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Old 11-27-2009, 07:54 PM   #1
thewhoner
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Default Recipe development

I perused the first couple pages of this sub forum for a topic like this. I have brewed about 10 batches without kits or recipes and 2 kits.

I love brewing, it's quite possibly my favorite hobby since I've started playing guitar- I guess it's the artist in me.

I don't really have any interest in brewing something someone else has made, however I am tempted to do so this weekend (just to see if I am getting accurate results) but I wanted to know how some of the more experienced brewers come up with their own recipes. I have been trying to make a top notch IPA and while I can get the bitterness down easy enough, I can't seem to get the malt flavor to back it up. (extract brewing, btw)

So what do some of you guys do when you want to brew something that you yourself have created? How do you decide on which grains to brew with? How do you decide on hop combinations (other than the rule of origin)?

I love the hobby and will probably go to walmart to pick up a turkey fryer so I can start doing full boils. theres just something about brewing other peoples recipes that turns me off to the hobby. My LHBS owner keeps pushing me to buy his kits, but I want to say "Hey, try thewhoners Extra Bitter Rye" or something of the like.

Well? How do you develop your recipes?

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Old 11-27-2009, 08:06 PM   #2
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Daniels' Designing Great Beers is highly regarded. You can also just take existing recipes and adjust them, mix and match. Look at half a dozen or so IPA recipes and see what they have in common, etc. I'd advise not to try to 'push the envelope' quite yet. Stick with traditional styles.

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Old 11-27-2009, 08:10 PM   #3
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Experience and experimenting are about the best ways to come up with solid recipes. Once you know what malts contribute specific flavors,etc, then you can start forming a recipe with a certain goal in mind. Even then, it may take several iterations to fine tune the recipe to get it exactly where you want.

This is more in line with all grain (I am sure you can do this to some extent with extract and special grains), but a lot of people like to do the single malt/single hop (SMaSH) beer to really understand what those ingredients taste like and contribute to beer. Plus it usually ends up making a solid beer.

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Old 11-27-2009, 08:11 PM   #4
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I analyze a bunch of different recipes for a single style (i use the recipes section on HBT, or books that ive bought), then pull the ingredients that I think would work well into a single recipe of my own. From there it is a simple "guess and check" strategy.

For getting more malt flavor in an extract brew - you might try the partial mash method. I hate to be one of those "go all grain!" guys, but it really does help with getting distinctive malt flavors. Still, I've been able to get significant maltiness in my extract beers by steeping higher lovibond crystal grains (80 and above), have you tried that?

with hops - ive been doing single hop beers in order to get acquainted with the differences. Another method is to buy commercial micro-brews that publish their hop profiles online, then taste.

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Old 11-27-2009, 08:13 PM   #5
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not to steal the thread, but has anybody tried making a "hop tea" with water as a substitute for making an entire batch of beer with one hop, in order to figure out the flavor?

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Old 11-27-2009, 08:18 PM   #6
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wow, that was quick. I like all those ideas and I will definitely check out that book. I am getting a bit tired of the lack of control with extract brewing, but as of now I have little to no understanding of all grain brewing, but I really, REALLY want to have that control.


I am actually brewing my 2nd go around of an IPA, bittered with Summit and flavored with Chinook and Amarillo.... Then I find out chinook makes a better bittering hop than flavor hop.

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Old 11-27-2009, 08:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alcibiades View Post
not to steal the thread, but has anybody tried making a "hop tea" with water as a substitute for making an entire batch of beer with one hop, in order to figure out the flavor?
Nope! Would that be just boiling water and adding hops?
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:21 PM   #8
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I love to brew also and I really love to design awesome recipes. I'm just starting all grain but what I've been doing in extract is using Beer Smith software to help me. I pick a style I like, say an American Amber Ale, and then add Liquid Malt Extract (LME) and dry malt extract (DME) until beer smith shows me that I'm in range with the style. I shoot for the middle upper range of the style. Then I read all about the different hops and what kind of flavors you can expect from them and I pick a bittering (or several bittering) and an aroma hops (or two) and start adding hops until I get the hops within the style. I use Centennial for bittering my American Ambers and all kinds of different hops for aromas. Lately my able tasters are digging Glacier as an aroma hops and I even brewed a variation of my house amber using Glacier as the bittering hops. Turned out so cool. Then you need to research about yeast and match the yeast for your style. Take good notes and experiment. Since it takes me about 6 weeks from start to bottle I usually make subtle adjustments in malt and hops to get where I want. Brew a batch with a slightly different varient each week and let them finish one after the other. Then the tasting and deciding which one to continue messing with, and on it goes...

I have made a bunch of extract recipes from scratch just matching styles with ingredients and such. That said, I am now starting all grain and I am going to be starting with known awesome recipes from great brewers in this forum. I figure go with what works first as I learn about AG. Then I can start messin' with the recipes...

Check out some brewing software, it really helps with the styling...

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Old 11-27-2009, 08:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thewhoner View Post
Nope! Would that be just boiling water and adding hops?
I don't think you would need to boil the hops...You might get plenty of aroma and flavor from just adding boiling water to hops in a tea pot (just like you would with tea), and letting it steep for a few minutes.

I suppose you could add sugar (table sugar or DME), and boil for a few minutes, but i would be afraid that the sugar flavor might get in the way of truly tasting the hops.

Trying the proposed "hop tea" method really isnt that hard to carry out....its pure laziness on my part that I haven't tried it.
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Netflyer View Post
I love to brew also and I really love to design awesome recipes. I'm just starting all grain but what I've been doing in extract is using Beer Smith software to help me. I pick a style I like, say an American Amber Ale, and then add Liquid Malt Extract (LME) and dry malt extract (DME) until beer smith shows me that I'm in range with the style. I shoot for the middle upper range of the style. Then I read all about the different hops and what kind of flavors you can expect from them and I pick a bittering (or several bittering) and an aroma hops (or two) and start adding hops until I get the hops within the style. I use Centennial for bittering my American Ambers and all kinds of different hops for aromas. Lately my able tasters are digging Glacier as an aroma hops and I even brewed a variation of my house amber using Glacier as the bittering hops. Turned out so cool. Then you need to research about yeast and match the yeast for your style. Take good notes and experiment. Since it takes me about 6 weeks from start to bottle I usually make subtle adjustments in malt and hops to get where I want. Brew a batch with a slightly different varient each week and let them finish one after the other. Then the tasting and deciding which one to continue messing with, and on it goes...

I have made a bunch of extract recipes from scratch just matching styles with ingredients and such. That said, I am now starting all grain and I am going to be starting with known awesome recipes from great brewers in this forum. I figure go with what works first as I learn about AG. Then I can start messin' with the recipes...

Check out some brewing software, it really helps with the styling...
It sounds like you and I are in the same boat. I've been using beertools.com, but it doesn't add in the late malt extract addition. But I have tried the recipe generator and haven't tried any from that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcibiades View Post
I don't think you would need to boil the hops...You might get plenty of aroma and flavor from just adding boiling water to hops in a tea pot (just like you would with tea), and letting it steep for a few minutes.

I suppose you could add sugar (table sugar or DME), and boil for a few minutes, but i would be afraid that the sugar flavor might get in the way of truly tasting the hops.

Trying the proposed "hop tea" method really isnt that hard to carry out....its pure laziness on my part that I haven't tried it.
I have so many hops, I need to do this.
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