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Sundy

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I just happened across a comment somewhere about this Athletic Brewing. They make non-alcoholic craft beer. I would love to be able to make a Russian Imperial Stout with low alcohol so I could drink more of it. They say there is a proprietary fermentation method that produces super low alcohol beer. I Never Thought I Would Say This: I’m Into This Non-Alcoholic Beer Does anybody have an idea of how they accomplish such a thing?
 

Vale71

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They say there is a proprietary fermentation method that produces super low alcohol beer.
That's most likely just a marketing claim (a.k.a. a straight-faced lie :confused:). Arrested fermentation makes beer that tastes nothing like the real deal. The best way to make decent NA beer is still alcohol removal post fermentation and that requires very expensive equipment.
 

DBhomebrew

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I would love to be able to make a Russian Imperial Stout with low alcohol so I could drink more of it.
Are you truly looking for NA or just a more sessionable RIS?

 
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Sundy

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Are you truly looking for NA or just a more sessionable RIS?

I would like a beer with less alcohol. Not necessarily 1% but maybe 3.2%? As I age the alcohol seems to hit me harder and I love the taste of beer. I have said for years that I would drink good low alcohol beer all day long. I will try that session RIS recipe.
 
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TwistedGray

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I would like a beer with less alcohol. Not necessarily 1% but maybe 3.2%? As I age the alcohol seems to hit me harder and I love the taste of beer. I have said for years that I would drink good low alcohol beer all day long. I will try that session RIS recipe.
Aim for lower ABV beers (table beers) rather than trying to neuter your boozier beers. You can thank me/us later...I've tried a number of methods and the best results are from adjusting the recipe for lower ABV.
 

gmacbeer

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I don't know how they do it, but the Athletic tastes like beer, and it's less than 0.5% ABV. If they are fermenting at low temperatures, then the yeast aren't going to convert much of the sugars to alcohol, but I'd imagine it would be sweet as high heck as a result. Of course you could distill out the alcohol after the fact, but that adds other complications including off flavors an bitterness, not to mention temperature control could be difficult depending on your equipment.
 

DBhomebrew

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Not necessarily 1% but maybe 3.2%? As I age the alcohol seems to hit me harder and I love the taste of beer. I have said for years that I would drink good low alcohol beer all day long. I will try that session RIS recipe.
Even that Little Raspy recipe isn't all that sessionable at 4.5%.

For delicious beer made for drinking a few at a time, you may want to look into British styles such as bitter and mild. Full-flavored base malts and expressive low-attenuating yeast strains make for a really tasty pints at 3.5% or so.
 

Vale71

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I don't know how they do it, but the Athletic tastes like beer, and it's less than 0.5% ABV. If they are fermenting at low temperatures, then the yeast aren't going to convert much of the sugars to alcohol, but I'd imagine it would be sweet as high heck as a result. Of course you could distill out the alcohol after the fact, but that adds other complications including off flavors an bitterness, not to mention temperature control could be difficult depending on your equipment.
Temperature has got nothing to do with it. The beer will fully ferment even at low fermentation temperatures.

To actually stop fermentation you need to remove the yeast and then pasteurize the resulting beer for stabilization. An even better (but more expensive) alternative is to let fermentation finish and then remove the alcohol via reverse osmosis without heating the beer. The latter method is what gives the best results today vis-a-vis taste and mouthfeel.

Here is a little write-up on the subject by a large commerical equipment provideder.

 

khannon

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I've been getting into this a little..

Thing is, a sixer of athletic will run you the same as a sixer of any other mid-range beer.

Brew Dogs has some of their AF(.5% or less) available. Some are not yet available. Nanny State is pretty good, but their Elvis AF is damn good(for an AF"beer"). They have a stout(AF) with coffee that is passable, but I don't know that I would call it a stout.

I tried brewing the Nanny State beer, It's OK, but the bitterness is too much. I think that I got low conversion and that maybe some lactose would help.

I think you also need to keg, otherwise the priming sugars add a bit of abv.

As far as a RIS that is also low abv and solid taste.. Keep me in the loop, but I think you might be looking for a unicorn that poops diamonds...
 
