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Old 05-01-2012, 11:58 PM   #1
Piratwolf
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Default Session beer from 1st runnings?

This may be crazy, and I'm just spitballing here; hoping y'all can poke holes in this theory before I try it out. Here goes....

I'm questing for the holy grail (no, not the hot librarian stripper w/ heart of gold and classy public demeanor...the OTHER holy grail!): a session beer under 5% ABV that also has flavor and complexity. Here's my theory:

APA (for example)
80% Ger pils (or MO/Golden Promise)
15% Munich
5% C40

About 30 IBUs mostly from big hop additions after last 15 mins of boil.

Mash @ 158 45-60 min to get as much body as possible w/o restarting to Dextrine malt.

Use 1st runnings ONLY to avoid watering down the malt character.

Anyone tried this already? Any thoughts? HBT rocks at this sort of thing, so I look forward to great constructive criticism.


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Old 05-02-2012, 12:31 AM   #2
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I just did this same thing with a British mild. I did the no sparge process. I was shooting for 1.038 og but overshot a little (1.042). I like no sparge on low gravity brews. My only other no sparge batch had a full body... Tastes pretty good.


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Old 05-02-2012, 01:34 AM   #3
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I can't see how you are going to get a session beer from first runnings. I have never tried party gyle but first runnings (mine included) are BIG not small. You might try the middle or final third for a nice session beer. It would (theoretically) have the same malt balance- as the first runnings, just less of it which is what you want. The second and third runnings will probably be lighter too because apparently (from what I read), the colors leach faster.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:29 AM   #4
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Your first running gravity is dependent on your grain bill. If he uses a smaller amount of base malt his first runnings won't be too high. By using the 2nd/3rd runnings you get a thinner mouthfeel. I did a dark mild using the no-sparge technique and it produced a very nice 2.8% beer. I've been working on making all of my beers into sub 4% beers. Right now I'm working on my pale ale and an IPA.
The only suggestion I would make is to increase your specialty malts higher than you would for a "normal" abv version of your beer. It will help with mouthfeel and help keep flavor from being dull or muted. BYO did an article about session beers in the last year. I'll try and look up the article when I get a chance.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:44 AM   #5
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Don't mean to sound ignorant or condescending, but why would you want to have your beer less than 4% ABV? I'm relatively new to the world of beer and genuinely curious.
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:52 AM   #6
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If you want a tasty brew with malt and hop character under 5%, I'd suggest you try the CYBI Uinta Wyld Pale Ale recipe. Great session beer. Recipe is here in HBT.

Cheers
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazycomet View Post
Don't mean to sound ignorant or condescending, but why would you want to have your beer less than 4% ABV? I'm relatively new to the world of beer and genuinely curious.
Because drinking should not always be about getting drunk
Seriosly though, with a session beer (<4%) you can drink it all day/night without getting/feeling wasted.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:17 AM   #8
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My last 4 brews were done with the no sparge method.
All of these are for the spring/summer so all were light and under 1.05 OG.
For a 5 gallon batch I use 8 gallons of water in the mash tun with about 10lbs of grain.
Hold temp for an hour (I continuously circulate) and then dump into the boil kettle. Depending on absorption I will usually get 6 - 6.5 gallons to boil.
This method can really cut your brew day time down with minimal loss of efficiency.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:58 AM   #9
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@kcpup--it's on my list to brew. Have you had it? I hear good things.

@mattd2--you hit it on the head. I am conditioning my Barleywine & have several 7-8% HBs in my fridge, but sometimes I want to drink a lot w/o getting hammered or getting fat(ter).

@mredge--thanks for including the numbers! Math isn't my strength, so your post just saved me a couple hours of frustration and doubt
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattd2 View Post
Because drinking should not always be about getting drunk
Seriosly though, with a session beer (<4%) you can drink it all day/night without getting/feeling wasted.
I've been messing around with doing a true ginger ale that will come in between 2-3%. Highly carbed, basically the soda with a little kick


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