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How do YOU decide what to make next?

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What do you mostly do?

  • Create your own recipe

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ba-brewer

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I have 4 taps that I try to keeping flowing with different beer styles. Lately the taps have a golden ale, an IPA, a lager and an English Ale. What get brewed next is based on what kicked or is going to kick soon. Even though I have a few LHBS close to choose from I keep plenty of malt and hops on hand to brew what and when I want. I use Beersmith and the inventory feature to keep track of stuff. What hop packages are open quite often dictates what the recipe looks like. I have quite a few recipes but I occasionally brew something from HBT that looks interesting.
 

brewkinger

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Generally I follow the same basic premise. I buy a lot of hops in 4oz bulk packages, so once i open a package my goal is usually to use them up as quick as possible. I could vacuum seal and freeze them I know, but seems like extra work.
I have a rotation of about 5 beers that I make regularly with my inventory and any other recipes, I simply pay a little extra and get the specifics for that recipe so that I do not have to worry about having unused grains and hops.

I have on occasion allowed my next brew to be left up to my wife's coven to decide on. They are a fickle bunch and I do not want them to put a spell on me.
 

Kharnynb

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I've got a bunch of recipes I do every year around the same time, maybe with minor modifications, like doing a porter early autumn so it's ready for winter time, doing a bunch of lager style beers near the end of winter to benefit from free cooling and so they are ready for summertime.

Other than that, I buy a bunch of malts, whatever hops are on sale that I like and throw stuff together :D
 

danielthemaniel

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Great question!

Sometimes I'll get inspiration from a beer that I've drank and want to recreate something similar. Sometimes I'll come across a recipe that sounds really good. Sometimes I'll want to do a particular style. Sometimes I will try to brew something that is different than what I have on tap at the time. Sometimes I will choose to brew something that I do for that particular season. Sometimes I will brew something that for a festival I'm pouring at. Sometimes I'll brew a request by the wife or friends.

But the important thing to remember is: I will only decide what to brew that way(s). Every single time.
 

eric19312

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When I am brewing in my wheelhouse I pull up recent recipe in Beersmith, do a save-as and start making substitutions based on hops and grains on hand. I buy those in bulk.

When I decide to try brewing a new style I do a fair amount of research usually starting with Brewing Classic Styles, then googling recipes. On these forums I will look for recipes with the most comments in the threads and then read those threads, not just the recipe. I really like to find a recipe with a lot of comments that attempts to clone a commercial example of the style and think these threads are a lot more useful than whether the recipe won one or multiple awards.

I really believe final product has more to do with process than recipe once you are in ballpark ingredient wise and find you can get a lot of ideas about what might be important in the process reading the longer threads all the way through. I don't try a new style often and it is a lot of fun to do the research while thinking about it.
 

kevin58

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wow! Didn't think I'd get this many replies!

Looks like most people so far create their own recipe. For those who haven't stated already/those who are first time posters to this thread - do you find a popular recipe on a forum, THEN tweak it to be your own, or are you literally creating your own recipe from scratch?
I like to create my own from scratch. I begin by sitting down and making a list of the characteristics that I want to achieve. I then move to the specialty malts and dial in color and perhaps the unique flavor qualities. When I have these those two dialed in pretty close I then put in my base malt to reach the OG I am shooting for. I chose hops and yeast that will go along with the overall character of the beer.
 
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i have a 4 tap keezer that i try to keep a variety, i brew 15gal batches typically once a month, i usually have a dark beer, a hoppy beer, something light (kolsch, cream ale, pilsner) and the 4th is just whatever i feel like brewing at the time, right now its a belgian tripel, coming into warmer months likely a hefe. i have a porter and neipa recipe that i would consider to be my flagship as i brew them the most and they are basically always on tap. i use these recipes as my way of dialing in and perfecting them as much as possible.
 

gunhaus

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In line with the original premise of this thread, I am somewhat curious as to HOW folks choose to brew? Are you rigidly dedicated to dialing in the recipe and process with an eye to consistent repeat ability in the end product. Or do you take more of a craft "ish" approach with slight differences batch to batch. I usually have at least three or four long term projects going - barleywine, RIS, etc. And I like to mess with new-to-me styles or brews I have not done before. But I have a handful of "standards" that i usually keep on tap in rotation. With these later, I very rarely brew them the same way twice in a row. I have ingredient combos and techniques I will revisit with each over time. But I really like the change of "changing them up". For instance with my Ordinary Bitter I never really change the grain bill, but I have used many yeasts, and many different hops and hop schedules to vary bitterness, aroma, flavors. I have grain bills where I might sub a darker crystal, or increase the roast, or raise or lower mash temp to affect body, ect. These days other than a few of the bigger long term beers, most of my beer is under 1.050, and in fact most are in the 1.030 -1.040 range. They are generally fairly quick to make and finish, and they are also easy to drink up in a hurry:bott: so it allows me a lot of room to vary things on a regular basis.
 

