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Old 07-11-2008, 03:43 AM   #1
comj49
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Default Low alcohol beer...

Hopefully i don't get kicked out of this forum, but i am just wondering what is the effect on a beer if you withhold some of the fermentables and try for something with a very low alcohol content? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE GREAT TASTING BEER, but i don't like headaches, dragging at work the next day, etc...So i was curious since i haven't brewed much, only just starting some partial mashes, what is the effect if all the ingredients are the same and maybe less DME (again haven't done AG) is added to lower the ABV? Will the beer still be drinkable, or will it taste watered down? I was just curious!!

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Old 07-11-2008, 03:47 AM   #2
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I think for many recipes it will either taste watered down if you make it balanced, or it will taste unbalanced if you make it hoppy/bitter to compensate. The one thing I think you can do is make something with plenty of roastiness/malty flavor and body. Pitch some yeast that have low attenuation and you might be have something good. Jamil's scottish 60/- recipes come in at about 3%.

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Old 07-11-2008, 04:48 AM   #3
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It will be low in body and mouthfeel and taste watery if you just cut down on the fermentables. Try adding a good amount of dextrin malt to add body and mouthfeel back. I've seen VERY low alcohol beers taste alright this way. Or maybe just brew some beer styles that are low in alcohol anyways.

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Old 07-11-2008, 04:51 AM   #4
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try a mild or a 60/-

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Old 07-11-2008, 04:52 AM   #5
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If you make the recipe balanced or suitable to the ingredients the only thing 'wrong' with it will be nothing. Most of the beer I make is less than 4% because I love beer but I don't want to drink a lot of alcohol.

Low alcohol does not mean there is less flavour or less body. It just means there is less alcohol.

If you want to see how great a session beer can be, try out Orfy's Mild Mannered Ale. The second post in the thread is an extract with steeping grains recipe.

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Old 07-11-2008, 04:59 AM   #6
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just put a 60/- recipe in the database for you

take a look if you're interested

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Old 07-11-2008, 02:05 PM   #7
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Beers that would suit your needs, per the BJCP guidelines:
Lite American Lager (2.8-4.2%)
Ordinary Bitter (3.2-3.8%)
Special Bitter (3.8-4.6%)
Mild (2.8-4.5)
Southern English Brown Ale (2.8-4.1%)
Scottish 60/- or 70/- (2.5-3.2%, 3.2-3.9%)
Berliner Weisse (2.8-3.8%)

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Old 07-11-2008, 02:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comj49 View Post
I LOVE GREAT TASTING BEER, but i don't like headaches, dragging at work the next day, etc..
Sounds like ABV isn't the problem as much as quantity consumed.

Look into the suggestions already offered and search on "session" beers
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:19 PM   #9
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I want to echo the suggestions above- brew a nice ordinary bitter or a mild if you like English styles. They're both low alcohol, but you get a nice full-flavored, full-bodied beer.

Also, as you can see, there are a number of us who post here who primarily brew low-gravity, or at least keep smaller beers a part of our rotation. Brew nothing involving kool-aid or bread yeast, and you're fine here.

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Old 07-11-2008, 03:01 PM   #10
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Small beers are great. They are much harder to do well, because there is little room for error, but you can have a pint with lunch and have zero impact on your afternoon. I like to put a little rye in mine.

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