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Old 04-08-2012, 01:29 AM   #1
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Default Adjusting Recipe Gravity/ABV

I brewed a beer that I really like and I'd like to brew again, but I'd like to lower to ABV of the beer next time around. I like the flavor and texture of the beer, but I'd like it to have a bit less alcohol. It's an all-grain recipe.

My question is: do I reduce the amounts of every grain to reduce the OG and ABV, or do I only reduce the amount of base malt that I use?

Obviously if I only reduce the base malt, the percentages of the other malts will be different than the original recipe. I could try to keep all the percentages the same by lowering every amount, but I'm not sure if this would be the best way to change the recipe. Beersmith has an "adjust gravity" tool that reduces amounts of all of the grains. What would you do?

Again, I'd like the beer to taste pretty much the same as it did before, but with a little less alcohol. Right now, it's at about 8% ABV and it has a little bit of an alcohol "bite" that I don't dig...

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Old 04-08-2012, 02:01 AM   #2
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That's a hard thing- lowering the ABV while keeping the basic recipe the same. I've been working on several IIPA and IPA recipes, and without the high OG it just isn't the same. It's close, though, and worth doing, just so I can drink more than 1 in an evening!

The thing to do is keep the recipe basically the same, and just adjust all the grains and the IBUs down so they still scale.

You may find, though, that you need to add more character malt in some cases. What happened to me is when I reduced the OG by a lot, the beer lost much of the body and mouthfeel that I loved. So I added Munich malt instead of some of the usual base malt, to try to bring that back, and added some melanoidin malt. It's not a perfect fix, but it really turned out well.

In order to do the exact fix that will work, you'll probably have to brew it with a lower OG by scaling all the ingredients and then tweaking the fixes with the next batch, if that makes sense.
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:13 AM   #3
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Not sure but I have read malto dextrin will help with the mouth feel. I put 4 ounces in the boil ten minutes before flame out and the one time I forgot I could tell a difference. Seems like the malto makes it feel heavier if that makes sense.

Sigh the more I brew lighter beers the more I have to respect the folks who brew Bud Light and such. It is tough to brew a tasty light beer consistently.
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