eric19312

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In line with the original premise of this thread, I am somewhat curious as to HOW folks choose to brew? Are you rigidly dedicated to dialing in the recipe and process with an eye to consistent repeat ability in the end product. Or do you take more of a craft "ish" approach with slight differences batch to batch.
Rigid adherence to a perfectly dialed in recipe is what I'd do if I owned a brewery and had paying customers. Most of my volume would be standards and I'd want my customers to get what they expect batch to batch, even those that are pretty discriminating tasters. This would likely be hugely challenging and I think I might enjoy that challenge. I think the Budweiser documentary "Kings of Beer" gives a pretty good idea what this pursuit could be like.

But not for my homebrewing. I take a more relaxed approach. Yes I want a predictably excellent beer and I enjoy imagining how something might turn out, designing that beer in Beersmith, brewing it, and then comparing results to the original design intent. But I also want to RDWHAHB when I brew. Good beer time after time yes. Exactly the same beer time after time noooo.
 

SouthBounds

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I brew every week and find inspiration in 3 areas:

1. Clones. This way I can test my brewing to the commercial guys.
2. Forum favs. There are some fantastic recipes here!
3. Sweep the kitchen. I take what is sitting around and see what happens. These are my "learning/experimenting" beers.

So back to your question (What do I mostly do?) - I mostly repeat and tweak these 3.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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I like to create my own from scratch. I begin by sitting down and making a list of the characteristics that I want to achieve. I then move to the specialty malts and dial in color and perhaps the unique flavor qualities. When I have these those two dialed in pretty close I then put in my base malt to reach the OG I am shooting for. I chose hops and yeast that will go along with the overall character of the beer.
Mastering Homebrew (the book) takes a similar approach for those looking for either a 2nd opinion or more details.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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In line with the original premise of this thread, I am somewhat curious as to HOW folks choose to brew? Are you rigidly dedicated to dialing in the recipe and process with an eye to consistent repeat ability in the end product. Or do you take more of a craft "ish" approach with slight differences batch to batch.
I will brew "experimentally" for a while (with most of my batches), then I'll brew "rigidly" for a while.

I usually have at least three or four long term projects going - barleywine, RIS, etc.
^^^ THIS ^^^ is something that I will be doing more of. For the last couple of years, I've brewed a single batch of barleywine/RIS in the spring so it's ready in winter. This past winter, I bought four small fermentors from a LHBS so I can do more long term projects.
 

cmac62

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I do all of the above. When Tasty Brew was still going I did almost all of my recipe building there. I bought BS2, but really dislike the interface. I've been using brewer's friend lately and it is okay. To choose the next brew, I first see what I have on tap and in the wings, and usually do something different. When I first started brewing everything was big, 6% or higher, but recently I really am liking beers in the 4% range so I can have a few before I fall over. LOL. Also, recently I have been brewing, and therefore drinking, a lot of lighter beers. However, one of my three taps is currently a 13% Mole Stout, it is a great beer, but with only me and my son drinking it it may take months to kill. I only have 6-8 0z a night if that. I don't think I have ever brewed the same beer twice. This post is rambling. But I love brewing and seeing what I have on hand and making it up as I go. My son designed a Dill Pickle Gose. That was a great beer. Brew on. :mug:
 

V-Fib

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All the above. I try to have a variety with one "normal beer" available for the people that have lived with nothing but American lagers their whole life.
 

bracconiere

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That's been well established, no need to point it out ;)
I was just wondering why you hobbled the tool, that's all...

Cheers!
LOL, i use the software so that i can keep track of effec., and cost mostly.....it's nice having a record...(i even take notes once in a while)
 

cmac62

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LOL, i use the software so that i can keep track of effec., and cost mostly.....it's nice having a record...(i even take notes once in a while)
I'm the same, I'm doing good if I get the grain bill, hops and yeast written down. After that its a crap shoot. Some things like a heff or witt, simple simple, 50% 2row and 50% white wheat, heff or witt yeast and some bittering hops.
 

bracconiere

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I'm the same, I'm doing good if I get the grain bill, hops and yeast written down. After that its a crap shoot. Some things like a heff or witt, simple simple, 50% 2row and 50% white wheat, heff or witt yeast and some bittering hops.
if i was going to do a wheat beer, i'd probably go 75% 2-row, 25% wheat, and toast a pound of the wheat in the oven.....
 

