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mariposabrewing
05-27-2010, 03:33 PM
Have a client who is interested in a NA beer. Is this even possible in a micro brew enviroment? I know you could cook it out 5 gals at a time and have heard of celulous filters. Just not sure if anyone has any experience. Small order (100 cases trial run) so I don't want to build some kind of Frankenstien labratory.

Natrat
05-27-2010, 05:13 PM
I have brewed extremely low-alcohol beers (less than 1%) for several breweries.

It's very difficult. Because of the low sugar content and low pitching rates, the beer is extremely susceptible to contamination. Unfortunately diluting a 2 or 3% beer doesn't work for mouthfeel. It just tastes like sour water.

One of the more effective ways to do it is to make a low brix wort using something like CaraPils with a bit of 2 row or Crystal for mouthfeel.I recommend using something near a full grain bill of malts that don't contribute much to fermentables...that way your (or my) lauter performance is similar to my usual and I won't get worts with wildly different gravs than what I am planning for...since it'd suck to have your wort come out even 1P higher than what you are aiming for.
Then after your boil, cool out at a low low temperature...like 35 F (you need a glycol second stage for this) and ferment with a low temp yeast. It will take a little while to get going, but the low temperature prevents the yeast from over attenuating or running up your alcohol content. You have to keep a close eye on your gravs.

The only thing about those low temp yeasts is that they can't be chilled to stop fermentation. We used to flash pasturize the beer during transfer to the conditioning tank, where we would fine out the yeast and then filter before bottling.

I think the big boys do the low alcohol beers by continuous process and immobilized yeast. Cool stuff, but beyond my technical know how.

I remember reading an article in Brewing Techniques or Zymurgy or something that mentioned a low temp yeast strain called C. ilwiggii or something like that. Always wanted to play with it, but fake beer isn't popular around here...

I'll be interested in what the other boys and girls here say...

Nat

mariposabrewing
06-18-2010, 03:11 PM
Thanks Nat
I didn't figure it was easy and the thought of wild, unkillable yeast roaming around the brewery is kind of scary. O'Doules for the house on me!

gitchegumee
06-18-2010, 10:28 PM
There's an extensive thread elsewhere on this topic. Lots of ideas there.