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What are the raw ingredients needed for home brewing Light B

I am new to home brewing. Just started my first batch today using a beer kit.
The taste I’m going for (And I know its blasphemy) is Miller Light, Coors, bud light etc…
But at nearly $30.00 for a kit = 2 cases of beer. its almost not worth it. What are the raw ingredients I would need and what would the proper preparation of these ingredients be? Also where could I find these ingredients? I doubt the local grocery store.

For the most part, light lagers are just low-gravity beers that replace a portion of the grain bill with an adjunct like corn or rice. Other than that, they’re brewed the same as any other lager. With this being your first batch, I’m assuming you’re using malt extract, and you won’t be able to brew with adjuncts until you start mashing. I’d also stick with ales unless you’re prepared to invest some serious money right up front. Fermenting a lager requires precise temperature control around 50°F, then 32°F, so it’s difficult to do without a dedicated refrigerator/freezer.

You’re correct that without economy of scale working in your favor, you won’t be able to brew a beer like that more cheaply than you can buy it.

As far as where to buy ingredients, if you live near a big city you almost certainly have at least one homebrew shop nearby. If not, NB sells just about everything online.

[quote=“vgregory22”]I am new to home brewing. Just started my first batch today using a beer kit.
The taste I’m going for (And I know its blasphemy) is Miller Light, Coors, bud light etc…
But at nearly $30.00 for a kit = 2 cases of beer. its almost not worth it. What are the raw ingredients I would need and what would the proper preparation of these ingredients be? Also where could I find these ingredients? I doubt the local grocery store.[/quote]

If that is the taste you want, why are you brewing beer if you can buy it cheaper? Especially if you factor in all the work?

My interest in brewing started after breaking out of the domestic swill mode and finally developing a taste for beer with character and flavor. Then the beer kits opened my eyes to styles I had no clue about, some of which I brewed and tasted before I ever has a clue what it should taste like. To my very pleasant surprise, when I did taste a commercial version of a style, mine usually held up well.

Look closely at the Northern Brewer kit for a Cream Ale. This is about as close as you will get to a domestic beer, I think. Simple be with some flavor. Are you set up for all grain brewing? Harvesting your own yeast so you can defray the cost? These would be the keys to brewing the beer in the cheapest possible way. But it is more work and there is more to mess up along the way.

You need:

6lb pils malt, crushed
1lb sugar
1oz Tettnanger hops
2 packets 34/70 lager yeast

Mash the malt in 3gal of water at 150F for one hour, use a fine mesh bag like a nylon paint strainer bag from Lowes. Pull the bag of malt out after the mash, add your sugar and another gallon of water if your pot will hold it. Boil for 90min, add the hops at 60min. Cool the wort pot by sitting it in your sink and running cold water around it, might take several changes of water. Once the wort is cooled off pretty good, pour it in a bucket and top up to 5gal.

Now comes the tricky part. You need to ferment a lager cool, like 50F. put it in a cool basement, sit the bucket in a cooler or plastic tub with water and add a frozen water bottle every morning. It’ll take 3 weeks for the fermentation to be done, then you bottle and cold age it for a month before drinking.

Theres a lot to making a good lager and I want you to know your chances for duplicating your commercial beer are kind of slim, but you did ask for the recipe and so here it is. The most expensive item will be the two packets of lager yeast, that’ll set you back $12 and the grain and hops should run you $8. Thats $20 for two cases of beer. If you make a starter you could get one pack of yeast and grow it up in a gallon jug half filled with wort, with some foil on top. The wort would be a 1/2 cup of DME in a half gal of water. Then your cost would be down to around $14 for two cases. This is a beer that will be around 4% ABV and have a low hop bitterness of around 15IBU.

As Lennie pointed out, the ingredients are the easy part. The method is the hard part.

Yeah, they’ve worked hard to develop a product where no one ingredient stands out, except water. It might be interesting to try a light beer, but I wouldn’t base all my brewing on it. The Big Guys have it perfected. Actually, I wouldn’t brew one :wink: . Years ago, I brewed a Kolsch (style) beer that a die hard Coors Light drinker enjoyed. Cream ale, wit, hefe, mild, are good transition beers. What was your first kit?

They are real simple beers. A base malt with up 40% adjuncts. If I wanted a light beer from extract I’d just use 3lb extra light DME (or 4lbs LME) and a pound of sugar. Maybe as much a .25oz magnum (might be too much.) The adjunct in American lagers are usually corn or rice but corn starch or sugar has also been used. You can get rice syrup or solids for extract brewing. Lite beers are mashed with a low temp for a long time. I think but light rests at 140 for three hours or so. You really have to lager it to get the dry crispness. I’ve never made one but I do make a lot of euro style lagers and CAP. There really the same thing. Lite beer are just more water and less hops.

