Non Alcoholic Spirits

Though I don't really understand any such attraction, NAS is evidently gaining traction?

Tried a sample of a cherry spirit ( think Kirschwasser) last night at the local watering hole.
Taste like spent, Kirsch low wines stillage that has had the fusels some how filtered out.

I don't get it. It ain't for me.

On the other hand, maybe a good way to turn some waste into a profit center?

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  • I have a friend who says if it is not over 2% abv I dont drink it. I was asked about making non alcoholic whiskey and my response was why ? I dont understand.

  • Personally I don't get it. Especially the price they charge! That said, I make a botanical water concentrate for a guy I know who makes NAS. The amount of mucking around he does when diluting before bottling is crazy to ensure the product is shelf stable and has low levels of impurities.

    Late last year a local NAS producer had to do a product recall due to microbial contamination, so I guess the stuffing around is required. Seems crazy when EToh does the job well ;-)

  • I agree above, but for sake of discussion ...... How do you do a non alcoholic whisky. I mean you have to cook the mash but then do a yeast and mash fermentation to get the flavours coming through. I am not sure that you get such type yeast that doesn't result in alcohol with all the sugars.

  • edited January 2022

    Hi @richard, there's a number of ways. This site describes them as well as a number of no / low alc yeast strains:

    Tips for Brewing Non-Alcoholic and Low Alcohol Beer @ White Labs

  • One option is to remove the alcohol afterwards.

    Another is to mix flavorings in quantities to approximate spirit flavors.

    I’m playing around with non-alc gin. You can extract flavors using solvents other than alcohol, ones that are more easily removed once extraction is complete.

    Stabilizing the oils in water is tricky though.

  • edited January 2022
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  • edited January 2022

    Supercritical CO2 extraction works really well for gin botanicals if your goal is completely alcohol free.

    You can use ethanol and fractionally distill under vacuum to separate out most of the ethanol, but I've found it really difficult to produce extracts that are completely alcohol free. The yield is awful, you lose most of the flavor with the ethanol. Recycling your solvent helps.

    Many of the alc-free botanical beverages are very low alcohol (below 0.5%) - because of this, and the fact that many commercial flavors come in alcohol carriers.

    It's extremely difficult to make fully flavored beverages with water as the base, if you thought louching at 40% alc. was a challenge, try it at 0% (Shake well before serving).

    Zero alc “spirits” should absolutely be more expensive, they are far more expensive and complicated to make. Whether or not consumers perceive enough value to be able to make this a business is another question entirely.

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