cmac62

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if i was going to do a wheat beer, i'd probably go 75% 2-row, 25% wheat, and toast a pound of the wheat in the oven.....
that sound good. Maybe in the traeger instead, that would add a little. I think I'll back off on the wheat for the next one. I just heard somewhere that less wheat will keep the wheat beer haze in suspension longer. I wasn't listening to closely.
 

day_trippr

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Not sure 75/25 is actually a "wheat beer". And where's the drama of contending with sticky mashes? Sheesh :D
I'm doing 10 gallons of my raspberry wheat tomorrow. 12 pounds of Weyermann pilsner and 10 pounds of white wheat malt...

Cheers! (...and a pound of rice hulls. Because I'm not actually crazy... ;))
 

bracconiere

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Not sure 75/25 is actually a "wheat beer". And where's the drama of contending with sticky mashes? Sheesh :D
I'm doing 10 gallons of my raspberry wheat tomorrow. 12 pounds of Weyermann pilsner and 10 pounds of white wheat malt...

Cheers! (...and a pound of rice hulls. Because I'm not actually crazy... ;))

with my bazooka tube mash cooler, i've sparged 8lb's 6-row, and 5lb's of white flour......slow, but it got done, maybe had to blow my drain hose a few times...lol

and if you're using rasberries, probably give enough flavor to be enjoyable....i would just be worried about the 50/50 being to bland.....i like my beer to have flavor ;) or maybe better said substance.....
 
OP
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I do all of the above. When Tasty Brew was still going I did almost all of my recipe building there. I bought BS2, but really dislike the interface. I've been using brewer's friend lately and it is okay. To choose the next brew, I first see what I have on tap and in the wings, and usually do something different. When I first started brewing everything was big, 6% or higher, but recently I really am liking beers in the 4% range so I can have a few before I fall over. LOL. Also, recently I have been brewing, and therefore drinking, a lot of lighter beers. However, one of my three taps is currently a 13% Mole Stout, it is a great beer, but with only me and my son drinking it it may take months to kill. I only have 6-8 0z a night if that. I don't think I have ever brewed the same beer twice. This post is rambling. But I love brewing and seeing what I have on hand and making it up as I go. My son designed a Dill Pickle Gose. That was a great beer. Brew on. :mug:
13%?! Sounds awesome! you'll have to PM me the recipe! I'd love to send a few of my co-workers on their a**!
 
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Not sure 75/25 is actually a "wheat beer". And where's the drama of contending with sticky mashes? Sheesh :D
I'm doing 10 gallons of my raspberry wheat tomorrow. 12 pounds of Weyermann pilsner and 10 pounds of white wheat malt...

Cheers! (...and a pound of rice hulls. Because I'm not actually crazy... ;))
A raspberry wheat huh? Witbier is actually my favorite style as of now. Can you explain your recipe/process? Maybe you can PM me your recipe. I'm looking for a good recipe to infuse mango into a Wit but have no idea about going about it...... Sorry to hijack my own post LOL
 

ba-brewer

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with my bazooka tube mash cooler, i've sparged 8lb's 6-row, and 5lb's of white flour......slow, but it got done, maybe had to blow my drain hose a few times...lol

and if you're using rasberries, probably give enough flavor to be enjoyable....i would just be worried about the 50/50 being to bland.....i like my beer to have flavor ;) or maybe better said substance.....
Seem like with the enzymes you add to your beer that they would be light in body, or does the higher alcohol put body back in your beers?

Actual wheat malt has decent flavor.
 

bracconiere

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Seem like with the enzymes you add to your beer that they would be light in body, or does the higher alcohol put body back in your beers?

Actual wheat malt has decent flavor.

with most of my beers, think dry red wine, or dry brown ale...it would be like if guiness made "Guiness light", lol.....( one guy at the feed store wanted to try my beer, so in my fashion bought a 20oz sodapop bottle, dumpped the soda, filled it up with one of my old 100% munich brews....my report was, "it was alright, i wouldn't mind drinking more" ;))
 

bracconiere

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Im definitely a forum recipe guy but I've been wanting to copy some recipes I've tasted as of yet, but have no idea how to do so. Heres an example:
View attachment 674741
reading that, i'd say do something like day_tripper was going to do....but with oat malt, add milk sugar, and sour it with yogurt? (to taste of course, i'm not familar with fancy fruit beers and sours, at least willingly...:()
 

day_trippr

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A raspberry wheat huh? Witbier is actually my favorite style as of now. Can you explain your recipe/process? Maybe you can PM me your recipe. I'm looking for a good recipe to infuse mango into a Wit but have no idea about going about it...... Sorry to hijack my own post LOL
lol! If anyone is entitled, you'd be that person :)

