Any good low ABV recipes out there?

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HTH1975
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Re: Any good low ABV recipes out there?

Post by HTH1975 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:09 pm

Off the top of my head, to counter the lack of body, you may want to consider mashing higher (67-69C) and also add a good chunk of light crystal malt (say 10% carapils) plus maybe some flaked barley (5-10%). Use a yeast that has plenty of esters like Wyeast Yorkshire. You could ferment higher for more esters, but then it will likely attenuate more. You can pitch at a lower temperature and get less attenuation, and less esters too. I’d go 22C - it’s a good middle ground.

A base malt with plenty character would likely suitctoo - possibly 50% Vienna and the rest any old pale malt.

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Re: Any good low ABV recipes out there?

Post by PeeBee » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:31 am

I mess with trying to brew beers below 0.5% ABV. Not easy! Cut my teeth on the DIYDog "Nanny State" but don't care for the coarse American "C" hops either. And I've discovered they do little to assist such a low alcohol beer - mash too low temperature-wise, wrong yeast (too attenuating), just loads of hops as is BrewDog's way. I'm planning on trying 2-3% ABV recipes as you get a bit more elbow room to play about in. This will be my next trial:

https://www.themadfermentationist.com/2 ... u.html?m=1

Yeap, that's a 100% wheat and rye malt recipe! Many people will go pale at this because in making normal beer that amount of wheat and rye would gum everything up. When brewing at below 3% ABV throw the rule book out! You've had suggestions of high mash temperatures, well why not try 72-74C? Crystal malt; you get told to use less than 10-15%, well why not try 50%? Pale malt is the usual base malt, well why not try Munich malt (careful, it only has enough enzymes to convert itself so you don't want anything else in that needs converting)? And BIAB techniques look sound because you don't want fancy large capacity HERMS systems with such paltry amounts of grain. Mash to get a high proportion of unfermentable sugar, you are starting with very little grain so you can't over do this, and if successful increasing unfermentable sugars you can start increasing the amount of malt to get more flavour.

Hops I'm having a hard time with. Low IBUs (20?) have been suggested and as my last one was 32 IBU and intensely bitter I'd go along with that. I'm finding dry hop flavours are very different with low alcohol so go easy on dry hops (unless you are BrewDog). But you can hang on to more flavour from the hops; that recipe I linked relies entirely on "steep" hops (post-boil) for IBUs (ignore the quoted "45 IBUs", I calculated it produces about 24 IBUs if steeping at 80C).

Finally, there's not a lot of fermentation going on, So why not ferment in the keg it is being served from? That's what I'm doing, using the relieving mechanism built in to the Shako NR200 secondary regulators as "spunding" valves (fermented at 8-15PSI - saves worrying about carbonation). Here's a piccie:
20180723_113756_WEB[1].jpg
20180723_113756_WEB[1].jpg (20.71 KiB) Viewed 421 times

TheSumOfAllBeers
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Re: Any good low ABV recipes out there?

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:25 pm

RobP wrote:, My current favourite for bitter is Lallemande ESB, which many appear to dislike.
What is your take on Lallemand ESB?

I have used it once, fermented it clean, and it was an absolute bitch to clear - multiple doses of gelatin and very extended cooling.

But it cleared in due course and turned into a great beer, with that great balance you expect from an English pale.

Medaled in London & SE this year too.

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Re: Any good low ABV recipes out there?

Post by Kingfisher4 » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:25 pm

I have just browsed through Wheelers BYOBRA and actually looked more carefully at a chapter I had previously ignored, other than Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild, which I have conditioning now and the first bottle tried after one month had lots of promise. It's obviously at the other end of the ABV spectrum though. I brewed SHDRM after enjoying it in a local pub and the recommendations in tributes to GW on here.

The milds may be the answer staring me in the face all along despite previously drinking almost no mild, a throwback to work as a cellar man in the early 80s when ullage from other pumps was tipped into the Mild in some pubs; put me off!

