Author Topic: Low Carb Beer  (Read 18968 times)

Offline BeerSmith

  • Brewer, Author, Patriot
  • BeerSmith Administrator
  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 5295
  • BeerSmith - take the guesswork out of brewing!
    • BeerSmith
Low Carb Beer
« on: January 22, 2004, 01:53:58 PM »
Hi all,
 Someone wrote me today asking if I had any recipes for low-carb beer that still has some flavor in it.  Apparently it is part of a low-carb diet program.

 I'm no expert on this but I assume that it would have to be a low gravity beer since alcohol has a pretty high calorie density.  Also something high in non-fermentables is probably bad as well because of the high carb content.

 Anyone out there with a suggestion or recipe?

Cheeers!
Brad
Get a free trial of BeerSmith 3 here

Offline cmbrougham

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 348
  • I brews easily.
Re: Low Carb Beer
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2004, 03:11:54 PM »
Quote
Anyone out there with a suggestion or recipe?

Yeah: buy it. Not to be a smart-ass, but I personally think it's a waste of time to brew such a beer. I don't mean this to come off as snobbery in any way. I'm just saying that the effort and nearly guaranteed frustration of attempting to brew such a beer negates the value of the end result. It's possible to do it, I'm sure, but this is one instance where I'd have to say that the purchased product would be superior to what one could make.

My suggestion: brew a low-gravity, full-flavored beer, and then exercise portion control. That way, you get the best of both worlds  :D

colin <-- Really, I'm not trying to be a jerk...

cj_in_j

  • Guest
Re: Low Carb Beer
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2004, 03:26:12 PM »
I totally agree with Colin. Instead of trying to brew up a low-carb beer, download and read this book:
The Drink Beer, Get Thin Diet:  A Low Carbohydrate Approach

A preview:
About the Book:
If the “six-pack abs” of your youth look more like a half-barrel of beer hanging over your belly, The Drink Beer, Get Thin Diet is for you. If you’re a chronic dieter who wants results but won’t give up the occasional libation, here’s the diet you’ve been looking for!
The beer revolution of the last decade makes it exceedingly easy to follow The Drink Beer, Get Thin Diet. With the staggering selection of beers that now confronts the average beer drinker, your choices of low carbohydrate and regular brewed beers are virtually unlimited on this proven diet. Many of the world’s leading breweries have provided carbohydrate information of their products for use in this diet. Included in this book is a wide-ranging list of over 350 brands of beer from more than fifty worldwide breweries to help you control your total daily carbohydrate intake, the key to success in this diet.
What's it going to be tonight--carrots, bean sprouts and a glass of seltzer water or a satisfying piece of broiled chicken or steak, vegetables and dessert, maybe even a snack before bed, and all washed down with a beer or two?
The choice is yours!
« Last Edit: January 22, 2004, 03:28:18 PM by cj_in_j »

Streb

  • Guest
Re: Low Carb Beer
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2004, 11:39:37 PM »
Although I personally haven't tried it, I've heard that it is possible to brew an extremely low carb beer by adding Beano to it  (Yes, Beano, the anti-gas stuff).  Beano is, or closely mimics, amalayse enzymes which help break down starches into fermentable sugars.  I have heard a few success stories, but also that it is difficult to brew a good beer when adding the stuff.  Here's an article....

http://byo.com/mrwizard/1112.html

I'd be interested to hear the results if someone tries this.

Cheers!

cj_in_j

  • Guest
Re: Low Carb Beer
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2004, 11:54:19 PM »
I did two Beano brews. One was dumped after bottles started exploding. One was highly overcarbonated, but saved. The problem is that Beano works VERY slowly -- which I didn't know when I tried it. I did the usual week in primary and week or two in secondary, then bottled. Man was that a mistake!

The biggest problem with Beano, though, is that you get a very thin, highly alcoholic brew, with no body. Generally you lose all the maltiness and are left with hop-flavored alcohol -- yuck.

