Considering recipe development... Is this a good idea?

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Jul 31, 2011
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Hi all,

My brew buddies and I want to try making our own recipe, and have fairly scientific mindsets as to how we want to approach this. We need to do a lot of reading into what malts, grains, yeasts, hops create which flavors, so we're pretty far off, which gives us a lot of time to develop a "control beer."

My idea is to find a "neutral beer" that we wouldn't mind drinking a lot of (I'm thinking a nice pale ale). We would brew it a couple times using the exact same stuff and really nail that brew down. From there we mix it up, adding different malts, different hops, etc.

What do you think? What's the best way to start making recipes?
Find one that sounds interesting and adapt to your tastes/limitations/skill/comfort level. Also, and in general, lighter beers are less forgiving in their recipes as heavier beers, but the lighter beers are better for learning subtle differences because of that sensitivity
I'm hardly an expert when it comes to making recipes. But I've recently started doing this.

Say I want to brew a Pale... I'll pull up 2-3 Pale recipes and look for similarities in grains and hop additions, and based off that I can get an idea of what the "norm" would be as far as that style.

I also have purchased a brew book that gives me all the grains, hops, yeasts available and what characteristics they all offer. In the grain section not only does it tell you flavor/color profiles, it also informs you on what %'s you should be looking to use in your beer.

Hope this helps a little.
What I plan on doing is the following.
Take a style that you enjoy, and has room for variety in the things you want.
Example: pale ales for testing low srm malts, and hops.
Brown ale for medium srm/crystals,biscuit vs victory or 2row vs munich.
Belgian yeast,american yeast, english yeast.
Porter/stouts for different dark cara's/chocolates.

"average" recipe of a style.
Find 5~ 5star rates recipes for a given style. and average them with a +_ range for the difference of amounts between recipes. Do the average, change something to the lower end of "accepted range"
Just for funsies.