40 percent of alcohol drinkers in America prefer beer over wine or liquor. It is one of the first drinks humans made. The first beer produced from barley dates back to 4,000 BCE. The beer industry is worth over $623 billion.
In addition, beer is one of the most consumed drinks. The popularity of its consumption comes after tea and water. It is the most popular alcoholic drink. If you would like to brew some beer at home, here are a few options to start with.
1. American Amber Ale
American amber ale is a staple for beer drinkers. It has a low hop flavor and is ideal if you would like to avoid overpowering tastes. The color is very specific. It is derived from the darker roasted malts used together with light malts. The dark-roasted malts are responsible for the impressive amber color.
The best thing about the amber ale is that it is very simple. The brewing process is simple, and there is minimal room for errors. American amber ales are a lot like central Europe amber ales. The main difference is in the ingredients used.
American amber ales use American hops. They are more citrusy than their English counterparts. American amber ales have a malty caramel flavor with rich hops and citrus notes. They have big and persistent off-white heads.
This beer is ideal for inexperienced homebrewers who want to experiment with clarifiers and finding agents. If you want to play around with additives without throwing off the general flavor profile of your beer, experiment with American amber ales.
2. American Pale Ales
American pale ales are the classic American beers. Indian and English pale ales inspire them. The main difference is that American pale ales have more intense flavors and aromas. They are rich in floral and citrus notes.
This beer is bright copper, and its head is a brilliant white. It is highly carbonated and is typically served cooler than its English counterparts. Brewing the American pale ale is a lot like brewing amber ale. The main difference is the hops used and their general effect on the beer.
The hop flavor of the pale ale is more potent. The main benefit of brewing with a heavy hop is that you can easily cover up errors.
This is ideal for beginners and brewers who may lack confidence in their skills. The amount of hops added depends on your recipe. Learn the recipe and go ahead with your own brewery.
3. American Wheat Ale
The German Hefeweizen inspires american wheat ale. It has a cloudy look with a light to medium body. It is rich in the flavors banana, citrus, and clove. The beer gets its name from the high wheat amounts used when brewing it.
The wheat content is 50-70 percent, giving it a unique look and flavor. Its main distinction from the German version is the yeast and hops used.
A significant advantage of the bear is that any hazing that may happen is okay. American wheat ale has high protein levels, which contribute to its cloudy or hazy look. If you make mistakes that cause dizziness when brewing, they won’t matter.
Wheat beers are ideal for brewing all through the year. Their medium bodies make them great pairings for many foods. These ales don’t need secondary fermentation, and they are rarely filtered. Therefore, they are excellent for brewers looking for a quick turnaround on their first batches.
The sense of early satisfaction may be exactly what you need to keep up your home brewing hobby or turn your hobby into a brewery business.
4. American Brown Ale
This brown ale is available in English and American versions. The primary difference is in their hop content. The American brown ale uses high amounts of American yeast and American hops. The English version mixes up ingredients. American brown ale looks like an amber ale but is slightly darker.
The beer has a bitter flavor profile with roasted malt, caramel, and chocolate notes. It is rich and ideal for cold weather and holidays. This is the ideal beer if you hope to show off your home brewing skills for Christmas or Thanksgiving.
Brown ale is a moderate style, and it pairs well with many foods. It is unlikely to clash with whatever you serve.
Having been inspired by English brown ales and other brown ales, the American brown ale has many good features that will impress a beginner. Its natural bitter taste will cover up plenty of mistakes. Because of the dark coloring, haze and other problems are almost unnoticeable.
The brewing process for porters is a lot like brown ale. It is one of the easiest beers to salvage if need be. The beer is dark and European-style. It has bitter hoppiness and brown malt. Porters are a lot like stouts.
The biggest differences are in the body and color. Robust American porters have stronger flavors than Brown or Baltic porters. The flavors of Brown and Baltic porters are sweeter and mellower.
Porters are some of the most forgiving fermented-style ales. When you are just starting your home brewing hobby, this is one of the best beers to start with. Another benefit of porters is that they do well in environments with hard water. You don’t need to use distilled or bottled water.
