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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Noob question - why can't I brew JUST with pale malt extract, at least for starters?
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:53 AM   #21
markowe
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Since hops is a problem you might want to try using some herbs and spices which may be more readily available to you. Check out the book "the home brewers garden" by denis fisher hops has a few functions but certain qualities that the hops imparts to your brew can be approximated such as bittering with endive... hops is relatively new in the history of beer. As to grains, any fermentable sugar will produce beer though the flavors will vary wildly. Since you have a maltster ag is prob your best bet.
I guess I would like to TRY and get as many "proper" beer ingredients together as possible, including hops, and leave experimenting with herbs and things for later brews. The hops sold here as "tea" are just dried hops basically (I am sure there is some good medicinal reason why you would want to drink that :-)), almost certainly the Vojvodina Robusta or Aroma varieties that have been mentioned on the forum here. Just got to figure out what sort of properties they are likely to impart, and what sort of schedule might work.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:42 AM   #22
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Reading through this thread with only out-of-date memories of the area it seems you have as much an opportunity as a problem. Living in a sea of barley with enough demand to justify selling the industrial beer-like products seems ideal for starting a malt and general beer ingredient cooperative.

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Old 09-22-2012, 01:22 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by markowe

I guess I would like to TRY and get as many "proper" beer ingredients together as possible, including hops, and leave experimenting with herbs and things for later brews. The hops sold here as "tea" are just dried hops basically (I am sure there is some good medicinal reason why you would want to drink that :-)), almost certainly the Vojvodina Robusta or Aroma varieties that have been mentioned on the forum here. Just got to figure out what sort of properties they are likely to impart, and what sort of schedule might work.
I hear ya on experimenting but if you look for "brewing gruit" you will find it's not so much experimenting and a much older more traditional way of brewing. Check out this page:

http://www.gruitale.com/intro_en.htm

Also there is a thread here on the forum:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/gruit-ale-180815/

It has been successfully done so you don't need to start from scratch and may find you already have the ingredients available.
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:25 PM   #24
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I hear ya on experimenting but if you look for "brewing gruit" you will find it's not so much experimenting and a much older more traditional way of brewing. Check out this page:

http://www.gruitale.com/intro_en.htm

Also there is a thread here on the forum:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/gruit-ale-180815/

It has been successfully done so you don't need to start from scratch and may find you already have the ingredients available.
OK, I will definitely look into it! Bog myrtle, mugwort, sweet gale and myrica gale eh? Sounds like it might be fun trying identify some of those round these parts. In fact I can't rule out a visit to a bog . Mind you, it would be easier if I could find some more everyday herbs that might be sold on the market as herbal teas or whatever. Definitely doable, I will consider it!
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:30 PM   #25
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OK, I will definitely look into it! Bog myrtle, mugwort, sweet gale and myrica gale eh? Sounds like it might be fun trying identify some of those round these parts. In fact I can't rule out a visit to a bog . Mind you, it would be easier if I could find some more everyday herbs that might be sold on the market as herbal teas or whatever. Definitely doable, I will consider it!
I agree getting beer ingredients would be more desirable but at least there is the possibility of being able to make something tasty without "true" modern ingredients. Most herbs listed for gruit are easily and readily available in health food stores.
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:43 PM   #26
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Reading through this thread with only out-of-date memories of the area it seems you have as much an opportunity as a problem. Living in a sea of barley with enough demand to justify selling the industrial beer-like products seems ideal for starting a malt and general beer ingredient cooperative.
Yeah, I definitely always have an ear open for a business opportunity, I can see where there would be one, I can already think of a few out-of-work brewing technologists I know too. But there must be some reason why there is almost a complete lack of microbreweries round here, since there are a zillion privately-owned wine cellars. Must just be a tradition thing, maybe it's time for a decent local brew - though it's impossible to compete on price with the commercial breweries (Carlsberg and Interbrew-owned) and the cheap bilge they produce, and this is a pretty price-sensitive market. It would have to be a DARN good brew . (There are also endless quantities of pumpkins here in autumn, wonder how the local market would react to a decent pumpkin ale...)
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:02 PM   #27
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markowe: it's impossible to compete on price

Well, as the old saw goes if you can't sell the cheapest than all that's left is to sell the best. A little independence, hops, yeast and a lot of grain is a great start for a return to real beer in the grand tradition in which civilization was nurtured.

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Old 09-22-2012, 02:04 PM   #28
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markowe: it's impossible to compete on price

Well, as the old saw goes if you can't sell the cheapest than all that's left is to sell the best. A little independence, hops, yeast and a lot of grain is a great start for a return to real beer in the grand tradition in which civilization was nurtured.
Amen brother!
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