Author Topic: How do you plan your recipes?  (Read 324 times)

Offline FLbrewer

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How do you plan your recipes?
« on: February 11, 2014, 04:04:32 PM »
What resources do you use when planning your next recipe? I am going to continue experimenting with one gallon batches until I find a winner to brew five gallons again. I'm aware that you can plan out in software like Beer Smith, but curious if you aim for a commercial beer or a former winning home-brew recipe.
Are there any links to gold winning home brew recipes? Additionally, any commercial breweries that you know of that share recipes?

Offline In The Sand

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Re: How do you plan your recipes?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2014, 04:22:07 PM »
If you're looking for recipes, try http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/recipes/

Otherwise, try to clone what you drink commercially. Also, Zymurgy has good recipes. Benefits of being an AHA member!
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Offline erockrph

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Re: How do you plan your recipes?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2014, 05:17:25 PM »
If it's new style to me I start with a recipe from Brewing Classic Styles and make adjustments from there. Start with a known recipe and learn what the different pieces are doing my tweaking one thing at a time.
Eric B.

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Offline goschman

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Re: How do you plan your recipes?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2014, 05:20:22 PM »
I try to think of the final product and move backwards by determining what ingredients will get me there. If there is a beer that I want to emulate to a certain degree I try to find as much information if nothing else so I have a good idea of how they do it. I have never tried a clone recipe but have definitely used commerical breweries as influences in some of my beers by doing a bit of research and in some cases contacting the brewery directly.

If I am trying to brew a particular style I usually find a good commercial example or award winning recipe to get ideas from but not copy. I did that recently for a Kolsch

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: How do you plan your recipes?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2014, 05:32:00 PM »
My best "new" recipes lately I start by grabbing a couple commercial versions to sample while listening to Brewing with Style. Glance over the style guide and BCS, then I use that info and build a recipe based on my house yeasts, ingredients I keep on hand, and my equipment and techniques. This results in learning something while making good beer.

Offline dls5492

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Re: How do you plan your recipes?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2014, 05:46:35 PM »
The September/October 2013 issue of Zymurgy has the recipes for the gold medal winners from the AHA competition. One great benefit for being a AHA member. The magazine has fantastic recipes that I have tried. I think that's a good starting point.
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Offline riceral

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Re: How do you plan your recipes?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2014, 06:02:43 PM »
In addition to what others have suggested, another resource is here:  http://wiki.homebrewersassociation.org/BeerRecipes


Offline fmader

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Re: How do you plan your recipes?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2014, 06:43:50 PM »
I try to think of the final product and move backwards by determining what ingredients will get me there. If there is a beer that I want to emulate to a certain degree I try to find as much information if nothing else so I have a good idea of how they do it. I have never tried a clone recipe but have definitely used commerical breweries as influences in some of my beers by doing a bit of research and in some cases contacting the brewery directly.

If I am trying to brew a particular style I usually find a good commercial example or award winning recipe to get ideas from but not copy. I did that recently for a Kolsch

This!!!

I bring ideas in from several recipes. If you want to mimick a commercial beer, check their site, they'll usually give you an idea of the ingredients. I say try building your own recipes. It is the best method of getting good at it. I love putting recipes together. If you create a recipe, post it here and you'll get great feedback... I have several times.
Frank

Offline ranchovillabrew

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Re: How do you plan your recipes?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2014, 07:45:20 PM »
In beersmith I have what I call my "blank" recipe.  It has irish moss,  yeast nutrient,  6 lbs of maris otter, 1 oz of hops at 60, 10, and 0. I then add and adjust other ingredients.  This lets me keep my settings ready to go.  I generally sit down with a commercial example or one of the books to write the recipe.

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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: How do you plan your recipes?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2014, 08:24:26 AM »
I think about what I want in the beer and start piecing together the parts. The less experienced or familiar I am with the style the more I look to other recipes to help fill in the gap to find what will get me to the desired beer.
I often look at commercial examples that share some of the attributes I want in my beer to see what they did. I also look at some homebrew recipes but the problem with relying on homebrew recipes is that I never taste the beer and often there is no assessment of the beer to determine whether the recipe matches what I want. With commercial recipes I can at least rely on my own experience tasting the beer. I also have several books and recipes pulled from magazines that I look to.

If you're just looking for good recipes to brew then picking out commercial recipes on beers you like is a good place to start. You already know you like the beer and you can make small tweaks to make that beer your own. It's also a good way to learn how ingredients and processes produce certain results in beers. There are excellent homebrew recipes out there but just because they are winning recipes doesn't mean they are good recipes to you.
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Offline micsager

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Re: How do you plan your recipes?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2014, 08:29:44 AM »
What resources do you use when planning your next recipe? I am going to continue experimenting with one gallon batches until I find a winner to brew five gallons again. I'm aware that you can plan out in software like Beer Smith, but curious if you aim for a commercial beer or a former winning home-brew recipe.
Are there any links to gold winning home brew recipes? Additionally, any commercial breweries that you know of that share recipes?

