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Author: Subject: Alcahol free home brew beer - possible?
nick205

posted on 8/12/21 at 02:00 PM Reply With Quote
Alcahol free home brew beer - possible?

Question for the LCB brain...

Since a head injury in 2014, which brought on epilepsy I've become alcahol free. There's a chance alcahol may bring on seizures and affect the medication I take. Just easier not to drink. My body (and wallet) don't miss it TBH.

A friend is an avid home brewer, but didn't know if it could be brewed alcahol free.

Any home brewers on here?

Anyone know if it can be brewed any good alcahol free?

I'm after ale rather than lager if that makes any difference.

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coyoteboy

posted on 8/12/21 at 02:02 PM Reply With Quote
You could just distill out the alcohol. Standard distillation tube, collect alcohol and condense out the rest.

Or build a low tech vacuum distillery to reduce the temp needed and affect the flavour less.

[Edited on 8/12/21 by coyoteboy]





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gremlin1234

posted on 8/12/21 at 03:05 PM Reply With Quote
a quick search found

https://homebrewacademy.com/how-to-brew-non-alcoholic-beer/

giving detail to the methods coyoteboy suggests.

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nick205

posted on 8/12/21 at 04:05 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gremlin1234
a quick search found

https://homebrewacademy.com/how-to-brew-non-alcoholic-beer/

giving detail to the methods coyoteboy suggests.



Thanks - I had search and found that one too.

I like the historic element of 1% ABV beer being safer than potentially dirty water when hygiene wasn't as good. Makes sense I suppose! I shall read up some more on there to see what's involved in having a go.

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gremlin1234

posted on 8/12/21 at 05:04 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nick205

Thanks - I had search and found that one too.

I like the historic element of 1% ABV beer being safer than potentially dirty water when hygiene wasn't as good. Makes sense I suppose! I shall read up some more on there to see what's involved in having a go.


if I were removing alcohol from home brew, I think I would distil it, and make my own vodka or gin from the leftovers!, -could give this to another adult who does drink.

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indykid

posted on 8/12/21 at 09:11 PM Reply With Quote
What are the current legalities of distilling in the UK (even if the non alcoholic fraction is the desired outcome)?

I'd imagine if it's all for personal consumption, if you don't tell, nobody will ask, but might be worth checking before you set to building a still.





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Slimy38

posted on 9/12/21 at 11:19 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nick205

I'm after ale rather than lager if that makes any difference.


Apologies for hijacking your thread, it's a very interesting subject for me. I don't have a medical need to avoid alcohol, but I have such a low tolerance that half a bottle of Budweiser would leave me with intense headaches for the rest of the day (and usually the following day). I have switched to the new range of alcohol-free beers and I've found the Stella zero to be reasonably palatable.

But I also share a preference for ales, and have tried a few. Unfortunately I've yet to find one that is worth it. The Old Speckled Hen zero is a particularly undrinkable concoction. Have you found anything that you like?

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swanny

posted on 9/12/21 at 11:25 AM Reply With Quote
Have you tried adnams ghost ship?
the guiness 0% was ok too

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BenB

posted on 9/12/21 at 05:15 PM Reply With Quote
agree Ghost ship is quite nice.
Brooklyn Special Effects 0.4% is probably my favourite.

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nick205

posted on 10/12/21 at 09:58 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Slimy38
quote:
Originally posted by nick205

I'm after ale rather than lager if that makes any difference.


Apologies for hijacking your thread, it's a very interesting subject for me. I don't have a medical need to avoid alcohol, but I have such a low tolerance that half a bottle of Budweiser would leave me with intense headaches for the rest of the day (and usually the following day). I have switched to the new range of alcohol-free beers and I've found the Stella zero to be reasonably palatable.

But I also share a preference for ales, and have tried a few. Unfortunately I've yet to find one that is worth it. The Old Speckled Hen zero is a particularly undrinkable concoction. Have you found anything that you like?



I guess that's part of my quest really - I've tried a few off the shelf alcohol free ales and generally found them not much good. Old Speckled Hen zero doesn't do it for me at all.

I don't know if it's alcohol beer brewers brewing it then removing the alcohol and knackering the taste in the process or something else...?

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daviep

posted on 10/12/21 at 11:00 AM Reply With Quote
Does it have to 0% or would less 1% be OK?

RECIPE for 0.9% IPA which gets good reviews from those who have made it.

As I understand it the alcohol isn't just a tasteless byproduct it plays an important part in the taste and "mouth feel" of beers, this is why it is difficult to produce low alcohol beers that taste similar to their alcoholic relations.