Personally I wouldn't recommend using Beano, but it might be interesting to try it with a beer if you're really curious. Just be ready to wait a long time -- impatience will be rewarded with explosions!  :o I think there are better ways of using precious brewing space!
« Last Edit: January 22, 2004, 11:55:00 PM by cj_in_j »

Offline cmbrougham

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 348
  • I brews easily.
Re: Low Carb Beer
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2004, 01:34:28 AM »
I'm not a dietician, but doesn't alcohol contain carbs? It's not just the malty, unfermented component of the beer, right? If so, using Beano isn't going to help make a low-carb beer, because it's going to let the yeast produce more alcohol. Please correct me if I'm wrong (highly probable :D)

ttreml3

  • Guest
Re: Low Carb Beer
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2004, 01:47:54 AM »
As a side note, I remember reading the Guiness is pretty low carb too, how about that?  I'll post the link if I find it again.  :-/

Streb

  • Guest
Re: Low Carb Beer
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2004, 02:25:04 AM »
Quote
I'm not a dietician, but doesn't alcohol contain carbs?


Actually, alcohol doesn't contain any carbs.  It does contain a bunch of calories though.   If one was on a low carb diet like Atkins, the calories wouldn't matter.

http://www.nutri-facts.com/fdlabel.asp?fid=14037

Offline cmbrougham

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 348
  • I brews easily.
Re: Low Carb Beer
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2004, 02:46:46 AM »
Doh. Brain turn to mush. If I didn't know any better, I'd say it was Monday.

Thanks Streb for steering me correct!

Streb

  • Guest
Re: Low Carb Beer
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2004, 02:59:34 AM »
I know what you mean, every day feels like Monday to me now.   I couldn't remember for sure either and had to look it up.  :P

Offline BeerSmith

  • Brewer, Author, Patriot
  • BeerSmith Administrator
  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 5295
  • BeerSmith - take the guesswork out of brewing!
    • BeerSmith
Re: Low Carb Beer
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2004, 04:28:35 PM »
Quote
As a side note, I remember reading the Guiness is pretty low carb too, how about that?  I'll post the link if I find it again.  :-/


Actually guiness is pretty low in calories because the draft version has a low starting gravity of around 1.036 - in fact if you look up my recipe for "Dry Stout" in the Recipe Exchange from the main BeerSmith page (Sample Recipes folder for those with the program) you will see that it is close to Guiness (around 1.039) and has a pretty low calorie rating of around 126 cal per 12 oz.  

If you use the BeerSmith separate alcohol and attenuation tool you can get a good idea of how many calories come from alcohol and how many from carbs.  For example the Dry Stout I mentioned above has around 126 cal with about half coming from alcohol and half from residual carbs.  When you think about it - this is not too bad (about 60 calories from carbs for a 12 oz stout).

I guess if I wanted a true high alcohol, low carb beer I would probably be back to something with a low starting gravity and highly fermentable adjuncts so the final gravity was also as low as possible (i.e. lots of calories from alcohol).  Probably rice, sugar, corn might be acceptable adjuncts to increase fermentability with a base of pale malt.  The risk, of course, is that you want to avoid a "cidery" flavor that comes from too many adjuncts and also you want to maintain some body to the beer.  The problem is it is very hard to add body without residual carbs.

Any other thoughts?

Cheers!
Brad
Get a free trial of BeerSmith 3 here

Streb

  • Guest
Re: Low Carb Beer
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2004, 12:48:20 AM »
Quote


Actually guiness is pretty low in calories because the draft version has a low starting gravity of around 1.036 - in fact if you look up my recipe for "Dry Stout" in the Recipe Exchange from the main BeerSmith page (Sample Recipes folder for those with the program) you will see that it is close to Guiness (around 1.039) and has a pretty low calorie rating of around 126 cal per 12 oz.  


I try to tell this to my BudMilCoors drinking friends and they don't believe it.  They always say something like, "it's too thick," or "it's too heavy," or both.  It's funny to order them a Black and Tan and show them how a Bass Pale Ale is heavier than Guiness is in reality.  After seeing it with their own eyes, they still don't believe it since they've been so brainwashed by years of BMC advertising.   8)