How to brew low alcohol beer

Monday, February 13, 2023
Beers with lower alcohol content have become popular, but brewing non-alcoholic beers that taste good can be a challenge yet making low-alcohol beer with high flavor is simple enough.

The short version to make a low alcohol beer, is to brew your beer in the usual way and then heat it to remove the alcohol after fermentation, then add fresh yeast and sugar before bottling. 

It's worth noting that there are a variety of reasons why someone might want to brew a low-alcohol or non-alcoholic beer. For example, some people may simply prefer the taste of beer without the effects of alcohol, while others may want to reduce their alcohol intake for health or other personal reasons.

Whatever the reason, there are a few key factors to keep in mind when brewing a low alcohol or non-alcoholic beer.

low alcohol content homebrew

Here are some more in-depth guidance and tips and tricks to reducing the alcohol content of your homebrew.

Once you have brewed your beer and it has completed fermentation, the next step is to remove the alcohol. This can be done by heating the beer in a large pot, like a brew kettle. The heat will evaporate the alcohol, leaving you with a non-alcoholic beer.

The amount of time and temperature needed will vary depending on the alcohol content of your original brew but an hour will do the job.

You'll now the have conundrum of bottling or kegging.

If bottling, once the alcohol has been removed, you can pitch fresh yeast and add priming sugar to carbonate the beer. The amount of priming sugar used will affect the alcohol content of the final product, so beer that in mind to not over sugar.

It's important to note that the resulting beer will not be completely alcohol-free, but it will likely have a total alcohol content of less than half to one per cent.

Here's some factors to think about which can shape how your low alcohol beer might turn out, not just in terms of final ABV but also the taste profile:

  • One important consideration is the type of yeast you use. Certain strains of yeast are better suited for producing low alcohol or non-alcoholic beers than others. For example, some brewers may opt to use a "Krausen" yeast strain, which is known for its ability to ferment quickly and cleanly, leaving behind very little residual sugar or alcohol.
  • Malt - Reducing the amount of malt in the beer recipe can result in a bland-tasting beer, so it's important to strike a balance between flavor and alcohol content. Specialty malts such as crystal or Munich malts can add more complexity and flavor to your beer, making it more interesting and flavorful despite the lower alcohol content.
  • Using hops with a low alpha acid content can help to reduce the overall bitterness of the beer, which can be especially important when brewing non-alcoholic beers.
  • Consider non-traditional ingredients: You can experiment with non-traditional ingredients such as fruit, spices, or herbs to add unique flavors to your beer. However, be careful not to overdo it, as too many flavors can overpower the beer and make it taste more like a cocktail than a beer!
  • By adjusting the mash temperature, you can influence the body and mouthfeel of your beer. For a low-alcohol beer, you may want to aim for a lower mash temperature to create a lighter-bodied beer.
  • Force carbonate to a higher level: Carbonation can give your beer a refreshing and crisp mouthfeel, which can make it more enjoyable to drink despite the lower alcohol content. You may want to consider carbonating your beer to a slightly higher level than you would for a full-strength beer.


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