Low Calorie Homebrew?

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Stevorino

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Anyone ever try making low calorie homebrew? SWMBO is interested in me making some for the New Year...
 

Austinhomebrew

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Here is a recipe I use for low calorie beer:

5 pounds extra pale liquid extract (or 4 pounds of DME)
1 pound Corn syrup or Corn Sugar

Boil for an hour:
3/4 oz Hallertau for bittering (60 minutes)
1/4 oz Hallertau for flavor (last 15 minutes)

Dry yeast: US-05
Wyeast: 1056
White Labs: California Ale

Important: Crush 3 Beano tablets (yes, Beano) and add when you add the yeast.
Be careful not to touch the tablets from the bottle and crush with very clean and sanitized utensils.

The Beano tablets convert a lot of the carbs so it is a lot less caloric. And it also makes the beer finish very clean.

It also helps to use half distilled water and half regular water (the water you usually use for brewing).

The absence of aroma hops, the beano tablets and using some distilled water will make the finish extremely clean and very enjoyable for swmbos.

Some of the customers that have tried this recipe have come back to thank me (if you know what I mean).

Let me know how it works out. (I don't need all of the details)

Forrest
 
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Stevorino

Stevorino

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Thanks Forrest- any ballpark idea of nutritional facts I can pass along to the SWMBO?

I'll be sure to stop by Austin Homebrew Store next time I'm in need for some goods :)
 

menschmaschine

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As you know, alcohol has calories too. So, it really comes down to OG. You can brew an Ordinary Bitter or a Mild with as little as 140 cal/pint (OG in the low to mid 1.030s) with an ABV in the low 3's%. As for finishing gravity, the caloric difference between alcohol and dextrins is pretty small. So, a lower FG doesn't mean much in terms of calories. If you finish at 1.009 vs 1.020, your talking ~6 to 10 cal/pint higher on the 1.020.
 

flowerysong

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The Beano tablets convert a lot of the carbs so it is a lot less caloric.
Low-carb is not the same as low-calorie. The Beano will convert more of the complex sugars to simple sugars that the yeast will eat and convert to alcohol, but since alcohol is also a source of calories this will not change the caloric content of the beer to a significant extent.

OG is king; brew a small beer with a low starting gravity and you'll have a less caloric beer, even if it finishes at a higher FG (and hence is higher in carbohydrates) than your IIPA.
 
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Stevorino

Stevorino

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Low-carb is not the same as low-calorie. The Beano will convert more of the complex sugars to simple sugars that the yeast will eat and convert to alcohol, but since alcohol is also a source of calories this will not change the caloric content of the beer to a significant extent.

OG is king; brew a small beer with a low starting gravity and you'll have a less caloric beer, even if it finishes at a higher FG (and hence is higher in carbohydrates) than your IIPA.
So it seems like a scottish would be the best then...
 

david_42

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Low-carb is not the same as low-calorie. The Beano will convert more of the complex sugars to simple sugars that the yeast will eat and convert to alcohol, but since alcohol is also a source of calories this will not change the caloric content of the beer to a significant extent.
Not so, about half the calories are lost in the fermentation process producing CO2. One of the reasons corn ethanol is so inefficient.
 

Austinhomebrew

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Low-carb is not the same as low-calorie. The Beano will convert more of the complex sugars to simple sugars that the yeast will eat and convert to alcohol, but since alcohol is also a source of calories this will not change the caloric content of the beer to a significant extent.

OG is king; brew a small beer with a low starting gravity and you'll have a less caloric beer, even if it finishes at a higher FG (and hence is higher in carbohydrates) than your IIPA.
Let me rephrase: The beano will make the beer have less carbs which will reduce calories retained from the beer. It works like the Adkins diet. The beer has calories (like a hot dog) but if you reduce the carbs (don't eat the bun) less of the calories are turned into fat. Or at least that is my understanding of it.

Forrest
 

Austinhomebrew

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Sure, you can make a low alcohol beer to cut down on the calories, but will she drink it?

If the swmbo won't drink a Scottish beer, why would she drink a low alcohol Scottish beer?

Taste is king not OG, that is if you want swmbo to drink it.

