Author Topic: Anyone have a light beer recipe?  (Read 7011 times)

Offline MikeinRH

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 195
Anyone have a light beer recipe?
« on: April 17, 2012, 11:54:25 PM »
Despite daily power walking, I'm commencing to gain weight from drinking my homebrew. I was wondering if anyone has a light beer recipe they would like to share, or can direct me to a place where I can look one up. I like the idea of creating a lo-calorie beer that actually tastes good!

Offline ArtCox

  • BeerSmith Master Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 69
  • Beer is proof, God Loves Us..
    • Goodhead Brewery
Re: Anyone have a light beer recipe?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2012, 07:18:16 AM »
5-gallon batch, boil for 60 minutes.

3lb Wheat DME (Briess Bavarian Wheat, or similar)
2lb Light DME

0.5 oz Cascade (~5.5) @60 minutes
1.0 oz Cascade (~5.5) @1 minute, feel free to add more for more aroma

US-05 (American Ale); ferment at 60-70 for two weeks then keg or bottle.

 I've gotten upwards of 4.5% ABV.

Good luck!

Offline Maine Homebrewer

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1371
Re: Anyone have a light beer recipe?
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2012, 06:16:47 PM »
The stuff they sell at the store that is labeled "light" is very difficult (more like impossible) to make at home.
There isn't much flavor there, so it doesn't take much to throw off the balance. It's not like an IPA where you have a ton of wiggle room.
That and they use 6-row, adjuncts, can precisely control the mash temp, and most of all have teams of people who went to college to study brew science.

The final gravity represents unfermentable or unfermented sugars that are calories, but not alcohol.   The best you can do is aim for as low of a final gravity as you can get. 
If you are an extract brewer you're pretty much at the mercy of the manufacturer as to the ratio of fermentable to unfermentable sugars in your brew.
You can lower the final gravity a bit by choosing a high attenuating yeast.
Crystal malt adds body to the beer by sweetening it with unfermentable sugars. That raises the final gravity. So you might want to use only a few ounces or none at all.
If you're brewing all grain then you can aim for a lower final gravity by lowering your mash temperature. Of course this lengthens the mash time. 

I like the idea of creating a lo-calorie beer that actually tastes good!

Perhaps you can take a recipe that you already know you like, and modify it a bit to lower the final gravity.

Another thought. There is a trade off in that the lower the final gravity, the more watery the beer. 
The less body the beer has, the more apparent the bitterness will be. 
So if you modify an existing recipe to lower the final gravity, you may want to back off a little on the initial addition of hops. Or it may come out more bitter than expected (that thing about balance and wiggle room).

Good luck!
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson