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Old 09-01-2012, 02:20 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by inhousebrew View Post
One thing that I would add that hasn't been mentioned yet is getting some kettle caramelization for color and flavor. Mash high, drain a gallon of your first runnings and boil that down as much as you can in a separate pot while you're doing the regular boil with everything else and then add it back at the end. This may not be appropriate for all styles, but I just did a Scottish Ale at about 4.3% ABV and it tasted great!
I like this idea, it should add some toasty/caramel flavor. I"ll give it a try on one of my next batches.
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:44 AM   #22
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Wow! Great zombie post.

In the few years since I posted I have found that the following things help build up a low alcohol beer:

1. No sparge with the mash - gets really tasty maltiness out of the grist, but does require a larger grain bill due to the lower efficiency. Generally, I only get about 63%-65% when I use this method.

2. Use a yeast with character - for example, I use WY1450 for my session Irish Red Rye ale. Accentuates the malt and builds more flavour. I know that a number of HBTers have had a similar experience with this yeast. English and Belgian yeasts have worked very well.

3. Sanitation and being realy really nice to the yeast (appropriate pitching, ferm temp) is key - flaws come through like a punch in the face. Cleanliness, proper fermentation and patience pay many, many dividends.

4. Keep it simple - a really good, flavourful base malt with few, well-selected character malts allows you to taste what each ingredient brings to the finished product, makes for a simply assembled, yet delicious, beer.

Still learning, but have had some success. I tend to consume these brews rather quickly

Very happy that this discussion is up and running again.

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Old 09-02-2012, 10:31 AM   #23
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i like the two posts about keeping it simple, and the suggestion to mash thin. sadly im still kind of working on consistency of a mash. gonna aim for a low alc belgian of just pale malt and crystal but try all the tricks suggested

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Old 09-02-2012, 03:31 PM   #24
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A lot of things in this podcast have already been mentioned but I listened to this a while back and found it kind of interesting. From the website:

This week my guest is Mike Tonsmeire, aka “The Mad Fermentationist”. Mike walks us through the fine art of designing and brewing very low gravity beers called “Session Beers”. Session beers are eminently drinkable beers that are still full bodied and enjoyable, without weighing you down.

http://beersmith.com/blog/2011/09/15...th-podcast-22/

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Old 09-02-2012, 04:44 PM   #25
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My 2 cents, use beer smith find a recipie that suits you and play with the style guide, just keep everything in the green section but just lower the ABV meter, easy as that, you will be able to do any type of beer tou want any style and you will controle you alchol % as you wish

Beer smith FTW

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Old 09-02-2012, 10:15 PM   #26
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the OG doesn't matter so much as the FG? If i have an FG of 1.012 or so from an OG of of 1.04, will it have a similar feeling of density/body as a beer of FG 1.012 from a higher OG?
To be clear, neither OG nor FG are directly related to alcohol content. Rather, the difference between the two is related to alcohol content. If you want a low alcohol beer, you're going to need your FG and OG to be close to each other.

As far as body and flavor, as a very general rule high OG beers tend to have fuller body, and high FG beers tend to be sweeter. Simply using a lot of grain and stopping the fermentation early is likely to result in nasty sweet swill... But you can get creative with other ways of developing body and flavor, and there's a lot of good advice in this thread to accomplish that.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:05 AM   #27
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Duplicate

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Old 09-03-2012, 02:07 AM   #28
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I tend to use the last runnings partigyle style for my session beers and then add some DME. As a general rule, extract doesn't ferment down as low as AG so it leaves another point or two of sweetness behind while still allowing you to mash at a lower temp for your other beer. This allows me to brew my session beers for next to no cost.

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Old 09-03-2012, 02:22 PM   #29
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If you're doing a mild using a higher mash temp makes sense, but if you are doing a bitter, not so much.

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Old 09-03-2012, 02:58 PM   #30
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I've wondered about this, too. After 6 months of hard hangovers and the "wow, this **** is STRONG" comments from fellow drinkers, I decided to make my double batch of Oktoberfest a lower alcohol beer, shooting for 4.5%. I am going to likely come in at about 4%, just because OG wasn't as high as I had hoped--due to getting new equipment and not being fully familiar with it. But I did crank up the mash temp to 154-155, specificaly for the hope that I'd get more body out of it. Mashing at 150 or 151 is making my beers strong and watery, and perhaps the yeast is playing a part in that, too.

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