Forrest
 

flowerysong

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Not so, about half the calories are lost in the fermentation process producing CO2. One of the reasons corn ethanol is so inefficient.
I'm not so sure. While I couldn't find a direct cite for the calorie use of yeast, a study comparing the nutrient content of a beer diet with one where the grains were consumed directly found that the caloric content was quite similar. Replacing ~425 g of grain with beer (produced from the same amount of grain) reduced the caloric intake by just 37 calories.[1] While I'm sure that the relatively low attenuation[2] affects that, even if we double the calorie drop to 74 calories that's still only a reduction of ~12.3 calories/US pint.

Or, more directly: 3 cups of cane sugar in a gallon of water produces a potential alcohol content of 10.2% ABV. ~386.1 mL (~304.64 g) of alcohol per gallon, 7.1 calories/gram, 2,163 calories/gallon. 3 cups of cane sugar is 600 grams, 3.9 calories/gram, 2,340 calories/gallon. That's a reduction of 22.125 calories/US pint, or ~7.5%.

It's quite possible that I'm missing something somewhere, so I stand ready to be corrected.


[1] Platt, B.S. (1964) Biological ennoblement: Improvement of the nutritive value of foods and dietary regimes by biological agencies.

[2] Hrm, 425 g to 2840 mL makes ~1.25 lb/gal, beer in the study is maize based so...~1.049 max OG, mean ABV of 3%, call the FG ~1.024.
 

enicholson

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How about you just brew regular beer and cut it with a bit of seltzer water...
 

sharpstick

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As you know, alcohol has calories too. . . .
i am wondering if alcohol calories are the same in terms of being fattening as other types, such as sugar and fat.
doesn't the alcohol get treated as a toxin and eliminated by the kidneys instead of being metabolized like sugar?
(my swmbo is asking for a less fattening beer, too, but she is not into light colored watery swill. we enjoy good tasting swill like dark ales and stouts.)
 

Cpt_Kirks

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i am wondering if alcohol calories are the same in terms of being fattening as other types, such as sugar and fat.
doesn't the alcohol get treated as a toxin and eliminated by the kidneys instead of being metabolized like sugar?
(my swmbo is asking for a less fattening beer, too, but she is not into light colored watery swill. we enjoy good tasting swill like dark ales and stouts.)
Supposedly, alcohol is either burned immediately by the body, or flushed out. It does not get converted to fat, or is not readily converted to fat.

When you are doing the hardcore low carb dieting, you can drink vodka and sugar-free lemonade, as long as you don't overdo it.

Using Beano to lighten a brew is an interesting idea.
 

Scooby_Brew

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What if I use my Cream Ale recipe (AG) and add Beano tablets to it? Would that also work?
 

ramthebuffs

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From my experience, any beers 1.060 or bigger with beano tabs REQUIRE a blowoff. I've done a lot of brews with beano and it makes the ferments very aggressive.
 

david_42

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Calories are calories. Yes, alcohol is used first, but that just means something else gets converted to fat.
 

beerkrump

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Your body, being the freakishly efficient machine it is, will utilize the simplest energy source first and store the more complex ones for later. Simple sugars, alcohols and starches will be burned first. Complex starches are processed next, followed by fats and proteins.

Concerning the energy extracted by yeast during fermentation. The equation is;

C6H12O6 ---> 2 C2H5OH + 2CO2

So, one mole of disaccharide is converted into two moles of ethanol and two moles of carbon dioxide. There are 720 calories per mole in a disaccharide and 322 in ethanol.

(720 - 644)/720 = 11% of the calories of the sugar is lost during fermentation.

To get a low alcohol homebrew you need to do what the big boys do. Start with a low gravity wort and use enzyme additives (Beano) to ensure that as much of the complex sugars, as possible, is converted to yeast food. Starting with a cream ale or english bitter with an OG 1.040 or below and adding a little Beano will get you about as close as you can as a home brewer to light beer.
 

thedigitale

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Drink a good beer while on a stationary bike... same results as a light beer with more flavor.
 

Scut_Monkey

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I think using beano makes perfect sense. Yes when you convert the starch to sugar using beano the sugar is still adding calories to the beer. However, the yeast don't convert starch into alcohol they convert sugar into alcohol. The more sugar you can give them the more alcohol you will get in the beer (simplified). Therefore, if you want to brew a light beer and not have it at 2% ABV you need to get rid of any other calorie source that will not contribute to alcohol. So they convert the remaining starches into fermentable sugars and the beer approaches 4.2%ABV for about all light beers.

