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Who's brewing low ABV beers for the plague?

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tennesseean_87

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Man, 5.5% is low abv? I'd call that solid medium. I haven't had a low abv on tap for a bit, but I usually have a 3ish percenter for my lunch beer. I think I might kick a dry stout soon.

Maybe I'll do something like a British Golden but at ordinary bitter strength. Or maybe an ordinary bitter with American hops. Maybe a Kentucky Common on the lighter end of the spectrum.
 

day_trippr

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In these aggravating times, low ABV seems counterintuitive to me, when being conveyed to The State Of Comfortable Numbness is what I need.
Other than a 5.5% Kolsch outlier everything else on tap runs from 7.5% up to 11.7%, and they get the job done...

Cheers! :D
 

Stand

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I might try to make a 4% hoppy Saison next with Wyeast 3711. Been meaning to do that, and the weather is starting to get warmer.
 

NightFlight

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I think the general thought to the Original post was to spend more time drinking without getting too knackered.

some of us get hangovers. Really really bad hangovers....
 

Bullhog

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I've been working on a 3.5% low calorie pale ale. Something you can drink a few of and not worry about the kids or your waist line. Haven't found my final product yet, but still trying. Just about to cold crash the latest one.
 
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Jako

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Grolsh 'Premium' Lager available here in Canada, doesn't seem to be listed at 'The beer Store' retailer, but if you ask they will find them in the back. The younger staff usually don't know its there and have to go looking.

I buy them because I sell the bottles to brewers on Kijiji (craigslist) for about the same price as the beer. I just sold about 120 of them for around $2.50 ea a few weeks ago. That puts it cheaper than homebrewing. :)

On the topic of low ABV - personally, I haven't found a beer over 5.5% that I really like other than the odd one-off. Before starting homebrewing, I would seek out the lowest ABV I could find at the store, I prefer around 3.5% ABV beers. Then the rare stout for flavour. In the end, I like a lot of different beers! :)
I won a gold with a dark mild. I think that started some interest in lower ABV. Living in Utah i had enough 3.2% beers. Luckily we have 5% in the stores now.
 
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Jako

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I think the general thought to the Original post was to spend more time drinking without getting too knackered.

some of us get hangovers. Really really bad hangovers....
Lol yeah no kidding. I also have to be careful my medication for my back pain dosen't mix well. That and I talk to customers all night long as well as the companies that contract us out. With times like this we have the be better than the rest.
 
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Jako

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So I bought some Imperial julius. I opened the package up and it smelled like fruit roll ups and peaches I would imagine with a big in your face yeast you can make something great.

After my vacation I plan on working on something with New Zealand style hops and this yeast. Maybe a dash of peach extract. Just my thoughts for now.
 

NightFlight

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I've been working on a 3.5% low calorie pale ale. Something you can drink a few of and not worry about the kids or your waist line. Haven't found my final product yet, but still trying. Just about to cold crash the latest one.
Do share...
 

Bullhog

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Do share...
Well I guess calling it a pale ale is unfair, due to what it is, but I'm trying to fake a hop forward balanced beer (pale-ale-esk) which is quite difficult because I'm using amlyo 300 to bring the final gravity to 0.998 (so the calories are all dedicated to alcohol). Essentially I'm using a lot of adjuncts to fake body, lots of protein, and I'm using corn and rice to fake sweetness. In this latest addition I'm using a lot of late hop additions to try to achieve a fuller body along with a strong chloride addition to the water for the same goal. So in a way, its a combination of a Brut IPA and a Hazy IPA but with 3.5% alcohol. Last one I made tasted like water so my moral is a little low, but I'll get there.
 
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jswillbrewforbeer

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Within the last few months I finished a keg each of Irish Stout and Ordinary Bitter, both at 3.9% ABV. I brewed and am currently drinking a Witbier at 3.5% ABV. I have a batch of Berliner Weisse and Dark Mild, both in primary which should be about 3.4% and 3.1% respectively. This wasn't even intentional, I usually stick in the 4.5-6.5% range!
 

kmarkstevens

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Ya, what's the definition of a "low" ABV beer?

