Has Anyone Brewed An Ale?

Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum

Help Support Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum:

THE DRUNK ARAB

Zen Arcade
Joined
7/8/03
Messages
2,127
Reaction score
8
What I mean is an ale in historical terms without hops?
My missus seems to have an aversion to the bitterness imparted by hops (strange, I know) so I am going to brew a 5 litre pilot batch of Ale without any hops whatsoever. I know that hops provide preservative qualities as well as bitterness but I figure only 5 litres and it will be drunk within a month.
Is there anyone out there who has brewed such or has read about the brewing of such? I would be interested to hear from you.
If you have an opinion based on fact then let me know.

C&B
TDA
 

JasonY

The Imperial Metric Brewery
Joined
12/9/03
Messages
1,490
Reaction score
1
Wouldn't it be really sickly sweet? I will be interested in the results if you do go ahead with it.
 

GMK

BrewInn Barossa:~ Home to GMKenterprises ~
Joined
18/12/02
Messages
3,699
Reaction score
11
I have not brewed one without hops - but prior to using hops they also used Juniper Berries - this is where Gin Came from.

Dont know if this helps you or not...
 

Asher

Junctyard Brewing
Joined
27/1/04
Messages
958
Reaction score
3
On tasting the beer off the top of a stored yeast stubby (starter made with DME) which would be an unhopped beer, It tasts just like toheys extra dry! :lol:

Seriously though - I've made a high gravity belgian style golden ale with 100% DME (was bored one night and had a kilo bag of muntons spray malt and a 5 litre carboy spare...) and a strong ale yeast. OG ~ 1100. It was suprisingly spicy and flavoursome. shows how little the belgian golden ales are hopped and how much the rely on the yeast strain I guess...

Asher for now
 

Hoops

Well-Known Member
Joined
30/11/03
Messages
1,289
Reaction score
2
Can't help with that TDA but let us know how you go. I would be very intersted to hear your results.

Hoops
 
J

Jovial_Monk

Guest
Hmmm i have not yet, Mark, but a few pointers:

An ale brewed w/o hops and using herbs for flavoring is a gruit ale (sometimes spelled grout) Herbs like myrica gale, marsh rosemary, rosemary, sage etc

Try rosemary, sage for starters
I have coltsfoot, yarrow and ground ivy in my garden:- ground ivy, I was told by a worker at the only gruit brewery in the US, has great potential as a bittering herb.

Gruit ales were brewed bloody strong: when herbs are introduced the brewer need not look only to alcohol for preservative power and so greatly reduced the strength of the beer and that is the reason drinkers resented hops.

Now recipes, you are out of luck! Gruit brewers usually kept their recipes a close garded secret.

If you want, I could split some of my gruit plants in spring and give you a start on your own gruit garden.

Jovial Monk
 

THE DRUNK ARAB

Zen Arcade
Joined
7/8/03
Messages
2,127
Reaction score
8
Thanks everyone, that gives me something to start on.

The King Midas looks interesting so I might even give that a go.

I grow sage and rosemary so maybe adding some for flavour with these herbs would be an interesting experiment.
I was going to do a simple Pale malt brew without bittering but I might just infuse with herbs and spices, say cardamom and some nutmeg :eek: .

A report will follow.

C&B
TDA
 
J

Jovial_Monk

Guest
spiced beers are godly!

They should be biggish beers that will be bottle aged sometime

I way over the top spiced a big lager in 12/02, still have a few bottles. Coriander, cardamom, cassia (cinnamon look alike more suited to beers than real cinnamon) cloves, peppercorns, mace and star anise. Believe it or not the mace has been the dominant spice!

bigD tasted some of this during his SA visit, still smells of mace but the flavor is mainly cinnamon!

I might repeat that lager this Dec, but with more restrained spicing

Jovial Monk
 

GOLIATH

Well-Known Member
Joined
3/4/04
Messages
159
Reaction score
0
Mark,

She won't like it!

Just get her to sample one of your yeast starters.

Prior to the almost universal use of hops, the old ales were bittered with
herbs. Here's a list of the safe ones taken from "The Homebrewers Garden" by
Joe and Dennis Fisher.

Alecost (costmary or bible leaf) from the Compositae or Daisy Family
Anise Hyssop (Giant blue hyssop or licorice mint) Labiate or Mint family
Basil (genovese Basil or Sweet Basil) as above
Bee Balm (Bergamot, Oswego Tea) as above
Betony (Woundwort) as above
Birch (sweet birch, yellow birch, black birch) Betulaceae family
Blackberry (Brambleberry, Thimbleberry, cloudberry, dewberry) Rosaceae
(rose) family
Blessed Thistle (carduus, St, Benedict's thistle) Compositae or Daisy
family
Borage (beebread, star flower) Boraginaceae or Borage family
Chamomile (roman chamomile) Daisy family
Clary Sage (clary, clear eye) Mint family
Coriander (cilantro, chinese parsley leaves, coriander seeds)Umbelliferae or
Carrot family
Dandelion etc

There's about 30 more listed including Yarrow, described as a daisy like
herb widely used to bitter beer before hops became popular. Added early in
the boil, it imparts a mild, sagelike bittering.

Maybe this helps, if so, great.

