Can you make non-alcoholic beer at home?

I have made beer before with a beer kit…can you make it non alcolic? like just ferment it enough to carbonate it?

I’ve never done it but I understand yes, it can be done.

The problem for homebrewers is that it is essentially impossible to keep any and all microrganisms out of what is essentially unfermented wort. So once you seal it up in bottles those couple of bacteria or yeast cells or whatever is in there are going to go to town fermenting those sugars, make carbon dioxide and eventually you are going to have 48 or so 12 ounce glass hand grenades ready to explode at any time.

You run into the same problem bottling home made soda as well.

I have heard the safest way to do this is to put your finished product in a keg that has a valve that will automatically release pressure after it reaches a certain level.

You could make a non-alcoholic beer-like substance if you had a home kegging set-up for carbonation, but any natural carbonation is going to produce at least some alcohol.

Your options for making non-alcoholic homebrew are pretty sparse and none of them are likely to result in a pleasing product, you are better off buying a commercial NA like Clausthaler

This is what I understand as well. A brewing book I have says that there are 3 ways of doing it:

  1. Boil the alcohol off, which makes carbonation difficult and changes the taste.

  2. Use expensive osmosis equipment. If your kitchen is as big as the Budweiser brewery, you’ll have room for this.

  3. Don’t add yeast in the first place.

Needless to say, none of these are great options.

I thought the way commercial brewers made non-alcoholic beer was to first make alcoholic beer and then gradually remove the alcohol.

I’m not sure this is always the case. From what I remember from one of Charles Papazian’s books, he explains that non-alcoholic beer is often made with a special strain of yeast and conditions which somehow arrests the life cycle of the yeast such that the sugars do get broken down, but no significant %age of alcohol is produced.

My wag would be to make the beer the regular way, then boil the alcohol off, then use pressurized CO2 for the carbination (don’t add more fermentables to get the CO2). Perhaps this can be done under low pressures so you don’t have to actually heat the finsihed product too much.

I could get into the Pasteur effect and the Crabtree effect and the EMP pathway but they are a little beyond the scope of this thread. You could force the yeast to revert to respiration vice fermentation by the continual introduction of oxygen once fermentation begins, but this will result in oxidation flavors that are unpleasant.

As far as heating to the boiling point of alcohol, that is probably the best ‘at-home’ solution but that too will affect the flavor as oxygen-inducedstaling is greatly accelerated with temperature.

I thought the way they did it was to slowly freeze the mixture so the water froze and you were left with a highly alcoholic liquid core that could be extracted. That way, you wouldn’t get many of the undesirable chemical reactions that would occur with boiling.

That method is used for making “eisbock,” a bock that has been partially frozen and the ice skimmed off to concentrate the alcohol. It’s basically a form of distilling, and it’s not used–to my knowledge–in the production of non-alcoholic beer. I’m not exactly sure how that would work, as your liquid core would basically have all your beer flavor. If you extracted it out, you’d be left with a rather tasteless product.

Anyhow, I’m at home, so I finally found that Papazian reference. From Home Brewer’s Gold by Charlie Papazian: