Poll

What recipes do you typically brew?

Create your own
28 (50%)
Buy kits
2 (3.6%)
Clones
0 (0%)
From recipe books/other brewers
4 (7.1%)
Mix it up
22 (39.3%)

Total Members Voted: 54

Author Topic: Your own recipes, kits or other's recipes?  (Read 3344 times)

Offline hokerer

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Re: Your own recipes, kits or other's recipes?
« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2010, 07:14:29 AM »
the last time I brewed a kit was the first time  I brewed at all.

Same here.  After that first batch, it was "roll your own" from there on out.
Joe

Offline micsager

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Re: Your own recipes, kits or other's recipes?
« Reply #31 on: July 16, 2010, 07:21:34 AM »
Generally, the first time a brew a beer, I will brew the style form JZ's book.  then, I start "tweaking."

+1 on that!  I usually use a recipe - either from "Classic Styles," BYO, or one my my clone books, and then go from there.  I find that JZ's recipes usually give me a good foundation to work with.  I will be guaranteed to make something at least drinkable the first time out with a recipe, which is not the case if I do one from complete scratch.

I never used to be a big kit user, but have recently started playing with them - NB makes some fine kits!  If it's a style I don't brew a lot or am unsure of, I might hit a kit.  Example - a couple buddies helped me roof the garage last year.  They both like Wits, but I'm not a big fan.  So, I bought NB's to brew them for a thank you.  Gave them most of it and saved a 12'er for myself.  I've also found kits to be a little more "economical" in that I'm not left with a lot of odds and ends of specialty grains and hops laying around - you get what you need.  I might be doing a few more of them in the future.  However, I do like adjusting a recipe to my specific tastes - that's why I brew!   ;D

Here's an online store:

http://www.brewmasterswarehouse.com/brew-builder

That will allow you to create your own "kit." 

Offline beersk

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Re: Your own recipes, kits or other's recipes?
« Reply #32 on: July 16, 2010, 09:09:49 AM »
I'm surprised no one has voted for "clones". 
Watch out for those Cross Dressing Amateurs!

Offline beerhaus

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Re: Your own recipes, kits or other's recipes?
« Reply #33 on: July 16, 2010, 12:52:14 PM »
As a rookie - I use kits but this last batch I took the recipe from the first kit and played with the hops variety and yeast strain. It's in secondary now an all fuggles English Bitter with Wyeast "Whitbread Ale".

 

Offline blatz

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Re: Your own recipes, kits or other's recipes?
« Reply #34 on: July 16, 2010, 01:07:57 PM »
I'm surprised no one has voted for "clones". 

i'd think b/c that sort of overlaps the other categories - kits can be clones and recipes in books can be clones.
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Your own recipes, kits or other's recipes?
« Reply #35 on: July 16, 2010, 03:04:02 PM »
I brew my own recipes exclusively now and, especially now, I am basically only brewing about 4 recipes over and over and over again - <snip>
...Those Papazian book (TCJ and HBC) were great inspiration design books, though.

That's pretty much my story too...when I started brewing there really were no kits per se (in 1971 I bought my malt syrup...Blue Ribbon hopped... in an Iowa supermarket...right there on the shelf with baking goods) and flew from there  with the help of my biology major friend who insisted on overseeing the yeast health, as well as insisting on using 2 cans of extract for the batch. 
He was fairly prescient, I guess...the common wisdom at the time was to use nearly 50% table sugar). 
I'm guessing that if it weren't for that surprisingly decent first batch, I would have lost interest and moved on.

For years after that  it was combinations of different malt syrups (as I discovered them...John Bull, Edme,  and especially M&F "Old Ale") and hop additions, then finally all grain.  Charlie's book set me on the right path as far as the grain handling goes and after doing it for so many years, I pretty much know what to expect, even given the margin of error from swapping grain brands and sources.

Right now there are probably 5 or 6 beers  all formulas of my own making, that I make on a regular basis and and which are pretty consistent from batch to batch with  excellent repeatability.
.
As a side note (and I know it goes against the common wisdom of the boards) , I've found that freely substituting malts and in most cases, even hop varieties for the beers I make seems to make little difference in the end results if the right adjustments are made. 
That said, I do have my favorites among the hop varieties though (they are mostly old time, traditional varieties like CLuster, Bullion, and Brewer's Gold) and try to keep enough on hand at all times and sub out only when I need .  But I don't fret about substitutions...with very few subtle exceptions it almost always makes the same recognizable beers.
AL
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Your own recipes, kits or other's recipes?
« Reply #36 on: July 16, 2010, 04:49:13 PM »
My first brew was a kit recipe.  My second and third brews were recipes from other brewers.  The vast majority of the 80+ batches that have followed have been my own creations.  I used to consult Ray Daniels' "Designing Great Beers" pretty frequently when approaching new styles.  Now I have a pretty regular rotation of well-tested/tweaked recipes.  Occasionally, I'll brew a style I've never brewed before and I generally look to a few different sources for recipes (mostly forum members' creations).  But what I end up brewing is usually pretty much my own.
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Offline BrewingRover

