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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > What's the smallest beer you can make without having it taste like water?
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:01 PM   #1
othevad
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Default What's the smallest beer you can make without having it taste like water?

Hey guys.

So I generally make medium to bigger beers, usually anywhere from an OG of 1.060 to 1.090 or so. It's what I like and it's how I roll =P

I've been trying to do a few new things for spring/summer to put in the stocks and wanted to challenge myself to make a small beer that has some flavor. I guess really a session beer for parties and cookouts, where I don't need to knock peoples socks off. However, I would like to make the challenge to make it as small as possible and still make it viable and drinkable (I don't generally consider things like Miller Lite and stuff to be drinkable sooo)

Anyway, suggestions or ideas?


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Old 03-07-2013, 01:17 PM   #2
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A mild, any of the Light Hybrid styles, or standard bitter can all start out in the 1.030's range and should fit the bill. Most of my light-beer drinking friends prefer my house cream ale, which uses maize & rice to put og at 1.038 but is slightly more aggressively hopped than the style calls for.


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Old 03-07-2013, 01:50 PM   #3
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I make a few Ordinary Bitters and Northern Browns that all come in around 4%. based on an efficiency screw up my last brown came in at 3.5% and it isn't all that bad.

My go to is still an english ordinary bitter (8A BJCP if you want to get nerdy).
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:11 PM   #4
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Stouts can be very flavorful with low ABV because of the roasted malts.
Wheat beers can be flavorful and full bodied as well with low ABV. Yeast and fermentation temp can make a big difference with this style as well.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:16 PM   #5
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Like these guys said.

I try to brew "Low Grav" beers on purpose becasue I want to be able to drink three (3) pints in a evening and not feel it the next day.

I brew
  • English Mild/Brown/Northern Browns
  • Stouts
  • Also Bitters but they are around the 4.5 area

I do a lot of stuff right around 5% too but it is the beer I like not the alcohol.

Then there are the Belgians I am working on but they don't fit in to this conversation...

Good Luck
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:30 PM   #6
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So basically a session beer using a variety of styles?

A fun challenge I am tackling right now by designing an IPA, Amber, Porter and a Stout all under 4%

I may later try the same at under 3.5% as well.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
So basically a session beer using a variety of styles?

A fun challenge I am tackling right now by designing an IPA, Amber, Porter and a Stout all under 4%

I may later try the same at under 3.5% as well.
At least they will be cheap!

Most of my beers are 4-5%. I do 4G BIAB batches that usually cost me under $20.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:59 PM   #8
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I'm about to make a 2.5% Tafelbier. Next week I think. The recipe comes from zymurgy. Search it out if you're interested.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:07 PM   #9
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I did a great mild in a somewhat scottish ale style that landed at 3.2%. Tons of flavor. I'll have to dig up the recipe.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:34 PM   #10
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I do the first runnings and make an APA 15-17brix or 6.5% abv. Then do a Parti-Gyle and that's where my lawn-mower beer comes from about 3% abv.


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