I've been remiss in not posting this recipe in a coherent fashion (I'll get to it!) but it's a rather simple wheat beer. The 10 gallon 1.058 OG batch grist is exactly as stated above, spec'd to appear as low SRM as possible (while not approaching a freakin' wheat Zima wrt character) so the color of the raspberries and hibiscus (forgot to mention that) blast through. I use a dry water profile, mashed at 148°F, used one ounce of Hallertau Blanc @60 and two ounces of Hersbrucker @20 in the boil, and 1056 yeast ('murrican style).

I let that ferment to a few points from finished, then racked atop 9 pounds of raspberry puree - that was thinned with a quart of hot tea from 6 ounces of hibiscus flowers, brought to 150°F, a teaspoon of pectic enzyme and a cup of corn sugar thoroughly mixed in, and held there for 12 hours (not that hard - the stuff holds heat amazing well if you wrap the pot in a thick towel). I did not attempt to strain the result - frankly didn't see the point. Let that sit for four days then crashed and kegged. It finished at 1.008.

This was like the second pour from the first keg. It's almost kicked now, gotten much brighter, but still has a kick-ass raspberry character.
As beginner's luck goes this was epic :D

raspberry_wheat_1_03sm.jpg


Cheers!
 

Kent88

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I'm a little late to the party. I usually find recipes online or occasionally from books, tweak them to work on my system (make them for slightly over 3 gallons, substitute some base malt for extract). I just find that there are a ton of good recipes out there, so I don't think I need to put my efforts into coming up with one from scratch.

As far as what recipe to try, sometimes it's the season, but sometimes I come across a recipe that just sticks with me as interesting.
 

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I just decide what I want to make and then write down a recipe. But that recipe could change when I get to the homebrew shop where I start tasting the grains. Maybe I will throw in a bit of this. Maybe I will throw in a bit of that. If I have already done a certain recipe and I liked it a lot I may stick with the exact same recipe. But who knows? I did tweak my Apricot Honey Ale recipe recently and it came out even better than before. Until I wasted almost the entire keg on the ground because I had a supply side leak on the keg while gas was going in. Learned from that mistake but now I want to do that batch again. So delicious. I also love using Maris Otter as a base malt. Also I feel like adding a quarter pound of oats never hurts in any ale.
 

Chet Ripley

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I started off jumping around from beer to beer which made it hard to hone my processes and consistently make good beer. Eventually i focused on a couple of styles to I got to where I really like what I was making. Now every other brew I make is a basic IPA but I'm switching hops each time I make it. When I'm not making the IPA, I'll brew whatever strikes me as interesting. It could be something I saw in a book or magazine, just what I happen to feel like making at the time, etc. Really the inspiration could come from anywhere. I have a list of ideas I'd like to try so I usually look at that and make whichever one I'm most excited about at the time. The only advance planning I do is to make some stouts in early summer so they are ready when it starts to cool heading into December.
 

coonmanx

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Damn if that Old Peculiar clone wasn't a smash hit. Got the recipe out of a book a long time ago. It just sat there in the pile until one day....

Used Mexican brown sugar, which came in a cone, Lyle's golden syrup and Belgian candi sugar. Was a bit more involved but well worth it.
 

Snuffy

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Damn if that Old Peculiar clone wasn't a smash hit. Got the recipe out of a book a long time ago. It just sat there in the pile until one day....

Used Mexican brown sugar, which came in a cone, Lyle's golden syrup and Belgian candi sugar. Was a bit more involved but well worth it.
https://www.austinhomebrew.com/Thea...ALL-GRAIN-Homebrew-Ingredient-Kit_p_4260.html
I'm fermenting Bellhaven and Old Speckled Hen Clones as we speak. Old Peculiar is next on my list.
 

coonmanx

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https://www.austinhomebrew.com/Thea...ALL-GRAIN-Homebrew-Ingredient-Kit_p_4260.html
I'm fermenting Bellhaven and Old Speckled Hen Clones as we speak. Old Peculiar is next on my list.
Pretty sure I got that recipe out of one of those clone brew books. Probably got the book from the library. I can always post up the recipe if you can't find it. The only change I made was using a pound of Crystal malt instead of 3/4 pound because I ordered online and had a pound of it and figured it wouldn't change things too much.
 

coonmanx

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Right now it looks like I need to do a batch this coming Monday. It's going to be a bit colder so temps should be perfect to get in a quick batch. Might do a golden ale....
 
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