Author Topic: Recipe planning  (Read 691 times)

Offline BrewBama

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Recipe planning
« on: July 09, 2019, 08:40:22 PM »
Does anyone else plan their brew year or is it just me and other folks just brew by the seat of their pants? 

I like to plan ahead so I can ensure a certain beer is on tap in a general timeframe for a holiday or event. I also like to alternate between light and dark beer. Lighter in the Summer, darker in the Winter. Here’s my plan thru the New Year.  Though the actual recipe may change a cpl months out, I generally know what I am going to brew well in advance.

The Centennial is in the serving fridge, the Hot Blonde is lagering, and the Citra is in the fermenter ready to be kegged this week. My numbering code is year.month brewed.brew number that month. I can already tell you the next beer in Feb (20.2.2.) will be a Stout so I’ll either have it or the Red on tap for St Pat’s.

What can I say. I am a goober.




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« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 09:16:29 PM by BrewBama »
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Online denny

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Re: Recipe planning
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2019, 09:13:51 PM »
I once tried planning a year's worth of brews  Reality interfered.  Good on ya if you can do it.
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Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: Recipe planning
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2019, 09:22:26 PM »
Wow, that's pretty awesome!  I don't really plan far ahead.  But that's not usually a problem for me because I only brew 3 or 4 times a year.  I always have something in mind that I want to do next.  And a decision is made before putting together a recipe and heading for the LHBS.

That being said, there's usually multiple different beers I would like to do.  Sometimes variations on things I've done, sometimes something new.  When the time comes around to brew again, I'll decide what I'd like to brew and start putting it together.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Recipe planning
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2019, 10:38:10 PM »
I often purchase ingredients for the next 2 or 3 batches at one time.  Then inevitably, I change my mind and brew something else, use up some of the ingredients I intended to use for another recipe, my inventory gets all out of whack, and then it might take several more years before I finally end up brewing the 2 or 3 things that I'd originally intended.  That, and/or, like Denny said, life gets in the way, the ingredients age, and then I wonder why I bought all that stuff 12 months ago, including liquid yeast which by that point is pretty dead, and wonder whether I should just buy one batch of ingredients at a time.

Then I buy 2 or 3 more recipes' worth of ingredients again, and the cycle continues.

Eventually I might learn.  Maybe.
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Re: Recipe planning
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2019, 12:32:52 AM »
Just getting back into it and I'm already headed down the path of dmtaylor.  After my first 2 batches, I bought a bunch of grain and hops for my next 3 brews. I pulled the first one off as planned, but I have already changed the recipe for my next brew day not once, but twice. And, despite already having a pile of base malt lying around, I have found a semi-local maltster whose malt I HAVE to try.  More ingredients to buy, more containers to buy, another closet to build. (By the way, what *IS* the best yeast for an American Smorgasbord Ale??) At least I learned that I can toss the CaraPils!   ;)

I need to be more of a goober like BrewBama.  That list is very impressive.

But, to answer one of the questions, yes...I probably will try and brew with the seasons in mind. Summer Ales, Oktoberfest, X-mas Stoudts etc. I think once I make a few laps around the calendar, I'll have built up a group of beers to repeat (and try and perfect) at certain times of the year, leaving myself a few scattered opportunities to brew one-offs just for kicks...and diabolical experimentation.

Online dannyjed

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Re: Recipe planning
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2019, 02:41:11 AM »
I always brew an American Barleywine in December or January. Besides that, it really hit or miss. I have to say that I make more brown ales, porters, and stouts when the weather starts getting colder in the fall. I also make lighter ABV beers in the warmer months, so I brew to the season for the most part. I seem to be able to enjoy an IPA any time of the year.


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Offline BairsBrewing

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Re: Recipe planning
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2019, 03:42:26 AM »
Does anyone else plan their brew year or is it just me and other folks just brew by the seat of their pants? 

