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Old 11-15-2007, 05:20 PM   #1
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Default Recipe design

Hey all,

When you started designing your own recipes, how did you do it? Did you get some software like beersmith, or did you start to get to know what grains do what, and then design the recipe towards a particular style? I am more of a recipe follower, whether I am cooking or brewing, and I really want to get into recipe design sometime in the future. Thanks!

Jason

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Old 11-15-2007, 05:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayfro21
Hey all,

When you started designing your own recipes, how did you do it? Did you get some software like beersmith, or did you start to get to know what grains do what, and then design the recipe towards a particular style? I am more of a recipe follower, whether I am cooking or brewing, and I really want to get into recipe design sometime in the future. Thanks!

Jason
I started by taking existing recipes and tweaking them in Beersmith. I also read up on the styles I was brewing beforehand...
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Old 11-15-2007, 05:27 PM   #3
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I started before software was around but now use it all the time. It is very useful to have the calulations done for me and to have the ingredience and their values listed. Definately use a program, which one is up to you. Beer Tools Pro is Mac and PC friendly, and I have started to switch to it.

As far as designing goes, I suggest looking at other recipes and working from there. There are some great sites and books to help with this. I just got Jamil and Palmer's new book and it seems great, especially for PM and extract brewing. Ray Daniels' Designing Great Beers is a gold mine, as is Palmer's How to Brew.

Just dive in, but try to base what you do on something tested.

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Old 11-15-2007, 05:31 PM   #4
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I use ProMash almost exclusively. My basic process is to read the section of Designing Great Beer (I highly recommend you get it) on the style I want to make, then search for recipes either in the database at HBT or in a recipe book to determine what the common ingredients are, then start plugging things into ProMash and tweaking the recipe based on my preferences.

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Old 11-15-2007, 05:34 PM   #5
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Ray Daniels' book is indispensable, and I suspect Jamil and Palmer's collaberative book will be as well (once I get my hands on it).

Software will tell you if you get the right color, but it won't clue you in on whether you're taking a good approach to GETTING that color (i.e. getting a brown porter through the use of chocolate malt versus Special B).

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Old 11-15-2007, 05:36 PM   #6
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I fourth Ray Daniel's book. It explains the different styles/ingredients nicely...

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Old 11-15-2007, 05:43 PM   #7
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Brewing Classic Styles by JZ and John P. is a great book that I would highly recommend. Another must have is Designing Great Beers. I also think tasting good examples of the beer can give you ideas and inspiration.
Once you brew a lot of good quality recipes you will know what certain ingredients do, how certain yeast strains affect the beer, how different hop additions add flavor and aroma, etc. Then you can really become creative and build good recipes. It's like a chef, he must learn to make spaghetti alfredo before he can change some spices and put his own twist on it.

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Old 11-15-2007, 05:48 PM   #8
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I design using a recipe I am already drinking and use BeerSmith and change grain or hops according to what I think the recipe needs. I then make it again and go from there. You do not want to change too much at one time as the balance of tastes may go in another direction. This really takes time and experience to master. I listen to comments from friends (good or bad) and my own taste to figure out if I have what I want. Note that you must do everything in your process exactly every time to get valid results. I have 3 beers that I make on a regular basis that everyone says I should market but I am retired and have no desire to get that involved in a new business. I just love it when they smile and say wow, this is good.

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Old 11-15-2007, 06:05 PM   #9
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I just went ahead and bought JZ's book, I know I'm going to want it anyway. Looks like they're all out on Brewing Network's site (I know there were only a handful left that JZ was going to sign). Amazon has it for like $14.

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Old 11-15-2007, 06:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
I just went ahead and bought JZ's book, I know I'm going to want it anyway. Looks like they're all out on Brewing Network's site (I know there were only a handful left that JZ was going to sign). Amazon has it for like $14.
Yea I checked Amazon and Barnes and Noble and they both list it. I have not bought any of the designing beer books because I know what I like to brew and just chew different grains/hops to get an idea what they are like and go with that.
Like I said above, one change at a time.
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