Turn any beer into low-alcohol beer

March 16th, 2006 | Posted by Real Beer

Andrew Gordon begins this story in the Olympian with the proper disclaimer: “It might sound like blasphemy, but it’s time to talk about nonalcoholic beer. Now, now, hear me out.”

He’s talking low alchol and flavor.

All you need is an oven, a large pot (brewers already will have this), and an oven thermometer (unless you have a newer oven with precise temperature controls — it’s not unusual for an oven to vary 20 degrees to either side of the temperature setting.)

Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature setting — the boiling point of ethyl alcohol is 173.3 degrees, so you’re aiming for about 180 degrees. Verify that you’re in the ballpark using the thermometer. To the pot, add beer you’ve either brewed or bought, and put the pot into the oven uncovered.

You’re using the oven instead of the stovetop to provide more even, controlled heat, providing fewer changes to the overall character of your beer. In 30 minutes, the alcohol will have boiled away and the brew can be cooled.

The yeasts will have been killed off in the evaporation process, so you’ll need to go to your friendly neighborhood homebrew store to buy some yeast and priming sugar. Boil between 1/2 cup and 3/4 cup of the sugar with a pint of water and add to the brew, then add yeast and mix well, using a sanitized metal spoon. (To sanitize, either put the spoon in the brewpot at the beginning of the evaporation process, or soak it in a mild bleach water solution for five minutes.)

You can then siphon the brew into sanitized bottles or a keg.

There are some other moving parts, so read the whole thing.

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