Everybody loves strong in alcohol beers or, at the very least, a large number of people rate them very highly on beer evaluation sites across the internet. But what if you’re brewing for a party-sized crowd? What if you’re looking to enjoy more than two beers? That’s when low ABV beers are needed. We discuss Mike’s table amber beer and why full flavored, full bodied, low alcohol by volume (ABV) beers are great.
Mike’s Table Amber Beer Recipe
For a 6 US gallon batch.
4 pounds of German Pilsner Malt
4 pounds American 2-Row from Briess
1 pound of Munich 2 Malt (10°L)
0.25 pounds Crystal 120°L Malt
2 ounces of Roasted Barley
Distilled water, treated with:
2.5 grams of calcium sulfate (gypsum)
4 grams of calcium chloride
Trying to push the malty quality of this beer with more chloride than sulfate.
1 ounce of Nugget hops at 60 minutes to go in the boil
1 ounce of Falconer’s Flight hops at 10 minutes to go in the boil
2 ounces of Amarillo hops – dry hop (left them in the keg)
White Labs WLP007 – Yeast Dry English Yeast
Mashed at 158°F
Fermented for 2 weeks
Original Gravity: 1.040
Final Gravity: 1.015
Tasting Notes and Musings
Appearance: The beer had an amber color. The head was off-white with a pretty persistent head with tight bubbles. The beer was a bit hazy which could have been from chill haze or hops in the keg.
Aroma: The aroma had a strong hop presence which were clearly American or Cascadian.
Flavor: Lots of malty goodness with a good amount of hop presence to balance it out. It reminded me of the amber ales we drank in the 1990s.
Mouthfeel: Medium full.
Overall impression: Very easy to drink. Very tasty. I think Mike hit his mark with brewing a nice beer for the Fourth of July crowd.
For next time, Mike said he would up the Caramel malt and the roasted barley amounts and then maybe mash a little bit lower.
After drinking this beer, I got to thinking that low ABV beers may not get the credit that they deserve. There’s got to be a five star quality beer that has less than 5% alcohol by volume, don’t you think? Is there a flavor complexity that comes from high alcohol beers than cannot be matched by the low ABV ones? I still think there’s quality and transcendence that can happen with a table beer. I am not sure why the internet rating public isn’t in line with that opinion.
Something to think about the next tip you take a sip.