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KarvalColorado

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My husband loves the taste and full body flavor of the IPA'S I've been brewing. Unfortunately, they are so high in alcohol he's unable to drink his favorite beverage without getting intoxicated.

How do I make an incredible low alcohol beer?
 

aaronwillen

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haha poor guy! I guess he should be eating some more before chuggin down an IPA! There are plenty of recipes out there which are reasonably low in alcohol content. Look at the OG and estimated FG. Original gravity-final=your EtOH concentration. Most of the kits out there list the possible alcohol concentration.
 
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You're probably going to have to go to a different style to get low alcohol and good beer. The only way to get lower alcohol for the style is to have less fermentable sugars, which means mashing at a higher temp for all grain or less extract for extract brews. Either way the beer probably won't be as good (ie to sweet from mashing at a higher temp, or not enough body from not having as much fermentable sugar). There are some adjuncts you can add to increase body without increasing ABV too much, but I don't know right off hand what they are. The grain chart on BYO can tell you what they are. Best of luck.
 

Grinder12000

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Yea - that is like saying I like Barleywine but I don't like the alcohol.

IPA by nature is high. HOWEVER - Look for a Dogfish Head 60-Minute IPA clone - 5.6% ABV also Lagunutas IPA clones are only 5.7% Two-Hearted Ale is 5.9% (that one is in a carboy as I speak).
 

skiluvr03

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You're probably going to have to go to a different style to get low alcohol and good beer. The only way to get lower alcohol for the style is to have less fermentable sugars, which means mashing at a higher temp for all grain or less extract for extract brews. Either way the beer probably won't be as good (ie to sweet from mashing at a higher temp, or not enough body from not having as much fermentable sugar). There are some adjuncts you can add to increase body without increasing ABV too much, but I don't know right off hand what they are. The grain chart on BYO can tell you what they are. Best of luck.
Is there a good thread on this subject of alcohol content? Is there some rules of thumb to follow? I worry about the alcohol being too low because I saw a kit that had some that were 3.6 or something. I did not see any other ones posted as being higher. I understand about taking the SG and the FG but this is just to see when fermenting has stopped; how do you control alcohol content? I hope I'm not hijacking this thread as it seems to be the same subject. I have looked around first for my answers, but maybe I'm reading alot in the wrong areas.
 
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I understand about taking the SG and the FG but this is just to see when fermenting has stopped; how do you control alcohol content?
OG and FG also help you determine alcohol content. There a few formulas out there for it, but the one I am most familiar with and the one that seems to be most common is (OG - FG) X 131 = ABV. So to answer your question, if you want to control the alcohol content, focus on your OG. Your FG will be dependent upon the attenuation of your yeast.
 

skiluvr03

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OG and FG also help you determine alcohol content. There a few formulas out there for it, but the one I am most familiar with and the one that seems to be most common is (OG - FG) X 131 = ABV. So to answer your question, if you want to control the alcohol content, focus on your OG. Your FG will be dependent upon the attenuation of your yeast.
Thanks for your reply and setting me on a path to take. You know how one can lose focus and start studying too much of the wrong thing sometimes.
 
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KarvalColorado

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Thanks for the feedback. Nukebrewer: I will try mashing at a higher temperature. I appreciate your advice!
 

Endovelico

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IPA's arent all that high to be honest, ive seen IPAs in the 4.5%-5% range.
 
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this is untrue:::::
you can make an ipa that is only 2% abv if you want. style does not strictly depend on abv but rather on balance between residual sugars and bitterness(ibu).
IMHO, balance is one thing, maintaining the hoppiness of an IPA without adding enough malt is something completely different. It's true that you can brew a low ABV IPA, but IMO it's not going to have enough malt character to support the hops or it's going to be too sweet from having too much unfermentable sugar.
 

Jonnio

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OP - I don't recommend using the mash temp as the alcohol adjustment. Mash temp is used to get a particular body feel to the beer and adjust the way the proteins are broken down. It does have an effect on the attenuation, but you don't want to set the temp based on the ABV, you want to set it based on residual sweetness etc...

If you want to lower your alcohol content you just use less grain. I recommend you look up some English Bitters or Extra Special Bitters. Those are great (typically)low ABV beers. It also wouldn't hurt to scale your IPA recipe back a little bit and experiment with that. If your afraid that it is going to lose too much body just add in some maltodextrine.
 

