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Old 06-03-2005, 10:29 AM   #1
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Default Hop-less beer recipes?

My father is severely allergic to hops and corn. Those are just a few of his many food allergies. He usually just sticks to wines. I would like to brew a special batch in the future that we can share together, without his face breaking out in purple spots and swelling up like a baloon!

My question is, are there any recipes out there for hopless beer? If so, has anybody tried any of these recipes? How was the taste? How well did they store and age? The corn part is an easy fix. I can prime with DME instead of corn sugar. I have read in a few places that most of the primitive beers did not contain hops. They contained other herbs, berries, barks, ect., for preserving and flavoring. But I cant seem to find any recipes. I know they are out there somewhere. Any help would be nice. Suggestions?


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Old 06-03-2005, 12:53 PM   #2
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If I'm not mistaken, the reason that many British beer styles are called "bitters" is not because they are particularly bitter, but because they were actually brewed with hops while their predecessors weren't. Unfortunately, I'll bet the predecessors didn't taste particularly good.

If you've ever made a yeast starter and tasted the liquid from it, that's pretty much what you can expect from a beer with no hops.

Are you brewing extract or all grain?


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Old 06-03-2005, 03:55 PM   #3
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I am brewing extract. Im a newbie, so I will be brewing extract for a long while before I decide to plunge into AG.
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Old 06-03-2005, 04:25 PM   #4
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I seem to remeber that some belgian wit beers use coriander for bittering? I know that some early beers used an herb called henbane for bittering, but they stopped using it since it has some strong effects.
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Old 06-03-2005, 07:16 PM   #5
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Pick a beer style that is low on hops (scottish) and replace them with a spice or herb. I've had a scottish ale with heather that was quite good. Or just eliminate the hops.
I brew a lemon-rosemary blonde ale that has such a low hop presence that they wouldn't be missed.
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Old 06-03-2005, 07:28 PM   #6
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Ed, if your willing try a partial mash using Bisquit Malt with your base DME. It is quite bitter when you use about 8 to 12 oz in 5 gallons. Then you could throw in some bitter orange peel. Then use a spice or herb to flavor.

Good luck
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Old 06-04-2005, 06:30 AM   #7
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i'll have to do some reading on partial mash. thanks for the advice.
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Old 06-04-2005, 02:47 PM   #8
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Dude, partial mash looks easy. soak, strain sparge! It doesn't look any harder then the specialty grains that I have been using in a cheesecloth sock. Im gonna give it a shot. Do you have a more detailed idea of what ingredients/recipe I should use though.
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Old 06-09-2005, 07:51 PM   #9
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Actually, a partial mash is much more involved than soaking specialty grains in what is essentially an extract beer. In reality, a partial mash involves everything an all-grain brew does only with smaller volumes.

Namely, you need to mash and sparge properly (ie not use a cheesecloth sack). Good luck!
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Old 06-11-2005, 04:29 PM   #10
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What sort of grain would you recommend for a hopless beer?


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