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Old 01-09-2013, 05:27 PM   #1
Mar 2012
Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 37

Since I started homebrewing, swmbo asked if I could do a low calorie beer that actually had some flavor. I ended up taking the Rogue's Dead Guy clone recipe, cutting it just about in half, and fermenting with an Abbey Ale yeast. Belgian fermentation flavors aren't my favorite, but I fermented this guy cold (started at 62 and let it free-rise in my basement, ended up topping out around 70), and even I enjoy it a bit. Kind of reminiscent of Palm, and as many calories as Bud Light (120 per 12oz)

Anyways, I'm curious
a) What BJCP category, if any, this might fit in? It's a bitter in stats, but a belgian in fermentation, and ?? in ingredients.
b) Suggestions for improvement.

Recipe: Dead Baby Ale
Style: Standard/Ordinary Bitter
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 8.26 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.76 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal
Bottling Volume: 5.50 gal
Estimated OG: 1.037 SG
Estimated Color: 6.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 29.5 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 75.8 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
6 lbs Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 1 66.7 %
2 lbs Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 2 22.2 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 3 5.6 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 4 5.6 %
28.00 g Perle [7.50 %] - Boil 45.0 min Hop 5 25.2 IBUs
28.00 g Sterling [7.00 %] - Boil 1.0 min Hop 6 4.4 IBUs
1.0 pkg Abbey Ale (White Labs #WLP530) [35.49 ml Yeast 7 -

Mash Schedule: BIAB, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 9 lbs
Name Description Step Temperatur Step Time
Saccharification Add 9.17 gal of water at 158.7 F 152.0 F 60 min
Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 7 min 168.0 F 10 min

Sparge: Remove grains, and prepare to boil wort

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Old 01-09-2013, 05:51 PM   #2
Aug 2012
minneapolis, minnesota
Posts: 1,486
Liked 130 Times on 117 Posts

Are you thinking competition? If not the guidelines don't really matter, and I'm not sure where that would fit other than specialty. Maybe Belgian Pale Ale but that says munich and vienna for character.

As for improvement what does SWMBO think? Ask her what she likes about it and get her to be specific. Something more than "Oh, it good." Go from there.
I hate Walder Frey...

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Old 01-09-2013, 06:01 PM   #3
Registered User
Dec 2012
Posts: 104
Liked 12 Times on 10 Posts

That grain bill should have about a 1.044 OG and your yeast should produce about 1.010 FG with an ABV of ~4.45 and an IBU of ~32.

It doesn't fit in any category with that IBU, the closest fit is in the blonde ale category.

I don't see anything wrong with it. If you like it, that's all that counts.

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Old 01-09-2013, 07:05 PM   #4
Mar 2012
Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 37

I'm still perfecting my BIAB technique, so I only hit 1.034, and it attenuated down to 1.009, for an ABV of 3.3ish. According to beersmith with a 75% efficiency it would be 1.037.

As far as the guidelines, it's more of a "how do I describe this beer when introducing it to someone." I'm thinking light belgian pale ale probably fits the bill best.

I have asked her a few times, and I can't get much more out of her than "I like it." At first, I was thinking I'd like a bit more body/mouthfeel, but now that I've been drinking it for a bit I kind of like how easy it goes down.

Thanks for the feedback guys.

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Old 01-10-2013, 06:25 AM   #5
Mar 2011
Littleton, CO
Posts: 50

The SHMBO has let me convert the beer fridge to a two tap kegerator. (Woohoo!) However, she has requested that I make my "regular" beers have lower ABV, but she still likes the flavor. I am about to brew my standard ale to go on the inaugural tapping, and would like to lower it's ABV without sacrificing the flavor profile. Most of my brews have been between 6-7.5% ABV.

Can I just reduce my grain bill and hop amounts and achieve the same beer with just a lower SG? Here is the last version I made.

5-Gallon Batch
8# ESB
2# Vienna Malt
1# Crystal 40L
.5# Aromatic Malt
2oz Cascade Hops
1oz Chinook Hop
WLP001 Yeast
SG 1.060
FG 1.010
ABV 5.9%

I am concerned right now about this up coming brew, because my LHBS adjusted their mills and it increased my efficiency, I went from a 1.060 to a 1.070 SG with the same grain bill, mash schedule, and boil time/volumes.

How can I adjust the above recipe to achieve an ABV of <5%, without adding water to the wort before pitching yeast? While I don't care what the ABV of my beers are as long as they taste good, I want to make SHMBO happy.

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Old 01-10-2013, 02:03 PM   #6
Mar 2012
Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 37

Not sure what ESB malt is, but I created a recipe with 8# 2 row, the other malts listed, 72% efficiency, and a 149* mash temp to hit the SG and FG numbers you listed. Beersmith calculates that at a 6.5% ABV... not sure where our numbers differ. Since you don't have IBU or a hopping schedule listed, you'll need to convert the hops yourself - try to maintain the same bitterness/SG ratio.

To get up to a 1.070 OG, I had to up efficiency to 85%. Using that efficiency, getting down to sub 5% ABV, and keeping the same amounts of specialty malts/FG (so that you still have a similarly full mouthfeel):

4# base malt
1.5# Vienna
1# Crystal 40
.5# Aromatic
Mash at 154

Comes out to an OG of 1.043, FG of 1.010, ABV of 4.3%

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Old 01-11-2013, 09:26 PM   #7
Mar 2011
Littleton, CO
Posts: 50

Originally Posted by cgeorg View Post
Not sure what ESB malt is, but I created a recipe with 8# 2 row
Thanks for the advice!

ESB (Extra Special British) Malt is a Pale Malt made by the Gambrinus Malting Co out of BC Canada. Talking to other local home brewers, it seems that my LHBS is the only place that carries it. I absolutely love it, and it is the base malt to all my beers with exception to my Oktoberfest Ale and Hefeweizen.

In addition to what software can predict. Has anyone had any experience in scaling down the OG of their beers in order to lower only the alcohol content?

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