Homebrews for non-IPA/bitter drinkers

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Wiffler27, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. Wiffler27

    Wiffler27 Savant (935) Aug 16, 2009 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I love homebrewing because I can make new things and enjoy beers I wouldn't normally be able to drink.

    My family doesn't like IPAs or bitter/hoppy beers. Everytime I make a batch they comment that I should make something that they would drink.

    I'd like to make a batch to be able to share with them. Unfortunately their beer tastes are very generic, if they drink beer it's Corona, Coors Light, or Rolling Rock. I can't make a lager nor do I really want to.

    I was thinking a refreshing saison but I'm not sure they'd like the belgian yeast funk. I'm leaning toward a wheat beer but a pale ale could work as well. I've been drinking Prairie Standard Saison and I love that beer. I'd like to make something in that realm.

    What beer style(s) or recipe/kit do you make for non-IPA drinkers?
     
    Blackanese likes this.
  2. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,587) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    Kolsch, Cream ale, American wheat, American blond English bitter (just don't tell 'em what it is), English summer ale, Scottish ales, Alt, English brown ales, a nicely balanced American pale ale (would they drink Sierra Nevada?). Plus Hefeweizen and Belgians if you think the audience will be accepting of the esters and phenolics that typically come with those styles. Stouts and porters if they are OK with roasty. Try to convince them that dark beers are beautiful. Lots of homebrew to do even if you don't lager and you don't want hop bombs.
     
  3. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Aspirant (261) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    EPA or eds pale ale
    10 lb base malt
    .75 lb L60
    ..5 lb carapills
    1 oz cascade 60 min
    .5 cascade 10 minutes
    Mash 152
    Sparge 170
    Muntons or notty yeast.
    5.5 gallons total.

    I make several batches of this every year for those folks who don't want hoppy fruited or stout beer.
    Kind a blah tasting compared to my go to brews, but for coors, bub, mgd type drinkers, it fits the bill, and cheap to make.
     
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  4. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,386) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Something in the Blonde/Kolsch family is usually a crowd pleaser and somewhat of an eye opener for BMC drinkers. For that Rolling Rock taste, boil with the lid on.* For standard Corona flavor, expose to sunlight after fermentation.** Can't help with the Coors light, as I don't remember what it tastes like.***

    *don't really
    **probably shouldn't
    ***true
     
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  5. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,587) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    To add a personal note to my earlier post, the beer that I brewed that won over some Busch Light and Land Shark drinking neighbors was the "60 shilling" Scottish ale recipe from Brewing Classic Styles. It's darker than what they were used to but not opaquely intimidating. This is the version that looks like it has too many specialty malts (not the kettle caramelization version).
     
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  6. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,587) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    For Coors Light, add extra water? Just a guess.
     
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  7. Granitebeard

    Granitebeard Initiate (146) Aug 24, 2016 Maine

    I brewed a pale ale that is going to be my base all. I feel it is OK, nothing super special, drinkable. I still feel it needs more. BUT I brought some to my girl friend's son's graduation this weekend (not for him) as her family says I never share my home brews. They only drink bud light. They had this and they said it was good. I would normally say it was just them being nice, but two people asked to keep a six pack. I don't remember the recipe off the top of my head, but it was an once of cascade at 60 and then an once at 10. It is probably similar enough to GromBrewHouse's recipe above just with some aromatic malt in there too.
     
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  8. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Aspirant (261) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    Yep, minimal hops , average abv and non specialty yeast wins the day with these folks.
     
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  9. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (475) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    A simple Oberon-ish clone works for me. 50-50 two row and wheat malt. Saaz and Hersbrucker hops. I usually build up Bell's dregs but any neutral ale yeast will do.
     
    #9 scottakelly, Jun 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
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  10. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (475) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    I love British bitters, esbs, etc. but from my experience most BMC drinkers do not care for them. It's the spicy UK hops that throws them off. If you go with a UK style, go with a maltier one, like a brown ale, Scottish 60, etc.

    I love a good Kolsch but I'm not sure it is a good recommendation for you if you cannot lager (assuming you want to use a traditional Kolsch yeast strain and not ruin it with a neutral ale strain, imo).
     
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  11. mugs1789

    mugs1789 Initiate (184) Dec 6, 2005 Maryland

    I occasionally brew an easy-drinking saison that with limited spice/clove flavors. It's not to-style but it is easy to drink and much more interesting than a premium lager. I use about 80% pilsner malt and 20% wheat (aiming for 1.040ish) and use Danstar's Belle Saison dry yeast. I ferment around 65 so I don't develop much of the saison flavor. Between the wheat and the saison yeast, it's different but familiar.
     
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  12. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Initiate (161) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    I just made briermunchers cream of three crops cream ale. Really cheap to make and it tastes very refreshing. People couldn't believe I made it
     
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  13. MrOH

    MrOH Defender (615) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    I've had success with a dry-hopped American Blond Ale.
    Light, but has a bit of character for you.
     
