Not everyone wants to or can drink alcoholic beer. Nonetheless, many of us want a great tasting beer now and again. So, the question becomes how can you make this happen? The process for making a non-alcoholic beer is very easy, anyone can do it. The brewing process is the same as with standard beer recipes and uses the same Home Brew Supplies. However, as we all know, at the end of the normal brewing process you end up with a beer with alcohol. In order to get rid of the alcohol, the beer will need to be heated to 175 Degrees F.
The Process of Making Non-Alcoholic Beer
- Brew beer like normal: How to Make Beer. If you need to get set up we have all of the home brew supplies you need.
- Once your beer has finished fermenting you will need to heat it to 175 degrees F for 15 - 20 minutes. Alcohol evaporates at a lower temperature than the rest of your beer. So by heating it to 175 degrees F the alcohol will evaporate and leave behind all of the delicious beery goodness you spent so much time making. When heating it is important to stay as close as you can to the 175 degrees F to prevent off flavors from forming.
- When you first begin heating the beer you are going to notice a very strong alcohol smell. This is perfectly normal because the alcohol is starting to evaporate
- Hold the beer at 175 degrees F for 15-20 minutes
- Cool off beer to below 80 degrees F this can be done with an ice bath or with a sanitized Wort Chiller
- Add your desired strain of Beer Yeast and Priming Sugar. You will need to add additional yeast prior to bottling a non-alcoholic beer since the process of heating and driving off the alcohol kills any yeast added during fermentation. You need this yeast to naturally carbonate the beer once it is in the bottle. You can avoid this step by using a Homebrew Keg system and use Force Carbonation to carbonate your beer.
- Bottle or keg
An Important Note on Making Non-Alcoholic Beer
While it is very easy to do, but there is one major drawback. When beer is heated to release the alcohol, it can become very bitter. We aren't talking IPA Recipe bitter, we're talking "beer that you might swear was made out of nothing but hops" bitter. To address this, all you have to do is cut down on the Beer Hops during the initial brewing process, and the the bitterness problem should be resolved. Example: your recipe calls for 2 ounces of hops, only use 1 ounce. Trust us; the beer will be plenty bitter.
Because the alcohol removal process alters the bitterness of a beer, a Pale Ale Recipe or an IPA Recipe are not recommended for a non-alcohol beer as they are way too hoppy. A better choice would be a Wheat Beer Recipe or maybe a Brown Ale Recipe instead. You want the beer to be lacking a lot of hop bitterness before begin driving off the alcohol. Additionally, it isn't a bad idea to use hops with low Alpha Acid content as this is the primary contributor to hop bitterness. This way you get a nice hop flavor, but it isn't to overpowering to drink.
We can't stress enough how bitter the beer will be once you burn off the alcohol. Plan accordingly.