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Seeking malty, golden, lightly hopped beer

i
Idyllwild Feb 17, 2013 02:58 PM

I'm playing with a soup recipe and would like to include beer as an ingredient, but I'm not sure what the perfect beer is. I would like the beer to contribute a distinctly malty flavor, and a touch of sweetness would be nice. It must be a light colored beer. Not too bitter, less bitter than a traditional German pilsner, please. Could be an ale or lager. Must not be strongly phenolic.
Must be available in Rhode Island or Massachusetts.
I was thinking a German style bock, but American craft brewers seem to always interpret that style as more of an amber beer, and I'm looking for a bit lighter color.
Any suggestions?

  1. t
    TombstoneShadow Feb 17, 2013 04:36 PM

    When you talk about pronounced malt flavor I first think of great american barleywines. The problem is they won't have the light color you're looking for. As a solution you would not have to use very much to impart these flavor notes so that might be a workaround to the color issue... just use less because you need less. Not sure which available in your area, but you probably get dogfish in which case immortale is awesome.

    What will be the main liquid ingredient of the soup?

    16 Replies
    1. re: TombstoneShadow
      Chinon00 Feb 21, 2013 04:57 PM

      American Barleywines (e.g. Bigfoot) can be extremely hoppy.

      1. re: Chinon00
        Jim Dorsch Feb 21, 2013 05:26 PM

        Right, British will work better. I wonder how Fuller's Vintage Ale would perform?

        1. re: Jim Dorsch
          Chinon00 Feb 21, 2013 06:28 PM

          No barleywines are light in color. Munich Helles seems ideal for the OP. Generous malt, almost sweet, subtle hop presence, light colored. Had a Weihenstephaner Original last week. Awesome brew.

          1. re: Chinon00
            JAB Feb 22, 2013 07:44 AM

            "Had a Weihenstephaner Original last week". As did I however, I was surprisingly left unimpressed.

            1. re: JAB
              Chinon00 Feb 22, 2013 09:17 AM

              What are some Munich Helles lagers that you like?

              1. re: Chinon00
                JAB Feb 22, 2013 09:25 AM

                None that I can name. Perhaps, that's it. It may be a style that's not to my liking. I knew that this was a highly rated version and was excited to try it but...

                1. re: JAB
                  Chinon00 Feb 22, 2013 09:57 AM

                  No matter how highly rated a Munich Helles is it won't taste like an IPA.

                  1. re: Chinon00
                    JAB Feb 22, 2013 10:10 AM

                    I wasn't anticipating the flavor of an IPA but, I was anticipating flavor.

                    1. re: JAB
                      Chinon00 Feb 22, 2013 11:00 AM

                      What are you favorite low hopped beers?

                      1. re: Chinon00
                        JAB Feb 22, 2013 12:33 PM

                        I'm fond of many Pilsners / Pilseners both German and Czech.

                        1. re: JAB
                          Jim Dorsch Feb 22, 2013 06:44 PM

                          Perhaps you just don't care for malty beers. Do you like bocks, doppelbocks, Scotch ales?

                          1. re: Jim Dorsch
                            JAB Feb 25, 2013 05:52 AM

                            Yes, I do.

                          2. re: JAB
                            Chinon00 Feb 22, 2013 07:17 PM

                            Czech pils run about 20 IBUs higher than Munich Helles; and there's even a higher disparity when it comes to hefeweizen, dunkelweiss, and wit. Do you appreciate any of those styles?

                            1. re: Chinon00
                              JAB Feb 25, 2013 05:55 AM

                              Hefs and Wits not so much. I can't immediately recall having had a dunkelweiss. I do however look forward to trying a Weihenstaphaner Hef when the opportunity presents itself.

                        2. re: JAB
                          Josh Feb 24, 2013 11:45 AM

                          Malt has flavor. It's more subtle than hops, but it is there. Promise.

                          1. re: Josh
                            Jim Dorsch Feb 24, 2013 06:25 PM

                            The aroma and flavor of fresh wort reminds me of Grape-Nuts, which is logical, since that cereal includes malt as an ingredient.

        2. l
          LStaff Feb 18, 2013 06:02 AM

          Narragansett Bock
          Beck's Sapphire
          Berkshire Steel Rail

          1. TongoRad Feb 18, 2013 01:04 PM

            Traditional Dunkles Bocks are dark amber/brown, while Maibocks/Helles Bocks are pale- those are the ones you are looking for. Einbecker Mai-Urbock can be stellar as long as you get some that has not been too exposed to the light (hopefully your local shopkeeper will get you a sixer from a sealed case).

            1. Josh Feb 18, 2013 02:39 PM

              Considering the flavor it seems you're looking for, why bother using a beer at all? Why not just buy some specialty malts at a homebrew shop and steep them in the broth? Especially if you're looking for something less bitter than a German pilsner.

              1. c
                chuckl Feb 19, 2013 01:17 PM

                Hacker-Pschorr Anno 1417 might work

                1. Chinon00 Feb 21, 2013 04:56 PM

                  Munich Helles

                  1. Tripeler Feb 23, 2013 01:13 AM

                    How about trying the decidedly downmarket Steel Reserve at 8% abv. It is full and heavy, but not really that hoppy. Mostly it is quite malty and has a very light color.

                    1. i
                      Idyllwild Feb 23, 2013 10:05 AM

                      Thanks for all the ideas, some very interesting thoughts here. The recipe is a variation on one of my standard dishes - a soup of chopped cabbage,potato, mirepoix, whatever sausage or ham was on hand, and some beer. I've been thinking of refining it by adding other root vegetables like turnips and parsnips and using Brussels sprouts as the cabbage. I have picked up a few beers that I think will work:
                      Narragansett Bock -which was the first one I thought of
                      Ayinger Jarhundert - probably a safe and solid choice
                      Full Sail 25th Anniversary Pale Dopplebock - looking forward to trying this, I tend to enjoy the malt characters in Full Sail's lager offerings
                      Sam Adams Cinder Bock - I'm really intrigued by the smoked malt in this one, could add an interesting dimension to the soup
                      I came across some Einbecker Ur-Maibock, but the price was steep and the green bottles were dusty, so it didn't seem like a good bet.
                      Steel Reserve is, remarkably, one of the few budget priced beers I've never tried, as far as I can recall. (I have forgotten much of the 90's, when I really appreciated cheap beer.)
                      Josh's idea of just using malt is appealing, I may try that as well, and I think I will also set aside some unfermented wort the next time I brew to to use in cooking.
                      In the meantime, I will sacrifice myself by trying as many beers as possible until I find the perfect ingredient.

                      1. j
                        jpc8015 May 17, 2013 12:21 AM

                        You are looking for Budweiser.

                        17 Replies
                        1. re: jpc8015
                          Chinon00 May 17, 2013 04:04 AM

                          You find Budweiser to be malty?

                          1. re: Chinon00
                            j
                            jpc8015 May 17, 2013 05:27 AM

                            No, but from all of the descriptors the OP laid out for the requirement I think Budweiser comes closest. And if it is going in a soup I wouldn't spend a ton of money on it anyways.

                            "It must be a light colored beer. Not too bitter, less bitter than a traditional German pilsner, please. Could be an ale or lager. Must not be strongly phenolic. Must be available in Rhode Island or Massachusetts."

                            1. re: jpc8015
                              Chinon00 May 17, 2013 05:57 AM

                              You ever have a Munich Helles lager?

                              1. re: Chinon00
                                j
                                jpc8015 May 17, 2013 06:43 AM

                                I have. It was delicious. I would not waste it by putting it in a pot of soup.

                                1. re: jpc8015
                                  Chinon00 May 17, 2013 09:00 AM

                                  That wasn't the point it was which beer more accurately aligned w/ the OP's description. Munich Helles Lager is spot on. Budweiser is not.

                                  1. re: Chinon00
                                    j
                                    jpc8015 May 17, 2013 09:06 AM

                                    But that is the point. The OP is looking for a beer to go into a pot of soup. Unless they are entering their soup into some cooking competition, then go with the Budweiser. The difference in the final product will be so minimal as to make a significantly more expensive beer a waste.

                                    If you want to put Munich Helles in a pot of soup go ahead. I will drink mine.

                                    1. re: jpc8015
                                      Josh May 17, 2013 10:03 AM

                                      Your determination to save the OP $5 is admirable.

                                      1. re: Josh
                                        j
                                        jpc8015 May 17, 2013 08:16 PM

                                        Thank you. :-P

                                      2. re: jpc8015
                                        Chinon00 May 17, 2013 10:28 AM

                                        Question: if you were making mussels would your first choice of braising liquid be Budweiser or Kolsch?

                                        1. re: Chinon00
                                          j
                                          jpc8015 May 17, 2013 08:16 PM

                                          clams and mussels call for sauv blanc, garlic, shallots, diced tomato, and basil. But that is a different board...

                                          1. re: jpc8015
                                            Chinon00 May 17, 2013 09:28 PM

                                            You my friend have never heard of Belgium. Moules Frites.

                                            1. re: Chinon00
                                              j
                                              jpc8015 May 17, 2013 09:34 PM

                                              I don't like mussels.

                                2. re: jpc8015
                                  Josh May 17, 2013 07:27 AM

                                  Presumably the beer is meant to be a flavoring agent. The OP is looking for something malty, which means it should taste like malt. Budweiser is essentially flavorless and is certainly not malty.

                                  1. re: Josh
                                    j
                                    jpc8015 May 17, 2013 07:37 AM

                                    I promise you, you would be able to tell no difference between two pots of soup; one made with a pint of Budweiser and one made with a pint of Paulaner Original Münchner. So if there is no distinguishable difference, why not save the Paulaner for your glass?

                                    1. re: jpc8015
                                      Josh May 17, 2013 08:27 AM

                                      OP says they want the beer to contribute a distinctly malty flavor. That doesn't sound like Budweiser to me, especially given the amount of adjuncts. For that matter I wouldn't use the Paulaner. I'd use doppelbock.

                                      1. re: Josh
                                        j
                                        jpc8015 May 17, 2013 08:37 AM

                                        Doppelbock is far darker than the OP is looking to use. If color were no issue I would reccomend a stout.

                                        If we are looking for our favorite beer that meets the OP's description, then I would go with a Kolsch. But I would not use a Kolsch in soup. It would be a waste.

                                        1. re: jpc8015
                                          Josh May 17, 2013 10:02 AM

                                          I agree it's darker than they asked for, but it does have the flavor profile they asked for. I don't agree that a stout would be better given that the OP wants maltiness + a touch of sweetness. Stouts make use of roasted grains which gives a roasty character which isn't the same as malty. Doppelbock's darkness comes from melanoidin and caramelization from boiling. The two flavor profiles are vastly different and only one of them is sweet.

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