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  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,935) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Supporter

    A fellow homebrewer (a relative newbie) asked me to help formulate a nice summer sipping beer. Together we decided on a low hopped Blonde Ale. This sort of beer should be pleasing to folks who prefer beers like Corona, Coors Light, or Rolling Rock.

    Cheers!
     
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  15. invertalon

    invertalon Devotee (481) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    A bitter, cream ale, kolsch, many varieties of lager, etc... The beer world is a vast, vast place!
     
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  16. frozyn

    frozyn Devotee (463) May 16, 2015 New York
    Supporter Beer Trader

    I'll parrot the suggestions of a blonde ale. I have one fermenting away right now for the same reason you posted.
     
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  17. OntheLambic

    OntheLambic Aspirant (285) Jan 9, 2015 Connecticut

    For Coors light, just make sure you brew with frost...
     
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  18. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Aspirant (225) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    My first question would be, "Why do you want to make craft beer for people who don't like craft beer?"

    And when their best assessment of all your time, effort, and money will probably be, "This is OK, but it's still not Coors."

    Other than that, others have made some useful suggestions.
     
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  19. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Initiate (161) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    I look at brewing a lot like cooking. Sure I enjoy making myself a nice meal but I love to cook for a group of people and have them be like wow this is awesome. Feedback is a great reason to share your beer. By starting off with something lighter like a blonde you can eventually get them to like more and more bitter styles if you just ease them into it.
    Because of this I usually brew crowd pleasers like pales and Belgian style beers.
     
  20. Wiffler27

    Wiffler27 Savant (935) Aug 16, 2009 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    They want me to (try to) make something that they would like. They asked because they want to drink my beers or at least try them. It's because they asked, if they don't like it then I can keep on going in my personal favorite direction.

    Either way it's a win-win.
     
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  21. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Aspirant (261) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    I have family and friends who drink beer, just don't like the hoppy stout sour etc style. I feel great when I. Make a brew they like.
    They feel great to and the party continues.
     
  22. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,587) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    For the UK beers, sure keep the hops toned down. I was thinking Bass as an English beer that lots of folks drank before the US brewing scene caught fire. It may be lupulin threshold shift, because I no longer think of bitters as, well, bitter.

    I guess it could be debated whether a Kolsch (or any beer) really needs to be lagered. And if you can fit bottles in a refrigerator, you can always lager in the bottle. Regardless of whether you would still call it a Kolsch (which you can't, technically, in the OP's Jersey brewhouse), a tasty approachable beer could come out of the effort
     
  23. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Initiate (161) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    A saison is an easy drinking style but that may even be too advanced for them. Do you have a fermentation chamber?
     
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  24. crcostel

    crcostel Initiate (66) Feb 26, 2006 Illinois

    When and where will you serve this? If you are looking for a lawnmower beer - the suggestion of a cream ale would work or maybe a wheat.

    If you are thinking fall, English Brown or Irish Red would be good choices.

    I'd stay away from Saisons or Belgians because if they like Rolling Rock they will hate it.
     
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  25. Eggman20

    Eggman20 Initiate (116) Feb 14, 2017 Minnesota

    The two most common types I make for regular beer drinkers are an Irish Ale and Blue Moon clone. I've even oak aged the Irish after soaking in some Irish Whiskey that was very popular.

    Just made my first Blonde ale this weekend so don't have any feedback on that but I would think it would be a solid choice as well.
     
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  26. Wiffler27

    Wiffler27 Savant (935) Aug 16, 2009 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I do not, I just have carboys I keep in my basement. I have no temperature control unfortunately. My cellar goes between 64-72 throughout the year. right now the temperature has been steady at 70 for a few weeks (even with the 90+ degrees over the last few days)
     
  27. Wiffler27

    Wiffler27 Savant (935) Aug 16, 2009 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I would be making this brew in the next 2 or so weeks so it would be consumed July-end of summer. I'm leaning towards a blonde ale, I've been screwing around on BeerSmith with a recipe. I'm gonna post it later today to get some feedback
     
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  28. Wiffler27

    Wiffler27 Savant (935) Aug 16, 2009 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    i've seen a few blonde ale recipes online and did some mix-and-matching.

    from what I put into BeerSmith:

    .5 pound Crystal 10 steep
    5 pounds Pilsen DME @ 60
    .5 pound Wheat DME @ 60

    .5oz Galena @ 60
    .25oz Motueka @ 25
    .25oz Centennial @ 10
    .25oz Motueka @ 10
    .25oz Centennial @ 5
    .25oz Motueka @ 5
    .25oz Centennial dry hop
    .25oz Motueka dry hop

    1.048 SG
    27 IBU
    4 SRM
    4.6%

    my family doesn't like hoppy but i do. i'd like to please everyone, including myself, if that's possible.

    so i guess i'm straddling the line between some hops for me and not too much bitterness/hops for my family. i'd like it refreshing and clean. i'm thinking it's too much hops so i may tone down the boil hops.
     