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Re: Your own recipes, kits or other's recipes?
« Reply #37 on: July 16, 2010, 07:32:47 PM »
I started with kits like most people. Now I mostly make my own recipes. I like to take a commercial beer as an inspiration, research it, and try to approximate it. I think this is different than cloning, as I don't necessarily want to recreate the beer exactly, just capture the flavors that interested me.. My favorite beers to brew this way are things I can't get locally, like some beers I had in the Lake District in England or American beers that  I can get while traveling but not at home.
It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.

Offline a10t2

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Re: Your own recipes, kits or other's recipes?
« Reply #38 on: July 16, 2010, 07:43:49 PM »
I've actually never brewed a kit - I was fortunate in that my first two batches, I was assisting a (more) experienced brewer. The only beer I've ever "borrowed" directly from someone else's recipe is Denny's BVIP, and even that I think I made some minor tweaks. For me, the recipe design is one of the most fun parts.
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
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Re: Your own recipes, kits or other's recipes?
« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2010, 10:15:11 PM »
I don't care where the recipe comes from, when I get good results.

You should have a NO PANTS! option in your poll.

I'm surprised and dissappointed that this has not come up before page 3
« Last Edit: July 16, 2010, 10:22:36 PM by boulderbrewer »

Offline joeysmokedporter

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Re: Your own recipes, kits or other's recipes?
« Reply #40 on: July 17, 2010, 04:48:09 AM »
when brewing a particular style, will consult with several recipes from various books, including Brewing Classic Styles and the Szamatulski clone books, then will decide on a combination of ingredients that is most interesting to me.

At this point in my brewing, I'm focused more on process and less on recipe.  Things like keeping temperatures consistent and controlled, good fermentation, etc.  This may differ for others, but for me, my beer results are driven about 70% by process and 30% by recipe (assuming high quality ingredients in all cases).  After brewing the many batches it will take me to approach the experience of many others, I expect this ratio to shift more toward recipe.
R. Lorber
Westminster, MD

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Your own recipes, kits or other's recipes?
« Reply #41 on: July 17, 2010, 08:49:05 AM »
Being completely unable to actually follow a recipe I have only brewed my own recipes for the past 15 years.  I did kits for a year but I still added stuff not included with the kits.  Recipe development is probably 50% of my enjoyment.  When I first started creating recipes I would read a lot of other people's recipes looking for common elements but then I'd write my own.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline beersk

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Re: Your own recipes, kits or other's recipes?
« Reply #42 on: July 17, 2010, 08:59:02 AM »
I don't care where the recipe comes from, when I get good results.

You should have a NO PANTS! option in your poll.

I'm surprised and dissappointed that this has not come up before page 3

You should know how I feel about the "no pants" saying...for me, it means to brew when you're hammered not the "fly by the seat of your pants" kinda brewing. 
I figured most people don't just throw stuff together at the last minute.  If someone is going to do that with remaining ingredients that they have they're still going to come up with a recipe for it. 
Watch out for those Cross Dressing Amateurs!

Offline bonjour

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Re: Your own recipes, kits or other's recipes?
« Reply #43 on: July 17, 2010, 09:26:05 AM »
My first recipe was a Mr. Beer Ofest (sort of)  I got CP's book and the middle pages listed how much malt to use for 5 gallons of beer as being 5-7pounds.  Mr. Beer said 1.121 lbs for 2.5 gallons (approx) and I was trying to figure out how under 2.5lbs (Mr. Beer wouldn't mislead me now, would they?) was close to the same as 5-7lbs in 5 gallons.

I ended up adding a couple pounds of DME to the Mr. Beer kit.  2nd brew was two of the remaining cans of extract and some dme to make something that would pass for an amber.

I upgraded to 5 gall for a couple of recipes (from a book, extract plus grain)  and then moved to AG.  I still have the Mr. Beer can of wheat extract from 10 years ago,  can't seem to part with it.

Fred
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Offline lazydog79

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Re: Your own recipes, kits or other's recipes?
« Reply #44 on: July 17, 2010, 01:12:24 PM »
Here's an online store:

http://www.brewmasterswarehouse.com/brew-builder

That will allow you to create your own "kit." 

Very cool!  Thanks!  ;D