That would be ale.
Among many homebrewers, ales take the crown as the most straightforward beer to brew.
It’s not a big deal even if you stumble a bit.
These brews are champs at bouncing back, earning them the reputation for being the most beginner-friendly beer style.
So, does that mean every aspiring homebrewer has to start with batch after batch of ale?
In this post, we’ll talk about your first steps as an amateur brewer and how to minimize errors at the start of your journey!
How to Pick a Beer Style as a Beginner
If you consult a skilled homebrewer, they’d probably back us up and say try for an ale first.
We get it, we get it…
For newcomers, the allure of driving straight into complex brews like Imperials or Lagers might be tempting.
You should be safe if you follow some reputable guide to a tee, right?
Well, homebrewing has a lot of nuances, and experience does factor into the complexity of the brews you can produce.
You need to have a feel for the process and get familiar with it.
So, starting with something uncomplicated is usually the wiser choice.
Here’s a golden nugget for you:
Focus on brewing ales for the initial few months of your homebrewing career.
Ales have many varieties so that it won’t stump your creativity.
We also believe opting for ingredient kits that use extracts is a rock-solid approach to successful home brewing.
Gathering equipment and ingredients can be just as (if not more) daunting than choosing a beer style.
And when you finally know what you’re doing, completing your setup and venturing into all-grain techniques is the next step!
Learning about beer styles and their alcohol content is crucial.
Easiest Ales to Brew at Home
We’re sure you don’t want to make messes and find complex ingredients to source.
So, these widely popular beginner ales have tons of brewing kits online.
Search them on Amazon and whip up a quick batch to learn the general brewing process!
Cloudy homemade beer? Check out this article.
American Amber Ale
Let’s start with a beloved choice in many households: the American amber ale.
Now, these amber ales have a little trick up their sleeves.
They’re all about showcasing those delightful malt flavors without going overboard on the hop front.
They use hops that bring a balanced character, steering clear of being too intense.
And from its name, you can tell that amber ales stand out with a unique hue.
What’s causing that color to show?
It’s a mix of darker roaster malts and their lighter counterparts.
Best of all, making an amber ale is a pretty straightforward deal.
It’s a forgiving process, so errors aren’t the end of the world.
American Pale Ale
The APA takes a page from the amber ale playbook yet veers off in a new direction with its distinctive hop choices.
While the grains in play might be close to identical, the pale ale stands out for one key reason:
A robust hop character.
Now, here’s a secret about hops — it’s like a secret coverall for any little brewing oopsies you might encounter.
This brew’s potent hop profile can cloak any unexpected flavors that might pop up if you misstep during brewing!
Some recipes will tell you to toss all the hops into the boiling mix, while others give them a second go in a separate boil.
American Brown Ale
American and English versions of this brown ale have their flair, but the standout factor?
It’s all about the hops again.
The American brown ale takes on a bold persona with its hefty dose of American hops and yeast.
It’s on the bitter side and a little floral.
Regarding appearance, it’s a close cousin to the amber ale but a bit deeper in hue.
This is due to the dark malt introduced during brewing.
American Wheat Ale
Originating as a nod to the German Hefeweizen, the American Wheat Ale emerges with its characteristics.
With the American version, hops and ale yeast steal the spotlight.
The German version uses German ale yeast, with hops playing a quieter role.
An American wheat ale also has a hazy appearance, a light to medium body, and an intriguing interplay of citrus, clove, and banana notes.
Of course, its name is due to the high amount of wheat used.
We’re talking 50% to 70%, which gives it a unique flavor.
Overall, this is a straightforward beer to brew.
Like pale ale, it relies on hops, making it easy to salvage if you make any errors during brewing.
A porter is a distinguished member of the beer family, known for its deep, rich character.
This dark ale brings together roasted malts to create a symphony of flavors, often offering notes of chocolate, coffee, and caramel.
With historical roots dating back to 18th-century London, porters have evolved into a versatile style.
From classic English versions to robust American adaptations, porters offer a smooth and velvety texture that’s comforting and intriguing.
Plus, the alcohol levels of homemade porters also have a way of sweeping away any off-notes with grace!
Generally, lighter and less complex beer styles are the fastest to brew.
Among these, styles like American pale and Blond ales are often quicker due to their more straightforward grain bills and shorter fermentation times.
Homemade brew maintains its quality for roughly a year, with its flavor often undergoing a gradual evolution.
After bottling, the taste gets better for a month or two. It hangs steady for a couple of months after that.
After about a year, things start heading south.
Sours can be quite a challenge.
They require meticulous focus throughout fermentation.
Brewers must also keep an eye on the growth of lactic acid bacteria and any yeast that’s not saccharomyces, making it an actual labor of love!
So there you have it, the inside scoop on the easiest beer to brew at home.
Ales welcomes you with open arms as a budding homebrewer.
They’re forgiving, straightforward, and far from boring!
Simplicity shines in beginner brewing, so learn the ropes to tackle more complex brews in the future.
Feel free to check out these recommended posts to enhance your brewing adventure: