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Old 05-20-2013, 03:34 PM   #11
Feb 2009
the far far east
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This thread is relevant to my interests

Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
I would suggest OP buy and taste as many of the non/low alcohol beers as he can find. These use state of the art processes such as dialysis, vacuum distillation, fermentation with special yeast etc. and should, therefore, produce the 'best' results. I don't think he will be very pleased with any of them.
I'd venture to guess you would not be pleased with much of the mass-produced beer you buy either! Taking a bad mass-market beer and making an NA version of it is kind of doomed from the start. Bud may be a technically excellent beer, but not one that I'd prefer to drink given the choice.

The volatiles and various other yeast byproducts that contribute to flavor, that's a fair point. You need to go for styles that don't rely on these

Hop characteristics, should in theory be pretty trivial to add back - hint, you are heating the fermented beer - nix the flavor/aroma additions in the boil and do a late addition in the evap stage instead..

This all sounds well and good, but still of course just armchair brewing. Planning to give it a few good attempts this summer though!

Anyone have any more experience with NA homebrews that came out well?

Brauhaus 2151.

Yes these are bruises from brewing. Yes I'm comfortable with that.

BB1: EdWort's Apfelwein
BB2: IDA2 In the Doghouse Pale Ale

Bottled: IDA In the Doghouse Ale, JSW Citrus Wheat (Yuzu/Kabosu), FTS Oatmeal Stout, J2SW Citrus Wheat (Yuzu/Kabosu
/Shikuwasa), NBA Nut Brown Ale, IDA2 Kona Fire clone, 69IPAs - Nugget, Saaz

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Old 05-23-2013, 02:42 AM   #12
Nov 2012
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Here's a crazy thought from a guy who has no interest in NA beer. I've got a barrel of mead going right now, and degas/sample it pretty much daily. It's in my basement, which is relatively temperature-stable (it's climbed maybe 8 degrees steadily in the past two month of springtime), but I've noticed that as it warms (granted, the fermentation has been progressing as well), it has had much more power to nearly knock me on my ass when I take a smell of it over the barrel, before and after stirring.
So, my suggestion for pulling off at least some the alcohol would be to try higher fermentation temps, if you can swing that without getting funky flavors, and to keep a light vacuum, by some means, on the headspace during fermentation (in wine theory, this should also keep your yeasts happier, but i haven't ventured into that realm yet). You may not get it as low alcohol as you want, but it seems like a starting point to me, if you're interested in the experiment. Agitation may also help, since ethanol vaporizes much easier than most other things in beer. I feel like the trick is to give the alcohol a place to go without oxidizing the beer. I'm reminded of some whiskey I drank one time, which had been capless for a couple weeks and lost all of the ethanol within, but still 'tasted' like the whiskey it originally was.
I hope it goes without saying to repitch and add sugar at bottling (or force carbonate).
Ok, cool! This is awesome I look forward to see what more everyone comes up with!

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Old 01-19-2014, 06:36 PM   #13
Jan 2014
Posts: 1

Great thread. I am a first time brewer looking for some solid information regarding NA home brewing. Currently looking at equipment and considering a jet pump to remove the alcohol. Sounds like the most effective and efficient process to create a tasty NA beer. From what I've read, forced carbonation may lead to an artificial taste like beer flavored soda. Anyone experiment with vacuum Distilling?

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Old 04-25-2015, 03:19 PM   #14
Jan 2010
Charlotte, SC
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has anyone made any progress here?

I was in Heidelberg, Germany for two weeks for work. I spent nearly every evening in various bars in the Altstadt becasue, frankly, it beat sitting in a hotel room watching TV I couldn't understand. Every bar I went to had NA beer on the menu, and people actually ordered it. My colleague took me out to dinner once - we each had a 0.5L pils with dinner - after dinner I had a couple more as my hotel was walking distance. He kept pace by ordering NA beers - he had to drive home. Anyways, I thought it was an interesting observation on the German beer culture.

Anyways, it seems to me like there is a huge void in our American beer culture - we have major problems with drinking and driving, health concerns w/ alcohol, etc. I think that if a craft brewer could come up with a NA beer that was actually good, it could potentially sell, provided it was properly marketed.

My thoughts:

Brew an all-grain recipe heavy on malt flavor and color - something in the stout family, perhaps. after fermentation is complete, rack off of the yeast and heat at 175 dF. If you have a HERMS or RIMS system, you could accurately and consistently do this in the mash-tun. Chill, keg, and force carb. If you wanted something with hop flavor or aromatics, you could dry-hop or add the flavoring hop addition during the de-alcohol step. There would probably be some iterations required to get the bittering hops right as the lack of alcohol may mess with the perceived bitterness.

If one were clever, one could install a still to the top of their mash-tun to reclaim the boiled off ethanol for later use.

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Old 04-25-2015, 05:35 PM   #15
Nov 2007
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How about doing a lactobacillus-only fermentation of a Berliner Weisse or Gose wort? Most lacto produces a relatively small amount of alcohol, or none at all. See for some info.

