I've always wanted to make a beer and call it Occam's Ale. A simple beer. Many times, we as brewers get excited about ingredients and recipe creation, and we feel that a complex recipe will result in a great beer. I'm not so sure that has to be the case.
I've created a few Single Malt and Single Hop (SMaSH) beers, with decent success. For whatever reason, I forgot about this name for these. Occam's Ale! It sounds so cool, huh?
But what does it mean? In philosophy, there is something called Occam's Razor, which basically means that the simplest explanation is often the correct one. Now, I'm not a philosopher, so I'll probably get most of this wrong and I'm sure there is more to it than just that. Occam's Razor was named for William of Occam (or Ockham), based on one of his statements. Oh, just read about it here, and them come back. You could learn something new, or refresh on something you already knew.
"Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily." is the basic translation of the original Latin. Also, it could be summed as "keep things simple"... in the simplest terms. (Ideas taken from the page attributed earlier).
So, anyway. I'm looking for a single type malt and a single hop, which could make a great beer. Also, yeast will come into play. But which ones? Suggestions? Ideas? Decisions, decisions....
While you are thinking, check out my other SMaSH beer recipes here and here. Oh, and the recipes can be found on the recipe page. (Scroll about halfway down.)
Thinking about making one yourself? I few things I'm keeping in mind are as follows.
Malt: It needs to be something which will hold it's own during fermentation, yest have some character. Two Row Pale Ale malt may be too boring. On the flip side, specialty malts may not contain enough enzymes for starch conversion on their own in the mash. (Wow, did I really say that correctly?)
Hops: Preferrably a "multi-purpose" hops will be the best. After all, the same hops will be needed for bittering and any flavor or aroma. I wouldn't necessarily suggest Cascade.
Yeast: There are a multitude of yeast strains available to homebrewers, and it will really depend on which type of style you wish to associate the beer. Usually the malt and hops selection will keep in the same genre as the yest. Although, this is homebrewing, and rules were meant to be broken, right?
So what will it be?