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Old 01-28-2010, 07:02 PM   #11
Dec 2009
Raleigh, NC
Posts: 641
Liked 13 Times on 11 Posts

I should have mentioned that when I designed a recipe that I didn't use any ingredients that I didn't see in well reviewed recipes of the same style, and that I posted it in the recipe feedback section to make sure it was okay. I'm certainly not ready to sit down and write a recipe without looking at other recipes for reference and without getting it reviewed first by people that are smarter than I am.

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Old 01-28-2010, 07:20 PM   #12
Nov 2009
Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,827
Liked 48 Times on 41 Posts

Another book for recipes that is highly recommended is "Brewing Classic Styles"

Also, "Designing Great Beers"

& if your into Belgians check out "Brew Like a Monk"

Do you homework. I find lots of new brewers go crazy and start making recipes that suck ass and then blame it on their process. At least with the kits your starting with good ingredients and you can just work on perfecting your process.

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Old 01-28-2010, 07:22 PM   #13
Jan 2010
Posts: 44

I pretty much did 0 kits. I got a Mr Beer with West Coast Pale Ale. After reading reviews I quickly realized I don't want to make their basic WCPA - so after reading this forum I tossed the booster for DME and decided to add in a 1/4 pound of American 2-row and Crystal 20 just to see what happens. Did some extra hopping as well.

I basically turned their really really light Pale Ale into a slightly darker, slightly hoppier, slightly higher ABV Pale Ale.

But don't ask me how it tastes, it's sitting in the primary fermenter waiting for bottling

It might not end up having perfect balance and surely wouldn't win any awards. But it's my damn recipe and I can't wait to taste it and modify as necessary.

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Old 01-28-2010, 07:25 PM   #14
sp1365's Avatar
Jul 2009
Marengo, IL
Posts: 479

I did one extract brew before moving to AG. I have never used a kit and I have never tried to replicate anyone's recipe. All of my beers are designed by me. Granted I do use books, other recipes, etc. for guidance. I prefer to either sink or swim on my own merit as well as I enjoy trying to piece together ingredients or styles on my own. To me recipe design is a puzzle trying to figure out what goes with what. Some are bad (Extract Irish Red) and some are good (English Best Bitter).

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Old 01-28-2010, 07:26 PM   #15
Jan 2010
Farmington Hills, MI
Posts: 242
Liked 9 Times on 4 Posts

I've done 4 kits so far, but I plan on changing it up soon and purchasing some ingredients and trying to make something on my own. I plan to buy a couple 1 gallon carboys and making a couple batches to test things out. I'll probably still do a couple more kits later for 5 gallon batches until I become comfortable with the brewing process and in really understanding recipes. I'd like to know I can brew good beer first from kits, then work on making changes. If you change to much all at once, it will be very hard for you to understand what you did wrong...and quite frankly you might get frustrated!

As far as I can tell buying kits from northern brewery (only place I've bought so far) It seems like what you get in the box, would be the same as if you just went out and bought the ingredients separately for that exact recipe anyway. Its just packaged easier for you, and you only get the exact amount of stuff you need (no left overs). So in a sense just using someones recipe imo is just like buying a kit. Moving up to the next level is completely designing a recipe on your own.

I really want to try an AG batch, but I need to spend the $ on the extra equipment which I can't do at the moment. But i'm in no rush... got my whole life to brew

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