Might start with Hop Back Mild as his Summer Lightning has been one of my favourite brews so far. Probably mash at higher temperature and use low attenuating yeast as suggested in your helpful replies to keep ABV low.

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Re: Any good low ABV recipes out there?

Post by IPA » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:23 am

bitter_dave wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:00 pm
It’s not for everyone, but here’s the Wheeler recipe I have for Mackeson stout (23 litres)

2830 gm Pale malt
470 gm Chocolate malt
125 gm Black malt
580 gm lactose (add in last 30 mins of the boil)

30 gm Target hops - full boil - 26 IBU (presumably any hops would do)

67 c mash
OG 1042
FG 1020
3% abv


May have to try a variant of this
No need to vary it. It is excellent
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Re: Any good low ABV recipes out there?

Post by steviebobs83 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:05 am

I have no experience brewing sub 3% ABV beers but wouldn't a touch of oats make up for some of the loss of body and mouthfeel? Just a little shouldn't affect clarity much if that's what you're worried about.

This article is interesting, if a bit wordy...

http://scottjanish.com/case-brewing-oats/



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Re: Any good low ABV recipes out there?

Post by PeeBee » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:54 am

TheSumOfAllBeers wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:25 pm
RobP wrote:, My current favourite for bitter is Lallemande ESB, which many appear to dislike.
What is your take on Lallemand ESB? ...
I used Lallemand London ESB in my last sub-0.5%ABV beer. Not sure it bought much in the way of flavours, but it didn't ferment dry like US-05 which is what I was hoping for. <45% attenuation recorded (I got 62.5% last time I used US-05), but taking accurate gravity readings in these very low ABV beers is near impossible. Quite hazy (but US-05 is always hazy), didn't attempt any finings. I'll experiment with using a renowned low-attenuator, S-33, for next time.

I use dried yeasts on purpose for low-alcohol brewing (rather than liquid yeast) because they are manufactured from yeast that's taken up as much oxygen as it can, so I don't bother aerating the wort before fermenting. Another shortcut. I'll use just one packet in 40 litres, but this is far from under-pitching when the SG is 1.007!

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Re: Any good low ABV recipes out there?

Post by bitter_dave » Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:52 pm

IPA wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:23 am
bitter_dave wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:00 pm
It’s not for everyone, but here’s the Wheeler recipe I have for Mackeson stout (23 litres)

2830 gm Pale malt
470 gm Chocolate malt
125 gm Black malt
580 gm lactose (add in last 30 mins of the boil)

30 gm Target hops - full boil - 26 IBU (presumably any hops would do)

67 c mash
OG 1042
FG 1020
3% abv


May have to try a variant of this
No need to vary it. It is excellent
Thanks for the tip about the recipe being good. The only reason I would slightly modify it would be to avoid having awkward measures of ingredients - ie 500 gm of lactose instead of 580 gm and up the pale marginally to compensate. Also I have loads of hops in the freezer, but no target, so would probably use something else to achieve the same IBU.

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Re: Any good low ABV recipes out there?

Post by bitter_dave » Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:54 pm

bitter_dave wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:52 pm
IPA wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:23 am
bitter_dave wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:00 pm
It’s not for everyone, but here’s the Wheeler recipe I have for Mackeson stout (23 litres)

2830 gm Pale malt
470 gm Chocolate malt
125 gm Black malt
580 gm lactose (add in last 30 mins of the boil)

30 gm Target hops - full boil - 26 IBU (presumably any hops would do)

67 c mash
OG 1042
FG 1020
3% abv


May have to try a variant of this
No need to vary it. It is excellent
Thanks for the tip about the recipe being good. The only reason I would slightly modify it would be to avoid having awkward measures of ingredients - ie 500 gm of lactose instead of 580 gm and up the pale marginally to compensate. Also I have loads of hops in the freezer, but no target, so would probably use something else to achieve the same IBU.
Any suggestions for dried yeast? Been using Liberty Bell recently but alternative suggestions welcome.

