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... ABV% that is.

A colleague of mine asked me recently whether it is possible to brew a low alcohol beer without sacrificing all body, flavour & aroma. I've thinking about it and now I'm curious. I've brewed an American Wheat Beer that came in at 3.6% ABV due to 50% extraction efficiency, and the beer was really nice. The body was definitely on the lite side but the hops were nice and the beer was a nice easy quaffer.

I know some people may find this kind of talk offensive but wouldn't it be nice to have good beer you can drink all day and still be standing at the end of it.

So my topics for discussion are:

- What's the lowest ABV% beer you've ever brewed and what was it like?
- How low can you go and still have a nice beer? Can you go as low as 2% ?


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Mate, 1.2%, thats awesome!! The dry hop should have helped with the mouthfeel as well no doubt! Awesome stuff Mr Cherry!!
Slight change of plan with the kegging last night. After sterilising the crap out of everything I opened the fermenter to syphon into the keg and there were whitish floating specs all over the beer. It smelled OK but I my confidence was knocked. I decided to bottle instead and use the keg for my other beer that was also ready for kegging.

So, after the priming sugar has been added I reckon the ABV is still below 1.5% but I'm now concerned that it may be infected. Again, time will tell...
A final update on Metric Brown Porter.
For those who aren't familiar with this beer it's basically a crystal malt only beer in the style of Brown Porter.
Recipe is here

OG: 1.012
FG: 1.007
ABV: 1.2% (maybe 1.4% after priming)

Pours very dark, almost black, with medium-light carbonation and a this whispy light tan head. Head retention is average but does not stick to the glass. Aroma of dark roasty malts combined with various caramels and a decent whiff of Stryrian hops. Brown malt character coming through in the aroma also.

So far so good...

Now for a swig. Mouthfeel is a little watery but not unacceptable, but it's the taste that gets me. Weird & hard to explain. The flavours of a nice hoppy porter are there but they just don't taste right. The best comparison I can make is that it tastes like unfermented wort rather than beer. I guess that makes sense due to the minimal fermentation that has occurred & seems obvious in hindsight

Overall impression: An interesting drink when you know the story behind it but not an enjoyable drink.

Glad I brewed it but I won't be brewing it again. Another itch has been scratched...
"Glad I brewed it but I won't be brewing it again"

Sounds like you got pretty close mate! A few more batches could have you nail this? I wonder how you could get the fermentation character into the beer??

Just a thought, I wonder what it would be like making say, a 3% beer then bringing it the boil for a couple of mins, surely that would evap a heap of alcohol? Wonder what it would taste like?
A few more batches could have you nail this?
Maybe, not right now though. The last two beers I brewed were "learning" beers and are absolute shite to drink. I need to get a couple of decent, enjoyable beers in the kegs. First up is Imperial Torsion for the WnBC.

I wonder how you could get the fermentation character into the beer??
I wondered that too. I thought about adding acid to simulate the ph change during fermentation, etc but that's not what I set out to acheive. I still want real beer.

Maybe add just enough base malt to give enough fermentation character and accept that 2.5% is about as low as you can go and still have decent beer.
"Maybe, not right now though. The last two beers I brewed were "learning" beers"

I hear ya on that, I currently have 3 full kegs of cream ale which were brewed in my mission to perfect it, and while I feel im very very close to a perfect Cream ale IMO, having 3 kegs of the same, or similair beer is really not ideal! Leaves me craving for something hoppier or maltier!!
The case swap should help out a bit.
Hmm, I doubt ill have any of it left by then tho ;o) haha

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