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Sundy

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I was wondering about fermenting ale yeast with low temps and if that would help lower the ABV. I would love to do English bitter beers. Do you have any recipe recommendations? What yeasts are "expressive low-attenuating yeast strains"? It seems the trend is always toward high ABV tolerant yeasts.

I have figured out the multi-quote feature yet.
 

superiorsat

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I would think you could put the batch back in a kettle after fermentation and bring above ethanol boil off point for a time increment someone smarter than me would have to figure out to remove all the alcohol or how ever much you wanted to remove. I would think this would thicken the beer greatly so I would imagine water would need to be added to thin it back out. This would mess with your calculations say you were trying to shoot for 3.5% abv. You would have to leave a higher amount of alcohol so the dilution water would land you on your desired number. As others have stated maybe just pick a low abv beer for session drinking and save the RIS for a night cap beer/beers.
 

TwistedGray

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I would think you could put the batch back in a kettle after fermentation and bring above ethanol boil off point for a time increment someone smarter than me would have to figure out to remove all the alcohol or how ever much you wanted to remove. I would think this would thicken the beer greatly so I would imagine water would need to be added to thin it back out. This would mess with your calculations say you were trying to shoot for 3.5% abv. You would have to leave a higher amount of alcohol so the dilution water would land you on your desired number. As others have stated maybe just pick a low abv beer for session drinking and save the RIS for a night cap beer/beers.
The boil off method is not that simple, and so far has translated to otherwise drain pours. I've tried a number of times now to no avail. While I am sure someone here has been successful, they have not done a good job of sharing their details in how they managed.
 

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Ethanol evaporation is the least effective system because it tends to strip a lot of the aroma compounds as well. Commercial systems use complicated condensation and separation systems to get as much of the aroma compounds back into the beverage but that's not really doable in your kitchen.
When doing this at home using a simple pot on a stove you also have the much greater issue of oxygen exposure. Since you're going to get the beer quite hot this will increase the oxidation rate N-fold and invariably result in a heavily oxidized, aroma-deprived NA beer. :(
 
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I had mixed success with my attempt at an NA IPA. Came out at .7% abv, had decent body/mouthfeel, I just had way too many hops in the recipe and was impatient getting it into the keg so suspended hop matter created a harsh grassy bitterness. I think a stout would be doable but you'd have to get your water right or the dark grains could make it astringent and lower ph than you would want. You could certainly add a big dose of lactose and maltodextrin for body, and chocolate, coffee, or even a few bourbon soaked oak chips to get more of that big stout impression.

My IPA recipe had 1# Munich DME, 1/2# Maltodextrin, steeped 1# red wheat, 1/2# Abbey malt, 1/2# Carapils. 12oz of hop pellets between whirlpool and dry hop was just dumb, lol. A half a hop shot in the boil then using a small amount of whole hops or cryo for WP and DH might be the way to go. The yeast was The Yeast Bay Metschnikowia Reukaufi. It doesn't ferment maltose. I talked with Nick at TYB and he was very friendly and helpful. On his recommendation I made a starter with apple juice, a little DME, and Fermaid O. It was a little slow to show signs of activity in the fermenter but it did it's job, had a very clean white krausen.

One of my goals was to keep this experiment simple. From other threads and to Vale's point it seems that boil off is not necessarily reliable for removing alcohol, can change the character in unfavorable ways, and it's a lot of extra effort.
 
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Sundy

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Thank you tahoehomebrewer I was wondering about using maltodextrin for the body. I am an extract brewer so it should be easier for me to avoid some of the traps you pointed out. The article said Athletic Brewing has a proprietary process. I guess it's not heat. I am thinking about making a hop tea, store it sterile, and add it to the finished beer as necessary.
 

NewJersey

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For the purposes of making an NA ipa could you just brew the recipe with NO hop additions at all (maybe just a lone bittering addition?) and let it ferment out fully and then back into the boil kettle for a short boil, and then down to 170⁰ (or wherever alcohol comes out I forget) for a whirlpool, chill, and back into fermenter for dry hop. I feel like this would produce an NA ipa without ruining the hop flavor or oxidizing it to death.
Any opinions welcome as I'm doing dry March 😂
 