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Re: Any good low ABV recipes out there?

Post by Clibit » Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:20 am

Some interesting thoughts from peebee. I have used and adapted published recipes and reduced the ABV many times, simply by reducing the base malt. And the bittering hops to maintain the gravity/IBU ratio. It means your specialty malt % can rise significantly. But it works. Avoid using yeast that is too attenuative too. The Munton's Active yeast is good for low ABV beers in my experience. S33 too. But there are better liquid options like Ringwood.

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Re: Any good low ABV recipes out there?

Post by IPA » Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:36 am

Just use 500 gr of lactose. Don't bother upping the malt it will not affect the abv because the lactose is there only for the taste. In this type of beer the yeast does not contribute much to the finished taste. I always use liquid yeast but with this recipe SO4 or Notty will work fine. If you brew it don't forget to post the result. As for the hops use any English variety to give the same ibu. You could use Graham's Beer Engine programme to calculate the hop quantity. It's a free download on this site.
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Re: Any good low ABV recipes out there?

Post by Kingfisher4 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:30 pm

Clibit wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:20 am
Some interesting thoughts from peebee. I have used and adapted published recipes and reduced the ABV many times, simply by reducing the base malt. And the bittering hops to maintain the gravity/IBU ratio. It means your specialty malt % can rise significantly. But it works. Avoid using yeast that is too attenuative too. The Munton's Active yeast is good for low ABV beers in my experience. S33 too. But there are better liquid options like Ringwood.
Thanks, perfect general guidance. I would have been in danger of over hopping to English bitter levels. Will try GW Hop Back Mild, S33 and probably mash at 69 rather than his 67. Should finish under 3 ABV.

Will report back in a couple of months or so when brewed and sampled.

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Re: Any good low ABV recipes out there?

Post by RobP » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:09 pm

TheSumOfAllBeers wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:25 pm
RobP wrote:, My current favourite for bitter is Lallemande ESB, which many appear to dislike.
What is your take on Lallemand ESB?

I have used it once, fermented it clean, and it was an absolute bitch to clear - multiple doses of gelatin and very extended cooling.

But it cleared in due course and turned into a great beer, with that great balance you expect from an English pale.

Medaled in London & SE this year too.
Only ever used it for beer served via King Keg, fined with gelatine and left a week before sampling. The beer I'm currently drinking is a bit hazy after two weeks but I put that down to dry hopping. I've not noticed getting it to clear has been a problem before. I do think it's the best dried yeast I've used for low gravity bitter, nice balance as you say, a bit of fruitiness when you raise the fermentation temperature a bit.

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Re: Any good low ABV recipes out there?

Post by Kingfisher4 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:58 am

Kingfisher4 wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:30 pm
Clibit wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:20 am
Some interesting thoughts from peebee. I have used and adapted published recipes and reduced the ABV many times, simply by reducing the base malt. And the bittering hops to maintain the gravity/IBU ratio. It means your specialty malt % can rise significantly. But it works. Avoid using yeast that is too attenuative too. The Munton's Active yeast is good for low ABV beers in my experience. S33 too. But there are better liquid options like Ringwood.
Thanks, perfect general guidance. I would have been in danger of over hopping to English bitter levels. Will try GW Hop Back Mild, S33 and probably mash at 69 rather than his 67. Should finish under 3 ABV.

Will report back in a couple of months or so when brewed and sampled.
Although still work in progress, this turned out quite well. The GW Hop Back Mild, with S33 Attenuated slightly more than predicted, with a final gravity of 3.1 ABV.

It tastes surprisingly full-bodied for the ABV. A couple of friends who have been regular mild drinkers in the past love it. I am enjoying it, but will probably try the reduction in base malt and maintaining the gravity/IBU ratio for one of my favourite bitter recipes next time as I prefer English bitter to mild generally.

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