What simple ingredients to mix with carbonated water to make non-alcoholic beer?

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Joined Jan 21, 2012
Weird question...

but what simple ingredients could I mix with carbonated water to make a non-alcoholic beer-tasting drink? Surprisingly a little lemon and carbonated water is pretty close to tasting like a light beer... But what else could I try to add? Needs a little bit of a bitter part... But not sure what ingredients could do that for me. 

Thanks! Need help from some professionals!

G
 
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Joined Aug 13, 2006
I'm wondering if you want to make a real non-alcoholic beer or just something that satisfies like beer but is not beer and not alcoholic.  Beer is about the only alcoholic drink i truly enjoy, but what i like about it is the bitterness.  Personally, i wouldn't find lemon to be anything near it.  Lemon is sour, beer is bitter (well some ales are sourish, but i don't like them much, but that;s personal taste). 

There are some roots that are bitter, and other substances that could be used to make a sort of beerish drink.  In Italy they make a dark drink that looks like cola but is made of china (pronounced keena) which, i believe, is a very bitter orange.  But that's got sugar in it.   The resulting soft drink is a very adult taste, bitter-sweet. 

The other thing is that beer is not carbonated, and the bubbles are more creamy - they;re very tiny and the result of yeast growing. 

Beer is made from barley malt i believe (or occasionally other malts, like wheat malt (correct me if i'm wrong) in "weiss" beer. and rice in some asian beers.  Here, again, in Italy there is a drink called "orzo" which is toasted barley, and they use it to make a coffee substitute and a brand called Kneipp is made of toasted malted barley.  Malted barley is barley that's been allowed to sprout, i believe.  (For sure others more knowledgeable can tell you these things more correctly, but since no one is bothering to answer you I'm trying, but take what i say with a grain of salt!)  So theoretically, you could sprout barley, toast it, and grind it and make a sort of coffee, which would be like the malt in beer.  But beer contains hops.  So then what?  And it's fermented. 

the father of a friend of mine used to make real rootbeer - which was made of roots, bitter roots, or at least the extracts from those roots, and was actually fermented (he used yeast) and put in bottles then it would foam up on opening.  It was not sweet. 

I would be curious how they do make alcohol-free beer - i presume it;s fermented but then maybe the alcohol is somehow eliminated, but how?  i don;t know. 

For a very thirst quenching bitter bubbly drink, try grapefruit.  but it won;t resemble beer. 
 
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Joined Jan 21, 2012
Thanks for your reply! It's a weird reason... Just an idea I have. I need it to be a beer-tasting drink not a non-alcoholic beer. When they make non alcoholic beer I believe they make normal beer and then use a process to remove the alcohol.. Still leaving small traces. I will look at some roots for flavoring... I agree it does need that bitter taste. 

Thanks for you help! If you have any more ideas let me know!

G
 
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Joined Sep 12, 2011
"Surprisingly a little lemon and carbonated water is pretty close to tasting like a light beer"

Really a surprise?  Light beer is made for people who don't like the taste of beer.

As Siduri says, beer has grain and hop tastes modified by fermentation.  I would also look instead for other non-sweet bubbly drinks -- there's a whole world of flavor.  Here's a little inspiration: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundaberg_Brewed_Drinks
 
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Joined Jan 21, 2012
Thanks for your input. That company's process for making non-alcoholic beverages will be something I'll need to check out!
 
3,599
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Joined Aug 13, 2006
"Surprisingly a little lemon and carbonated water is pretty close to tasting like a light beer"

Really a surprise?  Light beer is made for people who don't like the taste of beer.
I thought light beer was for people who LIKE the taste of beer but don't want or can;t take the alcohol.  I may have tasted it once but was not crazy about it but  if there were a good one i would, because i can only take a little bit of alcohol - like 6 oz of beer - otherwise i feel weird and unstable and rubbery, and it's not pleasant - can ruin my enjoyment of a dinner, believe it or not.  I drink any liquid quickly so that may be part of it. 
 
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Joined Jan 21, 2012
Light beer has the same alcohol % it just has less calories. That's besides the point tho... Looking for any roots or barleys I can boil and mimic the taste of beer simply. Thanks!
 
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Joined Nov 5, 2007
If you have a homebrew supply place in your area you can get some leaf hops and experiment with

making hop tea to add to the mix.  Careful, a little bit can go a long way.

mjb.
 
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