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Old 08-02-2012, 08:18 PM   #1
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Default Adventures in NA Homebrewing

I have a friend that stopped drinking everything but NA's, Becks, Kaliber, O'douls. I'm on a mission to make him some decent beer to drink.

I've done some reading and experimenting and the only practical way Ive found of accomplishing an NA home brew is to heat your brew, post fermentation, and cause (most of) the alcohol to evaporate. After this I've simply been chilling the 'wort'/beer, adding more yeast and bottling.

My next experiment is in regard to correcting some of the issues I've been having with hop aroma/bitterness. I am going to create my wort as usual and bring it to a boil. Instead of boiling for the full 60 minutes and adding standard hop additions I will boil for roughly 30 minutes or until I get my desired volume, whichever occurs last, then I will chill my wort and pitch my yeast.

After fermentation is complete I am going to carefully rack my fermented wort from the primary into the kettle and bring up the temperature and hop my wort.

This is where I need your input!

Should I bring it to a full boil or is roughly 170-180F enough for full hop utilization? Its been a while since I've tried making an NA batch, do I need to worry about oxidization if I am bringing the wort to a full boil again? Are there any other things I should take into consideration in regard to potential for off flavors?

Any other advice, input, or possible recommendations would be GREATLY appreciated!



Ladd


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Old 08-03-2012, 01:30 PM   #2
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Anyone? Please help me!


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Old 08-03-2012, 01:40 PM   #3
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Dude, you have to realize that not a lot of people have done this. If you've looked at some of the threads on here, where serious discussions of N/a brewing occur, not a lot of actual work has been done.

Rather than asking for advice, why don't you split your batch in two, do it both ways, and you tell us what works best?

Sometimes you have to be the groundbreaker....Don't look for advice, become the expert.
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:50 PM   #4
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No personal experience, but I can conjecture. Boiling will drive off any oxygen, so I would say you're good there. Since it's been fermented, there isn't that much sugar to worry about caramelizing. The only think I might worry about is the suspended yeast being killed off and causing autolysis type smells and flavors. I would worry about this at any temp where hops would be effectively utilized. You could probably combat this by cold crashing and possibly filtering if you've got the stuff for it. Again, no personal experience, but hopefully I've brought to light some issues you may not have thought of previously. Good luck!
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Dude, you have to realize that not a lot of people have done this. If you've looked at some of the threads on here, where serious discussions of N/a brewing occur, not a lot of actual work has been done.

Rather than asking for advice, why don't you split your batch in two, do it both ways, and you tell us what works best?

Sometimes you have to be the groundbreaker....Don't look for advice, become the expert.
Revvy, I've tried this several different ways, a few of them side by side test batches. I'm looking more for input of possible types of off flavors produced with the unorthodox double boil. I was also curious if anyone had done it differently than me.

I've made some pretty tasty n/a brew before, I would just like to perfect the science

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Originally Posted by nukebrewer View Post
No personal experience, but I can conjecture. Boiling will drive off any oxygen, so I would say you're good there. Since it's been fermented, there isn't that much sugar to worry about caramelizing. The only think I might worry about is the suspended yeast being killed off and causing autolysis type smells and flavors. I would worry about this at any temp where hops would be effectively utilized. You could probably combat this by cold crashing and possibly filtering if you've got the stuff for it. Again, no personal experience, but hopefully I've brought to light some issues you may not have thought of previously. Good luck!
Thanks for the input nuke. I've never thought about autolysis, Ill do some reading on that today and check to see if I can pick up any of those flavors in my next batch.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a6ladd View Post
This is where I need your input!

Should I bring it to a full boil or is roughly 170-180F enough for full hop utilization? Its been a while since I've tried making an NA batch, do I need to worry about oxidization if I am bringing the wort to a full boil again? Are there any other things I should take into consideration in regard to potential for off flavors?

Any other advice, input, or possible recommendations would be GREATLY appreciated!



Ladd
I'd be a bit hesitant to bring it to a full roiling boil, but a nice simmer would be good. I'm assuming you added bittering hops the first time around - if not, I would, as the bitterness should persist through later stages. The beer should boil at some temp. below 212 due to the alcohol content and should rise as the amount of alcohol decreases.

Once boiling, that should drive off any O2 that is present. I would though be carefull at all transfer stages, including going from fermentor to kettle, and then more importantly during and after cooling.

I would add some more flavor and aroma hops during the alcohol removal step as these will be affected during that stage - you might even skip these in the original beer.

If you had some way to pull a slight vacuum on the boil pot, that would allow you to have your boil at a slightly lower temperature, and that would be a little "gentler" on the beer.

Good luck!
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:16 PM   #7
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Just curious as to how you test/determine/estimate the ABV content? How do you know you've got a NA beer in the end?

EDIT: did a very quick search and found this info - http://forums.egullet.org/index.php/...5#entry1859665

How long are you heating the beer for?
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:19 PM   #8
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First, and this is important, how do you propose to measure the alcohol content to know if you removed all of it? Search ebulliometer on this forum or google and you'll see it's not so simple.

I think a great way to make an NA beer is to NOT ADD YEAST.

Here's what I would do: Make a pale ale (OG = 1.015) and DON'T ADD YEAST. Make a big beer at the same time and add yeast to that one. Then, run the evolving CO2 from the airlock of the big beer THROUGH the small beer (imagine some tubing linking the carboys and a tube going to the bottom of the small beer carboy, maybe terminated in an airstone. This way you'd get a lot of the phenols and esters and aromatics from fermentation without any of the alcohol. Parti-gyle would be an efficient way of getting both the small and big beer from the same mash.

Force carbonate the NA beer. Bottle conditioning will result in nearly 0.5% ABV in the bottle.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:25 PM   #9
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What I have read, which makes perfect sense, is that since alcohol boils lower than water, you can monitor the temp while heating to determine when the alcohol is gone. The temp will rise to about 175 F and hold while the alcohol is boiling off. When the temperature starts to rise again it means the alcohol is done boiling off. When it reaches the boiling point of water, all the alcohol should be gone. The reason your link said 75% of the alcohol remained with boiling is probably because whoever did it equated boiling to alcohol being gone and stopped boiling shortly thereafter.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjj2ba View Post
I'd be a bit hesitant to bring it to a full roiling boil, but a nice simmer would be good. I'm assuming you added bittering hops the first time around - if not, I would, as the bitterness should persist through later stages. The beer should boil at some temp. below 212 due to the alcohol content and should rise as the amount of alcohol decreases.

Once boiling, that should drive off any O2 that is present. I would though be carefull at all transfer stages, including going from fermentor to kettle, and then more importantly during and after cooling.

I would add some more flavor and aroma hops during the alcohol removal step as these will be affected during that stage - you might even skip these in the original beer.

If you had some way to pull a slight vacuum on the boil pot, that would allow you to have your boil at a slightly lower temperature, and that would be a little "gentler" on the beer.

Good luck!

I was thinking for my next batch I would forgo the hop additions before fermentation and then do a simmer/boil and a standard hop schedule post fermentation. I like the vacuum idea too!


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