New guy rant... - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > New guy rant...

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-07-2007, 04:30 PM   #1
IvanTheTerrible
Recipes 
 
Nov 2007
Posts: 123


I'm new to the game - so new I havent even bought my equipment yet (although it's gonna be a good weekend!)

I'm buying a kit thats got the ingredients included for my first batch (an Irish Red Ale or an amber ale...havent decided). Once I get through that one, I want to gather my own ingredients, but after reading a bunch of articles, I'm having a hard time articulating what I like in a beer...which translates into:

"How do I pick ingredients that will a produce a beer I like?"

Now I understand there is a bit of science mixed with some trial/error, but as far as taste, texture and color, there have to be some rules of thumb.

I'll be making ales first, but I think the kit I am going to get has a glass carboy as well as 2 buckets, so in the future I will be able to produce lagers... that being said, lets stick to the ales. Of course, that's difficult since all my favorite beers are lagers...

1. Sam Adams Lager - I would describe it as having a yeasty taste...not too bitter. Smooth and has a nice consistency to it. Def thicker than a Heineken, but def not a guiness.

2. Brooklyn Lager - Same as above but with a pinch more bitterness

3. Stella - I really like this lager, but its so different from Sam and Brooklyn that I dont even know how to describe it.

Can the qualities of those beers be transferred to an Ale? Not sure...I ask you pros.

Ales I have tried and like: Sierra Nevada, Pete's Wicked - which are different that - Fullers London Porter and Guiness - which I also like. As a whole, I tend to like reder/darker beers than the brighter lighter colored beers.

At the end of the day, I'll drink anything, but it would be great to make something I'll REALLY enjoy thats unique.

So can you guys process this rant and spit back some logic?

Thanks in advance,
Ivan

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2007, 04:42 PM   #2
david_42
 
david_42's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,595
Liked 152 Times on 143 Posts


The simplest method at the start is to buy clone kits for the beers you like.

Making an ale that tastes like a lager. The key using a very neutral ale yeast that will ferment around 60F (like Nottingham) or using a lager yeast that ferments in the same range (California Common).
__________________
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2007, 04:49 PM   #3
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,420
Liked 7845 Times on 5497 Posts


And as you get into homebrewing, often your tastes will change. I don't really care much for lagers any more, but I love IPAs. That is a total reversal of my preferences from a couple of years ago!

If you like Sierra Nevada pale ale, a clone of that is easy. If you like stout, that's easy too. I suggest doing what David_42 mentioned- go to austinhomebrew's website and look at the kits they have and find a clone of a beer you know you like, staying away from lagers for the time being.

Of course, once you gain experience, you'll be able to make any beer including lagers if you still want to!
__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2007, 05:06 PM   #4
BierMuncher
...My Junk is Ugly...
HBT_MODERATOR.png
 
BierMuncher's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2007
St. Louis, MO
Posts: 12,410
Liked 789 Times on 435 Posts


Sam Adams is essentially just like an amber ale. I've done all-grain ale clones with great results. I'd say dive in with whatever kits you're looking at that get you close, and forget about trying to zero in on a particular commercial example. You'll be pleased at the (different) results.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2007, 05:28 PM   #5
bigjohnmilford
bigger than most
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
bigjohnmilford's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Oct 2007
southern mass
Posts: 2,281
Liked 71 Times on 43 Posts


[QUOTE=YooperBrew]And as you get into homebrewing, often your tastes will change. I don't really care much for lagers any more, but I love IPAs. That is a total reversal of my preferences from a couple of years ago!

+1 you'll find your beer taste will evolve. Like that's a bad thing good luck
__________________
What's your hobby Ray? Drinkin. Want a beer Buddy?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2007, 05:30 PM   #6

Quote:
Originally Posted by IvanTheTerrible
... Ales I have tried and like:... Fullers London Porter and Guiness...
I agree with everything posted above. When first time brewers ask what to brew their first time, I always recommend a Brown ale, Stout or Porter. Stouts and Porters are easy to brew and b/c of their flavor profiles, they'll hide flaws that might otherwise come through in pale ales. So, you have a better chance for success and being pleased with your results.

Austin Homebrew and Northern Brewer have good kits and I'm sure there are other online retailers I'm missing. Your local HBS might have some, too.

Good luck. Ask any questions and definitely let us know how it goes!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2007, 10:13 PM   #7
malkore
 
malkore's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jun 2007
Nebraska
Posts: 6,922
Liked 37 Times on 35 Posts


You could also pick up one of these books: Designing Great Beers...and Beer Clones.

I find the process of 'reverse engineering' a beer by looking at a clone recipe's ingredients helps me understand what those ingredients do for the recipe.

citrusy hops vs. cleaner hops, malty grains that lend more flavor than fermentables...etc.

I honestly haven't read either, but I have Designing Great Beers ordered and it was shipped today.

How to Brew by John Palmer is also a good resource for understanding ingredients, especially if you have any desire to go all grain someday.
__________________
Malkore
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2007, 03:03 AM   #8
IvanTheTerrible
Recipes 
 
Nov 2007
Posts: 123

Thanks guys.

So in my quest to figure out what I like, I bought a Brooklyn Brown Ale. It's drinkable, but not really my cup of tea. I'm not sure how to describe it, but I'll try.

I felt like it was fruity compared to other beers. I've never tasted anything like it before...I think it was too bitter. The Style Guide calls it medium to high bitterness... I think this was on the high side.

Is an amber Ale similar? If it is, I don't think I'm going to make it my first brew.

I really enjoyed the Fuller's London Porter, and I think I'm going to make a Porter my first brew.

Does this make sense? What do you guys think?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2007, 03:13 AM   #9
talleymonster
 
talleymonster's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2005
Posts: 2,142
Liked 21 Times on 11 Posts


When I got here, I was a Budweiser Die Hard! I hated hoppy beers.

Now I consume every IPA I can get my hands on, and I don't touch any light beers! Your tastes will change, but do not be alarmed. It's just your taste buds awakening!
__________________


 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2007, 03:23 AM   #10
Yuri_Rage
Gritty.
HBT_MODERATOR.png
 
Yuri_Rage's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2006
Southwest
Posts: 14,289
Liked 808 Times on 512 Posts


I recommend a clone of Anchor Porter. That's an excellent beer, and I think there are a few online shops that offer something similar.

Generally, it sounds like you need to branch out a little and experiment with some commercially available ales. Buy a bunch of microbrews that sound good, and give 'em a try. Brew clones or styles similar to those you find that you enjoy.
__________________
Homebrewed Blog..........YouTube Channel .......... Shirts, posters, etc

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Rant= NO YOU Don't need to know! NJTomatoguy Drunken Ramblings and Mindless Mumbling 25 11-07-2010 06:18 PM
GRRR! A non rant rant! claphamsa General Beer Discussion 20 07-13-2009 05:18 PM
Rant Rant Columbus Day Rant DesertBrew Drunken Ramblings and Mindless Mumbling 14 10-09-2007 03:23 AM
I HATE SMACK PACKS!!!!!!! rant rant rant Bernie Brewer Recipes/Ingredients 20 09-04-2007 01:28 PM


Forum Jump