Essentially, by doing this they can start with a lower gravity beer and make it more fermentable with a near normal ABV by converting most of the remaining starch in the wort.
 

carbon111

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This Ordinary Bitter is tasty but only has about 110 calories in 12 oz at about 3.3% ABV:

5lbs 8oz - Two Row (or 3lb 4oz of Light DME)
1lb - Crystal 60L
8oz - Aromatic Malt

.5oz - Columbus 60min
2oz - Willamette 5min

Wyeast London Ale (1028)
 

humann_brewing

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So what are the big guys using to go from 1.030 to .999 resulting in a 125 calorie 4% beer

I don't see a homebrew yeast going that low without help or am I wrong?
 

beerkrump

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So what are the big guys using to go from 1.030 to .999 resulting in a 125 calorie 4% beer

I don't see a homebrew yeast going that low without help or am I wrong?
That's were Beano comes in. Breaking down large sugars that the yeast cannot digest lowers the over all caloric content while upping the ABV. It also lowers the amount of body and flavor.
 

Vuarra

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I understand the concept of "a calorie is a calorie", but I don't buy into it.

Unfortunately, the way ethanol is broken down by the liver actually works against you, especially if you consider low-carb diets healthy.

Having said that, *IN GENERAL*, fats require more processing by the body, and are less fattening than most people think. Carbohydrates require much less processing by the body, and are more fattening than people think. Ethanol is treated as a carbohydrate.
 

Cpt_Kirks

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So what are the big guys using to go from 1.030 to .999 resulting in a 125 calorie 4% beer

I don't see a homebrew yeast going that low without help or am I wrong?
The "big guys" may be using additional enzymes. Which is what Beano is.

US-05 is a monster at attenuation.
 

Scooby_Brew

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I just brewed 11 gal of American Wheat OG 1.051. I am considering an experiment: putting 6gal of brew in one fermenter, and 5 gal in the other. The 6 gal batch I would ferment as usual. To the 5 gal batch I would add 1 gal of water, lowering the OG to 1.044 and and I would add 3 tablets of Beano.
What do you guys think, would it work? Is it worth risking 5 gal batch of good beer?
 

humann_brewing

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The "big guys" may be using additional enzymes. Which is what Beano is.

US-05 is a monster at attenuation.
That is what I was thinking, I know US-05, W 1056, WLP001 are great attenuators but even if you mashed at 148 and doubled your pitch count, I don't think it would go down that low and hence the addition of Beano type products.
 

Prionburger

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I wouldn't recommend Atkins, or any diet regiment besides support groups. You need to think about overall health, not just weight loss. Carbs are important, and so is exercise.

IMO, eliminate processed food from your diet and get some regular exercise every day, and you can enjoy pints of delicious Bitters, Milds, Northern/Southern Browns, Scottish 60-80 shillings, Dry stouts, or other beers below 5% without any worries. You'd rather do them right than adulterate them with weird enzymes for questionable benefit (maybe shaving off half a teaspoon of sugar worth of calories?). Just walk around the block and enjoy your pint.
 

Scut_Monkey

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If you can do it or want to do it I would look at it as more of a proof of concept than setting out to make great beer. Yeah it might taste like coors light and not Pilsner Urquell but it would show that you can make a light beer just like a macrobrewery can. If you like the taste of light beers and feel that you can make a comparable version for cheaper than go to it.

You would have to figure that whole triple hoping ordeal though.... I hear that's a proprietary process.;)
 

carl spakler

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so - gasoline is fattening?
and by extension, every fart you let fly is helping you lose weight!
Attitude aside, if it has calories it can contribute to weight gain; it it helps you burn calories it can contribute to weight loss.

Feel free to drink some gasoline if you wish to test the theory. I'm confident even a mental midget can determine that it is not a good idea. :)
 

Cpt_Kirks

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Attitude aside, if it has calories it can contribute to weight gain; it it helps you burn calories it can contribute to weight loss.

