If this is what you’re asking, then here’s the simple answer. Low-carb beer is simply beer that has lower carbohydrate content. An example of this could be Corona Premier. The carbohydrate content in such drinks is converted into carbon dioxide and alcohol, leaving very little sugar and calories behind.
The idea of learning how to brew low-carb beer is to teach people not only how to save money by brewing your own beverages, but also to switch to a healthier alternative for the belly and gut of regular drinkers.
You see, alcohol meddles with the fat breakdown process in our liver and if we found a way around this, we might be able to drink healthily and probably even shed some weight. However, if you just end up drinking excess of low-carb beer, you’ll be back to consuming as many calories as you would with regular beer.
Table of Contents
What You’ll Need
Note: The ingredients mentioned below are for making 1-gallon of low-carb beer.
- Barley: 2 lbs.
- Water: 3 to 7 lbs.
- Hops: 1 ounce
- Yeast: 0.015 (In Liquid Form)
- Stock Pot: 3-gallon kettle
- Nylon Bag or Colander
- Digital Scale
- StarSan Sanitizer
- 1-Gallon Carboy
- Plastic Screw Cap
- Blow-Off Tube
- Mini Auto Siphon
- 3ft Siphon Hose
- Bottle Filler
- 12 Pry-Off Bottles (Should Hold 340 ml Liquid)
- Bottle Capper
To understand how to brew low-carb beer is to learn how to brew beer at home. This is because the former only requires a few tweaks to have low-carb output in your beverage.
In this step, you are going to help bring out the grains (or any other sources of carbohydrates) so the yeast can ferment. If you’re brewing beer, the most popular choices among home-brewers include rye, wheat, and barley.
If, however, you’re looking forward to brewing beer cider, you will have to use apple juice as your main sugar source. Alternatively, ginger beer, during this process, can be made with ginger spice as the main sugar.
During the malting process, heating, drying and cracking need to be applied to all of your beer’s source ingredients in order to isolate the enzymes that will be required for the next step.
The next step toward your own low-carb homebrew will be quite similar to making tea. The grains will have to be soaked in boiling hot water, for a predetermined duration (as directed by your beer recipe).
In doing so, the enzymes we discussed earlier, will be activated and their sugars will be released into the ingredients. Next, the water from your mash will get drained, leaving behind a concentrated, sweet and sticky output, which is most commonly referred to as the ‘wort’.
Once you have your wort, your next step will be to boil it with cone-like fruits and spices, more specifically known as hops. This is done in order to introduce flavor into the mix. For example, when brewing pale ale (the light-colored beer), stronger flavored hops are used as opposed to other types of beer.
After about an hour of boiling, it will finally be time to strain your wort and then filter it. After doing so, your work-in-progress will have to be poured into a fermentation vessel, where you will also add the yeast.
Now, yeast typically feeds on sugar over a period of time to convert it into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The temperature at which your fermentation vessel is stored will depend on whether you are brewing up an ale or a lager. Lagers are usually stored in colder temperatures in this part of the brewing process whereas ales have to be stored at room temperature.
Moving on, the amount of yeast you add into the mix determines how fast the sugar will be consumed and converted into your beer. Of course, this amount depends completely on the brewer. For instance, Carlton Dry, the well-known beer brand, uses fully fermented sugar contents, which in turn, leaves behind very little carbohydrates.
Note: This is different from brewing light beer because this would entail aiming for lower alcohol content and therefore lesser fermentation. Here, instead of allowing the yeast to completely wipe away the sugar content, this particular step will need to either be controlled or interrupted.
It’s quite simple, the carbs of your homebrew, or any other variety of beer, depend on how fermentation was allowed to naturally occur. If you were brewing up full-strength beer, then controlled fermentation conditions would make sure it has 4.9% alcohol content, whereas mid-strength beer will have 3.5% alcohol content.
5. Bottling and Conditioning
After you’re through all of the above steps, and your alcoholic beer is finally ready, it will most likely be flat and non-carbonated. For this reason, before you bottle your handiwork, you need to make some last minute polishes. For instance, you need to determine whether you want to artificially carbonate it or let the leftover yeast handle this on its own.
Additionally, you could also determine whether the beverage needs post-processing aging before the bottling process, because this is usually done in the case of gluten-free beer. Depending on the answer to all of these questions, you can proceed to bottle and condition your homebrew before finally sneaking a few sips to see whether you succeeded in your endeavor.
Our Final Thoughts
What else can we do, besides learning how to brew low-carb beer, to drink healthy and still maintain our drinking habit? If we could answer this question with a single word, we’d say, “Moderation”.
Every kind of beer, whether low carb, bright, light, full-strength, mid-strength or regular, will inevitably result in growth in our bellies. However, this only happens when we drink in excess or love our occasional beer binges over the weekend.
Basically, all the fat inside our body starts to accumulate since we’re taking in far too quickly than we can process and excrete. Naturally, this is when our body starts thinking, “If we don’t have use for it now, why don’t we just store it for later.” Finally, one fine day, after waking up with your worst hangover, you’ll find out that you have a beer belly.