Regards
Dave
 

Doc

Doctor's Orders Brewing
Joined
7/12/02
Messages
7,713
Reaction score
40
Location
Sydney
TDA,

I've had quite a few beers (mainly from Belgium) that have been spiced with spruce and the like and I haven't really taken to them at all.
However a couple of months ago I had an awesome one from a brewery in Wellington NZ. It was a Gruit and was called Sorcey Spellbinder and was made for The Lord of the Rings. It was 4.0% and was made with Pilsner, Chocolate, Roasted Barley and Crystal Rye malts. The bittering was with Juniper Berries, Yarrow and Wild Rosemary.
The vital stats were EBU 16, Acidity (pH) 4.2, Colour 28 EBC.
I probably liked it because it was made without hops, yet tasted like a great hopped beer. From that point of view your wife probably wouldn't like it.
I don't have the details of when the botanicals were added, but I think I still have the business card of the head brewer. If you want his details PM me and I'll dig out the card.
Unfortunately this beer isn't listed on their website.

Beers,
Doc
 

GMK

BrewInn Barossa:~ Home to GMKenterprises ~
Joined
18/12/02
Messages
3,699
Reaction score
11
TDA

I have made a fruit beer that some of the guys here have tasted.
The ladys taht have sampled it have all liked it.
Opened the last stubie Anzac Brew Day weekend.

It was a kits and bits recipe but you should be able to formulate your own.

Ingredients...

Coopers Blond Kit
1kg of dextrose
1kg of tart mixed raspberries and loganberries.
Spices added:
1 teaspoon of cinamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves.

With the raspberries and loganberries - beer comes out a pale pink colour with a nice tart/dry finish.
Spices just a hint but added a nice depth.

Just bought my Thornless blackberry and logan bery vines.
Will be planting them soon - so next year fruit beer and Blackberry Stout.

Hope this helps
 

Darren

Beer Dog
Joined
11/5/04
Messages
3,549
Reaction score
6
Mark,
My experience the only beer to please the wife...moderately hopped pilsener (<30IBU).
Use only Noble hops for flavour.
Not an easy beer to make though
Problem is there will a short supply of pils for yourself!
 

jayse

Black Label Society
Joined
25/7/03
Messages
3,402
Reaction score
12
THE DRUNK ARAB said:
If you have an opinion based on fact then let me know.
Sorry no facts but i'll throw my 2 bob in anyway.
Iam with darren and others that suggest doing a lightly hopped beer.
Maybe even a wit or a wheat beer.
Or just a plain old aussie style pale ale.
Can't taste really any hops in them and they are very easy drinking beers.

Jayse
 

Justin

Well-Known Member
Joined
4/11/03
Messages
1,517
Reaction score
14
TDA, if you go the no hop option and it turns out crap you could always turn it into an all malt whiskey ;) :D. Distill it in a pot still or (if you know what your doing; ie when to make the cuts; a) reflux still, and then it hasn't been a complete loss ;)

This is how the mash is made for all malt whiskey's (just an all grain beer with no hops), they actually don't even boil the mash and the mash just goes staight into the fermenter. For some types of whiskey's (eg. corn whiskey, rye whiskey and bourbons) they ferment on the grain and in some cases even distill with the grains in the boiler. With scotch whiskey they use some peat smoked malt and sparge the grains into the fermenter. Anyway, just some more randon info.

Good luck whatever you decide.
Cheers, Justin

P.S. Maybe you could do a rasberry wheat beer like a hefeweizen. IBU are onl around 15 so it's light on in bitterness and the rasberry comes through lovely. Just a thought.
 

MAH

Well-Known Member
Joined
17/3/04
Messages
900
Reaction score
2
TDA

The answer is staring you in the face, trade in trade up, and get a new missus ;)

Some may say this is a drastic measure, but let's not forget it's beer we're talking about!

If you think my suggestion is over the top, then maybe you can set aside a keg, get a couple bottles of vodka, a crate of lemonade, and a bag of limes. Then you can mix up 18 liters of vodka lemon & lime, which she can freely pour from tap any time she wants. Just imagine it, an 18 liter RTD can. After a few pints your missus will be well happy and you'll have all the beer to yourself!

Cheers
MAH
 

Justin

Well-Known Member
Joined
4/11/03
Messages
1,517
Reaction score
14
Just following up on MAH's idea: Soda stream syrup is a good way to make 18L of soft drink. Add the required amount of syrup, add the water, hook up the CO2 and force carbonate. Easy. And yeah, throw in a few bottles of your favouring spirit and your away.

Set asside a set of keg orings for this purpose or your next Bohemium Pilsner (lagered for 6months!!) will taste like a corona with a slice of lemon :blink: That'd be a damn good waste of a nice pils.
 
J

Jovial_Monk

Guest
tannins do not carry across the distillation

that is why distillers can boil the whole bloody mash or chuck it into the fermenter, anything to get a few more molecules of sugar. ..

JM
 

THE DRUNK ARAB

Zen Arcade
Joined
7/8/03
Messages
2,127
Reaction score
8
MAH said:
TDA

The answer is staring you in the face, trade in trade up, and get a new missus ;)

Some may say this is a drastic measure, but let's not forget it's beer we're talking about!


Cheers
MAH
Brilliant Mark, I'll start looking in the Trading Post this weekend! :lol:

I'm going to brew a very low IBU ale ie: 1040 OG, 10IBU max and see how it turns out.

The Dog Fish Midas Touch is now on my list of beers to brew.

I asked her if she fancied a beer flavoured with herbs but she turned her nose up at this :(

Thanks for all your help.

C&B
TDA
 

Darren

Beer Dog
Joined
11/5/04
Messages
3,549
Reaction score
6
THE DRUNK ARAB said:
I'm going to brew a very low IBU ale ie: 1040 OG, 10IBU max and see how it turns out.
Howdy mark,
I would still suggest a lager. Munich yeast maybe?
10 IBU will hide nothing including yeasty bite.
At 10 you won't be able to drink it either.
Atleast try for 20
cheers
Darren
 

Latest posts

Top