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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Low Calorie Homebrew?
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Old 12-29-2008, 01:56 AM   #1
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Default Low Calorie Homebrew?

Anyone ever try making low calorie homebrew? SWMBO is interested in me making some for the New Year...

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Old 12-29-2008, 02:36 AM   #2
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Here is a recipe I use for low calorie beer:

5 pounds extra pale liquid extract (or 4 pounds of DME)
1 pound Corn syrup or Corn Sugar

Boil for an hour:
3/4 oz Hallertau for bittering (60 minutes)
1/4 oz Hallertau for flavor (last 15 minutes)

Dry yeast: US-05
Wyeast: 1056
White Labs: California Ale

Important: Crush 3 Beano tablets (yes, Beano) and add when you add the yeast.
Be careful not to touch the tablets from the bottle and crush with very clean and sanitized utensils.

The Beano tablets convert a lot of the carbs so it is a lot less caloric. And it also makes the beer finish very clean.

It also helps to use half distilled water and half regular water (the water you usually use for brewing).

The absence of aroma hops, the beano tablets and using some distilled water will make the finish extremely clean and very enjoyable for swmbos.

Some of the customers that have tried this recipe have come back to thank me (if you know what I mean).

Let me know how it works out. (I don't need all of the details)

Forrest

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Old 12-29-2008, 02:47 AM   #3
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Thanks Forrest- any ballpark idea of nutritional facts I can pass along to the SWMBO?

I'll be sure to stop by Austin Homebrew Store next time I'm in need for some goods

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Old 12-29-2008, 02:51 AM   #4
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As you know, alcohol has calories too. So, it really comes down to OG. You can brew an Ordinary Bitter or a Mild with as little as 140 cal/pint (OG in the low to mid 1.030s) with an ABV in the low 3's%. As for finishing gravity, the caloric difference between alcohol and dextrins is pretty small. So, a lower FG doesn't mean much in terms of calories. If you finish at 1.009 vs 1.020, your talking ~6 to 10 cal/pint higher on the 1.020.

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Old 12-29-2008, 03:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austinhomebrew View Post
The Beano tablets convert a lot of the carbs so it is a lot less caloric.
Low-carb is not the same as low-calorie. The Beano will convert more of the complex sugars to simple sugars that the yeast will eat and convert to alcohol, but since alcohol is also a source of calories this will not change the caloric content of the beer to a significant extent.

OG is king; brew a small beer with a low starting gravity and you'll have a less caloric beer, even if it finishes at a higher FG (and hence is higher in carbohydrates) than your IIPA.
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flowerysong View Post
Low-carb is not the same as low-calorie. The Beano will convert more of the complex sugars to simple sugars that the yeast will eat and convert to alcohol, but since alcohol is also a source of calories this will not change the caloric content of the beer to a significant extent.

OG is king; brew a small beer with a low starting gravity and you'll have a less caloric beer, even if it finishes at a higher FG (and hence is higher in carbohydrates) than your IIPA.
So it seems like a scottish would be the best then...
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In Keezer:
1. BCS - Wet Hopped West Coast Blaster
2. CYBI - Gordon's IPA Clone
3. BCS - Scottish -80
4. BCS - Specialty Saison (Gold Medal at BMO)
In Process:
1. BCS - Janet's Brown Ale (Fermenting)

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Old 12-29-2008, 03:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Low-carb is not the same as low-calorie. The Beano will convert more of the complex sugars to simple sugars that the yeast will eat and convert to alcohol, but since alcohol is also a source of calories this will not change the caloric content of the beer to a significant extent.
Not so, about half the calories are lost in the fermentation process producing CO2. One of the reasons corn ethanol is so inefficient.
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flowerysong View Post
Low-carb is not the same as low-calorie. The Beano will convert more of the complex sugars to simple sugars that the yeast will eat and convert to alcohol, but since alcohol is also a source of calories this will not change the caloric content of the beer to a significant extent.

OG is king; brew a small beer with a low starting gravity and you'll have a less caloric beer, even if it finishes at a higher FG (and hence is higher in carbohydrates) than your IIPA.
Let me rephrase: The beano will make the beer have less carbs which will reduce calories retained from the beer. It works like the Adkins diet. The beer has calories (like a hot dog) but if you reduce the carbs (don't eat the bun) less of the calories are turned into fat. Or at least that is my understanding of it.

Forrest
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:32 AM   #9
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Sure, you can make a low alcohol beer to cut down on the calories, but will she drink it?

If the swmbo won't drink a Scottish beer, why would she drink a low alcohol Scottish beer?

Taste is king not OG, that is if you want swmbo to drink it.

Forrest

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Old 12-29-2008, 04:59 AM   #10
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Not so, about half the calories are lost in the fermentation process producing CO2. One of the reasons corn ethanol is so inefficient.
I'm not so sure. While I couldn't find a direct cite for the calorie use of yeast, a study comparing the nutrient content of a beer diet with one where the grains were consumed directly found that the caloric content was quite similar. Replacing ~425 g of grain with beer (produced from the same amount of grain) reduced the caloric intake by just 37 calories.[1] While I'm sure that the relatively low attenuation[2] affects that, even if we double the calorie drop to 74 calories that's still only a reduction of ~12.3 calories/US pint.

Or, more directly: 3 cups of cane sugar in a gallon of water produces a potential alcohol content of 10.2% ABV. ~386.1 mL (~304.64 g) of alcohol per gallon, 7.1 calories/gram, 2,163 calories/gallon. 3 cups of cane sugar is 600 grams, 3.9 calories/gram, 2,340 calories/gallon. That's a reduction of 22.125 calories/US pint, or ~7.5%.

It's quite possible that I'm missing something somewhere, so I stand ready to be corrected.


[1] Platt, B.S. (1964) Biological ennoblement: Improvement of the nutritive value of foods and dietary regimes by biological agencies.

[2] Hrm, 425 g to 2840 mL makes ~1.25 lb/gal, beer in the study is maize based so...~1.049 max OG, mean ABV of 3%, call the FG ~1.024.
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