Light beer

Is there anybody that would happen to know a good super light beer recipe. Some of my buds want me to try and make something super light like a bud light coors light something like that. i cant do all grain yet

Those beers are bad and they are cheap. Why bother? Try brewing a cream ale recipe. If they don’t like that, quit worrying about them and brew what you like.

Second the Cream Ale recommendation; bitter to about 16 - 20 IBUs. It will be flavorful enough for real beer drinkers; but won’t scare the BMC crowd. (Just make sure to tell them it’s a light beer, they won’t know the difference)

It’s the toughest style to make because if you make a mistake, there is nothing for the off-flavors to hide behind. I have been brewing for 13 years with the intent of making “pilsners” (not light beer necessarily) and I still haven’t found the perfect combination. I make ales and lagers, I have 5 refrigerators dedicated to brewing, I have a solid water analysis from Ward Labs, I have been brewing all-grain since 2004 and I still strike out. Let me suggest something that may work and you can tell me what you think. If possible, use all “Spring” or “Drinking” water for this. Also, make sure to do a “full-volume” boil. You must have a pot that hold 5.5 to 6 gallons. Don’t try to make this beer by boiling 3 gallons of wort and then topping up with water… you’ll be disappointed.

Blonde Ale

Steep 1 pound of Vienna or Munich in 150° water for 30 mins.
Remove the grains and add 6 lbs of “light”, “pale” or “gold” LME or 5 lbs of DME. Use “extra-light” DME if you go that route.
Add 1 ounce of something like Mt. Hood or Liberty pellets that are about 4% and boil them for the 60 minutes
Add another ounce of something else that is clean (Mt. Hood, Liberty, Hallertau, Tettnanger, Saaz, Hersbrucker, Styrian Goldings…) for 5 minutes.
Use something like 1056, WLP001 or US05 dry yeast.

Ferment it cool somehow. If you have a cool basement, find the coolest spot. If not, place the primary in a large tub, sink or bucket and pour water in the tub and also place frozen water/gatorade/soda bottles in the water to keep the whole thing cool. What you will have is a gold beer that is light-bodied, mild, refreshing & crisp. The fresher the ingredients, the better the beer. Good luck.

+1
If you’re really bent on trying it to please the rabble, one thing you can do is to just make batch of ale that you like (like a fairlly strong best bitter for example) and reserve some of the finished beer to cut (dilute) by adding about one-third volume of boiled, cooled water. That will lighten it up, but still retain some flavor & character if you don’t overdo the dilution.

I know it seems like a helluva thing to do to good beer (and it is)…but I’ve done this with the aim of pleasing my more philistine friends, and it has won raves. They were quite impressed actually, and embraced it as they would their beloved BMC.

As it turns out, you can’t make those beers anyway so it’s a non-issue.

Well I don’t know but the closest I’m willing to come to a BMC type beer is probably a Munich Helles. Yeah, I know if you make the stuff right it should be fairly malty for a light beer and yeah, it is just a bit more bitter than 8 IBU swill but it’s as close as I’m willing to get. I tried making a cream ale a couple of years ago with about 20% corn grits and that stuff was just too light for my tastes. I also tried to make a Vienna lager Mexican style by cutting it with corn and again just too light. It has been my experience that it’s the “bitter” than most BMC fans can’t handle so you might get away by serving a non-hoppy German lager but it better be light colored because God knows that all dark beer is heavy and tastes like motor oil. :cry:

A nice Munich Helles is a thing to behold and if you can make a really good one… it can be beer heaven. It’s tough to make a beer that is light in color but still has that nice depth. I just experimented with soft water that was also heavy on the chlorides and a low mash temp. One hop addition at 60. Pilsner, some Munich and Vienna, 830 German Lager yeast. Fingers are crossed while it lagers.

As it turns out, you can’t make those beers anyway so it’s a non-issue.[/quote]
you’re saying you can’t make coors/bud/schlitz?
i’ve made a schlitz clone that was about as close as you can get and not that hard to do.

As it turns out, you can’t make those beers anyway so it’s a non-issue.[/quote]
you’re saying you can’t make coors/bud/schlitz?
i’ve made a schlitz clone that was about as close as you can get and not that hard to do.[/quote]
I was referring to the OP who is brewing with extract and wants to make a super-light beer. Probably the toughest style to make especially with the expectations of his friends who expect his version to be as good or better than a mass-produced light lager. If he’s not brewing all-grain I’ll assume he may not have the ability to ferment at 50° (just a guess… I could be wrong) and may not be doing some of the other things necessary to make such a clean & difficult style and make it well (oxygenation, etc). I wasn’t trying to be a weenie, just realistic. It’s also tricky because there aren’t many homebrewers to knock information around with since many don’t make this style. I happen to make “pale lagers” but I also struggle with my water with regard to this style.

gotcha.sorry i misunderstood.

As it turns out, I just did a Munich Helles this last weekend. I used the great Jamil’s recipe; I brewed it one other time and was extremely happy with the results. I bet that it’s the first beer I’ve brewed in a couple of years where I pretty much followed the recipe exactly, I just can’t help but fool at bit with things. Of course, his is designed for infusion mashing and I must admit that I did a single decoction… my bad.

