from: bonjour on November 11, 2009, 05:26:35 PM ---So I assume you are not looking for one of my under 1.100 session beers?

;) Fred

--- End quote ---

lol Fred  :D

What is the definition of a session beer?

If I was to would be an O.G.< 1.050ish and very drinkable, relatively low to medium hop bitterness, and???

I don't brew many <1.050 beers, but I would say that Crystal hops seem to work well in small beers.


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