Quantcast

Sub 1.030 beers

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

monkeymath

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2019
Messages
170
Reaction score
134
Very interesting thread! I can't say I usually care that much if my homebrew has 4 or 5 percent abv, but it does seem like an interesting challenge - and a 3-3.5% brew would indeed make for a great option if the other homebrew on hand is a 6%+ beer.

I guess some of you know the Bavarian brewery "Schönramer". I recently went to the restaurant attached to the brewery and tried most of their beers. While all were very good, one to stand out was their "Surtaler Schankbier", a 3.5%abv lager of bright golden colour. It was a warm day spent hiking, so this was the perfect beverage in that situation. Light, but not watery; like a Helles with reduced sweetness.

The menu disclosed that the beer had a Stammwürze of 9° plato and was made using 15% specialty malts. So that goes in a similar direction to the common approach in this thread: lots of specialty malts and low attenuation.
I tried to gather some more information on it, in order to spin up something similar, but couldn't find too much.

The shop says it has 18 IBU and lists barley malt and caramel malt in the ingredients (a strange distinction, as the caramel malt is certainly also made from barley). The description on the brewery's website attributes its rich taste to "toasted (or 'roasted') specialty malts", which rather sounds like Victory malt or something instead of crystal malt.

Any suggestions? I couldn't find too much on lagers in this thread. I know light lagers are quite popular in the US, but I think they're typically much less flavourful than this Surtaler Schankbier.
 

BeerFst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
355
Reaction score
132
Location
Patchogue
Stammwürze is apparently "original wort" which at 9P is 1.036. for a 3.5% beer that means it's FG should be around 1.010.

Since you said it was bright golden, if it was a large portion of Vienna with some pils, but it could just be 15% carahell to get similar. Maybe just start with all pils, 15% carahell, and play with some yeasts to get close to 1.010. you might consider doing a warm ish mash 155 or so. I dont think you need to do a 165 mash or something like that.

I also have a question for the group. I brewed a micro beer with 1.026 OG with a grist of mostly rye and briess golden roast oats. Some oat malt and C20 filled out the grain bill in a smaller portion. Mash temp was 165. Hopped with an experimental blend NZH-107 4 oz at flame out and another 4 after I hit my 1.014 FG. Fermented with a full pack of S04 at 64. sample after ferm complete was fine, no off flavors

Ferm was over pretty quick, then i soft crashed and dry hopped at 64 per my normal procedure. However the keg did warm up over one night to approx 68-70. I then tossed the keg in the keezer and started to carb. My first sample was 10/13, which is 10 days post brew day. A quick brew for sure, but it only had to ferment 10 points.

The main flavor and aroma at the moment is plain Chobani...I hate chobani in any flavor, so it is quite off putting. Trying to do some research on the two and all i can find is some defect in chobani a few years ago, nothing homebrew related.
 

BeerFst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
355
Reaction score
132
Location
Patchogue
What is chobani?!
A brand of Greek yogurt, that to me, has a very specific smell. Other brands do not suffer this. it’s hard to describe exactly what that smell is, it goes beyond just lactic acid smell. Doesn’t smell butryic like a bad kettle sour
 

BeerFst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
355
Reaction score
132
Location
Patchogue
Urgs.... Doesn't sound appealing.
yeah...not what i would be looking for in any beer.

I left the keg out at room temp with a spunding valve to see if the yeast will clean it up. After 2 days it has improved, but it is still a little there. I made a massive eff up last night, thinking that if i restarted ferm with a little DME, the active yeast would help clean this off flavor up. Despite having transferred many carbed kegs and under pressure, i had a massive brain fart and opened the keg......BEER EVERYWHERE.

after massive clean up efforts, I had lost about 1 gallon and plenty of my dry hops, but i did get the DME in and my pressure is higher this morning than it was last night....we'll see if this does anything.
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
3,505
Reaction score
1,984
Location
Bremen
Sounds like Murphy's law in action! Good luck for the further development, hopefully it will be nice at the end.

I also thought about making a rye based small beer for the sake of flavour. Maybe something like rye/spelt/ Munich or Vienna in similar amounts. That should maximise the flavor with this low abv beer. I hope that yours turns out well and that you can report a bit about it!
 

