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Old 04-07-2010, 01:21 PM   #1
Wampus
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Default Reading, reading, reading.............

OK......so I've been reading like crazy (when I can) for the last few days since joining here and trying to find out about this "home brewing thing".

I'm on section 2 of "How To Brew" by John Palmer. I've already learned so much. Heck....on Sunday, I didn't have a CLUE what priming was or what the heck "pitching yeast" meant.



ANYWAY.......So I can't resist asking a question here...

I typically like darker, stronger beers. To give you an idea of my tastes:
I like:
Samuel Adams Boston Lager
Smithwick's
Fat Tire
Shiner Bock
Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout

I don't care for pilsners, or any other light colored beer.



Generally speaking, if (after I get the equipment) I want to end up with a darker beer....is it all about the ingredients or the brewing/resting time, etc? I mean I've read about lagering and hopps, but I'm still really new and haven't yet read about "light" vs "dark". I don't particularly care how dark a beer is, I guess, I just know that I like the taste of what are typically darker beers.


I know, I know......keep reading. I'm sure it'll be in the book.....

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Old 04-07-2010, 01:28 PM   #2
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Darker (higher roasted) malts give darker beer. Most of the beers you list don't taste different than Bud Light because of darker malts (the SSOS does though). They taste better to you because they are made with all malt, no adjuncts (corn, rice, sugar, etc.). You would probably like any beer kit labeled American Pale Ale.

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Old 04-07-2010, 01:30 PM   #3
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Well, the good news is that darker beers tend to be easier to make, and can more easily hide any flaws!

If you like ales like oatmeal stout, brown ale (like Newcastle, or American browns like Moose Drool), Fat Tire (not dark, but still an ale!), Irish reds, etc, they are pretty easy to make and there are tons of recipes here on the site that will help out.

When I first started, I bought an ingredients kit from austinhomebrew.com. I picked the style I wanted, and they sent me all the ingredients and the instructions. You don't have to do that, of course, but it is one option. Otherwise, feel free to browse our recipe database, looking for "extract" recipes, and ask any questions you may have.

Stay away from lagers, at least until you have a handle on brewing, since they are much more temperature dependent and a bit finicky. Any ale would be fine to do, though!

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Old 04-07-2010, 01:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by pkeeler View Post
Darker (higher roasted) malts give darker beer. Most of the beers you list don't taste different than Bud Light because of darker malts (the SSOS does though). They taste better to you because they are made with all malt, no adjuncts (corn, rice, sugar, etc.). You would probably like any beer kit labeled American Pale Ale.
Really? See, I've usually steered clear of any pale beers, because I've always assumed that they always tasted like Bud, Coors, whatever.

Obviously, it's not hard for me to understand that's a HUGE generalization.

So what you're saying is if a beer's made with all malt and no adjuncts, it will have a deeper flavor, even if it's light or pale in color? Did I get that right?
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:47 PM   #5
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Wampus,

+1 on the dark beers! My favorites!

I have gotten many kits from Austin Homebrew Supply. They have some very good oatmeal stouts. I like their AHS Oatmeal Stout. They have 100's of recipes, and can get over whelming. I still get my extract from them becasue it comes in plastic buckets instead of cans. I have the idea that old extract in cans gives it a weird taste. IMHO

spence

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Old 04-07-2010, 01:54 PM   #6
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Generally. But you've also mixing lagers with ales, and that's a big difference too!

Bud, Miller, etc, are adjunct ridden (corn and rice) to make them pretty neutral, and then they are lagers as well. There are some other very light beers that use adjuncts, like Genessee Cream Ale, that is very similar in color and taste but is an ale.

Most of us would consider Fat Tire pretty "light", since it's an American amber, but it has much more color and flavor than a typical American light lager. Boston Lager, while a nice beer, is pretty light as well. Shiner Bock, too.

Some darker colored beers have much less flavor than you'd expect, just by going by the color. Like Newcastle- it's pretty "light" in the flavor considering it's brownish. Even the oatmeal stout you mentioned is pretty light tasting to many of us.

Dark color doesn't really translate to more flavor, although in some cases the darker beers have a depth of flavor from roasted malts.

For homework, you should find a beer store that will let you buy singles, and sample some different beers, from Stella Artois (a light lager) to Sierra Nevada's porter. Write down any notes about each of them- "earthy, hot, roasty, bitter", etc and see what you like about each of them. Drink them at the correct temperature, too, if you can! Some beers open up at 45 degrees, and taste far better than at an ice cold temperature.

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Old 04-07-2010, 02:05 PM   #7
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Hey Wmpus, do a couple google searchers for "Beer Styles" and "Beer Style examples" -- Many of your examples are in the sweet spot for home brewers (Sam Adams and Shiner are the exceptions, but there are other options), you just need to learn the style names and head to your local home brew store and pick up a kit.
You can also head to the liquor store, see if you can find one that allows you to mix and match your won 6 packs. Then pay attention to what they call the beers.
Once you have the vocab you will be able to find recipes to match the styles you like.

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Old 04-07-2010, 02:15 PM   #8
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Really? See, I've usually steered clear of any pale beers, because I've always assumed that they always tasted like Bud, Coors, whatever.
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a widely available example of a pale ale--it's nothing like what we call BMC around here (Bud/Miller/Coors). Pale ales are noticeably darker color than light lagers.

It's worth trying one to see what a decent pale ale tastes like--you can probably find singles at some stores or try just one at a bar or restaurant near you.

There are 2 overarching categories of beer: lagers and ales (they use different kinds of yeast). All the popular BMC beers, as well as Smithwick's, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Shiner Bock, and thinks like Heineken, Amstel, and Pilsner Urquell are lagers. Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout, Guinness Draft, Sierra Nevada, Fat Tire, and Newcastle Brown are examples of ales.
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:55 PM   #9
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My favorite online style guide, it has great descriptions and lots of commercial examples:
http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/catdex.php

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Old 04-07-2010, 03:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SumnerH View Post
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a widely available example of a pale ale--it's nothing like what we call BMC around here (Bud/Miller/Coors). Pale ales are noticeably darker color than light lagers.

It's worth trying one to see what a decent pale ale tastes like--you can probably find singles at some stores or try just one at a bar or restaurant near you.

There are 2 overarching categories of beer: lagers and ales (they use different kinds of yeast). All the popular BMC beers, as well as Smithwick's, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Shiner Bock, and thinks like Heineken, Amstel, and Pilsner Urquell are lagers. Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout, Guinness Draft, Sierra Nevada, Fat Tire, and Newcastle Brown are examples of ales.
So ales and lagers can't really distinguished between in terms strictly on taste, right? I mean Sam Adams BL and Bass Ale have a similar color and sort of similar taste, IMO (or at least I like them both). Don't get me wrong....I've just been reading about beer styles and things like mouthfeel and and the seemingly unending list of beer taste characteristics...I don't mean to generalize.

I've tried Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and I gotta say I could barely finish the bottle. Not my cup of tea. Another "taste" thing with me is that I don't care for (pretty much ever) beers that taste like Beck's, Heineken, Grolsch, or other beers that I've always described as "skunky". Isn't that "skunky" the hops? Is that correct?
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