No alcohol ale

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Aggie10

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A very sad day...I can't consume alcohol for a while due to medication, so I'm proposing the following and looking for input.

Follow my usual ale process to end of fermentation but do not include any post flameout hops (90-100% of my hops go in post flameout in one way or another). At end of fermentation heat and hold beer at approximately 175 F for 30 minutes to remove alcohol. Then add post flameout hops as I normally would, but this time they are going in at end of the alcohol removal process rather than at brewing flameout (my thinking is alcohol removal heating will destroy all flavor and aroma of any previous post flameout hop additions).

Wondering about:
1. Will 30 minutes at 175 F remove all alcohol and can I determine this with hydrometer readings, and if so how? If not, how can I ensure all alcohol cooked off?
2. Will I need to alter hop additions to achieve similar characteristics as in a normal 5% ale?

Thanks for your advice.
 
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kmarkstevens

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Sorry to hear that. Heineken zero actually tastes pretty much like Heineken® - USA. Any port in a storm :D

Others more knowledgeable will chime in, but my vague recollection of past threads is that 30 minutes at 175F won't be nearly long enough to boil off that much alcohol. Boiling point of grain alcohol is 173F at sea level.
 
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Aggie10

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Heineken 0.0 is on my grocery list, seems best reviewed of my local options including Bud Zero, Hoogarden 0.0 and Bavaria 0.0.

But I do want to experiment with brewing a near 0.0 too. I think the advice to heat longer is sound, so let's tweak my original plan to now heat and hold at 175 F for 2.5 hrs (I've seen a chart that implies that will remove 95% of alcohol).

Thanks for input!
 

NTexBrewer

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Here are some links for you. Never tried any of these beers. I have a good friend who can’t drink beer for awhile so I’m looking into brewing a small alcohol free beer for him. I was thinking the same as you with adding ”whirlpool” hops into the beer after boiling off the alcohol. BrewDog lists their recipe for Nanny State. It is not zero alcohol but 0.5% and just has very few grains.

May want to check the distilling message board to get some information about how long it takes to boil off alcohol.

I was wondering if you could use a refractometer to know that all alcohol is boiled off since that interferes with refractometer readings.
 

shoreman

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Bitburger and Athletic make good n/a beers.

The boiling off is super challenging and I've also read about stability issues of that method nevermind the issues with hopping concentration.

I've tried a few things for super low abv including the nanny state which turned out horrible. My bset as a Rye lager but that was about 2%.

Cold extraction of malt seems to be the best way to get flavor, but I have yet to try it out Cold Extraction of Malt Components and Their Use in Brewing Applications

might just want to stick with buying beer for now.
 

kmarkstevens

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Cold extraction of malt seems to be the best way to get flavor, but I have yet to try it out Cold Extraction of Malt Components and Their Use in Brewing Applications
There's a thread for that. :ban:

IMHO, getting below 2% ABV with a decent brew is really tough. I don't have the patience to do 10 or twenty batches of cold mashed beer to find a keeper. All for trying someone else's recipe though if you worked out the bugs.

For those that want lower alcohol recipes, this is a treasure trove: Sub 1.030 beers
 

AzOr

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Bitburger and Athletic make good n/a beers.

The boiling off is super challenging and I've also read about stability issues of that method nevermind the issues with hopping concentration.

I've tried a few things for super low abv including the nanny state which turned out horrible. My bset as a Rye lager but that was about 2%.

Cold extraction of malt seems to be the best way to get flavor, but I have yet to try it out Cold Extraction of Malt Components and Their Use in Brewing Applications

might just want to stick with buying beer for now.
+1 on Athletic Brewing NA beers. They are a damn good beer replacement. I recently bought a six pack to take with me and family to a lake where we kayaked and went canoeing. I wish I’d brought more for the few days we were there.
Its expensive. Which seems odd for a non beer, beer. But it makes sense since they have to brew a regular beer and then add an additional step to remove alcohol.
I’ve heard good things about Bitburger NA but haven’t come across it yet.
 

Tom R

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I've brewed Nanny State and several "cold mash" brews.

I found the Nanny State too bitter (and I like IPAs). I heard this from another homebrewer, too. But I wanted to follow the recipe verbatim. Not my favorite, but I drank all five gallons.😬

I much prefer the cold mash. Sure, it doesn't have much body, but what do you expect when the OG is 1.012 or so. Mine usually turns out to be 0.6-0.7 ABV, which is low enough that my friend who can't have alcohol is allowed to drink it, and I can have some and still work in the shop. It's nice to have a NA on tap. I have the real stuff in the evenings.
 

BreeBrew

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Heineken 0.0 is on my grocery list, seems best reviewed....
That is because Heineken is the only brewer(to my knowledge) that brews an actual beer with alcohol and takes the alcohol out of the beer afterwards. I never drank it myself but People who do drink it have said to me it is the closest thing to a beer with alcohol.
 

Cool_Hand_Luke

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A few years back I made a vacuum still to try and get a sub 0.5%abv beer (criteria to be considered NA). I ran it for 4 hours and wound up with still just under 2% beer. It takes much longer than 30 minutes. Would echo the others here to start with buying NA beer.

But definitely encourage you to try out some experiments! I was brewing mine for someone who could no longer have alcohol so I sent it off to a lab to be tested. Would recommend the same as many of the low ABV techniques may be difficult to measure with typical home brewer equipment.
 

Snuffy

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If you can’t drink real beer, why pretend? I never understood decaf either. It’s like TV but with no sound.
 

AzOr

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There was a recent Basic Brewing Radio podcast where they were discussing Hairless Dog NA beer. While they didn't give away any recipes or processes, the owner did give quite a few hints.

The most surprising to me was that they skip fermentation all together. Everything I have read about low or NA beer is to ferment and then remove alcohol.

I can only guess that you could produce a wort of maybe 1.020 or so then boil with hops. Then maybe add some boiled or dead yeast (total guess). If bottling, you'd have to pasteurize (I've done this with cider hundreds of times).

Going by memory- In the episode, they served James this beer and didn't disclose it was a NA beer. He had no idea after tasting it either.
 

DannyBoy270

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Let me preface this with I have never so much as had an NA beer, but while looking thru fermentis' website the other day I noticed they have a low/no alcohol strain listed now. Maybe you could play with that, assuming you can find it somewhere; they only show bulk packaging on the website 🤷‍♂️
 

day_trippr

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I'm betting that reference is to their LA-01 strain - and indeed the smallest package I've seen of that is 500 grams.
Not a big fan of having to go all-in before even trying something. Maybe trawl the 'web to see if there's a breaker out there?

Cheers! (and good luck).
 

hopkincr

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Athletic Brewing is the best NA beer I’ve had. Heineken is good as well and Brew Dog has on but it’s same price but for a 4 pack. Was not a fan of Lagunitas’ version. I’m thinking of brewing an NA as well and would be interested in the responses.
 

MikeCo

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There was a recent Basic Brewing Radio podcast where they were discussing Hairless Dog NA beer. While they didn't give away any recipes or processes, the owner did give quite a few hints.

The most surprising to me was that they skip fermentation all together. Everything I have read about low or NA beer is to ferment and then remove alcohol.

I can only guess that you could produce a wort of maybe 1.020 or so then boil with hops. Then maybe add some boiled or dead yeast (total guess). If bottling, you'd have to pasteurize (I've done this with cider hundreds of times).

Going by memory- In the episode, they served James this beer and didn't disclose it was a NA beer. He had no idea after tasting it either.
I heard the same podcast and am really curious how they make the beer without fermenting. I tried their IPA and was not crazy about it. I’d like to try the Citra Lager.
 
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