I like to plan ahead so I can ensure a certain beer is on tap in a general timeframe for a holiday or event. I also like to alternate between light and dark beer. Lighter in the Summer, darker in the Winter. Here’s my plan thru the New Year.  Though the actual recipe may change a cpl months out, I generally know what I am going to brew well in advance.

The Centennial is in the serving fridge, the Hot Blonde is lagering, and the Citra is in the fermenter ready to be kegged this week. My numbering code is year.month brewed.brew number that month. I can already tell you the next beer in Feb (20.2.2.) will be a Stout so I’ll either have it or the Red on tap for St Pat’s.

What can I say. I am a goober.




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Definitely a brewnerd, but that's ok. I brew by the seat of my pants.  One day I will plan, LOL.

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Offline Bob357

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Re: Recipe planning
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2019, 03:47:26 AM »
I plan brews as needed to use up a sack of base malt before ordering supplies. I then add the specialty malts, yeasts and any hops I don't have in stock. Since I don't always use full pounds of specialty malts, I do a "cleanup brew" occasionally to use up odds and ends.
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Online oginme

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Re: Recipe planning
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2019, 11:41:35 AM »
I do a long term planning on recipes, scheduling out about 6 to 8 months.  It allows me to take advantage of bulk purchases, group purchases to get better pricing on those items that are shipped, and arrange recipes with common yeasts for repitching and split starters. 

The schedule is never so rigid that it does not allow for last minute changes, and having the ingredients for several batches ahead on hand I can fit in new recipes or changes pretty easily.  This has worked very well for me the past 5 years of brewing.

Offline jeffy

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Re: Recipe planning
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2019, 12:00:48 PM »
I seldom let my inventory dictate my next brew, but I try to have a sack of pilsner or pale ale malt on hand.  I don't think I have ever scheduled more than one batch ahead and try to brew what I want to be drinking at the time.
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Offline dls5492

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Re: Recipe planning
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2019, 12:07:07 PM »
I do plan my brew year. One reason is I have an old coal room (7'x15') in my basement that gets in the upper 40 degrees in the winter time, which is perfect for lagers. Then in the summer time, that room gets into the low 60 degrees, which is perfect for ales.
I also plan my year around the NHC. That way, I get my best beers ready for the regionals.
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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Recipe planning
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2019, 06:40:13 PM »
I usually plan no farther out than 3 brews. By the time I do those I often feel completely different about what I want to brew after the three than I felt before I did the three.
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Offline blatz

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Re: Recipe planning
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2019, 07:28:43 PM »
I pretty much plan out 6-8 months in advance.  I have 5 taps, and try to plan out to have what I want to be drinking with the time of year, and I try to not let my yeast sit too long between batches, so having a strategy is necessary.  But I still allow for flexibility when there is something I want to brew that's not part of my usual regimen. 

I've been brewing for 14 years now, most of my recipes are dialed in, so I'm roughly 2/3 a production homebrewer and 1/3 experimentation with new recipes/styles/ingredients. 2 of my last 4 batches were new creations (a Hoppy Amer Wheat and a Rye Bock) and both of those will see the regular schedule next year.

« Last Edit: July 10, 2019, 07:32:26 PM by blatz »
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Online denny

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Re: Recipe planning
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2019, 08:33:06 PM »
Since I'm so bad at planning I keep a large inventory on hand so I can whip out a lot of things as the mood strikes me.  Currently I have about 800 lb. of various grains, 30 lb. of hops and maybe a dozen packs of Wyeast on hand.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Recipe planning
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2019, 09:07:14 PM »
I do something similar to a previous poster. 

I plan out 4 to 8 beers in advance and pickup all the ingredients at one time in bulk (or at least bulkier amounts).  Then as I have brewing dates available I mix up 2 recipes per brew day.  It tends to keep the house standards in stock and give me room to do some new or very old recipes without ever having empty taps.

I'm terrible at planning to brew a Christmas/Oktoberfest/whatever at the "right" time but I plan enough to never run out of beer.

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