Author Topic: NA beer  (Read 329 times)

Offline satchman

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NA beer
« on: May 06, 2018, 10:03:13 PM »
Had anyone successfully made good tasting non alcoholic beer? I'm training for an event right now and have very little motivation to brew because I can't drink, but have heard that non alcoholic beer can be a great recovery drink.


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Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: NA beer
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2018, 12:16:46 PM »
Greetings satchman - I never really thought about making a NA beer, but I suppose you would use the exact same procedure as you would making an alcoholic brew, except the NA brew would not get fermented.  Then, I suppose you could use Coopers Carbonation Drops to bottle condition, or use the forced method.

I suppose the brew would be quite sweet, but I’m sure you could use some adjuncts to tone it down a bit.

Interesting thought.....
« Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 12:18:38 PM by KellerBrauer »
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Offline erockrph

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Re: NA beer
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2018, 12:39:15 PM »
Greetings satchman - I never really thought about making a NA beer, but I suppose you would use the exact same procedure as you would making an alcoholic brew, except the NA brew would not get fermented.  Then, I suppose you could use Coopers Carbonation Drops to bottle condition, or use the forced method.

I suppose the brew would be quite sweet, but I’m sure you could use some adjuncts to tone it down a bit.

Interesting thought.....
I would NOT bottle-condition a beer brewed like this, since the yeast would consume *all* the sugar once in bottles and blow them all up.

NA beer is something that is likely outside the realm of what is possible to a typical home brewer, since we have no good way to remove the alcohol produced by fermentation. I suppose you could brew a very low gravity beer and flash-pasteurize after a very short fermentation (1.013 OG to a 1.010 FG would be about 0.4% ABV - lower than the usual 0.5% ABV cutoff for NA beers), then force-carbonate. I don't know if that would taste any better than the commercial alternatives.
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Offline MNWayne

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Re: NA beer
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2018, 12:54:26 PM »
Ferment a low OG recipe of your choice. After fermentation, return the batch to a near boil, as alcohol boils off at a temperature lower than water boils. Keg and force carbonate. Not sure how you can tell when all alcohol is gone. Perhaps watch the specific gravity, it should rise since alcohol is lighter than water.

Offline Robert

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Re: NA beer
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2018, 01:31:56 PM »
Ferment a low OG recipe of your choice. After fermentation, return the batch to a near boil, as alcohol boils off at a temperature lower than water boils. Keg and force carbonate. Not sure how you can tell when all alcohol is gone. Perhaps watch the specific gravity, it should rise since alcohol is lighter than water.
This is a persistent myth (in cooking, brewing, distillation and so on) that has been addressed in several recent discussions on the forum.  You cannot boil off alcohol leaving the water.  The boiling point of the combined liquids will be intermediate between their individual boiling points, and they will evaporate together in proportion, simply leaving a reduced volume of both, in proportion, behind.

Here's a little help, thanks to yso191 for the link in one of his posts:

http://www.kelleybarts.com/PhotoXfer/ReadMeFirst/MagicBoilingMyth.html
« Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 01:39:37 PM by Robert »
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Offline erockrph

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Re: NA beer
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2018, 03:46:54 PM »
Ferment a low OG recipe of your choice. After fermentation, return the batch to a near boil, as alcohol boils off at a temperature lower than water boils. Keg and force carbonate. Not sure how you can tell when all alcohol is gone. Perhaps watch the specific gravity, it should rise since alcohol is lighter than water.
This is a persistent myth (in cooking, brewing, distillation and so on) that has been addressed in several recent discussions on the forum.  You cannot boil off alcohol leaving the water.  The boiling point of the combined liquids will be intermediate between their individual boiling points, and they will evaporate together in proportion, simply leaving a reduced volume of both, in proportion, behind.

