Foolproof beer style for beginners

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Aki

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Hi,

Recommendations? My first one was IPA, it was OK but reminded me of "sima", traditional yeasty and sugary (non-existent alcohol) thing we drink on 1st of May in Finland. My second one was a NEIPA (I know), which was OK after 4 days of bottling but trash after a week. I am going to bottle a stout tomorrow, I thought it would be quite foolproof 'cause there are not many hops. What would you recommend for a beginner homebrewer, to get that satisfaction that the beer is simply delicious with no "homebrew" flavour? Currently drinking a Delirium Tremens and would love to make a belgian style ale but not sure if that's foolproof or not. :)
 

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Since you have an issue with hops getting oxidized, I'd say something with no finishing hops would be good - stout, porter, nut brown ale, etc. Meanwhile, you can work on minimizing oxidation.
 

Jag75

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Its very possible your reason for IPA & NEIPA to be not what you were striving for was oxidation. With hoppy beers it's more noticable. Anything that you dont have to open the vessel for after you pitch will be beneficial if you dont have the set up. Non hoppy stuff you might find easier . I dont see why a Belgian style wouldn't turn out good. I'm not saying a good IPA cant be made without the fancy equipment, you just have to take precautions. When I make IPAs for people I dont bottle condition. I close transfer to my keg , let it carb up then bottle and give it to them .
 
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Aki

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Thank you for all the answers!

Its very possible your reason for IPA & NEIPA to be not what you were striving for was oxidation. With hoppy beers it's more noticable. Anything that you dont have to open the vessel for after you pitch will be beneficial if you dont have the set up. Non hoppy stuff you might find easier . I dont see why a Belgian style wouldn't turn out good. I'm not saying a good IPA cant be made without the fancy equipment, you just have to take precautions. When I make IPAs for people I dont bottle condition. I close transfer to my keg , let it carb up then bottle and give it to them .
Does this mean that if I want to make hoppy beers that taste good I have to buy kegging equipment? Assuming I will get better with auto-siphoning, is it possible to make quality beer without purging co2 to bottles?
 

Jag75

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Thank you for all the answers!



Does this mean that if I want to make hoppy beers that taste good I have to buy kegging equipment? Assuming I will get better with auto-siphoning, is it possible to make quality beer without purging co2 to bottles?
You dont necessarily have to get kegging equipment, but doing closed transfers to a keg really helps. If I were bottling an IPA i would probably bottle from the fermenter. I would add a spigot or get a fermenter with a spigot. Use a piece of short tubing to connect the spigot to the bottle wand . Add the sugar dots to each bottle then fill and cap . The less o2 your beer intakes after fermentation the better. Is it possible for you to get a small 5# co2 tank ?
 

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I only bottle. I've had a struggle making a solid IPA with a longer shelf life, but some of that was also due to process issues. It will take a few attempts and learning experiences to get you there. I don't drink/brew NEIPA, but the vast majority of folks will probably tell you that you'll need kegging and closed transfers to really nail that style. I've had good luck bottling high IBU, hoppy pale ales and pils though. I'm sure they fade a bit over time, but most of my pale ales are drank within a month of being conditioned and carbonated. If you get a brown murky bitter disaster that I have had a few times, then its a definite oxidation issue.

Does your fermenter have a spigot? Bottling straight from the fermenter really helped out my hoppy beers.

As to your original question, I think a nice simple single hop pale ale is a great starter beer. Also cream ale (take a look in the recipe section here, cream of 3 crops is a great starter recipe), blonde ale, and stouts.
 

Yooper

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It depends on what is wrong with your lighter colored beers, besides oxidation. I wonder about your water. With my water, I could make fantastic darker beers, but couldn't get a great lighter colored beer because my tap water tastes awesome but has a lot of bicarbonate in it. So I'd suggest two things- get some information on your water if you can, and always minimize oxidation by any means that you can.
 

Jag75

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@Yooper post is so true . When I first started I had no idea why the stouts were good but light beers were not so great. After sending in my water and then posting the report in the Brew Science section I was informed.
 
