Homebrew - Non Alcoholic
Can I purchase NAY in homebrew format?
Currently, we do not offer any of our non-alcoholic yeast products (such as NAY) in homebrew format. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes you. We have made this decision in order to ensure that we have some control over the safety of products produced using our non-alcoholic yeast products.
What are the safety risks associated with non-alcoholic beer?
Our main reason for avoiding the homebrew distribution of non-alcoholic yeast products is safety. When it comes to producing a safe food product, there are typically three areas you can control to keep fermented foods safe for consumption. They are:
- pH: Products with a pH below 4.5 will usually see a lower risk of foodborne pathogens.
- Salinity: Many pathogens cannot survive in brine solutions which allows preserving bacteria (such as lactobacillus) to thrive and create acid
- Alcohol: Is a preservative that also makes make the item stable.
For products that are missing typically two of these three elements, you need to introduce something into your process to reduce or eliminate the risk of pathogens. Often this comes in the form of pasteurization or sterilization.
For foods above a pH of 4.5 (meats, soups, etc.) you'll need to deploy a pressure cooker to ensure a food product is safe. For products that are below 4.5 a fully submersed hot-water bath for at least 20 minutes will be sufficient.
If you are making something such as Alcohol-free beer, you won't have the controls to ensure the product will be safe for an extended period of time. While home pasteurization could be an option, without equipment to validate your process it can be difficult to know if you are reaching the requisite amount of Pasteurization Units.
How can I make non-alcoholic beer or other non-alcoholic beverages at home?
If you are still interested in making alcohol-free products, some other options that are just as fun include Kombucha or Water Kefir. The microbes involved result in quite acidic products that are safe. You can also use homebrewing equipment such as kegerators to produce larger volumes of force carbonated product if you would like get the product sooner.
If you are interested specifically in producing a malt-based product, consider making a low-OG wort (1.020 SG or lower) and fermenting with a standard Saccharomyces ale yeast. This will produce a beer of 1-2% ABV and below pH 4.5, which would be safe for production and consumption in a home setting. You could also look at arrested fermentation or non-enzymatic mashing as techniques for making safe non-alcoholic beers at home.
We provide some additional advice for making NA beers at home on the Experimental Brewing Podcast.