Author Topic: Unusual Session Beers  (Read 3354 times)

Offline Crispy275

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Unusual Session Beers
« on: November 11, 2009, 10:07:26 AM »
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?
« Last Edit: November 11, 2009, 08:39:49 PM by Crispy275 »
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Offline gail

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Re: Unusual Session Beers
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2009, 10:20:57 AM »
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,
Gail
« Last Edit: November 11, 2009, 10:23:14 AM by gail »

Offline bonjour

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Re: Unusual Session Beers
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2009, 10:26:35 AM »
So I assume you are not looking for one of my under 1.100 session beers?

;) Fred
Fred Bonjour
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AHA Governing Committee; AHA Conference, Club Support & Web Subcommittees



Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline bluesman

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Re: Unusual Session Beers
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2009, 10:32:39 AM »
So I assume you are not looking for one of my under 1.100 session beers?

;) Fred

lol Fred  :D

What is the definition of a session beer?

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

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Offline blatz

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Re: Unusual Session Beers
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2009, 05:36:26 PM »
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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Offline smurfe

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Re: Unusual Session Beers
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2009, 07:26:13 PM »
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,
Gail


I have brewed that one and it is pretty good. I have brewed just about every recipe in that book. If you want something off the wall it is a great source and probably my favorite beer book I ever bought except for John Palmer's How to Brew.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Unusual Session Beers
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2009, 06:53:14 AM »
IMO Saisons are the best "unusual" session beers. Especially if you can stand to age them with a sour culture (of course, it takes months as opposed to weeks when you sour a beer.)

Here is a recipe that is very low OG that I have played around with (I have 5 gallons aging in a carboy right now that is being aged with a sour culture and oak cubes) - it makes an interesting, very low alcohol session beer. Also, I realize the Maris Otter is out of place for a Saison technically, but you need something besides pils malt to up the "interesting factor". Also, you can add a small amount of chocolate malt to the recipe for an roasty twist. But here is the basic recipe:

Sharpe Mountain Table Beer
12 gallons
OG 1.039
IBU 39
SRM 9.6

8lbs Pale Malt (I used TF MO)
4 lbs Munich (Best Type I)
2lbs Flaked Wheat
2lbs Cara Vienne
1lb Aromatic

1.25 oz Magnum (14aa) 60 min)
1.5 oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker (3.7aa( 20
2oz French Strisselspalt at WP

WLP565

Mash in single infusion at 154-156. 90 min boil. Pitch at 64 and ferment in high 60s, low 70s. Drink young and fresh!
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Offline babalu87

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Re: Unusual Session Beers
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2009, 08:14:06 AM »
So I assume you are not looking for one of my under 1.100 session beers?

;) Fred

Thats called a Snot Hanging Drunk session beer  :D

I always go back to a Bitter, pretty rare that a Bitter isnt one of the choices on a tap handle at the house.
Enough of both hops and malt to satisfy all but a Snickers craving
Jeff

On draught:
IIPA, Stout, Hefeweizen, Hallertau Pale Ale, Bitter

Primary:
Hefeweizen,Berliner Weisse, Mead

Offline majorvices

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Re: Unusual Session Beers
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2009, 08:19:08 AM »
Not unusual though. ;)
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline babalu87

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Re: Unusual Session Beers
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2009, 08:59:58 AM »
Not unusual though. ;)

With C hops  :P

Got 10 gallons of IPA going with Centennial, Cascades and Simcoe
Yeast is Wyeast Thames River

Gonna be bad assed  8)
Jeff

On draught:
IIPA, Stout, Hefeweizen, Hallertau Pale Ale, Bitter

Primary:
Hefeweizen,Berliner Weisse, Mead

Offline bonjour

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Re: Unusual Session Beers
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2009, 10:37:55 AM »
Thats called a Snot Hanging Drunk session beer  :D
Hey,  5%abv Under your usual brew is a session beer, isn't it.

Fred
Fred Bonjour
Co-Chair Mashing in Michigan 2014 AHA Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan
AHA Governing Committee; AHA Conference, Club Support & Web Subcommittees



Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline a10t2

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Re: Unusual Session Beers
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2009, 07:34:43 PM »
Enough of both hops and malt to satisfy all but a Snickers craving

Now *there's* a recipe idea!
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Unusual Session Beers
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2009, 07:46:31 PM »
How about a fusion between an ordinary bitter and a vienna lager. Use 60%Pils/40%Vienna blend...add some medium crystal...use German Nobles for bittering and a touch of flavor and ferment at 68F with WLP002.  8)
Ron Price

Offline babalu87

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Re: Unusual Session Beers
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2009, 05:48:13 AM »
Tom Jones

This thread needs it

Jeff

On draught:
IIPA, Stout, Hefeweizen, Hallertau Pale Ale, Bitter

Primary:
Hefeweizen,Berliner Weisse, Mead

boulderbrewer

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Re: Unusual Session Beers
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2009, 09:26:15 AM »
I made an American styled bitter, simple bitter recipe with American hops. We stole the pale ale and made our own why not Bitters. First was my home grown cascade using the Hop Stand method.

 
Recipe:       American Bitter

Recipe Specifics
----------------

Batch Size (Gal):        12.00    Wort Size (Gal):  12.00
Total Grain (Lbs):       18.40
Anticipated OG:          1.042    Plato:            10.56
Anticipated SRM:           6.7
Anticipated IBU:          43.2
Brewhouse Efficiency:       75 %
Wort Boil Time:             90    Minutes

Actual OG:  1.044   Plato: 10.96
Actual FG:  1.014  Plato:  3.57




Pre-Boil Amounts
----------------

Evaporation Rate:      15.00    Percent Per Hour

Raw Pre-Boil Amounts - only targeted volume/gravity and evaporation
rate taken into account:

Pre-Boil Wort Size:                15.48    Gal
Pre-Boil Gravity:                   1.033   SG          8.25  Plato

With sparge water, mash water, additional infusions, vessel losses, top-up
water and evaporation rate recorded in the Water Needed Calculator:

Water Needed Pre-Boil Wort Size:   15.31    Gal
Water Needed Pre-Boil Gravity:      1.033   SG          8.34  Plato


Grain/Extract/Sugar

   %     Amount     Name                          Origin        Potential SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 94.6    17.40 lbs. Lager Malt(2-row)             Great Britian  1.037      2
  5.4     1.00 lbs. Crystal 75L                   Great Britian  1.034     75

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.


Hops

   Amount     Name                              Form    Alpha  IBU  Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  9.00 oz.    Cascade-homegrown 2007            Whole    5.75  43.2  15 min.


Yeast
-----

S-04 and WY 1450




I also do small Saisons like Major, I used NB's petite Saison dEte' and messed with the grain bill to suit my tastes and inventory. I have gone with sour or oak yet.