Hopless Ale

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Hopless Ale

Postby Brewtrog » Fri Sep 08, 2017 17:22

After planning this for several years, I'm finally going to have a blast at brewing a hopless ale. Because it's a bit of a stab in the dark I'm going to try it as a 1gal extract brew and sup and see from there. The current plan is
500g medium spreymalt
3g yarrow (dried)
1g rosemary (dried)
1g wormwood (dried)
1 bay leaf
1 gal water
I'm going to mix the dried herbs together, and add 4g of the mix and the bay leaf at 60mins with 1g herbs at 10mins.
Can't remember what yeast I have in at the mo, think it might be wilko's ale yeast.
Hopefully it'll ferment out in a week, then I'll give it maybe a week in bottle. I know this won't give the best priming tome, but without the hops I'm not 100% on how long it'll keep - I know the old herb ales were drank young, and possibly flat.

I had hoped to add sweet gale (bog myrtle) to the brew, but I couldn't find anywhere that sold it. Perhaps one for the garden for net year.
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Re: Hopless Ale

Postby INDIAPALEALE » Sun Sep 10, 2017 08:03

Brewtrog wrote:After planning this for several years, I'm finally going to have a blast at brewing a hopless ale. Because it's a bit of a stab in the dark I'm going to try it as a 1gal extract brew and sup and see from there. The current plan is
500g medium spreymalt
3g yarrow (dried)
1g rosemary (dried)
1g wormwood (dried)
1 bay leaf
1 gal water
I'm going to mix the dried herbs together, and add 4g of the mix and the bay leaf at 60mins with 1g herbs at 10mins.
Can't remember what yeast I have in at the mo, think it might be wilko's ale yeast.
Hopefully it'll ferment out in a week, then I'll give it maybe a week in bottle. I know this won't give the best priming tome, but without the hops I'm not 100% on how long it'll keep - I know the old herb ales were drank young, and possibly flat.r

I had hoped to add sweet gale (bog myrtle) to the brew, but I couldn't find anywhere that sold it. Perhaps one for the garden for net year.


Sounds a lot better than the cloudy "hop soups" that are the latest craze. Why not try a Wit with coriander and orange peel and no hops?

"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." Dean Martin
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Re: Hopless Ale

Postby jaroporter » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:51

love it. been on my list a coupla years too! rosemary and bay i can get from the garden, but the rest is harder to track down given my knowledge of plants is awful. i'd probably make a lovely nightshade ale.
looking forward to hearing how this turns out for you!
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Re: Hopless Ale

Postby HTH1975 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 20:32

Sounds interesting. I was just recently saying to one of my brewing mates that I'm a bit burnt out on hop-bomb beers. Where is the complexity and skill of blending malts in all of this?

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Hopless Ale

Postby Brewtrog » Sun Sep 10, 2017 22:17

INDIAPALEALE wrote:Why not try a Wit with coriander and orange peel and no hops?

I'm aiming more for something like a gruit, hence the particular blend of herbs (well, ignoring the bay)

jaroporter wrote:love it. been on my list a coupla years too! rosemary and bay i can get from the garden, but the rest is harder to track down given my knowledge of plants is awful. i'd probably make a lovely nightshade ale.
looking forward to hearing how this turns out for you!

I've been talking about doing this for a number of years myself. The wormwood, rosemary and bay are all from my garden. It's been the yarrow that has put me off so far, not wanting to brew a hemlock ale, but I'm happy I have the right plant, I've tested it as a styptic and I've eaten a bit and I'm not dead yet.

HTH1975 wrote:Sounds interesting. I was just recently saying to one of my brewing mates that I'm a bit burnt out on hop-bomb beers. Where is the complexity and skill of blending malts in all of this?

Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of over hopped beer. I will be making an AG version of this once I get my herb ratio happy. Maybe even brewing it over an open fire.
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Re: Hopless Ale

Postby INDIAPALEALE » Mon Sep 11, 2017 07:24

HTH1975 wrote:Sounds interesting. I was just recently saying to one of my brewing mates that I'm a bit burnt out on hop-bomb beers. Where is the complexity and skill of blending malts in all of this?


:clap: :clap: :clap:

I've been saying this for quite a while. It's because a lot of homebrewers cannot produce bright beer.
So they brew cloudy crap and say. "That's how it's meant to look"

"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." Dean Martin
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Re: Hopless Ale

Postby HTH1975 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:07

INDIAPALEALE wrote:
HTH1975 wrote:Sounds interesting. I was just recently saying to one of my brewing mates that I'm a bit burnt out on hop-bomb beers. Where is the complexity and skill of blending malts in all of this?


:clap: :clap: :clap:

I've been saying this for quite a while. It's because a lot of homebrewers cannot produce bright beer.
So they brew cloudy crap and say. "That's how it's meant to look"


Bright beer ain't difficult. What people seem to lack is patience.

If people can't wait till it drops clear, put isinglass in for two days then rack into a bottling bucket. You should also chill your beer at the same time for best fining performance.

You can add finings adjunct before the isinglass if you want to increase performance (clarity) even further.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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