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Some recommendations, please!

I’m a new member here and have been reading and absorbing info - thanks for a great forum!

I have a basic equipment kit and have made 6 batches, all from kits. I have made amber ales and dark beers and am very pleased with the beer i’ve made.

I want to start brewing lighter beers. I’d like to develop my tastes so i can narrow down the choices when i start brewing 5 gal batches.

So give me some of your recommendations for commercial lighter beers. I know this is a very broad question, but what are some of your favorite light commercial beers. I don’t favor IPAs so i’m looking for beers with low IBUs.

Regionally I am in Spokane Washington.

Thanks!

when you say “light” do you mean in color, or in ABV, calories, mouthfeel, etc. etc. etc.?

I’ve heard Flat Tail Brewing makes an awesome pre-prohibition aka classic american pilsner, but not sure if they distribute in Washington (they are in Oregon).

As far as lighter colored/bodied/abv’d styles, you will want to check out kolsch, standard/premium american lager, munich helles, dortmunder, cream ale, blonde ale, american wheats, german/bohemian pilsners, classic american pilsners, and the traditional version of marzen is actually pretty pale.

That being said, many belgian ales can be light in color, but may not be what you are looking for.

As far as recommendations, I think all of the above-referenced styles can be EXCELLENT (yes including standard/light american lager) if they are brewed well. You might want to try a cream ale if you can find one (its essentially the ‘ale’ equivalent of standard american lager).

Thanks, Pietro, good questions… By “light” i mean light in color and calories. I want it to be flavorful and interesting. I really like the dark beer i’ve made, but sometimes two of them feel like a full meal! There are times i want to drink 3-4 beers over an afternoon or a football game.

I’ll look for the Flat Tail… that sounds familiar…

Ah I see…

I would look into some session beers, not necessarily dismissing those that are darker than straw/gold in color. There are plenty of flavorful, ‘low density’, quaffable by the 3-4 pint beers that aren’t necessarily light in color. Another thing to consider is carbonation level. the standard ‘american’ 2.5-3 volumes of CO2 that expands/degasses the second it hits your gut can make you feel full really quick.

My ultimate favorite here are ordinary and premium bitters and milds. Most of these are light amber to brown, but are basically built to have 3-4 of them 'down ‘na pub’ and still go to work the next morning. One of the reasons they are so drinkable is they are served around 50* and with lighter carbonation. Usually you will need to find them in smaller breweries and/or British themed pubs. One widely available Americanized example of a premium bitter is 21A’s Bitter American. Great beer, available pretty widely, I’m guessing certainly in WA.

Some people also dig Scottish 60, 70 and 80/- (you might as these generally have virtually no hops in them), but these aren’t really my bag.

Good luck out there solider.

[quote=“Pietro”]Ah I see…

I would look into some session beers, not necessarily dismissing those that are darker than straw/gold in color. There are plenty of flavorful, ‘low density’, quaffable by the 3-4 pint beers that aren’t necessarily light in color. Another thing to consider is carbonation level. the standard ‘american’ 2.5-3 volumes of CO2 that expands/degasses the second it hits your gut can make you feel full really quick.

My ultimate favorite here are ordinary and premium bitters and milds. Most of these are light amber to brown, but are basically built to have 3-4 of them 'down ‘na pub’ and still go to work the next morning. One of the reasons they are so drinkable is they are served around 50* and with lighter carbonation. Usually you will need to find them in smaller breweries and/or British themed pubs. One widely available Americanized example of a premium bitter is 21A’s Bitter American. Great beer, available pretty widely, I’m guessing certainly in WA.

Some people also dig Scottish 60, 70 and 80/- (you might as these generally have virtually no hops in them), but these aren’t really my bag.

Good luck out there solider.[/quote]
Funny, I had the same thought. It is hard to beat British sesson ales for full flavor, ease of drinking, and low alcohol - so you can drink several of them at one sitting safely. And they are pretty easy to brew. They are not super light in color, but if you are using extract, it will be hard for you to get anything truly light colored anyway. Go to the import shelves of a good beer store and look for anything from the UK labeled “bitter” or “Scottish Ale”. They up the carbonation for product shipped to the US, but it will give you a good idea even so.

Thanks, guys, good comments. I think you focused in on what i’m looking for and gave some good suggestions. I appreciate it.

Time to go explore my local beer store! More comments are certainly welcome!

I think I have found my “house beer” and its a kolsch. Very simple grainbill and a really easy drinking beer. I’ve been messing with a few recipes to see what I like best. Going to brew a third batch up this weekend.

For the long term finding all the brews you like, keep your eyes open for a Brewfest or Beer fest in your area. I live in Wisconsin so we have a few different ones throughout the summer. A ton of local breweries usually attend and each one brings from two to five of their favorite brews. It is quite a challenge for us to get through all the stands and there are just so many new and different beers that I have to take pictures of the ones I like. This year will be my fourth Brewfest and already I can’t wait! Cheers!

NB’s AK47 is a good one - it’s a mild. The Innkeeper is another NB kit that satisfies. I’d also encourage you to check out the honey kolsch. Honey and other easily fermentable sugars will give the beer a light feel and a crisper finish. Gotta watch the ferment temps with Kolsch, but its probably fairly cool out there this time of year.

Do you have a way to ferment at lager temps? If so I’ll post a good light beer recipe you can do on your stove top.

More good responses - thanks guys!

Kgetch and jtb, thanks for the recommendation to try kolsch - one of my wifes and my favorites is a kolsch from Alaska Brewing. Good one to brew up, i think.

1tun, yes i can place my fermenter in some fairly cool places. As i said in my original post, I’m currently in Spokane WA, but all my brewing gear is in Alaska. I usually brew during the winter time. I have a big garage and depending on where i place the fermenter i can see anywhere from 40 to 55 degrees. A basement area will be in about 65 and up.

So if that fits, yes please send on any recipes you like!

We’re heading back to Alaska in a few weeks, can’t wait to get brewing!

Thanks again,

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