Tasting Notes: Rye-Based Session Beers

Those of you who have been following BWJ for a while know that I’ve been playing with rye as a way to lower the gravity and alcohol of homebrews while maintaining a satisfying level of mouthfeel. In this week’s Basic Brewing Video episode, Steve Wilkes and I sample two of them. Both have been featured here: 100% Rye Pale Ale – Take Two and “Rye Wit.”

In the episode, we walk viewers through the brewing process of each. Brew in a Bag (BIAB) is essential because of the gumminess of the rye wort.


  1. I’ve been working on cutting my Rye IPA recipe back to an APA. First couple test batches are promising. Choosing the right yeast helps a lot with mouthfeel without having to go quite so heavy on rye. No surprise, I guess, but I use WY1450 for it.

  2. James, have you considered adding some crystal rye or wheat to one of your 100% experiments? Somebody gave me a bag of 120°L crystal rye ages ago that I’ve never found use for, and I keep thinking of interesting ways to dispose of it. 2% ABV American rye brown ale? 😉

  3. Do you think a protein rest would knock down the slick mouthfeel? I’ve done a few beers hovering around 50% wheat 50% rye and love the rye flavor, but haven’t yet gotten around to a 100% rye (but will soon). It seems like if you wanted to try a higher OG 100% rye again, a protein rest (by all accounts an archaic practice for today’s well modified malts) might be just the ticket.

    – Dennis, lifefermented.wordpress.com

    • I want to eventually try a step mash with a lower temperature rest, but I only wanted to change one variable this time. This version is really close. I may try adding the extra rest nest time.

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