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Low-alcohol cider (or ginger beer)

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bullant

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I want to make a hard cider (or ginger beer) that can be consumed by my 15yo son. A drink with less than 0.5% ABV is classed as non-alcoholic. How would I make such a low alcohol cider?

More info: I'm not interested in carbonating apple juice because I want to teach my son the brewing/fermenting process
 

kadmium

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I want to make a hard cider (or ginger beer) that can be consumed by my 15yo son. A drink with less than 0.5% ABV is classed as non-alcoholic. How would I make such a low alcohol cider?

More info: I'm not interested in carbonating apple juice because I want to teach my son the brewing/fermenting process
Kombucha would be a good option, as it's low alcohol, fermented, great for you and can taste great depending on what you add to it?
 

MHB

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Safe have a new low alcohol ~0.5%, yeast LA-01. It takes a bit of handling but pulls up where you want.
Not sure if its being packed in sachet for home brewers, I think it's available in 500g blocks.
Here is a YouTube presentation, not very exciting but good technical info.
Don't skip the bottle pasteurisation step, one normal or wild yeast cell in there would guarantee bottle bombs.
SafBrew LA-01 info sheet. An article from BYO.
Be expensive to buy a 500g brick, if there is demand someone will either re-pack a bigger block or one of the other makers will bring out a "remarkably similar" yeast.
Good luck
Mark

Edit
Just realised you want to make Cider. Forget about LA-01 there is too much Sucrose in apple juice it will run away on you.
Have to do some more digging - sorry.
M
 
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Grmblz

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Just thinking out loud, and please excuse the simplicity of my thought processes, sugar = alcohol so low sugar (crab apples) would = low alcohol but be a very dry, possibly bitter cider, and you would need a source for the apples, then there's normal (sweet apple juice) that you could ferment but halt the fermentation at your desired alcohol level, chemically with sulphates, and stabilised with sorbates, or with heat pasteurisation, this will result in a very sweet cider.
Out on left field you could brew a normal cider, and then evaporate off the alcohol, heat to lets say 95c (ethanol boils at 93c approx) bit like the flambé you get with a Steak Diane burning off the alcohol from the brandy. This would actually cover a couple of hobbies, and pasteurise the cider at the same time.
Kad's a cider guy, and Marks the brains trust, what's the verdict folks, should I have left that RIS in the bottle. :drinkingbeer:
 

MHB

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Yep RIS and thinking are contraindicated!
Ethanol (one of squillions of alcohols) boils at 78.6oC (from memory)
Hard to make tasty low (well under 2.5-3%) at home without getting really technical.
Anything that going to taste nice is probably going to take 3 years to mature, by then he's 18 and probably wants to get hammered...
 

kadmium

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As MHB said, apples are to sweet. And you would essentially need to use heaps of water and a little apple to get low ABV. It's very hard to stop a fermentation in its tracks, unless you pasteurise really. Even KMET and Sorbates don't really stop fermentation but inhibit it from starting back up.

If you went with low apple and mainly water you would just end up with an insipid watery non apple flavoured drink.

My suggestion of Kombucha is that, it's pretty easy to do. You can buy ready to go kits with the scoby and all. It's very low alcohol (my nieces love the stuff and are 5 and 7) it tastes great, you can mix juices with it post ferment if stabilised, or mix fruit in pre ferment. And it's great for you (apparently according to imahippieandwearatinfoilhatvacinescauseautism.com)

Other than that, I guess you can get him involved in the regular home brewing, and buy the Carlton Zero etc for him to have, and don't give him a sample or two of the real stuff because that would be wrong. Tasty but wrong.
 

elmoMakesBeer

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I also think kombucha is great. Another good option is (nearly) alcohol-free ginger beer. I remember my mum used to make it, bottle-priming with a sultana in each bottle. There were a few exploding bottles back then. The recipe linked below looks similar to what she made but it says to use plastic soft-drink bottles and doesn't mention priming with sultanas.
Like brewing beer there is a boil, ferment with yeast (might as well use brewing yeast), bottle and drink. If you or your son enjoy it, I suggest increasing the batch size - two litres won't go far.
 

Grmblz

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Yep RIS and thinking are contraindicated!
Ethanol (one of squillions of alcohols) boils at 78.6oC (from memory)
Hard to make tasty low (well under 2.5-3%) at home without getting really technical.
Anything that going to taste nice is probably going to take 3 years to mature, by then he's 18 and probably wants to get hammered...
Yes, I was thinking 95c to drive off the fusels as well as the ethanol, but it would probably evaporate all the flavour/aroma as well, Oh well, kombucha it is.
 

Gollywog

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just a word of caution with Kombucha. Most homemade kombucha is going to be closer to 1%, up to 2% alcohol. Not the 0.5% everyone thinks.
 

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