New Giveaway - Wort Monster Conical Fermenter!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > What method do you use to create a recipe?




Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-13-2013, 05:10 PM   #1
snyklez
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 118
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Default What method do you use to create a recipe?

I've got a good number of brews under my belt, and have plenty more planned. I find recipes in various places (here, books etc) and have enjoyed them all. But I'm curious how you all go about creating your own recipes. I've done that once, but only because I had some leftover malts and used them in a specialty grain extract batch. I didn't set out with a specific goal or style.

I'd really like to be more intentional with my brewing, and I feel like the best way to do that is to create my own recipes. Not that I'd stop brewing others', but I'd like to have something original. I've researched about the difference in malts, adjuncts etc, and the sheer number and variance is a bit intimidating. Like, can you really tell a difference in C20 from C40? How much is enough, or too much? Is it best to use a SMaSh method to get to know the different malts and hops?

Additionally, I'll read some threads where people will make a recipe posted by someone else and enter it into a competition. Some win awards, but is that really your award? I wouldn't feel like that was really my win unless it was something I came up with.

I suppose what I'm really getting at is, how do you all come up with your own recipes? How much experience is enough to confidently start with an idea and make it happen?



__________________
snyklez is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-13-2013, 05:30 PM   #2
WoodlandBrew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Malden, MA
Posts: 1,674
Liked 116 Times on 113 Posts
Likes Given: 54

Default

Here is how I clone a beer, but it would also apply to brewing a beer for a style:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/2012/10/how-to-make-beer-recipie-clone.html

And the recipe math for final gravity:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/2012/12/final-gravity-in-recipe-formulation.html



__________________

The 2nd edition is now available: Brewing Engineering
BLOG: Brewing Boiled Down Brewing science for those of us without a Ph.D

WoodlandBrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-13-2013, 05:46 PM   #3
kombat
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,319
Liked 545 Times on 358 Posts
Likes Given: 493

Default

I've used a couple different methods.

First, if I want, say, a beer closely resembling a popular commercial example, I'll Google for clone recipes, then load it into BeerSmith and maybe "tweak" it a little. For example, I like to add a little Carafoam to all my beers for head retention and body, or maybe I'll switch out the hops to a variety I like better.

Second, if I'm brewing something from scratch, I'll once again use BeerSmith, select the style, then start adding ingredients and manipulating the style guideline "sliders" to ensure I stay within the style. I start with the appropriate base malt, add the aforementioned Carafoam, then maybe some other Crystal malts to center the "SRM" needle. Then I'll add in my favorite hops at different quantities and intervals until I've centered the "IBU" needle. If I want a slightly higher ABV beer or a hoppier beer, I might tweak the quantities and nudge the needles toward the end of the green range, but basically that's all I do.

__________________
kombat is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-13-2013, 05:50 PM   #4
kaconga
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Rathdrum, Idaho
Posts: 610
Liked 72 Times on 54 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

Do "research" by trying beers in the style you would like to brew. Write down what you like and don't like about each one. Then just start looking for hops and malts that lend characteristics you like and omit the ones that don't. If you brew to style that will generally determine your yeast for you. Typically beersmith or one of the other brewing programs can help you dial in IBUs and color.

__________________
kaconga is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-13-2013, 06:24 PM   #5
stpug
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,068
Liked 279 Times on 242 Posts
Likes Given: 127

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by snyklez View Post
can you really tell a difference in C20 from C40?
How much is enough, or too much? [crystal?]
Is it best to use a SMaSh method to get to know the different malts and hops?

Additionally, I'll read some threads where people will make a recipe posted by someone else and enter it into a competition. Some win awards, but is that really your award?

I suppose what I'm really getting at is, how do you all come up with your own recipes?
How much experience is enough to confidently start with an idea and make it happen?
Perhaps in some recipes the difference in C20 and C40 can be discerned, but it's usually subtle and not a game changer. Difference from C40 and C80 is more noticeable, but still not a game changer. Most importantly, taste them side by side when you're at your LHBS, grab a few C20 grains and chew chew chew, mix with saliva, suck the juices from the grain, and record that experience in your brain. Then do the same with C40. You'll taste the difference but remember that will be diluted in the final beer so the change will be subtle.

How much cara/crystal malts to use really depends on the recipe you're brewing. Dry beers would generally use less than sweet beers. Styles will also help dictate how much cara/crystal to use. I'd say a general rule of thumb of how much per average 5g batch is 0.5-2 lbs with the majority being in the 0.75-1 lb range.

SMaSH can definitely help you hone in on certain ingredients. That said, you will devote a full batch to that one beer. IMO, SMaSH is best suited to 1 gallon batches. I do not believe that you have to do a smash recipe to get a feel for various ingredients and malts. I believe that by varying the malts and hops that you use, keeping your recipes on the simple side, that you'll gain a familiarity of what characteristics were imparted by which ingredient.

The using other peoples recipe and calling it yours question has arisen quite a bit. There are several lengthy threads about it and it really comes down to how YOU feel about it. You cannot forget to take into account the "beer brewing process" of the recipe which has a HUGE impact on the final product, and will only take place in your house with your system.