Most of my brews are 1032-1036 OG range. Occaisionally will do a "big" beer that's maybe slightly over 1040. English milds, bitters, and porter, Irish dry stout, Czech style lagers. I played with "cold" mashing and mashing at 185F for low alcohol. OG of one was 1013. All good.

If you don't know about this sub-1030 beers, you should check it out.
 

CanaHomebrew

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I might try to make a 4% hoppy Saison next with Wyeast 3711. Been meaning to do that, and the weather is starting to get warmer.
I made a beer like this a few weeks ago! Mine wasn't super hoppy though, right around 56 IBUs, I used saaz and EKG hops, about an oz or so each
 

CanaHomebrew

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How did it turn out? Did you do late hops?
It was one of my favorite beers so far. I didn't do any sort of dry hop, just 1 oz EKG at 30 min, and 1 oz Saaz at around 10 mins. Tried to make it as simple as possible. I also used pilsner malt as my base, which helped keep it light and crisp. Bottled half of it as a Saison, and half went to secondary with strawberry and rhubarb.
 

duncan_disorderly

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Here in the UK a large proportion of the beer that's drunk is in the 3.6 - 5% range. Above that is considered strong. You could maybe argue (maybe not) that this is a kind of sweet spot. You can get enough flavour and body into the beer, and you can have a few pints. I do like stronger beers, and they have made a come back via the craft scene, but the over riding mentality here is to drink beers under 5% mostly.

British beers mostly rely on malt and yeast to make something with body and flavour at these levels. This is the reason really, I think, for low attenuation English yeasts staying around. They keep body and flavour in the beer. Try making an English ale with US05 and it will likely be thin and short on flavour, unless you bang tons of crystal or something in. I've seen those recipes!

The yeast provides flavour and promotes body, the pale malt is roasted a bit higher for extra flavour, the hops provide some bitterness and flavour complexity. The use of American hops has produced a lot of great low abv British beers, like golden ales and bitters, with bigger flavour. 4-4.5% ish bitters and golden ales with English malt and yeast and American hops are very popular now.
 

Stand

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Golden Ale is on my to-brew list. Seems right up my alley. I hadn't heard they were using American Hops, but I have always loved those British yeasts.

Any idea what hops they are using?
 

duncan_disorderly

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Golden Ale is on my to-brew list. Seems right up my alley. I hadn't heard they were using American Hops, but I have always loved those British yeasts.

Any idea what hops they are using?
Yes I drink them often and they often tell you what's in them. It's the obvious candidates, but a wide range, we get a lot of different US hops here, and Oz and NZ, and we homebrewers use them too of course. A lot use Cascade or Amarillo. But the rest show up to, it's just the most recent new hops that reach us later than you have them in circulation over there. Citra is popular obviously. Columbus, Centennial, Mosaic, Chinook, Galaxy etc. Amarillo is probably the one that has become a classic in golden ales, following on from Cascade which was the trail blazer. Don't hop it to smithereens. Think of English Bitter hopping regimes. Willamette works well too, maybe pair it with Cascade, obviously.
 

Stand

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Love willamette/cascade. What distinguishes from an APA? Lower IBU and british yeast?
 

duncan_disorderly

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Love willamette/cascade. What distinguishes from an APA? Lower IBU and british yeast?
IBUs wouldn't be much different I think, it's more about the yeast, and they are usually served from casks. Which is hard to replicate exactly but lower the carbonation a bit. And don't rule out English hops, or combining US and UK hops.
 

kmarkstevens

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Don't forget bottle or cask conditioning to be a "real ale."

Now I have not done a side by side keg experiment with one natural carb vs a forced carb. It's on the experiment list when I can free up 2 kegs.

I currently spund just about every keg. Usually, I don't catch it a few points before FG, so just add priming sugar. While not having done a side by side, I think natural carb tastes better (but I could be fooling myself). And it certainly makes the CO2 last considerably longer. Typically, I pour at least a few pints before needing to hook up the CO2, and since the CO2 is just pushing out already fully carbonated liquid, it uses a LOT less gas per keg.
 

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