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Old 12-31-2008, 06:41 AM   #1
BrewOnBoard
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Default Freezing the Balls off my Beer....

So I've got an idea....

I was reading a book about cider making that my boat-hottie gave me for christmas. It goes into detail into the (now illegal) procedure for making Apple-jack by freezing the cider and pouring off the un-frozen alcohol.

So here's my idea. Why not (in theory) take that same idea and instead of using it for evil, turn it around and use it to make a non-alcoholic beer? Take regular beer, freeze it, and pour off the unfrozen alcohol.



Pros:
(1)Easier than a p173.3deg boil, and re-pitching yeast to carb.
(2)Should maintain all hop flavor.

Cons:
(1)Freezing might kill the yeast (???) and thus require re-pitching.
(2)Ummm..... Since it is a type of distilling it is probably (technically) illegal even though you'd be "distilling" in order to make it non-alcoholic

What do you think? Could it work? (in theory)

BrewOnBoard

PS: Before I get flamed for wanting a NA beer allow me to say that I LOVE NA beer just as I love any and every beer.

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Old 12-31-2008, 08:05 AM   #2
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I doubt it, because alcohol is hydrophilic, meaning it mixes well with water and naturally wants to stay close to it. On top of that, you have to over come hydrogen bonding to separate the alcohol from the water. Think about the efficiency of a pot still, even when it is boiling it is not getting a very high yield because some of the water is going with the alcohol into the vapor solution. In that case, heat is forcing the alcohol out of solution. In the case of cooling, you would be relying on the water setting below the alcohol, but because they mix naturally I doubt the difference in a normal size bucket would make an impact.

I'm no expert, this is just my minor in chemistry talking...

I'm sure someone else knows the way this is done commercially, and perhaps freezing is a part of it?

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Old 12-31-2008, 08:18 AM   #3
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Not true, its the defining technique in making ice beers (ies bocks anyone) where the frozen water chunks are removed to bump up the ethanol. I dont know if those chunks are full of beer flavor too. probably...

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Old 12-31-2008, 09:22 AM   #4
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Fractional distillation with a lower ABV beer may be more difficult than you think. I've accidentally frozen beers before (no seriously, I forgot they were in the freezer) and when I took them out they were solid ice. The alcohol wasn't separated out at all. Then again, I'll bet if I poured some into an empty malt bucket and froze it that way it may work better.

The best way to find out if it works is to try it.

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Old 12-31-2008, 09:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilTOJ View Post
Fractional distillation with a lower ABV beer may be more difficult than you think. I've accidentally frozen beers before (no seriously, I forgot they were in the freezer) and when I took them out they were solid ice. The alcohol wasn't separated out at all. Then again, I'll bet if I poured some into an empty malt bucket and froze it that way it may work better.

The best way to find out if it works is to try it.
Whenever I've had accidental frozen BMC from the garage I found that I was actually getting a better beer, but without the carbonation. The ice was all water. Either way, it still sucks to drink BMC.....Hold on, I should say they were PARTIALLY frozen
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:15 PM   #6
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I would surmise that as with heat distillation, temperature control is the key.

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Old 12-31-2008, 05:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewOnBoard View Post
I was reading a book about cider making that my boat-hottie gave me for christmas.
What's a boat-hottie? I think we need pics!

Here's an article about making a na beer
Brew Your Own: The How-To Homebrew Beer Magazine - Story Index - Low Alcohol Brewing - Brew A Great Non-Alcoholic Beer
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:19 AM   #8
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I think it could work fairly well. Like stated above, they use basically the same technique to make Eisbocks (a double bock that you intentionally freeze a portion of and rack the beer below the sludge/ice to another carboy, thus making a more concentrated beer with higher ABV.

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Old 01-02-2009, 03:19 PM   #9
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It would be easy enough to test. Pour a couple of beers in a bowl, stick it in the freezer. When it starts to ice up scoop out the crystals. I'm guessing that most of the flavor is going to stay with the alcohol & you will end up with lightly beer flavored water, but its worth a shot...

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Old 01-02-2009, 03:37 PM   #10
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If you want an NA (or close to it) beer...

Once your beer has finished fermenting, return it to the boil kettle and bring the temperature up to 172 degrees for 45 minutes.

Alcohol (only) will boil off, leaving behind the remaining ingredients.

This works best for malt oriented beers and may require some dry hopping to reintroduce hops flavor/aroma that may have been carried off with the secondary "cooking".

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