Vale71

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For the purposes of making an NA ipa could you just brew the recipe with NO hop additions at all (maybe just a lone bittering addition?) and let it ferment out fully and then back into the boil kettle for a short boil, and then down to 170⁰ (or wherever alcohol comes out I forget) for a whirlpool, chill, and back into fermenter for dry hop. I feel like this would produce an NA ipa without ruining the hop flavor or oxidizing it to death.
Any opinions welcome as I'm doing dry March 😂
If you boil beer you'll already drive off the alcohol in no time, together with completely destroying any beer-like taste that might be left. There's a lot more than just hop aroma that will suffer from oxidation and heat treatment.
The only way to perform alcohol removal without any trace of oxidatin would be to ferment in a pressure-capable Unitank. You would leave the beer nearly uncarbonated and once maturation is done you'd use the tank's temperature control to heat the beer to 170°F and hold the temperature for some time while all the time venting the excess pressure through a spunding valve. Once it's done you'd start quickly cooling the beer while at the same time pushing CO2 into the tank to prevent suckback and also to get a head start on forced carbonation.
Even if you did it like that you'd still loose a lot of aromatic compounds that will be vented together with the alcohol fumes. Commercial systems that peform alcohol removal through heating have a recovery system that will recover most of those compounds (through fractional distillation) and put it back into the beverage. Doing that with homebrewing equipment would be basically impossible.
 

NewJersey

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If you boil beer you'll already drive off the alcohol in no time, together with completely destroying any beer-like taste that might be left. There's a lot more than just hop aroma that will suffer from oxidation and heat treatment.
The only way to perform alcohol removal without any trace of oxidatin would be to ferment in a pressure-capable Unitank. You would leave the beer nearly uncarbonated and once maturation is done you'd use the tank's temperature control to heat the beer to 170°F and hold the temperature for some time while all the time venting the excess pressure through a spunding valve. Once it's done you'd start quickly cooling the beer while at the same time pushing CO2 into the tank to prevent suckback and also to get a head start on forced carbonation.
Even if you did it like that you'd still loose a lot of aromatic compounds that will be vented together with the alcohol fumes. Commercial systems that peform alcohol removal through heating have a recovery system that will recover most of those compounds (through fractional distillation) and put it back into the beverage. Doing that with homebrewing equipment would be basically impossible.
I ferment in a spike flex+ so I could do what you're describing, lol
Well, the yeast would still be in there, so that'd be a problem.
I know my first proposed method isn't perfect, but it would perfect as far as hop flavor and aroma. Curious now what I'd end up with.
How long of a boil would I need to drive off alcohol for a 6% abv beer?
 

Vale71

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You don't need to boil to drive off alcohol and you should never do that. 170°F is plenty enough for alcohol to start gently evaporating.
As for the yeast unless you sterile filter your beer there will always be plenty in suspension so boiling would also cause massive autolysis and add damage to insult. Pasteurization at 170°F would gently kill the yeast and actually prevent autolysis but it will also stop maturation which is why you should wait for the beer to be ready before starting the process.
 

Steveruch

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Even that Little Raspy recipe isn't all that sessionable at 4.5%.

For delicious beer made for drinking a few at a time, you may want to look into British styles such as bitter and mild. Full-flavored base malts and expressive low-attenuating yeast strains make for a really tasty pints at 3.5% or so.
What he said.
A low alcohol RIS is a plain stout, many of which come in at 3.5% or less.
 

NewJersey

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You don't need to boil to drive off alcohol and you should never do that. 170°F is plenty enough for alcohol to start gently evaporating.
As for the yeast unless you sterile filter your beer there will always be plenty in suspension so boiling would also cause massive autolysis and add damage to insult. Pasteurization at 170°F would gently kill the yeast and actually prevent autolysis but it will also stop maturation which is why you should wait for the beer to be ready before starting the process.
How long at 170⁰?
And thanks for the information.
 

Tom Foolery

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I just happened across a comment somewhere about this Athletic Brewing. They make non-alcoholic craft beer. I would love to be able to make a Russian Imperial Stout with low alcohol so I could drink more of it. They say there is a proprietary fermentation method that produces super low alcohol beer. I Never Thought I Would Say This: I’m Into This Non-Alcoholic Beer Does anybody have an idea of how they accomplish such a thing?
I saw this the other day... SafBrew LA-01 - Brewer's yeast for low alcohol beers - by Fermentis
 
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