I recently purchased Michael Agnew's new book.  It has many recipes of commercial beers from the breweries themselves. Mostly Midwest breweries, but some form the East and West coast as well.  (was hoping for that strawberry-Rhubarb from New Glarus)  Anyway, the forum's own Denny Conn is a contributor to the book as well. 

I'm trying a 15 gallon batch of Avery's Maharajah this weekend. 

One thing I found intriguing about this book of recipes is all the recipes are written for extract, but have an all grain conversion.  And in that conversion, amount of hops changes as well.  I've not seen that in other recipe books. 

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: How do you plan your recipes?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2014, 10:20:37 AM »
I try to think of the final product and move backwards by determining what ingredients will get me there. If there is a beer that I want to emulate to a certain degree I try to find as much information if nothing else so I have a good idea of how they do it. I have never tried a clone recipe but have definitely used commerical breweries as influences in some of my beers by doing a bit of research and in some cases contacting the brewery directly.

If I am trying to brew a particular style I usually find a good commercial example or award winning recipe to get ideas from but not copy. I did that recently for a Kolsch

Yes, this. ^^^

I occasionally brew a so-called clone recipe or actual recipe from a commercial brewery to the T, but most often I'm not afraid to tweak the recipe to suit my own tastes.  Most typically what I'll do for any given style is research a half-dozen award-winning recipes for that style, compile a list of all the ingredients and ranges of amounts that are most commonly used, then use my own personal intuition as to which 4-5 ingredients and amounts seem to be the most appropriate, maybe add another unique ingredient if I feel it will complement the style, then brew it and find out.

Also I love to review recipes and descriptions of old historical beers, imagine how I think they might have tasted, and design a modern recipe around that.  The best beer I have ever made was a "historical concept beer", based on some research of what was being grown for ingredients in Wisconsin back in the 1860s.  I ended up using chocolate malt, 40% rye malt, Hallertauer hops, local honey, and Kolsch yeast.  Yummy yum yum.  Love that beer, still have one bottle left for a special occasion, and I need to brew it again soon.  It's not an actual historical recipe... but it could have been!

So I look all over the place for inspiration, try to design a recipe backwards based on my imagination of how I think it should taste, brew it up, and occasionally I get lucky and it hits the mark right on.  Try to make something unique, but still obviously a beer.

I also like to try adding funky off-center ingredients from time to time, but I also find that in a lot of cases, they either don't really work very well in a beer, or the amounts need serious adjustment for future batches.  For the most part, I stick with traditional Reinheitsgebot ingredients, because to me, that's what really makes a great beer in most cases.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 10:22:12 AM by dmtaylor »
Dave

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Offline denny

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Re: How do you plan your recipes?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2014, 09:36:11 AM »
I try to think of the final product and move backwards by determining what ingredients will get me there. If there is a beer that I want to emulate to a certain degree I try to find as much information if nothing else so I have a good idea of how they do it. I have never tried a clone recipe but have definitely used commerical breweries as influences in some of my beers by doing a bit of research and in some cases contacting the brewery directly.

If I am trying to brew a particular style I usually find a good commercial example or award winning recipe to get ideas from but not copy. I did that recently for a Kolsch

This!!!

I bring ideas in from several recipes. If you want to mimick a commercial beer, check their site, they'll usually give you an idea of the ingredients. I say try building your own recipes. It is the best method of getting good at it. I love putting recipes together. If you create a recipe, post it here and you'll get great feedback... I have several times.

Same here...come up with a goal and work backwards.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: How do you plan your recipes?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2014, 10:00:45 AM »
I try to think of the final product and move backwards by determining what ingredients will get me there. If there is a beer that I want to emulate to a certain degree I try to find as much information if nothing else so I have a good idea of how they do it. I have never tried a clone recipe but have definitely used commerical breweries as influences in some of my beers by doing a bit of research and in some cases contacting the brewery directly.

If I am trying to brew a particular style I usually find a good commercial example or award winning recipe to get ideas from but not copy. I did that recently for a Kolsch

This!!!

I bring ideas in from several recipes. If you want to mimick a commercial beer, check their site, they'll usually give you an idea of the ingredients. I say try building your own recipes. It is the best method of getting good at it. I love putting recipes together. If you create a recipe, post it here and you'll get great feedback... I have several times.

Same here...come up with a goal and work backwards.

+1.  I make a mental picture of the beer I want - abv, bitterness, malt flavor/character, late hop character (if any), yeast character (if any),ie., the end product - and try to work backwards to get there.
Jon H.

Offline beersk

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Re: How do you plan your recipes?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2014, 10:09:09 AM »
If it's new style to me I start with a recipe from Brewing Classic Styles and make adjustments from there. Start with a known recipe and learn what the different pieces are doing my tweaking one thing at a time.
Same here. I do this when I can on something new to me and substitute ingredients if I don't have the exact ones they list. Basically, I just plan out a couple recipes of styles I think sound good at the time. And I try to keep my recipes as simple as possible.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 10:15:24 AM by beersk »
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