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No and Low Alcohol Beers

Defining No and Low Alcohol Beers

No-alcohol beer = no more than 0.05% ABV

De-alcoholised beer = no more than 0.5% ABV

Low-alcohol beer = no more than 1.2% ABV

Other low ABV categories

Small beer = 0.5 – 2.8% ABV

Table beer = 2.8 – 3.8% ABV

Beer and in particular low and no alcohol beers are greatly influenced by preconceptions. These preconceptions are not helped by the fact that in the past process practices have sometimes left the taste/aroma compromised.

Sensory and method development:
Ethanol positively contributes to key attributes in beer: sweetness, fullness/body and alcohol warming sensation. (Ramsey et al. 2018) meaning these attributes should be targeted when developing new low and no alcohol products

There are various production strategies for creating low and no alcohol beers including biological methods.  For help with this speak to our technical advisors or our friends at Murphy’s.

No and Low Alcohol Beer Production - Yeast

You can also find more information on no and low alcohol beer by watching this video from our supplier partner Fermentis.

SafBrew™ LA-01

Pasteurisation required. SafBrew™ LA-01, is a Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. chevalieri that has been specifically selected for the production of low and/or non-alcoholic beverages (<0.5ABV). This yeast does not assimilate maltose and maltotriose but assimilates simple sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose) and is characterized by a subtle aroma profile. Yeast with a medium sedimentation: forms no clumps but a powdery haze when resuspended in the beer.

No and Low Alcohol Beer Production - Malt

Cold extraction of malt components captures colour and flavour from speciality malts, whilst limiting the extraction of complex fermentable carbohydrates

Crisp Malt logo representing malt products and malt specifications

Crisp

Crisp combine traditional and modern malting techniques at their sites in England and Scotland to create an impressive range of malted and non-malted products, including several unique and exclusive barley malts; such as Chevallier Heritage Malt and Clear Choice Malt.

The Weyermann logo

Weyermann®

Weyermann® is the leader in specialty malts around the world. Every day, they strive to bring the highest quality malt to their brewing friends around the world. Now being run by the 4th and 5th generation of the Weyermann® founding family.

Cedarex

Useful for space saving and reducing spent material disposal. Muntons malt extracts will provide approximately 300L° extract. Best added prior to the boil.

SINAMAR®

All-Natural Liquid Malt Color is produced entirely from CARAFA® roasted malt. Weyermann® SINAMAR® extract is brewed like beer and then vacuum-evaporated to concentrate it. It contributes dark colour to the finished beer but next to no bitterness.

Improving Mouthfeel of Low and No Alcohol Beers

Ethanol positively contributes to key attributes in beer:

  • Sweetness
  • Fullness/Body
  • Alcohol warming sensation

Therefore, these attributes should be targeted when developing no/low alcohol products.

Quick Hints for adding Mouth Feel

  • Lactose Monohydrate and Caramel TMF – mostly non-fermentable sugar which is used to enhance body, mouth feel and head retention
  • Oats – β glucans
  • Consider adding flavours and ingredients to create the warm feeling that alcohol normally would such as ginger

Lactose Monohydrate

A non-fermentable sweetener which is used in finished beer to give a faintly milky sweetness to stouts and dark beers.

Caramel TMF

A dark brown liquid obtained by controlled heat treatment of sugars (saccharose or glucose) using certain additives (ammonium hyrdroxide). Caramels are used to provide colour in beer, cider and non-alcoholic malted beverages.

Oats

We supply oat malt from Crisp and it gives smoothness and body to darker beers and is particularly good in stouts.

NaturalSensations™

Especially designed for use in brewing applications, the Natural Sensations range delivers a fresh new approach for the craft brewing sector. Fully soluble, they offer both natural flavour and aroma of the named raw ingredient.

Improving Flavour of Low and No Alcohol Beers

The same principles of mouthfeel apply when improving the flavour of low and no alcohol beer. Therefore, the same attributes should be targeted: 

  • Sweetness
  • Fullness/Body
  • Alcohol warming sensation 

Quick Flavour Hints

  • You can reduce off-flavours by using: Zetolite63 – formulated to reduce off sulphur flavours or Alpha Acetolactate Decarboxylase (ALDC)  avoids the production of Diacetyl
  • Dry hopping and hop oils
  • If de-alcoholising – blend back some volatiles
  • Consider blending high gravity brews with lower ones/liquor
  • Consider adding flavours and ingredients to create the warm feeling that alcohol normally would such as ginger

Hop oils

The HopZero® range offers an innovative range of natural, clean label hop products to improve low and zero alcohol beers. There are also other natural hop extract products for late and dry hopping, to complement or replace the use of hop cones and pellets. Bittering extracts and specialist natural botanical extracts for brewing application are also available.

NaturalSensations™

Especially designed for use in brewing applications, the Natural Sensations range delivers a fresh new approach for the craft brewing sector. Fully soluble, they offer both natural flavour and aroma of the named raw ingredient.

Zetolite

A blend of naturally occurring volcanic material and copper salts (ZETOLITE 63 ) or zinc salts (ZETOLITE 65), formulated to reduce sulphidic off flavours in fermented beverages.

Content credit to Murphy & Son.  Product suggestions from the Charles Faram team.

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About Us

Charles Faram has been established as merchants of hops and hop products for over 150 years. The company, which was originally based in  Worcester, now resides in the small hamlet of Newland, situated at the foot of the picturesque Malvern Hills.

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