Feel free to drink some gasoline if you wish to test the theory. I'm confident even a mental midget can determine that it is not a good idea. :)
We don't say "midget" anymore. "Mental Little Person", maybe.

I wonder what Beano would do to the taste? That would be some mighty thin beer!
 

Austinhomebrew

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It really doesn't make it thin, it just makes the finishing flavor completely gone. It will taste fine and then it is gone. No lingering flavor.
 

sharpstick

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Attitude aside, if it has calories it can contribute to weight gain; it it helps you burn calories it can contribute to weight loss.

Feel free to drink some gasoline if you wish to test the theory. I'm confident even a mental midget can determine that it is not a good idea. :)
the point was that alcohol calories might be metabolized differently than carb calories.
a calorie is scientifically defined as an amount of energy stored within a substance. biologically they are not all the same.
 

carl spakler

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the point was that alcohol calories might be metabolized differently than carb calories.
a calorie is scientifically defined as an amount of energy stored within a substance. biologically they are not all the same.

Eat 2,000 calories in any format you want and burn off 2,000 calories, you won't alter your scale weight. How it will impact your body composition is a whole different discussion than your trite remark. A 2,000 calorie diet of pure sugars versus a balanced 2,000 calories will have health implications beyond simply weight.
 

Whiskey

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I wouldn't recommend Atkins, or any diet regiment besides support groups. You need to think about overall health, not just weight loss. Carbs are important, and so is exercise.

IMO, eliminate processed food from your diet and get some regular exercise every day, and you can enjoy pints of delicious Bitters, Milds, Northern/Southern Browns, Scottish 60-80 shillings, Dry stouts, or other beers below 5% without any worries. You'd rather do them right than adulterate them with weird enzymes for questionable benefit (maybe shaving off half a teaspoon of sugar worth of calories?). Just walk around the block and enjoy your pint.
QFT X 10. But do not say it too loud, the media and the diet industry will hunt you down. That could be a thread all it's own.

Eat 2,000 calories in any format you want and burn off 2,000 calories, you won't alter your scale weight. How it will impact your body composition is a whole different discussion than your trite remark. A 2,000 calorie diet of pure sugars versus a balanced 2,000 calories will have health implications beyond simply weight.

Again QFT.

The overall premise of the OP and the ongoing discussion is pretty cool, "can you make a low carb/cal beer and still have it taste good".

However, personally I would rather drink an 8oz tasty, chewy Stout then a 16oz "diet" beer with less flavor, mouthfeel and the same Cal/Carb content.

The fact of the matter is, it's not the sugars/carbs/etc that will make you fat, it is how much you ingest along with living a sedimentary* lifestyle.


Edit: *sedentary, Curses to auto correction!
 

kaiser423

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Eat 2,000 calories in any format you want and burn off 2,000 calories, you won't alter your scale weight. How it will impact your body composition is a whole different discussion than your trite remark. A 2,000 calorie diet of pure sugars versus a balanced 2,000 calories will have health implications beyond simply weight.
Go do a search for metabolizable energy intake (MEI).

Every different type of calorie takes a different amount of energy for your body to metabolize and turn into fat. Fat is easier to turn into fat than some other compounds. So, yea, there's some percentage difference between different food types.

Furthermore, based upon your metabolic make-up, your body might toss away certain calorie types. For example Jared from Subway ate the exact same food everyday for lunch. When people investigated that, some researchers (univ. of Michigan I believe) found out that if you eat the same food everyday, the amount of calories that your body actually absorbs and turns into fat decreases. In effect, your body runs out of the building blocks necessary to turn those types of calories into fat, and starts discarding them out the rear end.

The body is pretty complex, and there's a _lot_ of things that go into calories and weight loss and gain. But, yes, in general calories are a very good way to determine health levels/weight.
 

carl spakler

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The fact of the matter is, it's not the sugars/carbs/etc that will make you fat, it is how much you ingest along with living a sedimentary lifestyle.
Possibly, but a sedentary lifestyle is more likely attainable in a human lifespan. ;)
 

KYB

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Side note: I love when people drink light/low calorie beer because they don't want to get fat, but then they go get a Whopper and a large fry. I'm sure they get a diet coke so they don't get fat... Why not eat something decent, and have a decent beer.
 
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