Low alcohol American pale ale

Discussion in 'General Recipe Discussion' started by Joeka101, Sep 13, 2018.

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  1. Sep 13, 2018 #1

    Joeka101

    Joeka101

    Joeka101

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    Hi guys,

    I love a balanced and aromatous hoppy APA or NZ PA (not so much the madly bitter double APA's etc) so I'm trying to make a truly great lower alcohol alternative. Having tried a few good alcohol free beers recently (Bavarian Wit, Flat Tire lager) and some appalling (St Peters 'Without'), I've decided to have some alcohol remain (<2%) for its bite but may later try spices etc to simulate a bigger beer. I'm aiming for a good body and head retention (not tasting ''thin") and have read a bit on the topic from elsewhere. Looking for an appraising eye on the recipe but there will be trial and error for some time. I brew all grain full mash etc. to a 20litre end batch size in to a corny keg for forced carbonating.

    Principles:
    - Lots of adjuncts for body, mouthfeel and some maltiness (though APA style so not excessive).
    - Higher 70-71C mash temp for more unfermentable dextrins and higher FG
    - Reduced IBU to balance OG (about OG minus 5).
    - Plenty of flavour and aroma hops

    Recipe
    Pale malt 600g
    Wheat malt 750g
    Oats 250g
    Munich 250g
    Light Crystal (60 EBC) 250g
    Dark Crystal (240 EBC) 50g

    71C 90min Mash and batch sparge.

    60mins Citra 10g (16.9 IBU)
    5mins Amarillo 15g (3.6 IBU)
    0mins Mosaic 20g (0 IBU)
    5 day Dry Hop Mosaic 40g

    American pale ale yeast
    OG 1.026
    FG 1.011
    IBU 20.4
    EBC 10.9
    1.97% ABV

    Questions:
    - would you expect this malt bill to be too biscuity / caramelised in these quantities
    -IBU adjustments
    -Aroma/flavour adjustments

    All feedback welcome. Cheers.

    Joe
     
  2. Sep 13, 2018 #2

    Sadfield

    Sadfield

    Sadfield

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    Looks good to me. At that abv I'd be looking at 10-15% crystals malts, so I feel you've judged it right. Munich malt is definitely a good choice. I find you can be quite bold in these beers as there is some ground to make up, against 4-5% ABV beers. Look forward to hearing how it turns out.

    St Peters without is truly awful. Probably the worst 'beer' I've ever tasted.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  3. Sep 14, 2018 #3

    Joeka101

    Joeka101

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    Any ideas on hops?
     
  4. Sep 14, 2018 #4

    foxbat

    foxbat

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    I knew it wasn't just me! I took one sip and I knew I'd had that taste before. Then I remembered: it tasted like a post-boil sample jar. Just like unfermented wort!
     
  5. Sep 14, 2018 #5

    Simonh82

    Simonh82

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    I think this looks like a good recipe. I might be concerned about using dark crystal, although it's only a small amount so probably not a big issue. Personally, I'd probably stick with just the lighter crystal for a pale ale.

    I would also consider using a lower attenuating English ale yeast. A lot of the Americal Ale yeasts will give pretty high attenuation even with higher mash temps.
     
  6. Sep 14, 2018 #6

    peebee

    peebee

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    Hi. I'm sure the recipe is fine. I approached this style of beer by going straight for the extreme end of <0.5% ABV. This was a good way of making my life difficult and I'm planning my next at 1.5-2%. It gives a bit more elbow room for inventing recipes and techniques.

    "Too biscuity / caramelised"? What looks bad in percentage terms in a standard recipe looks very light weight when looked at in actual amounts for this type of recipe - "too much" is a consideration you don't usually have to worry about ("too much" is more relevant to hops). My next attempt will be along the lines of something "Sadfield" posted for me: https://www.themadfermentationist.com/2018/07/rye-neipa-with-mosaic-and-hallertau.html?m=1. 100% oats and rye, that would ring alarm bells brewing conventionally. Note they brew even warmer, at 74C. As "Simonh82" mentions, lower attenuating yeast may be advisable; that linked Rye NEIPA used S-04, I'm thinking of using S-33 (a really hopeless attenuator).

    I don't think you'll need a "conventional" 90 minute mash, I just went for 45 minutes. Longer times benefit beta-amylase activity (simple sugar production) which doesn't need promoting in this case.

    "IBU adjustments"? My first attempt followed Brewdog's published "Nanny State" recipe which had (predictably) very high hop rates at 55IBU. It was "encouraging", but not really to my tastes. My last effort cut back a bit on IBUs (to 35) but also changed to low IBU European and NZ hops. Thy reacted completely differently to the American high IBU hops and the result was too bitter and the heavy dry hopping came over as dried vegetation rather than perfumed wonderment. So going for low-ish IBUs like you (20ish) seems a good plan. The calculated bitterness for that linked Rye NEIPA (45IBU) is complete gibberish - I'm reckoning about 24IBU (80C whirlpool/steep hops).

    "Aroma/flavour adjustments". That linked Rye NEIPA is especially unusual because there are no boil hops. All whirlpool and dry hops. It's probably a decent approach. Jut watch out for my experience with low IBU hops and large dry hop quotas.

    I liked the adoption of BIAB techniques in that Rye NEIPA and will be doing it myself. The venture lend itself to shortcutting - the technique I'm championing skips the fermenter and brews in the serving keg (fermenting and carbonating at same time). Have a look at what I'm doing here: https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/threads/peebees-brewday-low-alcohol-beer.77965/. Not sure yet how my keg fermenting will deal with stronger beers (2% rather then 0.5%), but I'll see soon.
     

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