Author Topic: Beer minus hops  (Read 506 times)

Offline FLbrewer

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Beer minus hops
« on: January 19, 2014, 08:44:37 PM »
Drinking a delicious IPA and I started thinking "what would a beer taste like without hops in the recipe?

Offline bigchicken

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Re: Beer minus hops
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2014, 09:19:53 PM »
I brewed an extract batch with no hops about 2 years ago. I also used 4lb of white sugar in it, used bread yeast, and did it as an open fermentation. I was recreating an old recipe that originally was my great grandfather's. I would describe it as a tart, high alcoholic glass of nothing I'd ever want to drink again. My BMC drinking family loved it.
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Offline mesabrewery

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Re: Beer minus hops
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2014, 10:47:22 PM »
Chances are the extract had hops already in it, the tart taste probably came from the open fermentation

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Offline yso191

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Re: Beer minus hops
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2014, 11:47:38 PM »
I'm reminded of pruno.  The drink of choice in prison
Steve

Offline gmwren

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Re: Beer minus hops
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2014, 07:00:00 AM »
It will taste like a starter, only carbonated. Nasty...

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Beer minus hops
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2014, 07:19:11 AM »
That all depends. Do you mean just taking an ordinary recipe and leaving out the hops? It will be sweet and relatively boring. The hops add a layer of complexity and help balance out the sweetness left by the residual sugars. However you can use something other than hops to provide that balance. I make a beer with heather tips instead of hops and I've made a beer with basil instead of hops. people have been making beer with herbs other than hops far longer than with hops. It does go by fast though.
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Re: Beer minus hops
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2014, 08:27:16 AM »
A friend of mine was creating a recipe for a very malt forward beer once so he limited the amount of hops he used. The finished product was so cloyingly sweet on tasting that he considered dumping it. We instead decided to make a strong hop tea and slowly started dosing the keg until we got to something that was at least palatable to drink. I think something needs to be added to balance the malts in every beer whether it be herbs or hops for sure!
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Beer minus hops
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2014, 08:32:37 AM »
I wouldn't brew without hops but if I did, I'd be sure it attenuated really well (mash low and maybe use some sugar)  and use some gypsum to dry the finish out a bit.  I'll pass.
Jon H.

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Beer minus hops
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2014, 09:18:53 AM »
Radical Brewing has information about other herbs/spices that can be used in place of hops to add bitterness.

I've had a few gruits - some were pleasant, none were worth recreating.

I've brewed sours sans hops to increase lacto activity. The results have varied, but normally I ended up with a beer that was too sour to stand on its own. Great for blending.

I have the idea to brew a low-gravity coffee stout without hops, using cold-brewed coffee for flavor and well-made espresso for bitterness. Its on the list - just haven't gotten there yet.
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Offline brew inspector

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Re: Beer minus hops
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2014, 09:26:55 AM »
I have essentially the same no hop recipe as Bigchicken from my grandfather.  I brewed it with a no hop LME and sugar like the recipe instructed.  Did use corn sugar to bottle. 
Not good almost horrible

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Offline denny

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Re: Beer minus hops
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2014, 09:37:10 AM »
Drinking a delicious IPA and I started thinking "what would a beer taste like without hops in the recipe?

Disgustingly sweet of you don't use anything at all to replace them.  Some "beers" like gruit use herbs in place of hops.
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Offline jweiss206

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Re: Beer minus hops
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2014, 11:12:54 AM »
Kirin Ichiban claims to be a 100% malt beer. I'm assuming that means no hops. It's fairly bleh

Offline denny

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Re: Beer minus hops
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2014, 11:13:54 AM »
Kirin Ichiban claims to be a 100% malt beer. I'm assuming that means no hops. It's fairly bleh

I think it simply means that there are no adjuncts used, not that they don't use hops.
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Offline jweiss206

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Re: Beer minus hops
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2014, 03:46:23 PM »
Denny is right as usual. I suppose I could have checked their website. Kirin does use noble hops. It's the only beer I've seen that so specifically advertises itself as 100% malt, assumed that meant no hops. Nope, just another crappy beer.  :)

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Beer minus hops
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2014, 04:00:28 PM »
I've made gruit and I've made ancient Sumerian beer, both without hops.  Both turned out surprisingly tart as if they had Lacto infections... and they might have.  But both were very tasty brews.  You really don't need hops to make a tasty fermented malt beverage.  If you were to purposely infect a low or no-hopped batch with Lacto (like a Berliner weisse), I think the tartness certainly helps to offset the sweetish malt flavor in much the same way as bitterness does for most other beers, so it can taste very good albeit tart.
Dave

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