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Old 01-12-2010, 02:44 PM   #1
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Default Beano in real brew?

So I just finished reading some threads here about using beano or glucoamylase to make light beers. Basically the beano converts more of the complex sugars to simple sugars allowing more for the yeast to convert to alcohol and thus lower carbs. However, in doing so, this tends to kill flavor. My question is if you made a real beer and used beano with it, would you get the same effect of less carbs and more alcohol, but actually retain flavor?

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Old 01-12-2010, 02:54 PM   #2
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What do you mean "make real beer". I always make real beer?

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Old 01-12-2010, 03:15 PM   #3
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Most of the threads I read using beano were with like 2%ABV swill using corn. I mean using the beano it in a normal beer, i.e. >4%ABV, water, hops, yeast, and malt.

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Old 01-12-2010, 03:28 PM   #4
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Is there a specific reason you are trying to make a low calorie beer? One of the easiest ways to reduce calories is making low gravity session beers.

Also, what kind of beer are you trying to make "low calorie". You can dump beano into any beer. It won't necessarily reduce flavor. What it will do is break up all of the longer chained dextrins. This will strip any body out of your beer, leaving it thin bodied and rather dry. Thats great for light crisp lagers like Bud Light. You wouldn't be able to make a low calorie Russian Imperial Stout though.

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Old 01-12-2010, 04:24 PM   #5
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You'll get lower carbs and less flavor. The carbs (AKA non-fermentable sugars) are critical for flavor.

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Old 01-12-2010, 05:58 PM   #6
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But continuing down the logical line, would it work if, let's say, half of a batch was fermented normally, and half of the batch was fermented with the addition of beano? Theoretically, this would leave a beer with more body than if you did the whole batch with beano.

I ask in this case because I have a rauchbeer that didn't fully ferment; it's very, very sweet. I've consumed perhaps a gallon of the original 5 gallons, and just can't drink the rest - there's no smoke character to it at all. I've considered doing a modified refermentation - mash 3 lbs of six row and 1lb of rauch malt at 148, gather 2.5gal of runnings, boil for 30 minutes with just a small hop addition, then into the fermenter, topping off with the four gallons of already-kegged beer, and pitch fresh yeast (probably US-05, so that I don't have to aerate too much, thus hoping to avoid much oxidation).

Or, I can go the route of a beano addition to half of the beer, and blend. Any ideas?

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Old 01-12-2010, 06:01 PM   #7
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I don't like to prescribe beano as a solution to under attenuation. Your best bet would be to pitch more yeast, or pitch it on a fresh yeast cake.

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Old 01-12-2010, 06:09 PM   #8
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I have personal experience with using beano specifically for under-attenuation. It was probably one of the worst batches I ever made.

Without getting all scientific, don't use it unless you really read up on it and know what you are doing (and why).

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Old 01-12-2010, 06:50 PM   #9
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ok I should have been more clear. I wasn't really looking at using the beano to reduce carbs (not a bad side effect though), but more of to just increase attenuation. My thought was that it would reach some threshold and not break down all of the non-fermentables, and thus increasing attenuation but still retaining flavor in a heavier beer.

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Old 01-12-2010, 07:05 PM   #10
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I wouldn't use beano for that. You could get away with Alpha amalayse. Beano will chew through all available dextrins, leaving you with a dry, bland insipid beer. Alpha amalayse on the other hand will do what you are describing. Alpha amalayse doesn't break dextrins all the way down. It just hacks the really large starches into smaller dextrins, and sugars. Therefore, it SHOULD leave some body, and help you squeeze a few extra points out of a beer, assuming the yeast is still healthy.

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