Calories in Beer and Your Home Brew
I expect if you brew your own beer you may not be that interested in how many calories are in it. I know I wasn’t at all interested until someone asked me and I couldn’t tell them. I suppose it’s a valid point to bring up if you are watching your weight but my concern is more to do with what it tastes like (plus I’m skinny as a rake). However I decided to do a bit of research as to calculating the calories in beer to get a rough estimate. I know that software like Beersmith can calculate calories so if you have similar tools you can utilise then you can easily get a ballpark figure.
Calories In Beer
First of all let’s clear up some of the stigma surrounding beer and it’s potential to cause weight gain i.e a beer belly. Generally there are less calories in a moderate ABV beer than drinks such as cola, fruit juice and wine (check out this BBC news report). This is good news if you are counting the calories right?
Most breweries don’t write how many calories are in their beer on their bottles so it’s hard to make assumptions on the calories present. Peter Kennedy over at Simply Beer has made a simple chart to give you an estimation of the calories in beer according to the Alcohol by Volume. For the most part this chart is all you really need, it’s fairly accurate and I would suggest if you are that concerned about counting calories and losing weight to not drink a load of beer.
Calories in Home Brew
To work out the calories in your home brew though is easier (using help, of course). The calories in beer comes from the alcohol and from the carbohydrates. Generally speaking the higher the alcohol content the higher the calories. There is also the carbohydrates that cannot be consumed by the yeast so they are present after fermentation. This makes it fairly simple to calculate the number of calories in your home brew as long as you know the starting and finishing gravity of your beer.
If you want to then you can find the formula online and plug it into a calculator. I myself cannot be bothered with this type of thing so if I really want to know the calories in my home brew I use an online calculator like this one on Joe Brewer’s BrewBlog. As I mentioned previously software like Beersmith has these calculations automated.
Just plug in your hydrometer readings (OG and FG) and it will tell you the calories in a 12 ounce beer. If you wanted to you could convert this into whatever serving you want.
If you are a home brewer and concerned about the calories in beer, good luck to you.