Low alcohol Irish stout

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by jgt, Apr 6, 2019.

  1. jgt

    jgt New Member

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    I've made stouts/porters (all grain) for years but would like to reduce the alcohol content without affecting the taste too much. I'd like to end with say 3.5%-4%. Do I reduce the 2 row but keep the flavored malts etc. use the Brewer's Friend recipe calculator so my OG is much lower? What do I watch out for? Thanks for counsel.
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    They make great session beers. I have an oatmeal stout at 3.5% that punches way above its weight.
     
  3. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    Figure out your grain bill as percentages. Like if your recipe was 10 lbs total, 9 lb 2 row and 1 lb black malt you'd have 90% 2 row and 10% black malt. Then when you lower the gravity, lower the amounts of each so that you have the same percentage of each.
     
  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Guinness is 4.2 percent. And it's a super simple recipe...2-row, Flaked Barley, Roasted Barley at 70/20/10 ratio, hopped at 60 minutes to about 40 IBU with Golding or Fuggles, fermented with high-floc'ing English yeast to about 75% attenuation.
     
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  5. jgt

    jgt New Member

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    One consequence of a low alcohol brew is having a thinner mash as there is less grain and in sparging. I'm going to try a qt/lb ratio of mash water in qts to lbs of grain of 2. This is quite thin but hopefully still in acceptable range. When fly sparging i'll watch the SG of the last runnings and stop at 1.008. all water will be pH 5.4. This might get me to my BK volume but if not i'll add liquor water directly to BK. Is this what you'd do to reduce tannin extraction and end up with the correct boil SG?
     
  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't overthink the sparge. I've done the 4% stout with 1.4 qt/lb initial thickness, step infusions and mashout getting me to a little over 2 qt/lb and had over 3 gallons left to fly-sparge a 5 gallon batch. No problem with gravity or PH.
    I think you could run into trouble with extremely low ABV table beers, but over 3.5% ABV should be fairly trouble-free,
     
  7. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Been thinking about too thin for the mash. I'm often brewing a 3% lacto sour. As my standard approach is BIAB with a full volume mash and that recipe only has a 15 minute boil, that gives me a mash thickness of 8.5 litres/kg (4 qt/lb).

    The extractions have been low, but not time to panic low (the lactic acid hides many flaws). So to see if it's related to too thin a mash I'll put in a sparge step next batch. Mainly to see if it helps the extraction, rather than getting extra sugar out of the grains.

    If that makes a difference I may end up putting in a rule like no mash thinner than 5 L/kg (2.4 qt/lb). I've already found that a rule of no thicker than 3 L/kg (1.4 qt/lb) has helped the extraction with my bigger beers.
     
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  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I make sure that my main saccharification rest is between 1.25and 1.3 and my dextrine rest ends up about 1.5. Mashout gets me between 1.8 to 2+, depending on how full my mash tun is with bigger brews. I find that routine to be very helpful in getting really solid extraction and mash efficiency.
     

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