You can easily get away with muddled flavors as porters have a history of being various beers mixed in the same mug. You can use chocolate malt to improve the aroma and flavor of your beer. However, you should avoid adding too much as it could give a bitter or burnt flavor.
This dark wheat beer is excellent for autumn parties. It’s dark coloring means you can get away with hazing and other mistakes during the brewing process. Being a wheat beer, you will likely experience some natural clouding when brewing.
The beer has an intense malt flavor and distinct banana and clove notes. It also features vanilla, apple, and nutmeg notes. The spicy notes of dunkelweizen make it great for pairing with roasted meats, baked dishes, and other fall foods.
If you like a beer with intense fruity flavors and notes, this is one of your best options. Instead of florals or strong hop flavors, it has notes of malt. Dunkelweizen beers strike the middle point between Munich dunkels and weissbier.
This is an old-style German beer with hoppy, floral, and pepper notes. Like porters, this beer style is top-fermented. However, the coloring of altbiers is lighter. It may be a golden ale or brown.
Even though the beer is historically German, American witbiers are pretty popular as well. Instead of European hops, they use American hops. Consider brewing this beer if you prefer hoppy beers.
Authentic altbiers are dominant. Therefore, the taste can be a bit too strong for some beginners. Try an altbier before brewing it at home. Get a sense of its body and profile before attempting to brew it at home.
8. Irish Stout
Do you love thick dark beer with a consistent off-white foam head? Irish stout is fantastic. It is dark with a bitter roasted flavor profile and subtle caramelized notes. The roasted barley in Irish stout introduces a distinct coffee-like flavor and aroma. You will love it if you enjoy dark beer.
Irish stouts are mostly popular for their creamy textures. They are a lot like most porters and dark brown ales. The best food pairings for this beer include meat stews and raw oysters.
Stouts are ideal for beginners, thanks to their dark coloring. If haze occurs, it is easy to cover up. The roasted flavors are intense and perfect for covering off-flavors that may come up in the brewing process.
9. Belgian Saison
This beer is also referred to as farmhouse ale. It is spicy, fruity, warm, and very interesting. The natural aroma of Belgian Saisons is yeasty. Its strong flavor profile is ideal for covering up mistakes if you are new to home brewing. The beer is great for summer and warm weather.
You can experiment with different additions during secondary fermentation. Think of the general taste and flavor notes you wish to achieve. The beer traditionally incorporates herbs and local botanicals. Your herb garden will come in handy.
Belgian Saison is never boring as it lets you pick additives and hops to improve the flavor. Do not be afraid to be whimsy when trying to choose a signature Saison.
This is a dark Belgian-style beer with a big off-white head. Like stouts and porters, the bear has strong caramelized flavors. It has sweet banana and chocolate notes. Naturally, dubbels have a lot of yeasty flavors.
They are appropriate for beginners who may have trouble verifying accurately after the fermentation process. The final brew will always have a yeasty flavor.
If you prefer rich or malty beers over dry, hoppy options, you will love dubbels. The alcohol volume in dubbels is relatively high. This is one of its distinguishing features. If you are a beginner interested in homebrew that packs a punch, get a dubbels recipe as soon as possible.
Brewing Dubbel will help you learn to manage the fermentation process. It is a great way for fresh brewers to understand precise mashing techniques and other techniques that can help with other recipes.
Even though the recipe is pretty simple, the resulting brew is rich and sophisticated. Even the newest brewers will enjoy it.
11. Options That You Already Love
If you love a beer that isn’t on this list, there is no reason you can’t make it at home. Find the recipe for your favorite beer and try brewing it at the comfort of your home.
No matter how complicated a beer may seem, practice can help you perfect the process of brewing it at home. Passion for the beer could make up for errors in the process.
Being enthusiastic about the process is better than trying the first beer recipe you find. If you don’t like the outcome, you can correct it in your next brew. Even though complicated recipes aren’t ideal for beginners, they can be great for homebrewers looking for a challenge.
Consider focusing on one recipe and perfecting it before you move to the next one. Follow instructions carefully and be precise with the measurements.
What Makes for a Simple Homebrew?
Some beer recipes are simpler than others. When you are a beginner, you would be wise to stick with simple stuff. It is an effective way to minimize mistakes and gain some experience. Here are the makings of an easy homebrew.
Lighter lagers take weeks of extra attention to gain the same brilliance that dark beers gain within a short time. In addition, darker lagers can help mask cloudiness and haze that happens in the brewing process.
Easy to Salvage
Easy homebrews are great at tolerating mismeasured ingredients, temperature changes, and other brewing errors. Small mistakes are unlikely to have a big impact on the resulting beer. A simple homebrew is easy to salvage. A little accident shouldn’t sabotage your work.
Doesn’t Need Secondary Fermentation
The best homemade beers shouldn’t need secondary fermentation. Such beers taste great even when young. They don’t need weeks of mellowing or aging to attain a pleasant taste.
Lack of secondary fermentation speeds up your brew. It reduces the ingredients and equipment you need.
Strong Flavor Profiles
Bitter or hoppy beer profiles are great for beginners. For example, Irish stouts and American pale ales are perfect for covering up off-flavors. Mistakes in the brewing process can change the flavor of your beer.
Being able to mask your errors is a great plus for novice homebrewers. Even though some people may not enjoy the strong flavors, they are safer than subtle options. Screwing up with funky beers is harder than with mellow types.
Basic Flavor Profile
Experimenting with most beginner beers is pretty easy. The biggest benefit for beginners is that they often come with distinct, easily identifiable flavor profiles. New brewers can easily tell if something has gone wrong or they have hit the mark.
High Levels of Carbonation and Head Retention
Many beginner brewers have trouble controlling carbonation levels in their beers. Picking beers that naturally have high carbonation levels can make things easier. Such beers are easy to handle as they need moderate carbonation.
Succeeding in homebrewing projects is all about your ability to follow a recipe to the letter. No beer is too complex to craft if you stick to the recipe. The best recipes for homebrewed beers are simple and easy to follow.
Beginner Tips for Homebrewing
Whether you start homebrewing as a hobby or as a passion, it can be intimidating. The beer brewing world is wide, and there are plenty of terms and recipes to learn. Depending on your preferences, you may need to learn about exotic ingredients. Here are a few tips to help in your new adventure.
Sterilize Your Equipment
Many people sterilize their fermenter and kettle. However, neglecting the stir spoon is easy. Anything that comes close to your brewing equipment or is used in the brewing process needs to be sterilized. Bacteria and wild yeasts are some of the main reasons behind off-tasting beers.
Learn the Recipe
Read and understand the recipe before you start brewing. Many mistakes can be linked to your inability to follow instructions. Going through the recipe once isn’t enough. You would be wise to read it a few times. If you have questions about any ingredients or processes, seek clarification first.
You never know when you could stumble into your next favorite recipe. Therefore, it would be smart to track any deviations that could improve your recipe. Take note of signature additives and ingredients.
Using a homebrewing journal may seem like a lot of work, but it is a good idea. It makes it possible to track your progress and experiment with new recipes.
Keep an eye on the beer all through the fermentation process. This should help you know what to look for regarding smell, appearance, and flavor. The more you practice, the better you may be able to know when fermentation should end and when your beer should be racked.
Like with any other new skill, homebrewing requires a lot of practice. Do not give up if your first batch is imperfect. Instead, try again and improve on your mistakes. If things seem too complicated, start with an easy recipe and see if you succeed.
Homebrew beers are not as complicated as you may imagine. With a good recipe and some practice, nothing is impossible. With so many beer options, you should have no trouble finding one to experiment with.
While you may be tempted to jump right in with complicated beers, you would be smart to start with simple recipes. Your best options include Belgian Saison, American amber ale, American pale ale, and an American brown ale.
The makings of a simple homebrew include intense flavors, darker color, and easy salvage. Note that your first brew may not be as impressive as you expect. Do not let that turn you off. Homebrewing demands a lot of practice and patience.