Got a recipe I want to make less boozy...

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by illingwd, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. illingwd

    illingwd Member

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    I brewed a tropical IPA not so long ago. The full recipe is below, and there are some tasting notes on my blog here.

    I'm looking for advice on how I might reduce the ABV without affecting the overall flavour and body. The version I brewed came out at 7.7%, and I'd like to get this down to around 5.5% if possible. The tropical flavour was great, and it's very drinkable - dangerously so at the current ABV!

    The obvious first step would be to cut the table sugar. I think the original recipe called for this to avoid the beer feeling too thin. I was also considering increasing body by diversifying the grain bill a bit - perhaps by adding some wheat?

    Any thoughts welcome.

    Recipe
    Grain bill
    91% Maris Otter extra pale
    5% Munich
    4% rolled oats
    (Plus late addition of 500g table sugar)

    Hop bill
    15 mins - 20g Citra
    10 mins - 20g Citra
    5 mins - 30g Citra
    Hopstand, at 75C for 30 mins - 30g Citra, 100g Mosaic
    Dry hop - 50g Amarillo
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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  3. illingwd

    illingwd Member

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    Thanks, though I was also interested in how I might try to preserve the balance of malt and hops in the flavour of the finished beer, having made these adjustments. My concern is that without changing the recipe it would be a bit thin and harsh with all those hops.
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I would guess the original recipe called for the sugar to make the body less thick rather than less thin. The 500g sugar is going to add about 50 gravity points, thin the body and provide no flavor other than alcohol. First step, as you suspected, is to lose it. The grain bill is fine, the hop bill will need modification when reducing the OG. I suspect if you keep the BU/GU ratio the same, lose the sugar and reduce the grains to give you the OG you want, you'll get a mid-strength but very good IPA.
     
  5. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    the hops are fine just take out the sugar problem solved, I brew 5% pale ales and ipa's all the time, similar to your recipe and none are thin or harsh
     
  6. illingwd

    illingwd Member

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    Copy that, thanks!
     
  7. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    Since none of the hops are bittering additions you won't need to change them much. I would try to keep the bu:gu ratio the same and you'll be good.
     
  8. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Could I ask what BU and GU are?
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Bittering units and gravity units.
     
  10. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Wouldnt the scale feature work with this as well? You can scale gravity and not volume:rolleyes:.

    My brew on the weekend was scaled up to 23lt from usuall 21 as ive got a 23lt cube worked perfectly i say.
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    It'll keep the IBUs the same, more or less. The problem there is less malt means less residual sweetness to offset the bitterness, resulting in the beer tasting more bitter than it would with the same IBUs at higher gravity. Remember, a 40 IBU Baltic Porter will taste sweet, while a 40 IBU Pilsner will be quite bitter.
     
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  12. illingwd

    illingwd Member

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    Thanks for the advice all. I've decided to try a lower ABV version of the recipe in a 15L batch and came up with the following:

    3.4kg Golden Promise (90.7%)
    200g Munich (5.3%)
    150g rolled oats (4%)

    Hop additions much the same:
    14g Citra at 15 mins and 10 mins
    22g Citra at 5 mins
    Hopstand at 75C for 30 mins: 100g Mosaic, 30g Citra
    Dry hop for 5 days 50g Amarillo

    This time I'm going to try the Mangrove Jacks Liberty Bell yeast to see if the fruit esters complement the hop flavour. I'll let you know how it turns out!
     
  13. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    Another tip I didn't see mentioned is raise your mash temp, even as high as around 160/162 (71-73C). That should give you a less fermentable wort without sacrificing flavor from the malt. Cheers and good luck!
     
  14. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    And mouthfeel propping malts like wheat unmalted barley or oats. Ive done a few low gravity brews lately with a good portion of wheat and bodies is there. When incorporating it into my latest 5% rye IPA gee its so thick you can chew on it:oops:! Still nice but yeah too filling.
     
  15. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I've become a big fan of flaked oats. (Quaker quick oats). They are the bob-omb.
     
  16. illingwd

    illingwd Member

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    Thanks all. I've posted the full recipe and some little details about the brew day on my blog: https://arthursbrewhouse.wordpress.com/2018/08/20/tropical-ipa-version-2-0/

    Also, has anyone else experienced losses from big hop bursting additions? I think the way I'm doing it, using a BIAB mesh bag as a hop bag, is making it hard to get all the liquid back out of the hop gunk at the end of the whirlpool addition...
     
  17. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    Yeah hops always absorb some beer so there will be losses there.
     
  18. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    That should be factored into your water calc, especially if it's a recipe with lots of hops. The quick water calc in the recipe is a good tool for a quick double check, especially once you put in your system details once you know what your hop absorption and such is. Cheers!
     
  19. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    Can't wait to hear how it tastes, tropical stout is in my short list for one of my next brew days
     
  20. illingwd

    illingwd Member

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    Update. Tastes great. Nice tropical aroma and flavour and no boozy notes as per the 7.5% version. Definitely making this one again as it won’t last long!
     
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