Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)
  • Alcohol Free homebrew – anyone tried?
  • WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    I am guessing you can make AF homebrew by brewing normal beer, boiling off the alcohol slowly so you don’t destroy the flavour and then re-carbonating to put back the lost fizz. Having said that, I have never made beer, have no brewing knowledge and was really just curious to know if it was possible and if it would be cheaper than £1 per can from Brewdog AF

    Anyone know if the idea makes sense?
    Anyone done it?

    davros
    Free Member

    The recipes I’ve seen just use a very low grain bill, rather than removing the alcohol after fermentation. But I haven’t tried to brew one yet.

    5lab
    Full Member

    you could probably do it cheaper.

    its extremely unlikely that it would taste nice.

    davros
    Free Member

    😂 agreed I would stick to mass produced booze free beer! It’s hard enough brewing nice normal beer. Heineken is good enough at 4.50 for a six pack. But if you want hoppy you’re gonna have to spend more.

    simondbarnes
    Full Member

    As an experiment, buy some beer, boil the alcohol off then squirt some CO2 in there. If it tastes okay then crack on, if not I’ve just saved you a lot and time and effort 🙂

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    have no brewing knowledge

    clearly 😂

    boiling in the brewing process gets rid of water and makes the resulting beer more concentrated hence stronger – so you’d actually end up with an 8% monster rather than a refreshing alcohol free tipple 🤣

    But I haven’t tried to brew one yet.

    I’d imagine it’s phenomenally hard to make one that doesn’t taste like piss, personally have zero interest in putting the effort it when I’d actually much rather just brew said 8% monster instead 😃

    DickBarton
    Full Member

    From memory, AF beer is fine but needs to be consumed within 2 or 3 days otherwise it becomes alcoholic…we used to have a cask in the pub I worked in and it was fine for the first day and a half but then it got put on offer to shift the rest of it before it had to be removed and poured away. So suspect homebrew will have a similar sort of process…

    Garry_Lager
    Full Member

    Given that commercial scale breweries frequently **** this up I reckon it’s next to impossible for the amateur. Brew Dog punk AF is one of the more palatable ones, but is very light flavoured. It’s hard to successfully homebrew or ferment anything with delicate / light flavours – hopmonster IPAs, gooseberry champagnes? Dead easy and usually pretty tasty. A simple red wine or stella-like lager – really hard, almost guaranteed to taste like ass. Extending this to AF and it only gets harder.

    It’s a market that could stand a breakthrough product right enough, so little quality around. Hence the creators of AF guinness being in the mix for the next Nobel prize in chemistry – breakthroughs of that magnitude are rare.

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    From memory, AF beer is fine but needs to be consumed within 2 or 3 days otherwise it becomes alcoholic

    if there’s any truth to that it’ll be something do to with the secondary fermentation that provides the carbonation in cask ales… I wouldn’t expect it to have a HUGE effect though but maybe just push it beyond the point where it’s no longer considered AF… not going to suddenly turn in into Special Brew tho 😀

    Possibly explains why you normally see AF beer kegged in pubs rather than on cask – although Big Drop (who make pretty decent AF beer) have pulled off a cask AF I think.

    matt_bl
    Free Member

    Actual AF beer contains less than 0.05% ABV, which is probably below that kind of level you could get with other products and accidental fermentation. Boiling off the ethanol is going to get rid of a load of other stuff as well, plus cause all sorts of other reactions. In short as above it will taste dreadful.

    I find there are some good things on offer, Erdinger is perfectly drinkable for me, but they always have a thin taste.

    DickBarton
    Full Member

    Correct, it wasn’t a massive change in strength but it was enough for the drink to be no longer classed as Alcohol-free. We never understood why he ordered it in…no-one ever drank it willingly, which is why it was always on offer 36 hours after being delivered by the brewery.

    willard
    Full Member

    The other option is to mash in at a higher temperature, so you get the sugar extraction, but the enzymes don’t work as well and the sugars extracted are not edible by yeast. You’ll still get some alcohol, but that and a lower grain bill could mean you get a technical AF beer with decent body. I think you would have to monitor fermentation closely though and try settling the yeast out as soon as you started getting movement in the gravity.

    You’d still want to carbonate it in a keg though… No yeast in solution would mean carbonation would be difficult/dangerous in bottles.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Low-ish alcohol should be viable, just mash a much smaller grain bill of specialty malts with little/no pale malt at an elevated temp to get more unfermentable sugar (flavor) from the grain.

    Carbonation with pub gas rather than naturally or with CO2 might offset the soapy/hoppy bitterness that things like brewdog suffer with.

    Unless the plan is to drink 10pints then drive home or serve it to people that abstain it should be possible to brew something that tastes OK, just aim for 1-2% which your body can metabolize quicker than you can drink.

    The other option is to blend it. Brew a batch of something essentially alcohol free and fizy like a 0.5 % lager, then brew a really stouty stout or porter. Blend one into the other in small proportions of around 10% and you’d get something vaguely ale like, carbonated, and about 0,5%.

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    have no brewing knowledge

    clearly 😂

    boiling in the brewing process gets rid of water and makes the resulting beer more concentrated hence stronger – so you’d actually end up with an 8% monster rather than a refreshing alcohol free tipple 🤣

    Clearly you don’t either 😉 alcohol has the higher vapor pressure so boils off the mixture first (which is how you make spirits). Boiling BEFORE fermentation concentrates the wort, but that’s only an accidental byproduct of having to boil it anyway to sanitize it and extract bitterness from the hop acids.

    WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    I just scrolled all the way down to type what he said about boiling points.

    I guess I will stick to supermarket specials on factory alcohol free stuff although I like the idea of blending some taste from proper beer into the alcohol free watery stuff but given I am off alcohol through medical rather than personal reasons, I am not sure how much I could risk.

    leffeboy
    Full Member

    I have no idea where a chainsaw fits into this

    WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    I have no idea where a chainsaw fits into this

    Well I was going to use the chainsaw to rotate multiple glass bottles in the rack at the same time to prevent sediment. Just rest the chain gently against their necks and a quick blip of the throttle should make them all spin, right?

    Jujuuk68
    Free Member

    From what I understand, you can only “boil” off the alcohol, by subjecting the beer to a very low pressure environment, so that the beer is not actually heated to a point where significant flavour change takes place. I suspect the kit required to remove alcohol from beer is way above the capabilities of a home brewer.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Hmm, going full “alcohol free” is more difficult. Medicines range from reacting very badly with alcohol, to “if you get completely smashed then it’ll be less effective”.

    If you can tolerate the 0.5% type stuff then homebrewing other drinks is an option, ginger beers, eldeflower pressee, dendelion and burdock, root beer, etc. There’s even homebrew cola recipes. All follow the same process as brewing beer (mash to extract sugar, or just add sgar directly), boil some sort of leaf/herb/spice/flower, and ferment under pressure. The only difference is you drink it as soon as it’s carbonated which will be just a couple of days, then either kill the yeast or drink it quickly.

    WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    It’s not the medicine I am on, I have basically broken my liver

Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)

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