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Old 03-12-2013, 12:56 AM   #1
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Default Recipe Advice for Son's First Brewing Session

In a year or so I want to teach my son how to brew, along the lines of how I'm now showing him how to do laundry, cook and use power tools (not all at ther same time, natch). He's starting to show an interest in trying alcohol, it's legal in our state for parents to let kids have a beer, and I want to use brewing as a way to talk about responsible drinking and understanding a lot of the issues involved, and hopefully get him away from the model of so many teens of just guzzling multiple sixpacks of Busch.

Any input on a good starter recipe? (I currently do brew in a bag.) Here are some general guidelines I'm thinking of:

-- Low ABV. I'd like to go with something in the neighborhood of 3.5 for starters, definitely below 4. I want him to be able to have a first beer at 6 oz without getting buzzed (he's a fairly big kid, but hasn't had a drink, to my knowledge).

-- Moderate IBUs. I don't want it to be so bitter he's turned off, but I want him to think of beer as something that includes bitterness, in the same way that coffee has some.

-- Light color, moderate maltiness, with German hops. I'd like him to have a beer that's in the same general family as Bud (as opposed to, say, a low ABV Stout) but when he tastes the cheap stuff he has an idea of what a good version should taste like.

-- Quick and Simple to make. I'd like to avoid something that requires a long lagering period. So while a Kolsch might fit the other parts of the bill, they tend to take a long time to do well. Also, I'd like for him to be able to understand easily what part of the flavor is malt, what part is hops, and what part is yeast, so I'd like to avoid a recipe with 5 different types of malt and 3 different hops, and I'd prefer to avoid wheat this time around to keep thing simple too.

I'm thinking of something along the lines of this:
Brew in a Bag -- 5 Gallons Yield
6 lbs Pilsner
1 lb Vienna
Mash 60 min @ 150F
Boil 90 minutes
1 Oz Hallertau @ 60 min to go
.5 Oz Hallertau @ 15 min + Whirlfloc
.5 Oz Hallertau @ 5 min
S05 Yeast around 63F
Cold crash + gelatin fining

Any input or general ideas? Favorite recipes in this family?

Purity of style is not my goal here. Something like S05 Yeast isn't a regular thing with German hops, but it's pretty straightforward tasting and works fast, in my experience, and I assume it won't clash in a weird way. I'm not opposed to a traditional low ABV British beer like a Stout or Mild, but if there's a simple German-hopped lawnmower ale recipe, that would be my preference.

Paolipete is offline
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:59 AM   #2
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Nelson Sauvin is in my opinion a very under used hop. It's got a fruity almost wine like flavor and the IBUs are low. I think it would be a good hop to try. I have a 2 year old and I want to get him involved in brewing when he is old enough and I love that your doing this the right way. Good luck!!!

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Old 03-12-2013, 01:00 AM   #3
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That recipe looks like a good way to start. Another idea would be to make an American Wheat. It's light, low IBU, but also has some hop flavor and aroma. Could even make it a German (American) wheat. It'd be basically the same recipe as above except about 50% of your base is wheat.

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Old 03-12-2013, 01:08 AM   #4
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This is a great simple recipe that has a quick turn around. Light flavor but enough to know that you are drinking GOOD beer. Light in color and low IBU. Easily grain to glass in 2 to 3 weeks.
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:46 AM   #5
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You can make a faux-kolsch/alt with US-05, those aren't real yeasty beers. The NB Patersbier meets all your requirements too, and is delicious. It's basically your recipe on Belgian yeast.


Say no to intolerance: love gluten and lactose.

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