When I want to create my own recipe, from scratch, I start at the BJCP style guide and read about the style of beer I'd like to create a recipe for. There is A LOT of information that can be discerned from the style descriptions, not to mention they generally provide a 'typical ingredients used' section to help you tailor your choices even more. I'll then usually read about the style on BYO which also helps with ideas. After researching the style I'd like to make, I get an idea in my head of a beer that fits within the style (thinking hoppiness, maltiness, dryness, toastiness, roastiness, color, etc). After that, I think about my experiences with certain ingredients and how they might fit in to my recipe. Then I'll start reading ingredient descriptions for those ingredients I'm not too familiar with (beersmith descriptions and northernbrewer descriptions mostly). I then create a new recipe in beersmith, adjust my equipments, my brewhouse efficiency, and style selector. Once armed with a knowledge of the beer style and ingredient characteristics, I'll start putting a recipe together doing the best that I can with what I've learned. I always start with the grainbill and then proceed to hop schedule. My yeast choices usuall come from my current house strains that I'm working with (at present, scottish, notty, antwerp, farmhouse). It may take me 2-5 days to flush it all out, and after several tweaks I'm really close to what I'll be making. The yeast will really help dial in the final beer by it's attenuation, flocculation, ester profile, and accentuation properties. My last step is to take what i consider my final recipe and compare to some other recipes of this style of beer - usually on HBT. I just like to see how well I interpreted the recipe from style descriptions and ingredient descriptions as compared to others. At this point, I might make some subtle adjustments (mash temp, small specialty grain additions/subtractions, etc) but not so much that it's completely different from what I invisioned. VIOLA! I've just made my own recipe. I have found that my recipes almost always come out very decent to very good. Best of all, I learn about the ingredients I used and keep tasting notes for adjustments the next time I brew this beer.

Experience is something that's gained through having the experience. Therefore, the more you do it the more experience you'll gain. Confidence is gained through having the experience and learning from it. So to answer your question of "how much experience is enough to confidently do it?":
The amount of experience you have RIGHT NOW is enough!
__________________
stpug is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-13-2013, 07:09 PM   #6
zachattack
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: , MA
Posts: 2,353
Liked 212 Times on 183 Posts
Likes Given: 101

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodlandBrew View Post
Here is how I clone a beer, but it would also apply to brewing a beer for a style:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/2012/10/how-to-make-beer-recipie-clone.html
Hey I like your blog and this post. But I noticed you typed "dextrose" when you meant to type "dextrin", saying "With the low mash temperature the beer would typically be dry, not sweet. Therefore there is likely some dextrose in the recipe, likely from a malt high in dextrose such as crystal malt, Carapils"

Carapils is not high in dextrose, it's generally not referred to as a crystal malt (rather a dextrin malt) and it shouldn't lead to any sweetness, just body.
__________________
zachattack is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-13-2013, 07:23 PM   #7
WoodlandBrew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Malden, MA
Posts: 1,674
Liked 116 Times on 113 Posts
Likes Given: 54

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by zachattack View Post
Hey I like your blog and this post. But I noticed you typed "dextrose" when you meant to type "dextrin", saying "With the low mash temperature the beer would typically be dry, not sweet. Therefore there is likely some dextrose in the recipe, likely from a malt high in dextrose such as crystal malt, Carapils"

Carapils is not high in dextrose, it's generally not referred to as a crystal malt (rather a dextrin malt) and it shouldn't lead to any sweetness, just body.
Thanks, I'll fix that. I can see the phrasing needs some help as well. I wasn't trying to say that Carapils was a type of crystal, but that either could be added to increase the body or final gravity. I should probably say "residual sugar" and mention "body" instead of specifying a sugar.
__________________

The 2nd edition is now available: Brewing Engineering
BLOG: Brewing Boiled Down Brewing science for those of us without a Ph.D

WoodlandBrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-15-2013, 04:52 PM   #8
tennesseean_87
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
tennesseean_87's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Philly, PA
Posts: 1,180
Liked 83 Times on 60 Posts
Likes Given: 105

Default

To actually craft recipes instead of throwing crap against the wall, you need a knowledge of ingredients and what sort of beer they make in given quantities. So here, I start with clones of beers I like and popular recipes, preferably simple ones. Smash recipes are good too, although they don't let you try specialty grains, which are significant to recipes.

Then I tweak or alter a recipe based on what I want out of a particular beer. I know I really liked Haus Pale, so I can try different hops in it to find which are my favorite (same weight in late additions, adjust 60 min to hit IBU). Or, I can bump up the hop levels and add a little base malt to get to IPA levels.

Experience is important here, as noted above. I've found that I don't like an IPA to be super dry and bitter at the same time. I brewed an IPA with just a little Crystal and vienna malt with 2-row base, 1.06 OG, and 50ish IBUs, and it was hoppy, but drinkable. So then I can write my own IPA recipe that hits those specs whithout too much crystal. Give me some malt backbone from special B, higher OG, and I'll take up to 80 IBUs. So I can make my own recipe, and tweak it one or two things at a time to get different results.
Another Example: I made (not my recipe) an India brown that was really hoppy, but had a good malt backbone. So next I made one less hoppy to highlight that. Then I realized it was a bit thinner than I liked, so next time I'll bump the crystal from 2% to 4%.

Summary: Find recipes you've done and liked and tweak them from there. Also, get help on here, but brew to your own tastes (once you've found what they are).



__________________
#8 Corks in Belgian Bottles Hold Carbonation
Increasing Pipeline Diversity
On Deck: Hefeweizen yeast experiment with 3068, T-58, and 3711
Youtube Chanel on Pipe Smoking
tennesseean_87 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Create your own recipe? moneycoach Recipes/Ingredients 6 03-02-2011 01:42 PM
Looking to create my first recipe ba70665 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 12-06-2007 09:01 PM
Help create recipe db TxBrew Recipes/Ingredients 9 05-10-2006 02:17 AM
Help create recipe db TxBrew General Beer Discussion 0 05-08-2006 10:04 PM
How to create a recipe? dirtygreek Recipes/Ingredients 5 04-29-2005 04:24 AM