From Concept to Carboy: 5 Seminars on Beer Recipe Design

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One of the most rewarding parts of homebrewing is pouring a pint from a recipe you designed. Formulating your own recipe can be challenging, so we put together five Homebrew Con seminars from some of the best brewing minds in the world to help you design beer recipes at home.

Don’t forget that AHA members enjoy access to 1,100+ tried-and-true beer recipes, including medal winners from the National Homebrew Competition.

Access to hundreds of Homebrew Con seminar recordings is an exclusive benefit of AHA membership. Not a member? Take AHA membership for a test spin with our 30-day free trial (no payment info collected)!


1. Beer Recipes from the Inside Out

Randy Mosher  |  Homebrew Con 2014 (Grand Rapids, MI)

This seminar introduces new thinking about malts and hops from a flavor standpoint. Randy Mosher, author of Radical Brewing, outlines tools and frameworks that give brewers specific goals and techniques for organizing a recipe. In addition, Mosher presents a simple and effective method for rapid prototyping that can help you analyze flavors and make decisions about a beer before it is actually brewed.


2. Designing Beer

Dr. Brad Smith  |  Homebrew Con 2018 (Portland, OR)

This seminar offers an up-to-date look at beer recipe design, including recent techniques and findings. Dr. Brad Smith, creator of BeerSmith, discusses how to design new beer recipes from scratch, brew beers to style guidelines, understand ingredient contributions, and apply brewing techniques to achieve a desired flavor profile. Recent innovations in brewing techniques are highlighted.


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3. Drink What You Think

Ray Daniels  |  Homebrew Con 2012 (Bellevue, WA)

Recipe formulation creates many opportunities for creativity as well as many distractions from our brewing goals. In this seminar, Ray Daniels, founder of the Cicerone Certification Program, discusses ways to pursue recipe formulation so that you both learn and create beers that are satisfying and enjoyable to drink. Along the way, Daniels talks about the basic tasks of recipe formulation in a way that’s appropriate for newer brewers, but the overall approach to recipe creation will benefit many who have not followed anyone else’s recipe for years.


4. Modern Homebrew Recipes

Gordon Strong  |  Homebrew Con 2016 (Baltimore, MD)

Gordon Strong, president of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP), takes an advanced look at recipe design, discussing the creative process and technical approach to building new homebrew recipes. Practical examples are given, including a look at styles from the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines. Trace ideas from concept through execution, including adjusting for balance, brewing to style versus experimental beers, cloning commercial beers, modifying for ingredient availability, and scaling and adjusting for your system.


5. Send in the Clones: Sensory Analysis and Recipe Formulation Techniques for Homebrewers

Amahl Turczyn  |  Homebrew Con 2015 (San Diego, CA)

Amahl Turczyn, associate editor of Zymurgy magazine, discusses sensory and software analysis of a few specific, commercially available craft beers. Turczyn also presents recipe development techniques for reproducing these beers on a homebrew scale.