BeerFst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
355
Reaction score
132
Location
Patchogue
Sounds like Murphy's law in action! Good luck for the further development, hopefully it will be nice at the end.

I also thought about making a rye based small beer for the sake of flavour. Maybe something like rye/spelt/ Munich or Vienna in similar amounts. That should maximise the flavor with this low abv beer. I hope that yours turns out well and that you can report a bit about it!
yeah, fingers crossed. the link for the recipe i based mine off is below. Mine was roughly

51% rye (3lbs)
25% Briess Blonde Roast Oats (1.5lbs)
17% Oat Malt (1lb)
7% C20 (6oz)

This was for ~4.5g

Mash 165F, 45 minutes.


he has another ~3% beer that is all Vienna
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
3,505
Reaction score
1,984
Location
Bremen
yeah, fingers crossed. the link for the recipe i based mine off is below. Mine was roughly

51% rye (3lbs)
25% Briess Blonde Roast Oats (1.5lbs)
17% Oat Malt (1lb)
7% C20 (6oz)

This was for ~4.5g

Mash 165F, 45 minutes.


he has another ~3% beer that is all Vienna
I don't like neipas... But otherwise it looks like an interesting idea! How is the foam? Mouthfeel?
 

BeerFst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
355
Reaction score
132
Location
Patchogue
I don't like neipas... But otherwise it looks like an interesting idea! How is the foam? Mouthfeel?
not sure on the foam yet....the sample i had a couple days ago was not fully carbed yet. Most of the foam i saw so far ended up on the basement floor last night, haha.

it didn't dissipate right away though, so it is promising, i think.

mouthfeel was kind of weird. Initially the mouthfeel was pretty great then the finish is quite dry. it's like drinking two different beers honestly.

I do think i'd skip dry hops if i do another small beer like this. I might try that pilsner noted above by @monkeymath ...sounds interesting.

Edit: @monkeymath I'm going to double down on the carahell. I checked BSG and confirmed it is roasted. "Weyermann® CARAHELL® is a drum-roasted caramel malt made from two-row, German barley that delivers a fuller body, improved aroma, and increased beer foam while also contributing to a more fuller, rounder body and flavor." Weyermann® CARAHELL®

seems to be very in line with both the restaurant and brewery description
 
Last edited:

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
3,505
Reaction score
1,984
Location
Bremen
not sure on the foam yet....the sample i had a couple days ago was not fully carbed yet. Most of the foam i saw so far ended up on the basement floor last night, haha.

it didn't dissipate right away though, so it is promising, i think.

mouthfeel was kind of weird. Initially the mouthfeel was pretty great then the finish is quite dry. it's like drinking two different beers honestly.

I do think i'd skip dry hops if i do another small beer like this. I might try that pilsner noted above by @monkeymath ...sounds interesting.

Edit: @monkeymath I'm going to double down on the carahell. I checked BSG and confirmed it is roasted. "Weyermann® CARAHELL® is a drum-roasted caramel malt made from two-row, German barley that delivers a fuller body, improved aroma, and increased beer foam while also contributing to a more fuller, rounder body and flavor." Weyermann® CARAHELL®

seems to be very in line with both the restaurant and brewery description
No, carahell is not roasted, that is a translation error. Carahell is the lightest crystal malt available, so light that you might not detect it, even if used at 20% of the grist. It is not even fully converted. I brewed with it and I speak German, so honestly, it is almost like pilsener.
 