  29. utahbeerdude

    utahbeerdude Disciple (372) May 2, 2006 Utah

    The recipe looks solid. You do know that wheat DME is only about 50% wheat (typically)? To keep the color light I'd only boil for 20 minutes, adding the Galena then. This will also reduce the bitterness a bit. Cheers!
     
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  30. frozyn

    frozyn Devotee (463) May 16, 2015 New York
    Supporter Beer Trader

    You could also move the 5 minute additions to flameout to slightly reduce the bitterness and still get the aroma/flavor notes.
     
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  31. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Initiate (161) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    I actually have a good yeast for you. I just used m10 workhorse by mangrove jack. Really clean and it's got a huge temperature range. I fermented two identical batches one at 60 and the other at 75 and they both tasted very neutral.
     
  32. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (475) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    Keep in mind that a cellar temperature of 70 really means a fermentation temperature of 75. I would focus on styles that work well with yeasts that give good but fairly neutral flavor profiles at that temperature. Not my forte, so I will let someone else make a recommendation as to yeast strain. I think you are likely heading the right direction with a blonde.

    I have made trapist singles at that temp with very good results. Pretty simple - pilsner malt, table sugar, noble hops, and I like WY1762. It has a nice yeast profile that, imo, is not overwhelming. Plus it is very quick to turn around.

    On your proposed blonde, do you care for noble hop varieties much? I notice noble hop varieties go over better with most BMC drinkers. If you decide to stick with American hops, maybe skew your additions toward earlier in the boil?
     
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  33. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Aspirant (264) Jul 20, 2016 Arizona
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    In my experience, non-craft drinkers tend to be turned off by bitterness. Hops ≠ bitterness unless you boil them. I've shared my beer with several people who say they don't like hoppy beers, and they all end up liking it. When I tell them its an IPA with ~14oz of hops it, they don't know what to say.

    Hopbursting and dry hopping are my answers to your question. Keep the IBUs low and the hop flavors/aromas high. Fruity hops work wonders. You'll enjoy it, and I bet it won't turn people off as much as you think. There's a reason IPAs are so popular nowadays - they typically aren't nearly as bitter now as they used to be.
     
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  34. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (475) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    For some reason to me a 35 IBU UK pale ale tastes more bitter than a 35 IBU American pale ale using EKG and old school US hops respectively. I have even tried using EKGs in a similar hop schedule to an American pale ale (ie more IBUs from late hop additions than early) and the spicy bitterness of the EKG hops really stand out when used that way. I think at the end of the day age really impacts the UK pale ales that we drink, since homebrewed ones using the same ingredients and similar hopping always have the hops pop more for me.

    I'll leave the Kolsch one alone. I've had many people swear to having tasty Kolsches brewed with non-traditional Kolsch yeasts and not lagered. I've just never had one myself that matches my expectations for the style. I won't even open the whole can of worms about calling it a Kolsch.
     
  35. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Aspirant (264) Jul 20, 2016 Arizona
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I did a single hop Belma wheat IPA and noticed the same thing. When used in huge amounts at the end of/after the boil, I picked up a ton of "noble character"/spiciness that I didn't notice when I used Belma in smaller amounts or earlier in the boil.

    HopsDirect doesn't say what Belma 's lineage is, as far as I know, so we're left to guess.
     
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  36. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,386) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    According to HopsDirect, it's "A daughter of Magnum & Kitamidori"
     
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  37. Wiffler27

    Wiffler27 Savant (935) Aug 16, 2009 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I don't love or hate noble hops. when i think of noble hops i think of Czech and German Pils; I think spicy and some sharp bitterness. maybe it's the hops, maybe it's the malt or maybe it's those 2 things working together.

    i do agree that BMC drinkers are more used to noble hops. i'm thinking of swapping the centennial for Saaz. Saaz+Motueka may be my choice
     
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  38. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Aspirant (264) Jul 20, 2016 Arizona
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Thanks. Learn something new everyday.

    I had to look up Kitamidori, but hopslist.com says "It sports an oil composition with remarkable similarities to Saaz." So it all adds up.
     
  39. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,587) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    My expectations of Kolsch are not as well defined I'm sure but I like the Wyeast kolsch strain, and I have lagered the few that I brewed and kept the fermentation temps low too. Still, with all the brulosphy stuff going around I wonder whether the OPs peeps would notice in a triangle tasting.
     
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  40. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (475) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    The Wyeast Kolsch strain is my favorite too. Sure, random people off the street might not be able to tell a difference in a triangle test. But I would imagine an experienced Kolsch drinker would. Sounds like a good brulosophy experiment!
     
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