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Thread: De-alcoholing a beer?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Polson, Montana, USA
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    De-alcoholing a beer?

    Does anyone have a effective method (read as "cheap) to remove the alcohol from beer? I'm looking at doing this to only a couple of gallons, maybe five gallons.

    Prost!
    Dave

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Strongsville, Ohio
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    hmmm....might try heating it up to around 173 f....that should boil off some of the alcohol.


    JackK

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Port Angeles
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    Well what I did was heat the frermented beer to 179 for a half hour with a hop addition cooled then carbonated it.
    cheers

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Not to be a smart ass, but how about not fermenting it? You can cut it with water to make it less sweet. Something like those malt sodas that are popular in Mexico.

    Otherwise, you're probably talking about reverse osmosis.

    Ben

  5. #5
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    Jul 2003
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    Durango
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    German breweries use computer controled distillation setups to carefully distill high gravity beers. Liquid hops may be added after this process to make thh product taste more like "beer".
    Bottoms Up!

  6. #6
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    Feb 2005
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    Port Angeles
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    Well I fermented it to get the flavor from the yeast and then hopped again because it seems to lose hop flavor when you reheat it. The finished product got raves.
    Hopuser

  7. #7
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    Mar 2005
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    Sterling Heights, MI.
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    I have a homebrewing friend who only makes non-alcoholic homebrew. Through trial and error he's figured out a few things. He only lightly hops the initial wort,to cut back on the inevitable bitterness, and adds finishing hops to the second boil. He boils the finished beer for over an hour to help ensure that the alcohol is evaporated, then adds water back to keep the beer from becoming syrupy. We've noticed a unique flavor, that I'm going to guess is from cooking the yeast, so I would recommend filtering if possible. Dark beers seem to come out best, stouts and porters.

    Hope this helps,
    Ray

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Mukilteo, WA
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    Heating won't get it

    Not to be a buzzkill...........

    Simply heating the finished beer to 170 - 180F won't get there. The alcohol water mixture has a boiling point higher than 185 - 190F since the alcohol content is so low to begin with. What you get is an averged boiling point, so to speak.
    Not having seen the German process, I wouldn't be surprised if it weren't some form of vaccum distillation. When you lower the atmospheric pressure, the boiling point drops proportionally. A lower boiling point retains the malt flavors that would get wrecked at a higher boil. As the alcohol distills out, the mixture has a higher percentage of water and the boiling point increases to 212F. By this time the beer has taken on more cooked flavors. Water comes across as well, so the flaver is changed yet again by a condensation of malt components.

    Anyone who has distilled has seen all this occur.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2002
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    Belmont, CA, USA
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    How about freezing it...

  10. #10
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    Dec 2004
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    Mukilteo, WA
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    Freezing removes water, not alcohol. You just end up with a higher alcohol beer...........kind of the opposite of what you want.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Germany
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    However you look at it, there's really no easy way to do it. There are a number of methods for removing/not creating the alcohol in alcohol-free beer, but none of them is practical or really feasible for 5 - 10 gal.

    If you want to experiment, try boiling it off and see what will happen but be prepared for the worst. (You won't ever get all of it out.)

  12. #12
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    Tadcaster, Yorkshire, UK
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    Try mashing in at high temperature to produce a low alcohol beer. As far as I know the vast majority (all??) non alcoholic / low alcohol beers currently in production use vacuum ditillation after normal brewing and fermentation. The only exception I know of was Whitbread who used to make a 1 % or thereabouts beer by mashing in at high temperature, which denatured the amylolytic enzymes rapidly so they only had a chance to produce no fermentable, non sweet tasting dextrins. I don't think it is still produced, but it tasted OK (ish) - probably a hell of a lot better than non vacuum distilled beer, but since it is no longer produced, by most peoples standards, not as good as vacuum distilled beer. I have to say I found it a bit cloying - better when mixed with other beers to dilute the alcohol if I was involved with a volume session

    Cheers.
    dick

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Germany
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    There are several methods: membrane processing (e.g. reverse osmosis), stopping or altering fermentation, vacuum distillation and various other types of distillation. Usually a combination of these is used for results.

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