VikeMan

It ain't all burritos and strippers, my friend.
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
2,343
Reaction score
1,352
No, carahell is not roasted, that is a translation error. Carahell is the lightest crystal malt available, so light that you might not detect it, even if used at 20% of the grist. It is not even fully converted. I brewed with it and I speak German, so honestly, it is almost like pilsener.
Having brewed with Carahell many times, I pretty much agree with your description (although it's about 10 Lovibond, a bit darker than pilsner at 2-ish), but are you absolutely sure it's not drum roasted? Drum roasting is a common way to make caramel malts, and any "color" of caramel malt can be made in a drum roaster.
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
3,505
Reaction score
1,984
Location
Bremen
Having brewed with Carahell many times, I pretty much agree with your description (although it's about 10 Lovibond, a bit darker than pilsner at 2-ish), but are you absolutely sure it's not drum roasted? Drum roasting is a common way to make caramel malts, and any "color" of caramel malt can be made in a drum roaster.
Maybe it's for a short time in a type of drum at low temperature but the result is definitely not roasted in taste or colour. I think you could use it at 50% of the grist without any issue. I used it at 30% and was not really able to taste it.

Cara is a brand name for crystal malt and hell means light and that's what it is, a very light crystal malt which is only partially converted.
 

Twinkeelfool

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2013
Messages
196
Reaction score
72
Location
Wollongong
I often make 3%ish beers. Unlike most, I do low mash temps and very little spec malts, but I prefer dry beers. Have a 2.9% Berliner with philly sour in champagne bottles at the moment and just bottled a hoppy mild ale at 2.9%. Most of my tap beers are 3.5% blonde ales. Love them.
 

monkeymath

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2019
Messages
170
Reaction score
134
CaraHell was my initial guess; just the description as "roasted" seemed somewhat off to me. But it does have 20-30 EBC (quite a range, eh?), so maybe that's it.

Once I've used up my bag of Weyermann Floor Malted Bohemian Pilsner (which I don't care for all that much), I'll grab a bag of BEST Pilsner and some CaraHell and try my hands at this Schankbier.
 

BeerFst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
355
Reaction score
132
Location
Patchogue
not sure on the foam yet....the sample i had a couple days ago was not fully carbed yet. Most of the foam i saw so far ended up on the basement floor last night, haha.

it didn't dissipate right away though, so it is promising, i think.

mouthfeel was kind of weird. Initially the mouthfeel was pretty great then the finish is quite dry. it's like drinking two different beers honestly.

I do think i'd skip dry hops if i do another small beer like this. I might try that pilsner noted above by @monkeymath ...sounds interesting.

Edit: @monkeymath I'm going to double down on the carahell. I checked BSG and confirmed it is roasted. "Weyermann® CARAHELL® is a drum-roasted caramel malt made from two-row, German barley that delivers a fuller body, improved aroma, and increased beer foam while also contributing to a more fuller, rounder body and flavor." Weyermann® CARAHELL®

seems to be very in line with both the restaurant and brewery description
Update on the chobani beer.

after adding dme I charged the keg to 10 psi and tossed on the spund. Gauge quickly read 21 the following morning and stayed there. A day or two later I tried a sample and it was less but still pretty a little yogurt, more vanilla ish but not in a complimentary way.
It’s now been 11 days and it seems to have turned a corner significantly. There is still a vanilla to it but very light and now complimentary. The aroma is best described as Trix cereal milk, I think that might be the roast oat malt helping out there.

It’s been on the dry hops this whole time, not grassy at all.

Mouthfeel was also much better now, much more even throughout, where previously it was quite disjointed. Seems like it finishes less dry now it’s definitely the same or possible even a couple points lower fg.

I’m honestly kind of surprised, and my hopes for this beer have returned. I threw it in the keezer tonight so we’ll try again tomorrow when it’s cold.
 

BeerFst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
355
Reaction score
132
Location
Patchogue
So the beer is solid. It’s not my favorite, but it does exactly what I wanted, a beer that I don’t feel guilty of after having several bigger beers before it.

today I’ve had several lagunitas born yesterday’s and SN celebrations and the body isn’t that far off. I think it’s well more full than a founders all day for sure. It’s still a session beer though, it’s not like I’ve created the next great “nearly” non alcoholic beer or anything.

That vanilla thing is still slightly present but it’s not bad, the extra fermentation from the dme definitely helped out here. Perhaps if I tried krauseNing it would go away but I don’t think that’s worth it.

I really like the NZH 107 hops and I’d buy them again if northern brewer weren’t the only place to get them. I paid 10 ( I think) for a half pound and NB wants 22 or something silly for the same. The active ferm definitely dragged out some aroma but it’s still quite present but not the magic from the blowoff, much more generic fruitiness, not nearly as complex.