Anyway with regards to water, how does using soft water work on this beer Mr. Lenard? I have medium hard water here in Dallas and I just run the stuff through a charcoal filter then brew with it for this style. My understanding was that Munich water is medium hard so I really didn’t worry about it. Of course to get the correct mash ph I use that 5.2 buffer stuff. Once you start adding a bunch of hops to light beers however then things get a bit more interesting with water like mine (which really isn’t an issue with this style). I also frequently do a CAP with 20% corn grits and I hop the hell out of it. For that beer, I cut my municipal water with distilled water otherwise the hops are just too harsh.

By the way, I really like your web page and I must admit to shamelessly stealing several ideas from you, very nice job indeed. I also appreciate a homebrewer who makes beers that aren’t over the top either hopwise or excessively big, there is alot to be said for subtle nuace of flavor, just say’n.

[quote=“Barley Water”]As it turns out, I just did a Munich Helles this last weekend. I used the great Jamil’s recipe; I brewed it one other time and was extremely happy with the results. I bet that it’s the first beer I’ve brewed in a couple of years where I pretty much followed the recipe exactly, I just can’t help but fool at bit with things. Of course, his is designed for infusion mashing and I must admit that I did a single decoction… my bad.

Anyway with regards to water, how does using soft water work on this beer Mr. Lenard? I have medium hard water here in Dallas and I just run the stuff through a charcoal filter then brew with it for this style. My understanding was that Munich water is medium hard so I really didn’t worry about it. Of course to get the correct mash ph I use that 5.2 buffer stuff. Once you start adding a bunch of hops to light beers however then things get a bit more interesting with water like mine (which really isn’t an issue with this style). I also frequently do a CAP with 20% corn grits and I hop the hell out of it. For that beer, I cut my municipal water with distilled water otherwise the hops are just too harsh.

By the way, I really like your web page and I must admit to shamelessly stealing several ideas from you, very nice job indeed. I also appreciate a homebrewer who makes beers that aren’t over the top either hopwise or excessively big, there is alot to be said for subtle nuace of flavor, just say’n.[/quote]
Thanks for the comments. I put the page together more for myself than anything else… just a place to keep everything and when someone asks a question that I’ve answered before, I just direct them there.

On the water, it just appears that high sulfates and high bicarbonates just don’t play well with pale-colored beers in general. A helles is a little different, maybe. It’s usually hopped lower and if you believe that Munich water has some bicarbonate in it then the lower hopping is critical. I have relatively low numbers all around (Ca 34, SO4 27, Cl 21) except for bicarbonate which is 138. I know people whose bicarb is 300+ so mine’s not terrible but it can be tough with pale beers. I’ve mentioned before that higher levels of bicarb (they say a pale beer should have less than 50ppm and lower is even better) seem to mask the subtle flavors of grains and hops. When I cut my tap water (which I filter through a carbon cartridge to remove chlorine) with RO and make a pale beer, I notice how much cleaner, smoother and even clearer the beer comes out. You can really taste flavors that you might get from Vienna or Munich and the character of the hops come out much clearer on your tastebuds than they would with higher levels of bicarb. On my latest pale beers, I got some advice from water guru AJ DeLange. He suggested at least at 50% cut with RO and then 40ppm overall of Ca and the use of CaCl only… no gypsum, no additional sulfates at all. I asked him if this would make the beer too malty (much higher chloride than sulfate) and he said I could attack that with a lower mash temp. So I hopped it well (it’s a Czech Pils) and mashed it at 149°. I have also saved a few beers post-fermentation by boiling some water with gypsum (if the beer lacked crispness) or CaCl (if the beer was TOO crisp) and adding that to the keg. I don’t want to do A LOT of that but it’s nice to know you could save a beer that way. Cheers.

I think the cream ale is a great way to go. If the people you are serving to are looking for minimal complexity in flavor and something crisp and refreshing (like BMC can be), I would consider using rice syrup/rice instead of corn-based products. Either one is acceptable in a cream ale, but rice will lighten the body without adding much in the way of flavor or complexity.

something like:

80% light light light DME/LME (add late in the boil if LME)
20% rice syrup
1oz saaz at 60 min
1oz saaz at 5 min (maybe cut this addition in half)

US-05 yeast, fermenter in a 3-inch water bath in the coolest area of your house (as long as its above 60 degrees).

Don’t quote me on this, but I believe Bud Lite and Coors lite use rice whereas Miller Lite uses more corn products.

dang…after typing that, i kind of want to brew that!

And it was damn tasty!

As it turns out, you can’t make those beers anyway so it’s a non-issue.[/quote]
you’re saying you can’t make coors/bud/schlitz?
i’ve made a schlitz clone that was about as close as you can get and not that hard to do.[/quote]
Can I get the recipe for the schlitz clone. Beer brewers laugh at me when i ask for a coors .bud light or michalob clone. I can help the fact that i drank commercial beer for 20 years before i decided to start brewing. I thought the name of the game was doing what u like as a hobby

It definitely is. Brew what you like, no matter what. Cheers and thanks for reminding everyone of that.

I would do a kolsch recipe and lager it for couple weeks,

I tried a kolsch and the recipe was 9# pilsner and 1oz hops i used. It was NB AG kit. It came out citrusy

I’ve had great luck with NB’s American lager kit. It was much better than BMC, but still light and refreshing. Perfect for these long, hot Texas summers.