Low Alcohol (~3.5%) Brew

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Re: Low Alcohol (~3.5%) Brew

Unread postby Onthebrew » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:17 am

well that's not bad - would still save about 20 mins i reckon. mind you, despite you and mashy's conviction on this, i am still hesititant!
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Re: Low Alcohol (~3.5%) Brew

Unread postby grooves » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:39 am

Well cleanliness and sanitation are key to brewing good beer, but getting an infection is trickier than you might think. The problem is once you have one it can be difficult to get rid of it, potentially wasting many brews. So it's better to be safe than sorry.

During in one of my early brews, during the transfer of cooled wort to the FV I accidentally knocked off one of my cooker hob's knobs into the wort. This was definitely not clean - it had month old pasta sauce etc stuck to it and then I had to fish it out by hand. I assumed the beer would be ruined, but it was fine - in fact one of the best I'd brewed until that point.
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Re: Low Alcohol (~3.5%) Brew

Unread postby homoeccentricus » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:10 pm

Still beats me why you want to do something like that (diluting, not dropping a tomato sauce spoon into your wort).
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Re: Low Alcohol (~3.5%) Brew

Unread postby Elderberry » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:29 am

homoeccentricus wrote:Still beats me why you want to do something like that (diluting, not dropping a tomato sauce spoon into your wort).


I agree. I would only dilute if I'm making a more concentrated batch and want to get my volume up, like way back in my days of extract brewing on the kitchen stove. You'll be better off as far as hops utilization calculations, sanitation, etc. by just planning to brew a full-sized, low-alcohol batch. Some basic tips to a good, low-ABV beer:
- Use flavorful or melanoidin-rich base malts, like Maris Otter, Vienna or Munich
- Keep mash temps on the higher end
- Use a low-attenuating yeast (like S-04 or other English ale yeasts)
- Use adjuncts. I'm a huge fan of flaked oats. Flaked barley is nice, too.
- Avoid simple sugars. They'll increase ABV while drying out the beer (think Duvel).
- It's not my thing, but you can use full-bodied unfermentable malts like dark crystals and so on.
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Re: Low Alcohol (~3.5%) Brew

Unread postby mashy » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:02 pm

grooves wrote:Well cleanliness and sanitation are key to brewing good beer, but getting an infection is trickier than you might think. The problem is once you have one it can be difficult to get rid of it, potentially wasting many brews. So it's better to be safe than sorry.

During in one of my early brews, during the transfer of cooled wort to the FV I accidentally knocked off one of my cooker hob's knobs into the wort. This was definitely not clean - it had month old pasta sauce etc stuck to it and then I had to fish it out by hand. I assumed the beer would be ruined, but it was fine - in fact one of the best I'd brewed until that point.


Is the knob part of the recipe now :D

Serious point though, fermentation is a 'cleaner' by definition. Which is why our forebears drank the beer and not the water.

I top up my FV regularly- sorry thats a lie - EVERYTIME and have never been able to test/prove ANY detriment whatsoever.
In fact I would go so far as you to ask you guys why you feel the need to waste time and electricity boiling perfectly sound water?

To complete my disgustingly insanitary ways I have to confess to using ice to drop temps before pitching. Rather than buying bottled water has anyone thought of buying bags of ice?

By the end of this year I have fermented just shy of 1000 liters. With no infection or failures. But no Starsan, no bleach, no steam generator or Oxybollox. It is about good process and good understanding :D

Yes I did frighten myself this year, when I opened the BM on brewday and it was blue [through my own silly fault] and I went on to make the intended brew. And very nice it was too.. in fact .. I think I will have one now ..................
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