Another option could be brewing a high-dextrin beer using Carafoam or something similar, and then diluting it down until proper mouthfeel is achieved and alcohol level is sufficiently low. Use isomerized hop extract to bitter and dry hop to flavor.

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Old 04-26-2015, 06:48 PM   #16
Aug 2010
McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
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Originally Posted by mwill07 View Post
I spent nearly every evening in various bars in the Altstadt becasue, frankly, it beat sitting in a hotel room watching TV I couldn't understand. Every bar I went to had NA beer on the menu, and people actually ordered it.
Did you? If so, how was it?

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Old 04-27-2015, 05:05 PM   #17
Oct 2010
Northglenn, Colorado
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I have brewed an NA beer. I made a 10g batch of a very low hopped brown ale. My wife was prego and wanted NA beer that wasnt a terrible lager. I brewed the beer as normal. Fermented as normal. The beer was about 5% abv. Once fermentation was done I racked off 5g into a keg. Racked 5g back into my kettle from the fermenter. Heated the beer up to 175-180f for 40 minutes. According to all of the information I read prior @ 174f for 30 minutes I would have boiled off 95% of all alcohol. I then put the beer back into the keg and carbonated both beers.

Because both beers were very low hopped there wasn't much of flavor difference. You could tell the difference for sure but very similar. My wife would enjoy a couple NA beers. Now I didnt have a way to test the abv of the NA beer but I trusted in the science.

I do know that I burned off alcohol though. I kept smelling the beer as I was boiling off and got extremely drunk off the fumes. I also had the weirdest hangover ever the next day. It was terrible.

If I was planning on doing this more than the one time I would have sent a sample off to test the actual ABV.

I would say that if you want to make NA beer this is a method that produces very good beer if you should stick to highly malted beers with low hops.

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Old 04-27-2015, 07:20 PM   #18
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Feb 2014
Eagan, MN
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Originally Posted by BSBrewer83 View Post
Heated the beer up to 175-180f for 40 minutes. According to all of the information I read prior @ 174f for 30 minutes I would have boiled off 95% of all alcohol.
Time isn't the thing to watch, but temperature is. The solution will rise to the boiling point of ethanol, plateau, and stay there until most of the ethanol has boiled off, and then the temperature will start to rise again. At this point you've removed as much as you can remove, which is not all because water and ethanol form an azeotropic mixture.

(For those further interested:
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Old 04-28-2015, 01:12 PM   #19
Aug 2010
McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
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I think you are a little confused on the mechanism involved here. If you heat a 6% ABV mixture of water and ethanol (and assume that a 6% beer would behave about the same) you will find that the temperature rises uniformly, without pausing, to 95 C at which point ebullition commences. If the solution is 12% ABV it boils at 91.35 C etc. (all at sea level on a normal barometer day). This is the basis for the simple determination of the strengths of dry wines by 'ebulliometry'*. The temperature of boiling water is measured with an expanded scale thermometer and then the temperature of boiling wine. The difference goes into a little circular slide rule (from which I got the numbers above).

Even though you do not reach boiling alcohol will be removed faster than water as the vapor over a binary mixture is richer in the more volatile substance (alcohol) than the less (water). The reason you wont get all the alcohol is that the enrichment becomes less and less as the concentration of ethanol approaches 0.

The fact that ethanol/water mixtures deviate from Raoult's law doesn't really come into it here as with beer we are well below the azeotropic point. The lowest temperature at which a mixture of ethanol and water can boil is when the mixture is approximately 190 proof (95% ABV) and that temperature is only 0.2 C less than the boiling point of pure EtOH. As beer is much less alcoholic than that the azeotrope is not of interest to us here.

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Old 04-28-2015, 01:38 PM   #20
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Oct 2011
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I made a clone of Dry Dock's Vanilla Porter for my brother who is alcohol free, by cooking off the ethanol. OG was 1.045 and FG was 1.016.

I reduced the hop addition times by half, eg. 60 min hops went in at 30min. You need to account for the additional time spent above isomerization temps. I mashed at 158 for 60 min, fermented for 2 weeks and conditioned in a keg for another week.

It is best to cold crash the yeast out before cooking off the alcohol, as too much yeast in suspension leads to bad off flavors after cooking. I crashed for 4 days and transferred to my boil kettle. I maintained 175F for 45min. From what I understand, I could only get down to 0.5% ABC without a vacuum, but that is fine.

After cooking the ethanol off and chilling the batch, I added (alcohol free) chocolate and vanilla extract in tiny amounts until the flavor was Where I wanted it. Then I added 1 campden tab/ gallon for stabilization since all the alcohol is gone. After keg and carb, and some additional resting time, I bottled and it is delicious.

I have to have 4-5 of these to feel anything, but there is still alcohol in the batch. The flavor and body make it a delicious beer though.
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