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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Cutting Calories
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:47 AM   #1
Shamrock28
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Default Cutting Calories

Ive got a perfect recipe that has 4.2% abv for a 5 gallon batch but ive got 140 calories...Ideas how to tweak the calories down without compromising abv? Would I be better off brewing a higher gravity beer and tweaking that down?

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Old 06-05-2009, 05:07 AM   #2
bikeboy389
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Calories are going to be a function of alcohol or unfermented sugars. You can lower calories by reducing one or the other or both. But they're kind of dependent on each other.

Looking for low calories by starting with higher gravity (more sugars) wort doesn't make any sense at all to me. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but you really can look at your fermenter as a closed system. If your wort has a lot of calories (high sugar content), then you're going to wind up with a high-calorie beer, be it through high alcohol content or more unfermented sugars.

Seems to me the only way to get lower calories is to start with less sugars--essentially lower-calorie wort--which will result in lower ABV or increased dryness (less unfermented sugar because the yeast converts it all to alcohol) or both. Unless you want to re-boil your beer before bottling to cook off some of the alcohol. That would definitely lower the alcohol level and cut a few calories, but it will also kill your yeast so you'd have to force carb (via kegging, basically), and the odds are good you'd get some weird flavors.

If you want low-calorie beer, I would think that making your own is totally the wrong way to go. But that's just me.

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Old 06-05-2009, 05:23 AM   #3
RogerMcAllen
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Gravity = Calories

BMC makes light beers my attenuating to such a degree, that almost all carbs are turned into alcohol. Those unfermented sugars are a large part of what gives beer it's character. A light beer is only 40 Calories less than what you have now, which is almost nothing. A single oreo is 53 calories, and an apple is 55 calories.

Don't sacrifice quality , just cut back by using a smaller glass (I got a set of 10oz tulips that help me cut back). If 12oz is 140 calories, then 10oz is only 116.

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Old 06-05-2009, 05:33 AM   #4
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Someone on here had Beano in their recipe to reduce calories, but I know nothing else about it.

I agree with don't sacrifice quality. If a few calories are really that big of a deal, jog in place for a minute or two.

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Old 06-05-2009, 05:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerMcAllen View Post
Don't sacrifice quality , just cut back by using a smaller glass (I got a set of 10oz tulips that help me cut back). If 12oz is 140 calories, then 10oz is only 116.
This makes me think of what Julia Child said in her first book. She'd heard a lot about how you shouldn't cook vegetables too much or you'd destroy all the vitamins. Her response was that if you are worried about that you should simply eat more of the vegetables you prepare. Veg are low in calories (relatively speaking) so if you feel you're losing 25% of the vitamins, go ahead and eat 25% more. It won't hurt you, and might leave less room for dessert or other high-calorie foods in the bargain.

In this case, we're talking about BEER. If you're drinking beer, you probably shouldn't be sweating the calories, and if you are, just drink less of it.
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