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Old 03-14-2011, 05:29 PM   #1
texbrewer
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Default Belgian Table Beer

I would like to try brewing an all grain table beer. Any suggestions as how to achieve 1.5%-3.5% alcohol content and still get some flavor?

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Old 03-14-2011, 06:24 PM   #2
DannPM
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I've looked into this quite a bit and here are a few bits of advice.

1. Use a Belgian Pale Ale Recipe you like and scale it down to get the OG you desire. Scaling down something like a Golden Strong would be too flimsy at table beer percentages (think Budwiser or Coors). If you're going for a Dark table beer, a scaled down Dubbel would be good. The flavors in most Dark Strongs may be too much for a beer that gravity and are basically Dubbels when taking out the dark syrup.

2. Decrease the base malt percentage at a higher rate than you do for the specialty malts. This leaves the specialty malts at a higher percentage than the original recipe. This will help with flavor retention when scaling down the OG/ABV. With less base malt, you will get less body & less flavor, but still retain what flavor you would be missing from the reduced base.

3. To boost the body to something more like you're used to mash at a higher temp, (i.e. mash at 157-158 vs 154). This will create more unfermentable sugars (i.e. long-chain dextrins) and make the beer have more body and mouthfeel.

4. If you want something that tastes like "beer" you'll want the ABV to be 2% or over. The flavor alcohol imparts in beer (and it is an important flavor contribution) is not noticeable below 2% ABV.

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Old 03-14-2011, 06:36 PM   #3
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I would think that this would be pretty easy with Belgian styles beers since most of the flavor is dependent on the yeast contributions. Like Dann said above, keeping a higher than normal % of specialty malts is key to avoid have no body/mouthfeel. I would add some wheat (~0.5 lb) or something like that to increase the body if you are worried about it being too thin.

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Old 03-14-2011, 09:59 PM   #4
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Sounds like a plan, gentlemen. I will give it shot on my next brew day. Thanks a million!

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