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Old 03-08-2013, 04:27 PM   #1
46andbrew
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Default Do's and dont's about building a recipe ?

I a newer brewer and I want to start building done of my own recipes. I still want to use extracts because that's what I'm comfortable with and I have had good success with the kits I've done. Just wonder what combos work and what combos to stay away from. As far as when mixing grains, hops, malt extracts, and yeast

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Old 03-08-2013, 04:43 PM   #2
zachattack
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I think it all comes down to knowing the ingredients and styles. I'm by no means an expert, but I have a few suggestions if you're starting out:

1) Read up on ingredients (hops, specialty grains, base malts, yeasts) and what styles they're typically good in. If you have a good LHBS they should let you munch on some of the grain to get a feel for the flavor.

2) Look very closely at a lot of solid, proven recipes in the styles you're interested in. This is one of the easiest ways to "connect the dots" between the ingredients and a style. I recommend buying "Brewing Classic Styles" and also going to Northern Brewer's website, they list the recipe for every kit online for free.

3) Buy "Designing Great Beers," it has good information on ingredients and techniques, the histories of various styles, and lots of compiled data from award-winning homebrew recipes. If you like Belgian beer, I'd also recommend "Brew Like a Monk"

4) Brew more! With every batch you'll learn more about the ingredients and how they affect things.

5) When you're ready to write a recipe, software like Beersmith can be very helpful.

6) One tip that I've read many times is to make sure you know what every single ingredient is doing for your beer. So don't just throw in 3 or 4 specialty grains unless you have a very clear idea of what each ingredient is going to add.

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Old 03-08-2013, 04:45 PM   #3
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Your question itself would probably take a long time to answer. What I can do is direct you to a resource that I found very helpful. There are other books to consider but I found this one to be great when I was starting out, Designing great beers by ray daniels. The instructions within the book are not the law of the land, but they give you an idea of what others do to achieve certain styles. The first half of the book is technical, while the second half focuses on specific styles. He brings up any historical background on the styles as well as showing you what the NHC finalists used to recreate said beer style.

He will give you pretty specific instructions on how to make these based on the NHC finalists. You just gotta remember that the guidelines within are not the only way to make these beers, they are just a good starting point

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