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Old 12-21-2012, 02:51 PM   #1
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Default Recipe Etiquette? How to Make a Brew "Your Own"

Just wondering what the brewing community's thoughts are on recipe etiquette, and what makes a brew "your own".

What I mean is, I've done a few extract kit beers now, and I'm ready to start tweaking with the goal being a brew I can call my own. Problem is, I'm not sure where to start tweaking, and at what point I could legitimately consider a brew "my own". There are so many brewers and recipes out there that it seems like everything's been done.

For example, if I take a True Brew Pale Ale kit and swap out the yeast for something else, is it suddenly my own recipe? What if I also swap out the LME for something of my own choosing? At what point could I honestly tell a friend trying my brew that it's my own recipe? Even if I was doing all grain, the same rules apply, right? How many ingredients must be changed from any given recipe before it becomes your own?

I'd like to enter a brew into an upcoming public tasting, but I don't feel right simply brewing a True Brew Pale Ale kit, giving it a cool name, and passing it off as mine. How would you suggest I make this transition from kits to something more my own?

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Old 12-21-2012, 02:55 PM   #2
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Whatever beer your brew is YOUR beer. There are no copyrights on recipes. Maybe you could download a trial copy of beersmith and play with it to try and come up with something original? Might to be fun to tinker with it anyway...

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Old 12-21-2012, 02:57 PM   #3
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A recipe will always be your own to some degree due to it being your process and equipment and water which will give the brew its own character regardless of recipe imho.

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Old 12-21-2012, 03:01 PM   #4
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Was going to edit my original post to ask if I was simply overthinking this whole concept, but based on the first two responses it looks like I am.

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Old 12-21-2012, 03:03 PM   #5
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I've only two batches under my belt but they're both "my own". Understanding flavors and what different ingredients will taste like in a finished product are a good start. Both my batches, I just googled, for example, "imperial stout extract recipe", looked at ten to twelve different recipes, saw the similarities and differences between them and plugged what I wanted to use into hopville. Voila! Beer recipe that is your own!

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Old 12-21-2012, 03:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scanloni View Post
...I'd like to enter a brew into an upcoming public tasting, but I don't feel right simply brewing a True Brew Pale Ale kit, giving it a cool name, and passing it off as mine. How would you suggest I make this transition from kits to something more my own?...
Your desire to create "your own" beer will likely lead you to all grain brewing. When someone samples your beer and says with surprised delight "You made this?" ... knowing you assembled your own recipe from various raw materials and crushed your own grains, makes saying "yes I did" a very rewarding feeling.

I strongly advise that once you decide to stray from prefab recipe kits, you get a copy of BeerSmith to help you formulate recipes. I never brew without it.
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:24 PM   #7
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I figure if I brew it its my beer. Even if I buy a kit and follow the directions to the letter there will still be variances between mine and yours. Things like water, boil off rates, yeast viability, adherence to recipe directions, the moth that flew into the boil, all make each batch unique and therefor mine. Thats how I view it at least.

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Old 12-21-2012, 04:34 PM   #8
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Your desire to create "your own" beer will likely lead you to all grain brewing. When someone samples your beer and says with surprised delight "You made this?" ... knowing you assembled your own recipe from various raw materials and crushed your own grains, makes saying "yes I did" a very rewarding feeling.

I strongly advise that once you decide to stray from prefab recipe kits, you get a copy of BeerSmith to help you formulate recipes. I never brew without it.
I agree with this completely. When I first started brewing extract kits I never had the feeling that it was actually "my brew". That is what really led me into all grain brewing and being able to have a deciding factor in exactly what goes into my beer. Everything from the type of grain, hops, and the type of yeast I chose. It was all mine! I started with a recipe I found in a book but tweaked it to be more like the type of beer I wanted it to be. And as I do more brewing I'm learning more about different types of yeast strains, types of hops, and the various grains that goes into making beer. It's all really fascinating and just makes you appreciate this obsession we all refer to as home brewing.
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:42 PM   #9
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maybe it's just me, but it seems like the minute you brew it yourself it's all your own.

probably not for a competition, or something like that, but when i cook a meal using a recipe from tv nobody complains about that, why would they care about it with a beer?

that said, if you are self concious, or thinking about entering a competition, then find a brew you like to make, adjust it to your taste with different hop treatments, or maybe slightly different grains.

voila, it's yours

and, i agree with using brewing software, but i use ibrewmaster because it works on the ipad

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Old 12-21-2012, 05:49 PM   #10
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probably not for a competition, or something like that, but when i cook a meal using a recipe from tv nobody complains about that, why would they care about it with a beer?
Exactly! "My beer" means I made the beer. It doesn't have to mean "my recipe."
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