AnOldUR

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this is untrue::::: you can make an ipa that is only 2% abv if you want. style does not strictly depend on abv but rather on balance between residual sugars and bitterness(ibu). . . . as long as your og/ibu ratio remains the same you can drop a 8%iipa down to a 3% iipa
Actually, you’re the one spreading the untruths. Ignoring style guidelines and brewing what you want is fine. Or may be you can fit what you’ve brewed into an existing style. If you lower the og/ibu ratio of an IPA it is no longer an IPA. More like an APA, Mild or Ordinary Bitter. There’s a good chance that the OP will find what she’s looking for within one of these other styles, but for the sake of clarity, call it what it is.

Vital Statistics for English IPA:
OG:
1.050 – 1.075
IBUs:
40 – 60
FG:
1.010 – 1.018
SRM:
8 – 14
ABV:
5 – 7.5%
Vital Statistics for American IPA:
OG:
1.056 – 1.075
IBUs:
40 – 70
FG:
1.010 – 1.018
SRM:
6 – 15
ABV:
5.5 – 7.5%
 

EvilTOJ

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I'd say go for a nice pale ale recipe for sure. We have plenty in the Recipe Database. They're lower in alcohol and still have a hop presence.
 

Eves

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I'd say go for a nice pale ale recipe for sure. We have plenty in the Recipe Database. They're lower in alcohol and still have a hop presence.
Yeah, I was sort of thinking along those lines. Perhaps going with a classic english pale ale (particularly a session beer recipe). However, I'd guess that you'd want to hop like you would hop an IPA. Not sure how close to an IPA it would get but it might be acceptable.
 

Revvy

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Yeah, I was sort of thinking along those lines. Perhaps going with a classic english pale ale (particularly a session beer recipe). However, I'd guess that you'd want to hop like you would hop an IPA. Not sure how close to an IPA it would get but it might be acceptable.

If your husband likes the hoppiness, you don't have to brew to "style" you can play around with upping the ibus of any low grav beer to tailor a hoppy, low alcohol session beer to his liking.

It may take you a coupl ebatches to get the balance right (I would even consider making 2.5 gallon experimantal batches)

For example I brewed biermuncher's centennial blonde, but upped the ibu's only 4 points, and it was a really nice beer...hoppy but with the crispness and relatively low body of the centennial blonde..

Playing around is fun.
 
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KarvalColorado

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Wow! Great suggestions, alot of information to digest. Gotta go, I need to get to the brew store before they close.

You Guys are the BEST. :mug:
 

david_42

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As you might have noticed, there is a very strong bias towards big beers here. Which is unfortunate, since small beers are much more of a challenge.
One of the tricks I use in my Bent Rod Rye (~4%) is to add an adjunct grain. The recipe is a downsized Hop Rod Rye, with the bittering hops adjusted to maintain the balance BUT similar flavor and aroma hopping. I plan on mashing at a higher temperature next round, as well.
 

Stef1966

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Quote:
Originally Posted by shecky View Post
I don't want to sound crass, but tell your husband to stop wearing your skirts and man up.
LMAO!!! That is too funny
Exactly my thoughts... :)

But just for the record, what is the average ABV of the avergae IPA?

Im usually drinking brews that are in the range of 5 to 7% and it suits me just fine.
 

CBBaron

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It will probably take some trial and error to get a smaller beer with the hoppiness of a big IPA but still with the right balance.
Target a lower OG and a higher mash temp (or a little more specialty grains for extract brewers) to increase the FG. Then decrease the bittering hops to maintain balance but keep the late hops additions similar. The beer will be different but may be similar to what you like. Many American Pale Ales are similar to this especially those from smaller west coast breweries.

Other choices are to try different styles. English Milds and Bitters and Scottish 60/- are lower ABV beers that are still very full flavored. I have made a couple of these that were 3.5% ABV or less and were very good.

Craig
 

hopsoda

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I'm new to all of this but couldn't you heat the beer and "boil off some of the alcohol then keg and force carbonate? , it would take some trial and error don't heat it to long or you'll make a NA ...

I would never do such a thing , but i read somewhere that's how you make NA beer.

then your recipe would stay the same , and most all the flavors.

(correct me if I'm wrong)
 

jharres

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I'd say go for a good english mild and up the IBUs. English milds are meant to be lower alcohol session beers. In other words, with the lower ABV, you can drink many more in a session. :)
 

Beernip

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Practice, Practice, Practice.

Have him drink 2-3 a night for 6 months and he will quickly build up a tolerance. :D
 
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The only way to get lower alcohol for the style is to have less fermentable sugars, which means mashing at a higher temp for all grain or less extract for extract brews.
I understand the lower fermentable sugars = lower ABV. What I don't understand is how mashing temp affects this. Can you please elaborate. I'm new to brewing, not challenging! :D

Jason
 
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