From the HBD Archive
From: "Jean B. Hunter" <>
Subject: NA Beer - the Schmidling Method
Date: 1992-05-05 03:51:18 GMT

Howdy fellow brewers -
My first post on this having apparently been lost into the bit bucket
of the Internet, here goes again:
HPLC results on alcohol content of Jack's beers are in! The method
appears to remove 60 to 70% of the alcohol from the beer, based on
an estimate that an ordinary homebrewed ale will run 4% to 4.5% alcohol
by weight. Jack sent me samples from two batches of NA beer which I
analyzed against Labatt's 50 and Freeport NA Brew as controls.
Labatt's 50: 3.51% alcohol by weight
Jack's batch 1: 1.51%
Jack's batch 2: 1.76%
Freeport NA Brew 0.00%
The bottle that Jack sent me for tasting developed a small mold colony
at the meniscus during storage; so did the other glass bottle which was
not carbonated. The Batch 2 sample in the plastic bottle did not develop
mold. A lesson here is that low alcohol beers are probAbly more prone to
infection than full-alcohol beers.
I apologize to Jack for the surprise posting of a review of the taste
of his NA beer that had become contaminated with mold. At the end of a
workshop on beer faults and off-flavors, I served several homebrewed and
commercial beers with distinctive flavor profiles -= including Molson,
Yuengling Porter, Rodenbach, and Freeport NA Brew. Jack's brew was served
as a comparison to the commercial NA brew, but unfortunately the subtle
"low ethanol" attribute was masked by the various intense herbal flavors
in the beer.
Bottom line on batch flash distillation to remove ethanol: Using Jack's
method of a slow heat to 170C and a slow cool to room temp, you can remove
over half the the alcohol in homebrew. A valid review of the effects of
the "Schmidling method" on flavor is not possible at this point. Any more
experimenters out there?
Thanks, Jack, for sending your beer for analysis, and again, sorry for
the delays.
Cheers and beers -- Jean

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