How To Reduce Carbs in Your Homebrew Beer
Low-carb diets have been popular for decades and don’t seem to be going anywhere. However, sticking to a diet long-term may be difficult because you can’t have your favorite food and drinks, and you’ll always look for ways to get around the limitations of your diet. If you brew your own beer, you may be wondering if it’s possible to reduce carbs in your homebrew beer.
You can reduce the carb content in your beer by adding Beano to the fermenter on day three. You can achieve similar results with Amylo 300. This enzyme can be added to the mesh or while the beer is fermenting. It’s also possible to improvise low-carb beer with whisky and hops.
If you’re a home brewer and want to create a beer that fits your (or a loved one’s) low-carb preferences, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll discuss three ways in which you can make low-carb beer, so you’ll know where to start when you start making your own.
1. Add Beano to Your Beer
You might look in disbelief upon reading this, but it makes sense when you think about it. Beano is a dietary supplement whose goal is to reduce bloating after eating beans, whole grains, and other foods that might be difficult to digest.
What does this have to do with beer, then?
Beano works by breaking down complex carbohydrates. That’s how it helps with gasses and bloating. This mechanism can also help you reduce the carbohydrate content in beer.
Adding Beano to your beer will basically eat the complex carbs in your beer and thus reduce the overall carb content. However, it’s a bit more complex than that.
We’ve said that Beano breaks down complex carbohydrates. When this happens, the carbohydrates don’t just vanish into thin air. They become simple carbohydrates, that is, sugars.
These sugars can’t just disappear. Most of them are converted into ethanol. In other words, you’ll get a beer that’s poorer in carbohydrates but richer in alcohol. If you like a strong beer, this might be fine, but if you don’t want to increase the alcohol content, you may not like this.
Alcohol is also calorie-dense. A gram of alcohol has 7 calories. Therefore, you might get a calorie reduction with this method, but not as significant as you might expect.
However, the alcohol will add body and taste to the beer, which is always a welcome addition. If that’s your preference, you’ll enjoy the end result.
If lowering the calorie content is not as big of a concern as avoiding carbs, then you can choose this option. For example, if you’re on a keto diet and don’t mind having some calories from alcohol, this option will work for you.
How To Use Beano To Reduce the Carb Content
Adding Beano to your homebrew beer won’t change your production process significantly. Most of what you do will stay the same, and the additional investment won’t be particularly significant since Beano is not an expensive supplement.
Here’s what you should do.
- Mash the barley at 148°F (64°C).
- Use a two-liter yeast starter, such as California Ale Yeast.
- Finely crush five Beano tablets and add them to the fermenter on the third day.
- Let Beano work its magic.
As you can see, the procedure is pretty simple, and you’ll get decent results. Lots of people have used it and been pretty happy with the results. You’ll probably like it too.
2. Add Amylo 300 to Your Beer
Amylo 300 is an amyloglucosidase and is a very common brewing addition. To be specific, it’s common in Brut IPA.
Brut IPA is a subtype of IPA that resembles champagne. Its name is drawn from the world of champagne. Brut IPA is characterized by its heavy carbonation and dryness.
It is also not particularly sweet, which is the main role of Amylo 300 in the recipe. This beer is a young subtype of IPA, but it has been gaining popularity since its inception, and it is increasingly common to see recipes for it.
There is also an unexpected benefit of adding Amylo 300 to IPA. The enzyme lowers the carbohydrate content of the beer. So, you get a fancy, sparkly beer with a great taste and low carb content. What’s not to love here?
There is debate on whether you should add it to the mash or during the fermentation process. There is no firm answer to this question, and you can do whatever you prefer. You should try both to see what you like best.
The beer has a stronger malt taste when you add Amylo 300 to your mash. Adding it during the fermentation process gives you a less sweet taste. Therefore, go for the process that gives you the taste you prefer.
There is no difference in the brewing process compared to what you usually do. Add a dose of Amylo 300 during the brewing stage you prefer, and let it do its job.
You’ll get a good-tasting beer that will feel like a breath of fresh air. You’ll also achieve the goal of getting a low-carb beer, so you’ll most likely be happy with the results.
3. Make a DIY Keto Beer
While it’s arguable to what extent this recipe can be called a beer recipe, it’s reached some degree of popularity in Keto circles, which indicates that it gets the job done.
The idea here is to improvise a beer using whisky and hops. While this might be bizarre at first sight, it starts to make sense when you remember that beer and whiskey are made from barley.
Whiskey is also quite low-carb, so it follows that you can turn it into a beverage similar to beer with a bit of tinkering. Let’s see what you should do.
For this recipe, you’ll need:
- 4 cups of dry hops
- 750 ml of whisky (Jameson works fine)
- A cheesecloth
- 1 tbsp of plain gelatin
- One glass of hot water
Here’s what you have to do.
- Soak the hops in the whisky. Make sure they’re completely soaked.
