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Old 08-17-2012, 02:11 PM   #1
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Default Must brew styles

I am a total n00b. I will be brewing my 3rd batch tomorrow. As the new hop season approaches I am wondering what to buy, so I was wondering what to brew? Are there any styles of beer that everyone should try once? What are they and which grains and hops do you need for them?
This may seem a silly set of questions, but I am in Japan and it is a little difficult to buy ingredients. Therefore I am trying to buy things in large quantities.


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Old 08-17-2012, 02:17 PM   #2
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When I started brewing I wasn't familiar with a the styles that are out there so I would go to the store and pick up different things I haven't had before and the ones I liked did some research on the Ingredients and come up with recipes that way

You can never have enough Cascade Hops..goes well with lots of styles and can be used as both bittering and aroma


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Old 08-17-2012, 02:19 PM   #3
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Every other batch I make is a Rye P.A. I just never want to run out of this stuff! You can do a reciepe search on this site, or you can buy kits online.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
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You can never have enough Cascade Hops..goes well with lots of styles and can be used as both bittering and aroma
Cascade are worth having a bunch of.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:32 PM   #5
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Default A Plug for the BJCP

A good place to start with beer styles is the BJCP Guidelines. This extensive list contains all of the recognized styles of beer, mead, and cider that is used when you submit something to a competition. Even if you don't want to submit beer to a competition, it's a great reference with detailed descriptions and tasting notes for virtually any style. Also, don't feel like you need to get hemmed in by the descriptions in the guide, you can experiment all you want, it's just a guide for all of the recognized styles in competitions.

For beginners, I think it is good to start with something basic and recognizable style-wise. The reason is that when you taste the finished product, you will have a foundation on which to evaluate your beer and your processes.

Also, I recommend brewing a light colored ale whether you like them or not. Maybe a Cream Ale or a Blonde or an American Wheat (category 6, Light Hybrid in the BJCP Guidelines). The reason for this is that it is a real test of your brewing processes and techniques. The finished product is all about finesse and there is nowhere for flaws to hide. Think of it like brewing naked. If you are adventurous, try a Light Lager (a bit more work and waiting for a Lager). I would recommend this for brewers at any skill level. If you can pull off a style like this and do it well, you are definitely on the right track in your brewing.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:33 PM   #6
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When I think "must brew styles," I think of the more difficult styles to brew, to prove that you can do it.

I think every brewer should strive to have the patience to brew a barleywine, the creativity to design a balanced IPA over 100 IBUs, the control to make a good lager, and the knowledge to make a good sour.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:39 PM   #7
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To me must brew styles are the styles you like to drink. There are certainly styles that are easier for beginners, and that may require less specialized equipment or techniques, but unless you're brewing a batch specifically for someone else I see no point in making a beer you won't want to drink.

Lots of info on this forum for beginners. I'd think a bit about what you like to drink then research those, and then check to see if those call for ingredients that you can get. Once you have some specific recipes in mind, folks here will be able to help with ingredient substitutions if you run into problems finding stuff.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopherM View Post
When I think "must brew styles," I think of the more difficult styles to brew, to prove that you can do it.

I think every brewer should strive to have the patience to brew a barleywine, the creativity to design a balanced IPA over 100 IBUs, the control to make a good lager, and the knowledge to make a good sour.
Pass. I'm a big proponent of brewing what you like and then messing with the ingredients to come up with something new. I'm not a hophead, so I won't brew anything over 75 IBUs unless it's by request and I have another one I like on deck.
I will say that a single grain/single hop APA is a good style to do. Midwest has a great Cascade Pale Ale that's not complicated and pretty stinkin' tasty. Hefes are always good go-to brews since you can easily mess around with them (within reason). I also think ambers and browns are usually easy and come out well. I'd avoid doing big beers or lagers until you have a fair amount of patience and experience. Those can be frustrating in my experience.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:19 PM   #9
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I'm sorry. I think I asked this question in a really dumb way. What I really wanted to know is, which grains and hops should I always have on hand and why?
As far as brewing what I like to drink... The thing is, in Japan beer is crazy expensive. A single bottle of any decent imported beer is about 500JPY. Moreover, the selection is quite limited. Belgian style are very popular and easy to find, but traditional German and American micro/craft brews are hard to come by. Therefore I want to brew beers that I wouldn't really be able to afford. I have a hop wholesaler that I can order from, but I am ordering by the pound. Likewise, I can order grain here in Japan, but ordering by the kilo is much more economical, but limited. Therefore, when I order stuff from outside of Japan I want to be able to use it for as many different batches as possible.
My original question wasn't really what I wanted to ask. However, I am curious to know if there are any styles that a "serious" beer drinker/brewer must try?
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:23 PM   #10
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Whattaworts dream list of absolute must-brew styles:

APA
Cascade Pale Ale
Hefewiezen

Sorry man, I'm just a bit more ambitious!

To the OP....if you just want to know some styles that you should try that maybe you haven't yet, my advise would be to go to your local craft brew store that sells singles and buy as many of the styles you have never had before and have a sampling day. If you like them, brew them.

My list was more a "what styles to strive for as a brewer" list, not a "read my mind and tell me which kinds of beer I'll like that I've never had before" list. From everyone else's response, I guess you were asking for the latter.

Cheers to all, least I be FLAMED!!!


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