Brewing alcohol free

Share your experiences of using brewing yeast.
Kingfisher4
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Re: Brewing alcohol free

Post by Kingfisher4 » Mon May 27, 2019 12:06 am

Robwalkeragain wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:01 pm
Jim wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 1:06 pm
Well I never thought when I started this forum that there'd ever be a thread on it about no-alcohol brewing! :lol:

It's a good move though - I can't remember how many times I've avoided drinking beer because I had to drive later or had something important to do early the next morning. Plus there's the health benefits, especially for the more ...er... mature of us. :)
Honestly with the better options available like Big Drop it’s feeling less and less like you’re missing out drinking alcohol free beer, there’s certainly a growing demographic that enjoy the social side of drinking without the after effects!
Big Drop looks very interesting, will try to source a couple of their beers, especially the stout and brown to start.

Their grain bills also include either rye or wheat, but all their beers use lactose for unfermentable "mouthfeel", from their own publicity. Never yet used lactose so tips on how, at what stage and how much to try in this low ABV context would be another useful avenue to explore. Early tasting of my 2 initial attempts unsurprisingly seem to lack body and mouthfeel but are a good starting point otherwise. Happy to try a low ABV stout if that would be it's best initial application but Big Drop appear to use it as their main difference to other attempts at commercial low ABV beer.

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PeeBee
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Re: Brewing alcohol free

Post by PeeBee » Mon May 27, 2019 8:58 am

Kingfisher4 wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 12:06 am
Big Drop looks very interesting, will try to source a couple of their beers, especially the stout and brown to start.

Their grain bills also include either rye or wheat, but all their beers use lactose for unfermentable "mouthfeel", from their own publicity. Never yet used lactose so tips on how, at what stage and how much to try in this low ABV context would be another useful avenue to explore. Early tasting of my 2 initial attempts unsurprisingly seem to lack body and mouthfeel but are a good starting point otherwise. Happy to try a low ABV stout if that would be it's best initial application but Big Drop appear to use it as their main difference to other attempts at commercial low ABV beer.
Choice of "Big Drop" beers may not inspire you. In my opinion (and many others) the stout is very so-so. The Pale Ale which you haven't included 'to start' is by far the best and quite impressive too. Big Drop Pale Ale is what inspired me to experiment with low-alcohol brewing! Brewdog "Nanny State" was originally the spark of inspiration (!), but it has fallen off the radar now in the face of much better competition (like Big Drop).

Lactose I found to be a bit of a dead end, but might work in a "milk stout" type? I got some maltodextrin to try instead of lactose but haven't used it yet because you can do so much more with the high temperature mashing. Lactose can be added late in the boil or boiled in a solution and added at kegging/bottling time (doesn't skew your gravity reading during the making that way). Lactose doesn't bring any flavour, just sweetness (a good bit less than sucrose), and I think you'll find the "unfermentable mouthfeel" a bit underwhelming too.

An unexpected solution for mouthfeel I found was "maturation". I never expected such weak beer would need maturing. But what starts as "flavoured water" matures in a few weeks to something that pulls the flavours together, becomes more "rounded" and has substantially more "mouthfeel".

Kingfisher4
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Re: Brewing alcohol free

Post by Kingfisher4 » Mon May 27, 2019 11:32 am

Great to have someone so far ahead in this to help guide us and reduce the blind alleys, thanks again PeeBee. I had bypassed the Pale ale as I prefer English hops to the citrus American ones generally but will certainly give that a go too.

I wouldn't have expected the maturation effect either so look forward to that potential and will try to remember to note any changes over time (which I know I'm not very diligent about with most of my brews).

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PeeBee
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Re: Brewing alcohol free

Post by PeeBee » Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:24 pm

domejunky wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 5:25 pm
… I've just started playing with overnight 10°C mash after reading this:

http://blog.brewingwithbriess.com/cold- ... lications/

First turned out OKish - 0.8% - amazing head and mouth feel, bit dry though. I shall be nicking a few tips from above
I was a bit sceptical about this, especially when you were proposing to combine the technique with some of what I was suggesting. I initially got the impression that both techniques (cold and very hot mashing) were mutually exclusive.

But after a bit of studying (two months!) they are not mutually exclusive at all. I think I just needed to read that Briess article a little more carefully. From the Briess article:
Conversion: Contrary to traditional brewing the conversion process happens after the solid portion has been removed from the liquid.
The conversion is necessary to reduce unconverted starch to soluble carbohydrates.
Conversion can be accomplish with cold extracted wort alone or in the presence of additional malts/grains, in which case this secondary mash will need to be lautered.
It wasn't clear to me from this that it did mean raising the cold mash to normal mashing temperatures. Everyone else seemed to get it, but not me. It was only after reading the same "fantasy" in this article http://hornbrewing.com/blog/2019/02/10/ ... bv-saison/ that it began to click.

So I'll shortly be kicking off a new low-alcohol brew (I'm running very low, I'll end up drinking the "four-star leaded" stuff every day) and will use this "hybridised" method. Initially just to steep the caramel/crystal malts at the elevated temperature (I know they steep almost as well in the cold mash, but … ), the grain will help clear some of the junk washed through from the cold mash. The elevated mash will be at 74C so any starch conversion will go to dextrins and any existing dextrins (not many 'cos cold mashing doesn't encourage them) won't readily convert to highly fermentable maltose. I might play more with this extra "hot" step at a later date, but I've enough mucking about for an initial evaluation.

I'll use four times the base malts I would have used in such beer during the cold mash (2kg each Munich and wheat malts in 18L). I'm planning to quickly repeat the recipe hot mashed with "normal" amounts of malt (500g each) so as to have a side-by-side comparison.

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