Low cal beer

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Dogwood, Jan 20, 2021.

  1. Dogwood

    Dogwood Member

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    Most of my brews tend to have a strong malt taste and fairly high alcohol. My wife enjoys the beer but dosent enjoy the high calories. I am thinking of a brew abv below 4% but am concerned about running to much water through the grains to get the dreaded tannins in the wert. Still working on the recipe but its around 14.5# of grain for a 10 gal batch. How do you know when to stop lautering or any ideas on a light beer still having flavor. Thanks!!
     
  2. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I just add some acid to the sparge water and I don't worry about the tannins. If you keep the pH below 5.8 or so it won't be a problem. Then I just sparge until I get me desired boil volume.
     
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  3. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    And or you can full volume mash if doing BIAB.
    But as above I have no issues sparging low gravity beers.

    Maybe you could just scale down some of your favourite brews using the scale feature to set desired alcohol%
     
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  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    You can also use enzymes to convert dextrines to fermentable sugars. Alcohol is high in calories but is metabolized as a fat, not a carbohydrate. Acidify your sparge water, use good, flavorful malts and low alcohol/carb beer doesn't have to be watery and bland. English Milds are a good place to start.
     
  5. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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  6. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    I've made a couple of lighter beers (but not necessarily light beer) that have remained somewhat true to style.

    This is a light version of an American Pale Ale, around 4.5% ABV.

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/955110/all-american-lightweight

    And this is a lighter English bitter, around 3.8%.

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/963758/hobbit-juice

    Both of these came out pretty well. One thing I tried to control on the recipes was the BU/GU ratio. This kept the sweetness and bitterness in balance.
     
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  7. 56 Firedome

    56 Firedome Active Member

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  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I always check the gravity of the sparge. When it starts to get below 1.020, I need to be done. I also check PH with a meter, too. I can tell if it starts to rise. Sparge really slow to maximize the extraction throughout the volume of the sparge. If you need to sparge so that you get higher gravity and lower volume than you need, just top up to the desired volume and gravity. If you add water before the boil, it's of no consequence but if you add after the boil to top up the wort, use sterile water or at least sanitized containers and don't top up more than around 10 percent.
    Be aware that your recipe needs to reflect the boil gravity and volume and final volume accurately in order to calculate IBUs. Even if you top up to get where you need to, as long as the recipe matches your results, the IBU estimate will be accurate.
     
  9. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I have done a 4.3% hazy that was delectable!
     
  10. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Hey Dome...that looks like a gonna -try to me....do you cap the barley in the mash tun with the corn, oats and rice or is it mixed in?
     
  11. Dogwood

    Dogwood Member

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    Acid? What kind and how much? Do you get a box of oh strips and test several times? I have always loved at a place that has had incredible well water and have never worried about what's in the water. Coffee is amazing in the morn, even the second pot! Durn, maybe time to test? Thanks for the insite!
     
  12. Dogwood

    Dogwood Member

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    The only enzyme I have used was white labs clairfier, what enzyme are you using? Just a fyi, I made two batches of identical scotch ale, high gravity, the one with the enzymes tasted better, the gluten intolerant person I tried it on had no bad things happen except for a slight hangover the next morn!
     
  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I don't. Clarity Ferm is one I'm familiar with.
     
  14. Dogwood

    Dogwood Member

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    #14 Dogwood, Jan 21, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
    I get an so much conflicting info, when I did 5 gal batches I took an hour to drain the wert off, doing 10 to 15 gal batches, would take all night! The local micro brew in town says he's lautering 10 barrels batches in about 40 mins, I've had master brewers say the same with much larger batches, what's up with that? Thanks for your reply!
     
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  15. Dogwood

    Dogwood Member

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    Have you found a place to purchase the 1ltr package?
     
  16. Dogwood

    Dogwood Member

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    Yup, clarity from is what I meant! Been searching much trying to buy the clarity ferm in larger/much cheaper per use batch. Hard to find!
     
  17. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    It's not a function of batch size but more about the size and shape of the grain bed. My 15 gallon batches sparge at the rate of about a quart per minute that means pre-boil volume in the neighborhood of 20 gallons takes around 80 minutes. Most brewers will do faster than that with good results but this is the process that gives me the best efficiency and the best wort in my system. You may find that a 30 or 40 minute sparge does great with your system. My remarks earlier were aimed at avoiding a large volume of plain water running through the grain bed at the end of the sparge. That's where you may find an increase in PH that could give you tannin issues. Just keeping up with gravity over the course of the sparge goes a long way to making sure you're still making wort and not just flushing hot water through the bed.
    As for pro systems, they're built to maximize efficiency and pro brewers may not be concerned with wringing every last bit out of a mash the way many of us are.They're going to push for a quicker process. An extra hour in our batch of beer is nothing but if they add an extra hour of overhead every time they mash (often 2-3 times in one day) it cuts hard into their profits. Grain is cheaper than man-hours and energy usage.
     
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  18. Dogwood

    Dogwood Member

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    Thanks, good explination!
     
  19. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind pros need to pay the bills making beer, we don't. I'd rather get 65-70% efficiency and be done in 4 hours than get 80% and be done in 6 for example.
     
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  20. Dogwood

    Dogwood Member

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    Lots of truth with that! I will probably add more grain and hope for the best!! Thanks!
     

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