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What's the most simple type of beer I can begin brewing, in order to get a feel for how the process works?


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5 Answers 5

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Something like a pale ale, either American or English, is pretty straight forward in terms of ingredients and procedures. Don't start with a lager...they require extra equipment and time. Some other styles, like Belgian beers, are a bit more finicky in terms of fermentation temp and I'd recommend avoiding them til you get more equipment and experience.

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Stout is also a good style to start with. All those roasted malts can effectively cover up subtle flaws. –  Tobias Patton Jul 22 '14 at 20:49

Try a simple coopers kit as it's cheap and if you mess up just toss it. Otherwise try an IPA extract recipe. The hops help mask any mistakes you've made. If you haven't already done so it's worth investing in a fridge and temperature controller. It makes the world of difference with the end results.

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For me I started with an IPA. I'm assuming you're starting with extract brewing, for this showed me the basics of what brewing involves.

You're going to have to add hops at various times and its generally just a great recipe to start out with. I've brewed this several times and I'm very happy with the result.

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Brew whatever you want to drink. I guarantee once you get started, the entire process will become so much easier than you first though it would be. I personally started with an IPA, and never worried. Your stress level will directly correlate with the size pot you have, because boil-overs are typically the biggest issue for a newbie. GL with your brew!

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I second Brouwer's suggestion. Assuming you mean entry-level home brewing, i.e. extracts and/or kits, not grinding, mashing, sparging & all that other fun stuff, Cooper's may be a good place to start.

Extracts have come a long way in the 45 or so years since I made my first 5-gallon batch. So has the quality of dried yeasts. If you want to be playful/creative, toss some finishing hops in the primary (safely confined in a mesh bag), and if you want to be able to drink the final product, pay special attention to sanitizing everything that comes into contact with your beer. Good luck!

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This advice assumes you can find a Cooper's kit. I haven't seen one in years. –  Denny Conn Jul 23 '14 at 21:31
That surprises me. I'm in Abbotsford BC, and only yesterday I drove into Vancouver & bought some Cooper's kits to supplement the Brew House concentrated wort I've been using lately. I've also seen it on some US suppliers' websites, but can't be certain which. The stuff is pretty bland, which is why I suggested finishing hops, but inoffensive to my palate. [p.s./edit: being pre-hopped, I find it also makes a useful base for yeast starters, as opposed to DME.] –  Glasseyed Jul 23 '14 at 22:03

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