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Old 10-20-2006, 05:58 PM   #1
Ol' Grog
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Default Next step...out of kits to recipes

I tell you, I've read sooooo much into brewing that I am officially skull _ucked. I've seen some pretty cool recipes but haven't had time to study the IBU's, % this and % that stuff. Is it that complicated? I know, I probably need to spend more time with the kits to get a feel for the taste and aroma to narrow down the type ingredients I would like, but I'm just curious.

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Old 10-20-2006, 06:29 PM   #2
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It's not complicated, the biggest roadblock (if you want to call it that) is gaining experience. Kits are a good place to start. They take care of most of details for you, allowing you to get a grasp on the mechanincs of sanitation and fermentation. Once you have that licked start screwing around with the kits, add some extra hops, steep some grains, add a bit of DME, start learning what the different stuff does and start trying to zero in on a few of your favorite styles. After that, go by a B3 1550 and 200# of pale malt - you're going to need it!



Edit: I guess I didn't really answer your question! The best resource I have found for calculations is the book Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels. His methods and the presentation of them have greatly improved my brewing tecniques.

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Old 10-21-2006, 12:24 AM   #3
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Also there's a computer called ProMash that is awesome! I use it for designing recipes and it makes figuring out IBU a piece of cake. You plug in the AA% of the hops you're using, the order you're using them, how long you want to boil them, and how much you have and it spits out the IBUs.

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Old 10-21-2006, 01:56 AM   #4
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Check out the reviews section of this site for Clone Brews. I found it quite handy when making beer. Its great to be able to buy a beer from the store that you like and be able to make soemthing quite close to it. The recipes will also give you a good idea of hop types, amounts, yeast, and fermentables for a wide variety of beer.

Cheers.

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Old 10-21-2006, 01:59 AM   #5
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I second Cheyco: Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels has everything you are looking for. It is a great read and a great reference to have around

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Old 10-21-2006, 02:20 AM   #6
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You know I really like the book Designing great beers. I really like it, but having said that I had browsed it for years without any desire to own it. It does not have recipes, per say. Nor does he go into procedure as these two things are not what he wanted to say. Sounds like you have read a lot and a 'heavy' book is not what would be helpful to you at the moment. I think the Clone brew books are great. What I like about them is that they give several ways to brew the same beer. So if your extract now and later want to do the brew AG, it's all there.

One of THE most important things that Designing great beers teaches you is rather simple really. If you want to learn about the different ingrediants. You have to start out with a recipe you like. Your next brew, change one thing. Can be anything really, but you have to only change one thing. This way you will learn what changing this one thing will do to your brews.

I have actually never done a kit. I started with The Joy of Homebrewing and just followed the recipes there.

How are you brewing now? Are you steeping? This is the one thing that will seriously change how things taste in a positive way.

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Old 10-21-2006, 02:24 AM   #7
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Would anyone say that using software has taught them a lot of what he wants to learn? Just thinking of myself I have to say a REAL BIG yes. Promash has certainly given me a new way to learn how different ingreants change the brew without brewing 5 galons of the stuff.

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Old 10-21-2006, 02:43 AM   #8
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I agree Promash rocks

There are plenty of other sites out there that help out as well. Ever wonder how much of malt X is too much? http://www.brewsupplies.com/grain_profiles.htm

What does grain X do or taste like, what will it bring to my beer? http://www.byo.com/referenceguide/grains/

What is hop Y like compared to hop Z . . . Would hop Y make a decent substitute for hop Z? http://www.byo.com/referenceguide/hops/

Whats yeast A or B like? http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/homebrew.html http://www.wyeastlab.com/beprlist.htm

What are the styles and guide lines for beer type D? http://www.bjcp.org/styles04/

I know what style I want but not sure what a recipie might look like . . . http://hbd.org/cgi-bin/recipator/recipes

and hell you always have us to bounce ideas off of

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Old 10-21-2006, 02:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beer Snob
Would anyone say that using software has taught them a lot of what he wants to learn? Just thinking of myself I have to say a REAL BIG yes. Promash has certainly given me a new way to learn how different ingreants change the brew without brewing 5 galons of the stuff.

I don't know if I agree with that too much. Those software packages (I use promash) are good tools, but if you don't know what you're doing to begin with, they won't make you a good brewer. They make the calculations simple and fine-tuning a dream, but the nicest table-saw in the world doesn't make you an awesome carpenter.
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Old 10-23-2006, 06:29 PM   #10
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I can second the idea of buying a book of recipes like Clone Brews or Beer Captured and following the recipe. This way you can make a beer that you already know what it is supposed to taste like. I get a kick out of going to the store with a grocery list and picking out my extract, steeping grains, hops, and yeast. The really fun part is when my store is out of a particular hop variety. I've learned to write down the hop substitutions in the back of the two books listed above just in case.

It's funny, I would rather take a beating than go to the grocery, but I love to shop for beer ingredients.

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