Here's a little help, thanks to yso191 for the link in one of his posts:

http://www.kelleybarts.com/PhotoXfer/ReadMeFirst/MagicBoilingMyth.html

I will put a bit of a finer point on this - you cannot boil off ALL of the alcohol. Given enough time (likely hours or even days for a full batch of standard-gravity beer), you could get it down to where the solution becomes azeotropic (where the boiling rates of the alcohol and water become equal), but no further. All the information I have seen has been for extraction of ethanol, which becomes azeotropic at 195 proof (97.5% alcohol). I'm not sure where that point occurs in the other direction (minimizing the quantity of alcohol in aqueous solution), but since vacuum distillation is a common method of producing NA beverages, I would assume that you can get under 0.5% ABV by boiling alone.
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Offline satchman

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Re: NA beer
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2018, 04:00:35 PM »
Thanks for all the input! I've heard that the heating method makes drastic changes in flavor. Is the concept with vacuum distillation that the vacuum gets the pressure down to the vapor pressure, and you can extract the alcohol that way?

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Offline erockrph

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Re: NA beer
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2018, 04:48:11 PM »
Thanks for all the input! I've heard that the heating method makes drastic changes in flavor. Is the concept with vacuum distillation that the vacuum gets the pressure down to the vapor pressure, and you can extract the alcohol that way?

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From what I understand, some heating is still required but you're in the right ballpark. Boiling points are decreased in a vacuum and allow boiling at a greatly reduced temperature.

Of course, along with ethanol you will see evaporation of aroma components as well. If anyone gives this a serious try, I'd suggest dry hopping after the evaporative step to reintroduce hop aromatics.
Eric B.

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Offline Robert

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Re: NA beer
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2018, 04:48:27 PM »
Could you just brew a really low gravity, low alcohol beer and be happy with it?  FWIW I've seen several reports that regular beer is an excellent recovery/rehydration beverage (maybe better than any sports drink.)  Full disclosure, I had to give up running years ago, now I just hydrate.  ;)
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Offline satchman

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Re: NA beer
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2018, 04:59:38 PM »
Could you just brew a really low gravity, low alcohol beer and be happy with it?  FWIW I've seen several reports that regular beer is an excellent recovery/rehydration beverage (maybe better than any sports drink.)  Full disclosure, I had to give up running years ago, now I just hydrate.  ;)
Yah, that is also an option, definitely worth trying. I've seen articles that support regular beer as a recovery drink, but more articles and actual science that say that the beer part is good but the alcohol has negative effects (dehydration, increased resting heart rate, etc). From my own experience, and I don't drink very often, even one beer with dinner effects sleep.

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Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: NA beer
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2018, 10:37:05 AM »
Greetings satchman - I never really thought about making a NA beer, but I suppose you would use the exact same procedure as you would making an alcoholic brew, except the NA brew would not get fermented.  Then, I suppose you could use Coopers Carbonation Drops to bottle condition, or use the forced method.

I suppose the brew would be quite sweet, but I’m sure you could use some adjuncts to tone it down a bit.

Interesting thought.....
I would NOT bottle-condition a beer brewed like this, since the yeast would consume *all* the sugar once in bottles and blow them all up.

NA beer is something that is likely outside the realm of what is possible to a typical home brewer, since we have no good way to remove the alcohol produced by fermentation. I suppose you could brew a very low gravity beer and flash-pasteurize after a very short fermentation (1.013 OG to a 1.010 FG would be about 0.4% ABV - lower than the usual 0.5% ABV cutoff for NA beers), then force-carbonate. I don't know if that would taste any better than the commercial alternatives.

My points were that the beer would not get fermented, so there would be NO YEAST to create bottle bombs.  Thinking further, however, I don’t believe the Coopers Carbonation Drops would actually carbonate this NA beer as they are actually a form of sugar and WITHOUT YEAST, one would still be left without a carbonated beer.  So, forced carbonation would be the only option.

I think some on-line research on this subject would be in order if you really intend on making it.  I would be interested in learning your procedure once you figure it out.

Good luck!
All good things come to those who show patients and perseverance while maintaining a positive and progressive attitude. :-)