I started brewing at the beginning of this year and have 7 batches down so far. Each of the previous recipes was either a kit, or someone else's recipe that I either used verbatim or modified slightly. Each batch turned out nice (and the bourbon stout I made continues to improve the longer it sits in bottles), but it was never anything that really blew me away. I think we all tend to be more critical of what we make ourselves versus what other people have made. I've been a musician for a long time and I can't listen to my own recordings because I'm too critical of my own work. I figured it was probably the same way with beer.
A few weeks ago I grabbed a few different grains to take advantage of AHS's free shipping weekend. I originally intended to put together a few SMaSHes to clear out some of my hop inventory, so I got some MO, Vienna and Munich after perusing a couple SMaSH threads for combinations. I set out to make a MO/Amarillo SMaSH, since that seemed to be a popular combination. Once I got into Beersmith I decided on an APA style and I decided I wanted to bump the color into style, so I grabbed a pound of C40 to go with my 10 pounds of MO. Since it was now no longer a SMaSH I threw caution to the wind and decided to add Citra to the Amarillo after seeing a few people talk about that combo on here.
So basically I made an APA with:
4 ounces Amarillo
2 ounces Citra
I don't remember the hop schedule offhand, I'd have to check Beersmith at home, but I did a FWH with Amarillo to bitter up to about 40 and then threw in alternating additions of Amarillo and Citra at 15, 10, 5, and flameout with a nice healthy amount set aside for the dry hop. This is the first recipe I've put together myself from the ground up, aside from using some popular combinations on here.
I pulled a sample to check gravity yesterday and got it right at 1.010 where I wanted it. I poured the sample into a glass as I always do and was shocked at how good it smelled. Wonderful amounts of citrus with a hint of tropical fruit. I gave it a taste and it was like something shifted for me. I went from, "Hey, I made beer," to, "Hey, I made a REALLY good beer!" I don't know if part of this is from knowing that I made the recipe myself, but I really have a sense of accomplishment on this one. I added the dry hops and now I can't wait to taste the finished beer.