Increasing body in low ABV beers

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Beer_Pirate, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. Beer_Pirate

    Beer_Pirate Active Member

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    Does anyone here have recommendations for increasing the body of low (sub 4%) alcohol beers? I've got some session recipes that I like, but they're all a little thin for my taste. I've tried mashing high (and don't really notice much of a difference) and have had limited success with carapils. I've heard of people using maltodextrin powder, but don't have any experience with it myself. Seeing as it's heating up down here, I'd like to make some crushable stuff that won't leave me feeling like I'm drinking water or with a massive headache the next day. Suggestions?
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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  3. Beer_Pirate

    Beer_Pirate Active Member

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    I've tried all of those except for the thick mash and the high levels of Munich. Do you think the Munich would be a huge contribution in flavor if I upped it to 50-80% of the grist?
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    yes it would change the flavor too much, I use carapils , try 1 pound in a 5 gallon batch, if you've already tried that use more
     
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  5. BoomerBrian

    BoomerBrian Active Member

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  6. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    try changing your yeast or adding pale ale malt instead of 2 row or pils, I use pale ale with a little wheat and it thickens up the beer
     
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  7. BoomerBrian

    BoomerBrian Active Member

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    Forgot to mention Rye. It will definitely thicken things up.
     
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  8. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    I would agree with others on higher mash temps, thicker mash, and especially the use of Munich (ie. ~10%). I wonder how Maris Otter would work instead of 2-row...? I have never tried adding unmalted barley. Cheers :)
     
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  9. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Using a lower attenuating yeast like Windsor or London III will leave a fuller body and an increase mouth feel. Add a small amount of wheat can help as well. The lower attenuating yeast will also leave behind a little sweetness behind making the beer seem bigger than it actually is.

    Making a lower gravity beer taste and feel bigger is quite a challenge, but if you pursue it you will improve your overall brewing skills. It's well worth it.
     
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  10. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    My "secret ingredient" is flaked barley.

    It leaves a haze, so it's not commonly used in lighter colored beers, but it works great. It's what gives my oatmeal stout that richness without being sweet or "thick" or cloying. It gives a nice dense almost rocky head, and a great feeling. Also, using Wyeast 1450 (Denny's Favorite) gives a nice mouthfeel without the beer being sweet or underattenuated.
     
  11. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    I love making your stout with Denny's! So creamy and delicious. Heck, I've made many an IPA and APA with that yeast and it makes me happy every time.
     
  12. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    It's 9:40 AM, and I'm craving oatmeal stout now. :)

    It's a great strain for a great mouthfeel.
     
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  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Mine is all-malt, no sugar. Mashing high, increasing unfermentables, no protein rest under any circumstances, all the usual. When I taste others' homebrews, I find thin body is usually accompanied by off-flavors - yes, infection reduces body as well. And a mild at 3% alcohol will never have the body of an ESB at 6% so some of the issue is just less malt in the tun.
     
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  14. OkanaganMike

    OkanaganMike Active Member

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    Hah! Was thinking the same thing though where I am its only 7:50am.
    Hmmmm Do I have a problem if I want a beer before 8am? :cool:
     
  15. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    If you make a lot of lower alcohol beers you should get Session Beers: Brewing for Flavor and Balance by Jen Talley. A great resource that should be part of every brewer's library.
     
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  16. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, a good resource for us lightweights!
     

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