I’m not a fan of threads like this. Everyone answers the OP’s question with delight, I guess that’s great, but the OP hasn’t bothered to respond and has a low post count meaning they aren’t active on the forum at all.

But, OP, look. Bottom line is, if you want Miller Light, buy it. You’re not going to be able to come close without years of experience in beer fermentation behind you. Can a skilled homebrewer create a beer close to Miller Light? Yes. Can a homebrewer with little experience do the same? Absolutely not.

Stick with ales in the 1040-1060 range. Stouts, Browns, and IPAs are the easiest beers for a beginner to brew, IMHO.

If you have to ask how to brew a “Light Beer”, you should not be brewing a “Light Beer”.

That’s the best answer of the original question.
Spot on.

Of course it’s possible to brew the “lite” stuff at home and to do it a LOT cheaper than you can buy it for. But being the most difficult kind of beer to make, it will never be a satisfying (or inexpensive alternative) beginner project.
Whatever any individuals think of the product, “Lite” beer after all is made by the best trained, most skilled, and most experienced brewers in the world.

Specialty beers with ramped up flavors are a comparative cinch to make at home when it comes to matching (and/or surpassing) commercial efforts.

I thought it was nice of lennie (tom sawyer) to give the guy what he wanted. That’s what I have always liked about this forum. What water should he use, lennie? Heck, I might just brew this for my Bud friends.

Good point, I’d definitely use RO water with a teaspoon of calcium.

Do you use a teaspoon just for the mash water or is that for the mash and sparge water? I usually use 60% RO and 40% filtered tap water for this style.

Working on water is on my to do list this winter.

I’d put it all in the mash, and mash with 2qt/lb.

Actually I weigh mine out and I will also use a little gypsum and a little CaCO3, but this is Gordon Strong’s recomendation in his latest book so I thought it would be simplest. I really like the flavors I’m getting on these light beers with soft water and relatively little salts. My tap water had too much sulfate and I always had a harshness that detracted from the beer.

I enjoy having a light, low alcohol beer on tap to enjoy with friends or for yard work etc.
As has been said brewing a light lager is technically difficult and with extract isn’t worth the cost.
My solution is brewing a cream ale. I brew 15 gal all-grain batches and use white rice and do a cereal mash and this makes for a long day but it is economical for me to make this beer. I don’t lager so I use a clean ale yeast and ferment cool.

For extract I would go with a cream ale kit and use a pound of sugar and use Danstar Nottingham Ale Yeast or Safale US-05 Ale Yeast and ferment cool.

I’ve been brewing for almost 10 years and tried brewing some thing close to a light beer it came out alright but it sure wasn’t the same and one or two attempts at it were enough.

Since I’m a diabetic I’m limited to drinking a glass of good beer then having to drink Coors Light.

I buy a 1/2 barrel and transfer it into three 5 gallon kegs and the balance into a 2.5 gallon one.

It costs me $90 for the keg which figures out to .54 cents for 12 oz for 165 12oz servings.

Save your beer brewing for some thing good that costs 8-10 dollars a sixer not the cheap stuff that will never taste like the real thing.

Have fun brewing it is a very good hobby.

i don’t understand why brewing a light lager is so hard,i’ve made some that taste just like one of the big ones and it isn’t any different than any other beer.

Cream ales would be a very good option for something light in the ale range (you have a good amount of flexibility with your grain bill, too). Back before she seemingly went a bit kooky (and while she was still selling supplies out of her garage in North Austin and running a daycare upstairs, IIRC), Lynn at St. Pat’s in Austin used to sell an extract kit for a Texas Thirst Quencher back in the mid-1990s that had: 1/2 lb victory, 4 lb Moravian pale (at the time, this extract was billed as the lightest in colour extract available), 1 lb rice extract, 1 oz Hallertau, 1 oz Hallertau, Pilsen Lager, 1 cup corn sugar OG 1.035 3.5% alc.
Making something as incredibly and consistently light and uniform in colour and flavour, crystal clear, etc., is a real challenge that has been perfected by methods impractical to reproduce on the homebrew scale. You have a lot of room with all-grain to make quite interesting and subtle low-gravity beers in the ale range. Lagering would change the flavour dynamic, too, if you’re set up to go that route.

4lb of rawr two row
3.5 lb of minute rice
hops of choice about a quarter to half oz at 60
dry lager yeast 34/70

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