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Old 05-28-2009, 05:54 AM   #1
STEVENJAN
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Is this a silly question? I can't quite get a handle on this.
I was trying to find out if you can make beer without a bittering agent like hops or spruce or bitter spice. Just because, ok.
Anyway, when I looked it up I came across "dubbel".
I also found Belgian dubbel w/hops.
Is there such a thing as making beer with malt only? Is it not beer at that point? Is it malt wine and not beer? Is it called something else? Got answers?



 
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:20 AM   #2
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Only Dubbel I know of is a Belgian Dubbel:

BJCP 2008 Style Guidelines - Category 18

As for beer without hops, I'd imagine it's pretty tough to get the right bittering down, but it's entirely possible. If you make a beer with malt only, it will be sweet and cloying...you need a bittering agent to balance.


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Old 05-28-2009, 10:28 AM   #3

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If you make a beer with malt only, it will be sweet and cloying...you need a bittering agent to balance.
Not entirely true: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/medieval-ale-discussion-experiences-101776/

To the OP, it is indeed possible to brew beers without any bittering agent as the thread above shows; historically, fermented malt beverages could also be bittered with herbs other than hops and were known as 'gruit'.

Jason


 
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyangler18 View Post
Not entirely true: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/medieval-ale-discussion-experiences-101776/

To the OP, it is indeed possible to brew beers without any bittering agent as the thread above shows; historically, fermented malt beverages could also be bittered with herbs other than hops and were known as 'gruit'.

Jason
Yes, but you have to concede that your recipe in that link isn't necessarily what most would call a typical beer recipe and that on the average, just brewing a standard beer recipe minus the hops would in many cases result in an out of balance beverage....which is likely the point that DB was making with a broad brushstroke.

OP: what links did you find that indicated that dubbles didn't use hops or alternative bitterings? There are several unbittered fermented beverages I've read about in the past but I don't recall anything on the basic dubbel style.

 
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:36 PM   #5
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There are also Malt beverages (non-alcoholic) with no hops I believe, some flavored with different fruits.
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:44 PM   #6

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Yes, but you have to concede that your recipe in that link isn't necessarily what most would call a typical beer recipe and that on the average, just brewing a standard beer recipe minus the hops would in many cases result in an out of balance beverage....which is likely the point that DB was making with a broad brushstroke.
Absolutely! I just abhor generalizations. It, of course, depends entirely on the characteristics of the style as to the amount of bitterness necessary to balance.

 
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyangler18 View Post
Absolutely! I just abhor generalizations. It, of course, depends entirely on the characteristics of the style as to the amount of bitterness necessary to balance.
I've also heard of wheat wine being made without hops, which could be quite tasty. I too abhor generalizations, but as my friend always tells me when I try to give too many details at the LHBS, "Don't muddy the water for the beginners."

In general, ale made without hops would be extremely malty and/or sweet. I'd imagine the majority of "medieval" ales were terrible.
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:27 PM   #8

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Originally Posted by DeathBrewer View Post
In general, ale made without hops would be extremely malty and/or sweet. I'd imagine the majority of "medieval" ales were terrible.
Give the one linked a shot; I found it neither extremely malty nor sweet. In fact, it's rather nutty. Very refreshing, as a matter of fact!

 
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathBrewer View Post
In general, ale made without hops would be extremely malty and/or sweet. I'd imagine the majority of "medieval" ales were terrible.
As Jason notes, you should try some before becoming too married to your preconceptions!

Me, I <3 me some weak, table ale with my breakfast...

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Old 05-28-2009, 06:32 PM   #10
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Hey, i'm sure you can...but i've brewed and not used enough hops before...cloying sweetness is entirely possible even when you make "beer."

I also said "in general", so you bafoons can stop telling me I'm "married to my preconceptions" and understand that I'm trying to give a new person good advice, not explore every single avenue and overwelm the poor guy.


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