- Cover the container and leave it in the fridge for five days.
- Strain through the cheesecloth.
- You’ll get around 350 ml of hops-infused whisky.
- Add a shot of the liquid to a glass of carbonated water to get a beer.
- Stir the gelatin into a glass of hot water.
- Add a tablespoon of the mixture to your beer to get the body.
While the concoction produced this way may not seem promising, many keto people have been happy with the results. The end product looks and tastes like beer, so it can definitely scratch the itch.
One big benefit of this method is that it’s very low-effort. You can pull this off in just a few steps, so it can be a good way to get homemade beer when you don’t feel like brewing.
Will Low-Carb Beer Taste Watered-Down?
Low-carb and low-calorie beers often taste watered-down. This problem occurs because both carbohydrates and alcohol give body and flavor to the beer.
The easiest way to reduce calories in commercial beer is to reduce carbs and alcohol. Reducing them also means that manufacturers have to reduce the hops content.
These three ingredients give flavor and body to the beer. Less of these ingredients in your beer means less flavor and comparatively more water, so it follows that such a beer will taste at least somewhat watered-down.
In homebrew beer, this is somewhat attenuated by not reducing the alcohol and hops content. This will help your beer retain its flavor. However, it will taste different, and the lack of carbs will change the beer’s mouthfeel, so it might feel more like water, even if it tastes okay.
If low-carb and low-calorie beer seems too much of a hassle, you can drink less beer. You can simply include it in your macros if you’re on a diet and use that to make sure that you’re not overstepping your carb and calorie goals for the day.
Even some keto people do this. They have a beer and then ensure they have no other carbs. It makes things a bit easier and might help you stick to your diet if you let yourself loose every once in a while.
You should still practice self-control, though. Don’t let a beer turn into a six-pack with some chips on the side. A cheat meal might help you stay on track, but you shouldn’t turn it into a cheat week or month.
Even if you manage to make a decent low-carb beer, you shouldn’t drink it like water if your goal is weight loss. The calories from the alcohol will quickly add up, and the fact that the beer is carb-free won’t matter much.
The choice of yeast can also be an important factor in preserving the full taste of your beer, even if it’s low-carb. Choosing a yeast like the English Ale yeast can provide more body to your beer while keeping the carbs and calories relatively low.
What Low-Carb Beers Should You Try?
If you try to stick to a low-carb diet, you won’t always have your homebrew beer with you. You’ll often have to pick a mass-produced beer, which can be tricky if you don’t know what to look for.
However, it’s possible to stick to being low-carb and drink beer that you didn’t personally make. There is much choice nowadays owing to rising health consciousness, so you’ll surely find something you like.
Trying out some store-bought beers might give you ideas for your home brewing, so you can improve your low-carb beer and make it taste more like regular beer.
Let’s look at some good low-carb beer choices.
Milwaukee’s Best Light
This beer was made with the belief that light beer should taste like beer, and the company delivered its promise.
There are 3.2 grams of carbs per 12 oz (340 grams) and 4.2% alcohol, so it can give you a buzz despite being low-carb. It has a bitter but smooth taste and comes at an affordable price, which is one of the reasons it’s popular.
Yuengling Light Lager 99
This tasty and refreshing drink is a recent improvement on their old Light Lager recipe. It has 3.2 grams of carbs per 12 oz (340 grams), so it’s quite diet-friendly when drunk in moderation.
This beer doesn’t lack anything in the taste department either, with its caramel, hops, and malt notes, so you won’t feel like you’re drinking water.
This is a light IPA that provides a lot of refreshment and taste. Apart from the hoppy notes of IPA, it also has citrus, eucalyptus, and tropical fruit notes.
It has 3 grams of carbs per 12-ounce (340 grams) serving, so it’s not a bad choice if you want to cut down on carbs. It also has a 4% alcohol content, which makes it softer than most IPAs, but it’s nice to sip on.
Blue Moon LightSky
This beer is dedicated to creating authentic citrus notes. It’s brewed with actual tangerine peel, which brings a nice zestiness to the beer.
It has 3.6 grams of carbs, which is not bad, and a 4% alcohol content, making it quite moderate. The can is also very nicely designed, and its slimness allows it to fit into your pocket easily.
Devils Backbone Bright Tangerine Ale
This ale is a hit on a few different levels. It has two grams of carbohydrates, and there is also no gluten in it. To make things even better, it tastes amazing.
It’s dry, bubbly, and has citrus and tangerine flavors bound to appeal to almost everyone.
Bud Light Next
Everyone is familiar with bud light, but Bud Light Next is a big leap forward in its beer-making. Next has zero carbs, making it as diet-friendly as possible, and a low 4% alcohol content. In spite of that, it has a nice citrus taste, so it won’t lack anything regarding the taste.
So, that does it for this post. You can easily reduce the carb content in your homebrew beer by adding enzymes in the process. You can also make keto beer from whisky and hops, which is a quick and easy solution.