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Old 08-23-2007, 07:27 PM   #1
StankAle
 
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I am a noob. I have been looking at different hop/grain/extract varieties thinking about making my own recipe. I have read John Palmer's book "How To Brew" and I am still overwhelmed.
I have no idea how to go about putting together a recipe of my own. I currently have a Newcastle clone in the secondary fermenter which seems to be coming along well.
I still have the urge to try something I can call my own. I just hate the idea of waiting a month to find out my design sucked.
I have also looked at charts that show what the hops are used for and their characteristics, but I am having trouble figuring out how to apply that to an extract/specialty grain blend to create a recipe.
Any advice will be appreciated. I am only doing extract brewing at the moment. I am not bothering with all grain until I understand design better.

 
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Old 08-23-2007, 08:13 PM   #2
Bobby_M
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Look for the book "Designing Great Beers". You'll also need some software to keep yourself within the basic specs of the style you're trying to brew (if you ever care to compete that is).
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Old 08-23-2007, 08:16 PM   #3
BrewBrain
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I hear ya. I really can't wait to do my very own recipes, but in the meantime, I've got my first three AG batches in various stages of completion. I used recipes I found on the internet for all three. However, I now feel like I'm going to be able to create a recipe of my own that won't be horrible.

One thing I've done is tasted every ingredient that's gone into every one of my three very different recipes. I chewed up four different hop varieties as well as several different grains from the base malts to the dark roasted malts. I now have a pretty good idea what the different ingredients are likely to do to a brew (and why it doesn't take much black patent..).

Like I said, I haven't done one of my own yet, and in fact I haven't tasted a finished AG product yet, but I feel like I'm learning a ton just by tasting all the ingredients.

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Old 08-23-2007, 08:45 PM   #4
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The first place to start is determining what you want to brew. Then determine which ingredients are appropriate for that style (ie. EKG for an ESB); check out different recipes others have put together to get an idea for which specialty grains and hops. (The book Designing Great Beers comes in very handy during this stage as does the recipe database on this site.)

Next use some brewing software (personally I use ProMash) to determine what your OG, SRM, and IBU should be and how to get there. For an extract/steeping grains brewer I highly recommend using extra light DME for your fermentables, but using specialty grains for color and flavor. Again, look at other recipes for the style to see what the hopping schedule should look like.

Finally, post your proposed recipe on the recipe/ingredients section of the board and more experienced brewers will make suggestions (and typically tell you why they are making them). Over time you will start to learn what the different ingredients are contributing to your beer and your recipes will get better.

Above all try to remember that while it may not be perfect according to the style guidelines, whatever you come up with will still be beer and will still taste better than BMC.
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Old 08-23-2007, 09:11 PM   #5
Nurmey
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Before I started writing original recipes, I would find a recipe I thought sounded pretty good and use that for a base. Having a "base" recipe allows you to change one or two of the ingredients without too much risk. Then after you get a feel for the amount and type of ingredients that make beer you like, you are on your way to designing an original brew.

Just keep in mind if you follow sound principals of fermenting yeast, hops, and malts/grains, you will end up with beer. Almost anything you brew will taste better than the massed produced swill on the market.

Experiment and have fun!
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Old 08-23-2007, 09:14 PM   #6
DeathBrewer
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that's the best advice. find a recipe you've tried that you really like. then brew it again and tweek it one thing at a time...fine-tuning into your favorite beer.
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Old 08-24-2007, 12:05 AM   #7
StankAle
 
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Wow. This is a very friendly forum. You guys have made some great suggestions and gave me some sound advice. I really appreciate it. I am going to do one more recipe kit by the book to make sure I am consistent in my methods and then I will begin to experiment with a custom brew. I like the idea of using a base and making changes from there. Also the software shold help once I get better and more knowledgeable.
I will make sure to keep you guys posted on how the newcastle clone turns out.
Dustin

 
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