I also think the rye and oats only lend a weirdness to this Beer that makes it unfamiliar. It’s certainly close to many New England ipas but something is “off”. Again perhaps that’s the small amount of what might be diacetyl left but I really think it’s more to do with the grist.

I over carbed this one slightly but it works Wel with it.Tonight I hit a a weird thing with the keg and get a lot of foam. It was pouring fine yesterday. I think it’s just the over carb coming out of solution now I’ve reduced the head pressure or perhaps some gunk stuck somewhere.

I will definitely do the 165 mash again. That seems to work really well. I might consider bumping up the abv slightly which unfortunately means I’m probably above 1.030 on attempt 2. I’d also reduce the rye oats and replace with some barley. I’d also bump up the crystal. Not sure if I’d got darker but def more.

lastly I think I over did the hops. I don’t get burn, per se, but it does taste a little “green”. That said I think moving some whirlpool or even dry hop to more boil hops would help with future attempts.

head retention is okay. It’s dense at first but over the next few minutes it reduces significantly. It doesn’t disappear like a soda. I suppose having just poured another commercial beer, it faded similarly.

I think my next attempt at something like this will be over 1.030 but using the 165 mash temp would end up similar abv. I’d like to do a beer less hop focused, probably that lager I’ve commented on above
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
3,505
Reaction score
1,984
Location
Bremen
So the beer is solid. It’s not my favorite, but it does exactly what I wanted, a beer that I don’t feel guilty of after having several bigger beers before it.

today I’ve had several lagunitas born yesterday’s and SN celebrations and the body isn’t that far off. I think it’s well more full than a founders all day for sure. It’s still a session beer though, it’s not like I’ve created the next great “nearly” non alcoholic beer or anything.

That vanilla thing is still slightly present but it’s not bad, the extra fermentation from the dme definitely helped out here. Perhaps if I tried krauseNing it would go away but I don’t think that’s worth it.

I really like the NZH 107 hops and I’d buy them again if northern brewer weren’t the only place to get them. I paid 10 ( I think) for a half pound and NB wants 22 or something silly for the same. The active ferm definitely dragged out some aroma but it’s still quite present but not the magic from the blowoff, much more generic fruitiness, not nearly as complex.

I also think the rye and oats only lend a weirdness to this Beer that makes it unfamiliar. It’s certainly close to many New England ipas but something is “off”. Again perhaps that’s the small amount of what might be diacetyl left but I really think it’s more to do with the grist.

I over carbed this one slightly but it works Wel with it.Tonight I hit a a weird thing with the keg and get a lot of foam. It was pouring fine yesterday. I think it’s just the over carb coming out of solution now I’ve reduced the head pressure or perhaps some gunk stuck somewhere.

I will definitely do the 165 mash again. That seems to work really well. I might consider bumping up the abv slightly which unfortunately means I’m probably above 1.030 on attempt 2. I’d also reduce the rye oats and replace with some barley. I’d also bump up the crystal. Not sure if I’d got darker but def more.

lastly I think I over did the hops. I don’t get burn, per se, but it does taste a little “green”. That said I think moving some whirlpool or even dry hop to more boil hops would help with future attempts.

head retention is okay. It’s dense at first but over the next few minutes it reduces significantly. It doesn’t disappear like a soda. I suppose having just poured another commercial beer, it faded similarly.

I think my next attempt at something like this will be over 1.030 but using the 165 mash temp would end up similar abv. I’d like to do a beer less hop focused, probably that lager I’ve commented on above
Thanks for the information. That sounds like there is some potential that just needs some fine-tuning!

I think my next beer might be low abv pseudo lager and I will try to focus on taste and body.

The yeast will be lutra. I know I might get into trouble regarding nutrients, but let's see. I won't remove any trub, that should help.

The grist will be something like 30% speltmalt, 30%carahell, 30% pale and 10% oats for the extra nutrients. I will do a single infusion mash at 73c and a mashout at 77c. Og 1.03.

That should result in a lot of body, let's see.
 
Top