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Aki

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Thank you for all the answers! My fermenter does have a spigot but my bottling wand and siphon tube won’t fit in it so for now I have auto-siphoned when bottling. I will have to look into the tubing if that would help, for now I can’t afford kegging equipment. I will try to look into water specs too.
 

bracconiere

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i usually consider black patent a cure all......YMMV, let me/us know how your stout turns out! i think i'd like it, lol
 
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Jag75

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Thank you for all the answers! My fermenter does have a spigot but my bottling wand and siphon tube won’t fit in it so for now I have auto-siphoned when bottling. I will have to look into the tubing if that would help, for now I can’t afford kegging equipment. I will try to look into water specs too.
Get a piece of tubing that slips on the outside of your spigot and bottle wand . It should be tight. Slip the end in hot water then stretch it to fit .
 

Jim R

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Does this mean that if I want to make hoppy beers that taste good I have to buy kegging equipment?
I would be saving a little money to start kegging. It isn't that expensive (a keg, CO2 tank and some hoses). It makes the whole process faster, easier and much more enjoyable - no bottle cleaning, easy carbonation, easy transfers, better beer, the cool factor, etc.. I use 2.5 gal kegs which fit easily into any refrigerator or portable cooler. If I had to screw around with bottles, I would give up this hobby.
 
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Immocles

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Thank you for all the answers! My fermenter does have a spigot but my bottling wand and siphon tube won’t fit in it so for now I have auto-siphoned when bottling. I will have to look into the tubing if that would help, for now I can’t afford kegging equipment. I will try to look into water specs too.
I do feel like it helped my beers and it eliminates the entire racking to bucket step.

If I had to screw around with bottles, I would give up this hobby.
I see folks saying that alot haha. I really must be one of the absolute few around here that sort of enjoys the bottling process. It's a bit of a 'serenity now' situation for me, perhaps.
 
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SouthBounds

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When I started my LHBS said go with an oatmeal stout kit, double pitch the yeast and enjoy. It turned out great and I never looked back.
 
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NTexBrewer

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Can you give some information about how you brew. This may help give some better suggestions to give you success with your current system.

All Grain, Partial, Extract
Oxygenate, Airstone, Shake Method for aerate the wort prior to pitching yeast.
Liquid, Dry yeast do you make starters
Temperature control during fermentation?

Do you like Saisons? They can be pretty forgiving, Good dry yeast options, can brew without temperature control and I feel they taste better when bottle conditioned.
 
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Immocles

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I never think about hefeweizens when it comes to simple brews, but it really is a very simple grain bill that covers mistakes and tastes absolutely fantastic ( if its a style you enjoy)
 
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Aki

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Can you give some information about how you brew. This may help give some better suggestions to give you success with your current system.

All Grain, Partial, Extract
Oxygenate, Airstone, Shake Method for aerate the wort prior to pitching yeast.
Liquid, Dry yeast do you make starters
Temperature control during fermentation?

Do you like Saisons? They can be pretty forgiving, Good dry yeast options, can brew without temperature control and I feel they taste better when bottle conditioned.
Now that I’ve been reading replies and threads, it seems that oxidation might be the issue. Answers to your questions:

- BIAB brewing
- I only aerate by dumping the beer in the fermenter. I made an exception on my lager and shaked the fermenter after pitching the yeast, though.
- yeast: 1st batch was a smack pack, 2nd was rehydrated dry yeast, batches 3 and 4 dry yeast just sprinkled on top of the wort
- Temperature: Ambient, varies between 15-20 celcius (59-68F).

Thank you for the tip too. I’m not a fan of saisons but I might give it a try.
 

corkybstewart

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Without understanding your brewing techniques it's really hard to say. If it's a matter of oxidation or infections, it won't matter what beer you brew, it will be less than what you want. You say your beer was great at bottling but trash in a week-that seems pretty fast for oxidation(could be wrong, oxidation was never a real problem with me) but normal for infection.
 
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