Cheers
Davie





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nick205

posted on 10/12/21 at 11:26 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by daviep
Does it have to 0% or would less 1% be OK?

RECIPE for 0.9% IPA which gets good reviews from those who have made it.

As I understand it the alcohol isn't just a tasteless byproduct it plays an important part in the taste and "mouth feel" of beers, this is why it is difficult to produce low alcohol beers that taste similar to their alcoholic relations.

Cheers
Davie



TBH less than 1% is OK. If you look at most beers sold as non-alcoholic they're 0.3-0.7% ABV anyway. Low enough ABV that you couldn't physically drink enough to get drunk.

I suspect you've got a very valid point that alcohol plays a more impotant part in the taste than it's given credit for.

I'll check out the recipe.

IPA is usually pretty drinkable.

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BenB

posted on 10/12/21 at 11:11 PM Reply With Quote
It certainly does. When creating beers you typically aim for a given ratio between ABV and IBU (bitterness units). The ratio varies according to be style. If you have zero alcohol theoretically you would have zero bitterness which essentially results in malty water.

The mouthfeel of something like a Barley Wine is a combination of the residual sugars from incomplete fermentation (or partial attenuation in brewing lingo) and the alcohol. The alcohol helps adds length but also some initial bite.

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russbost

posted on 13/12/21 at 10:19 AM Reply With Quote
Regarding the comments about distilling. IIRC even owning a still is illegal in the UK even if you haven't used it & have shown no intention to do so, it certainly was & I don't recall ever hearing about a change in the law

I think one of the reasons stills were made illegal wasn't to protect people from the dangers of alcohol (tho' I think you can potentially accidentally distill something which could be health damaging or even lethal) nor to protect the distilling industry, but because people had a habit of blowing themselves up! 40% upwards alcohol is quite dangerous around a naked flame!

I recall using meths to light a BBQ many years ago - the results were somewhat spectacular!!!

Whatever you do, I think some care is required!





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McLannahan

posted on 13/12/21 at 04:14 PM Reply With Quote
Since this thread has turned into a bit of a recommendation thread...I'll throw my vote in for Aldi's alcohol free Pilsner.

I gave up drinking about two years ago and kind of "don't get drinking" now - I'd be happy to have a drink but just don't really see the point?

Lidl's is nice too - but a little watery. Aldi's really to me at least does taste quite convincing. Definitely nicer that the "sweet" taste Becks Blue has!

Any other recommendations people?

Michael

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coyoteboy

posted on 13/12/21 at 05:21 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by russbost
Regarding the comments about distilling. IIRC even owning a still is illegal in the UK even if you haven't used it & have shown no intention to do so, it certainly was & I don't recall ever hearing about a change in the law

I think one of the reasons stills were made illegal wasn't to protect people from the dangers of alcohol (tho' I think you can potentially accidentally distill something which could be health damaging or even lethal) nor to protect the distilling industry, but because people had a habit of blowing themselves up! 40% upwards alcohol is quite dangerous around a naked flame!

I recall using meths to light a BBQ many years ago - the results were somewhat spectacular!!!

Whatever you do, I think some care is required!


There's a difference between owning a still designed to make whisky or vodka, and using a distillation column to remove alcohol. Every single high school in the nation has the latter by the dozen. Its just a water cooled heart exchanger.
Can distilling alcohol be an explosion risk? Sure. So can keeping that tub of Isopropanol or propane in the garage. It's all proportionate, you're not trying to make gallons of pure ethanol in large vats, you're evaporating off a few hundred ml of alcohol from gallons of beer.





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indykid

posted on 13/12/21 at 06:26 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by coyoteboy
There's a difference between owning a still designed to make whisky or vodka, and using a distillation column to remove alcohol.

What's the difference?

I suppose if you don't want the alcohol fraction, there's no need to condense it at all, you just have to evaporate it to atmosphere. You could do it with a hotplate a thermocouple and a temperature controller (with contactor/solid state relay). I don't believe there's any law against making things precisely warm.





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nick205

posted on 14/12/21 at 08:44 AM Reply With Quote
I'm certainly not after making myself a still and distilling alcohol with it. If a similar method is used to remove alcohol from already brewed beer that may be different. Either way I'm not in for trying to break any laws or cause potential harm!

A couple off the links above point toward being able to brew beer with sub 1% ABV if you know what you're doing. I expect it might take a few novice attempts to get it right!

Part of the learning curve

[Edited on 14/12/21 by nick205]

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