Hopless Beer???

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Ewalk02

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I know this sounds weird, and I'm not even sure if this would be considered beer but does anyone know of a recipe that doesn't have any hops? I have a buddy who is allergic to hops so he has only been able to drink wine/hard alcohol. Anyone know of a substitution for hops that would give a similiar bitterness?
 

Revvy

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One thing to realize is that Hops besides a bittering agent are also a preservative...besides gruit (which I think is somewhat sour anyway), any unhopped beers will turn sour relatively quickly. So something like that would need to have a quick drinking window...I don't know if there's a way to prevent that for us homebrewer, except maybe pasturization....but there are other bittering agents that have been experimented with..Spruce tips being one off the top of my head.

The basic brewing guys proved how quick unhopped wort can turn in their base malt video experiment.

Part 1 (MP-4)

http://media.libsyn.com/media/basicbrewing/bbv05-15-08basemalt.mp4

Part 2

http://media.libsyn.com/media/basicbrewing/bbv05-28-08basemalt2.mp4

Part 3

http://media.libsyn.com/media/basicbrewing/bbv08-08-08basemalt03.mp4


This website looks to have some great gruit info. gruitale.com :: Gruit Ale & Unhopped Beers, Brewing Herbs and Recipes
 

Casey27

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I have seen a couple of heather ales; ales "bittered" with heather. I tried one at one of my favorite brew pubs and it was, in my opinion, awful. Basically tasted like wort with no hops (like a starter). Try drinking 20 oz of unhopped wort and you will know what I had to go through just to finish that glass!

But for someone who does not drink hopped beer, it might be OK.
 

SumnerH

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I have a Fraoch Heather Ale in the fridge right now. I haven't tried it yet--just picked it up as a single at Whole Foods. I'll report back in a bit.
 

GunnerMan

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Make it high and dry. High abv and dry taste so it dosent taste overly sweet. Otherwise use something like Juniper berries.
 

SumnerH

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I have a Fraoch Heather Ale in the fridge right now. I haven't tried it yet--just picked it up as a single at Whole Foods. I'll report back in a bit.
It's pretty good. The heather taste is a _very_ light floral thing in the background, and then a light bittering on the tongue. Definitely worth a try as a pretty interesting variation. I think this might be a fine autumn beer, or one to drink on a crisp, cool spring/summer morning on a mountain.
 
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