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What is the best type of beer to brew for a beginner?

13

I always recommend an Ale of some kind.

For a beginner beer I always want to advise something that is a little simpler so that the beginner will have a better chance of success. I want them to keep brewing!

So, I would stay away from lagers, as they often require more equipment to keep cool. I also would stay away from sour beers as they can be more finicky.

I'll often recommend something with some character to it: either a little hoppy, like a pale ale, ipa, or american amber, or something roasty like a stout, etc. That way there's some grain/hop flavor to mask potential beginning mistakes.

But the best advice, I think, is to pick a beer the beginner likes to drink. There's no point making a beer you don't want to drink.

4

I agree with sgwill, but I would add that you also want to pick a style that can be done with just extract + hops + yeast. Not having additional grains to steep cuts time and effort off of that first brew day. One of the best I've used is a simple hefeweizen: 6-8 lbs. wheat LME + 1oz. tettnanger (60 mins) + Wyeast 3068 (Weihenstephan Weizen). Easy to brew, very tasty, conditions quickly.

2

Wheat beers (hefeweizen/wit) are considered to be particularly good for beginners for the following reasons:

  • They're expected to have fairly high ester and phenol profiles, which can mask other undesirable flavours.
  • They can tolerate a fairly wide range of fermentation temperatures, and the higher end of the range gives more of the banana/bubble gum flavours as above. This makes them ideal for brewing in an apartment which will be >20c the whole time, and/or if you don't have a way to accurately control (especially lower) the temperature.
  • They are highly carbonated and perfectly suited to bottle carbonation, which is generally convenient for a beginner (no gas/kegs required).
  • They are not expected to clear (for the yeast to flocculate and fall out of suspension) before drinking, and they don't require long conditioning for any other flavour-related reasons, so can be drunk practically as soon as carbonation is complete (~2 weeks).

If you like the style then these are great beers to make! I am a beginner, and have made a couple of these from all grain recipes, both times with satisfying results.

1

I don't think the exact kind of beer matters, but I think you would be best with something like this:

  1. Simple beers that only have a bittering component will take less effort than more complicated pale ales that have bittering, flavoring and aroma hops.
  2. Something that is not high gravity. You want to start with something that is OG 1.070 or less, it just makes the whole progress easier.
  3. Use dry yeast. You have a a whole bunch more yeast cells with the dry yeast. You don't need to make a starter and its cheaper.
  4. Do a malt extract beer with some grains, but do not start with a mini-mash or all-grain.
  5. Get a recipe kit from a home brew store that does not require a secondary fermenter.
  6. Do it this time of year (at least in the south eastern us where the avg temp is in the 60s) so you do not have to use a temperature controlled fridge.
  7. Buy 22 oz bottles so the bottling process goes easier.
  8. Use a sanitizer that you can buy from a home brew store. I do not recommend using bleach.

Above all, you do need to brew something that you like, otherwise you won't want to progress and relax, have a home brew!

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