Would like to learn how to create my first recipe

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Iceman6409

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So I have been brewing for about 10 years now but always use recipes I find on here. Honestly I have no concept on how to piece together my own recipe but want to start to learn. What I would like to start with is a simple lager. A "lawn mower" beer if you will. Light, tasty and easy to drink many. Is there anyone out there that would be kind enough to walk me through the process? And I have already looked at BJCP guidelines and too confusing. I will have many questions along the way. I am very open to communicating through other means outside of this website as well. Let me know some thoughts.
 

Jayjay1976

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why not start out with brewing a SMASH using your preferred base malt and your favorite hop? Ferment it with whatever lager yeast you like, at whatever temp has worked for you so far.

To calculate the grain bill, go to brewersfriend.com and use their FREE recipe calculator. Choose the BJCP style you're shooting for from the dropdown, enter your efficiency (if you don't know, 70% is a good place to start) and adjust your grain bill until the "matches style" check mark turns green.

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ksut1547

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Start simple. JayJay is right on the money. A simple SMASH to start with. You will learn a lot about base grains and hops.

One thing to keep in mind, lighter beers will highlight any faults. But that's a perfect way to learn and address any problems. Just don't get frustrated if the first one isn't exactly what you wanted.
 
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Iceman6409

Iceman6409

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So after a very quick look at and play around with Brewers Friend I have come this far with a light lager. Opinions?

This is for a one gallon batch:

1.2lb 2 row pale ale
.4lb flaked corn
.1 oz Williamette 60 minutes
 

Jayjay1976

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So after a very quick look at and play around with Brewers Friend I have come this far with a light lager. Opinions?

This is for a one gallon batch:

1.2lb 2 row pale ale
.4lb flaked corn
.1 oz Williamette 60 minutes
I've never brewed with corn before, whazzat for?

I have nowhere near as much brewing experience as you have, I've only brewed 10 batches so far but they were all recipes I wrote with BF. All came out drinkable, but 8 of them were really good. I learned the hard way not to get carried away with specialty malts and adjuncts, just curious about the purpose of corn in a lager.
 

mj1angier

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Get BeerSmith, find a recipe, brew it. Taste it, have buddies taste it, then mess with it, lol.
But do it one step at a time- change, a hop, change a yeast, change a malt. But have the taste it it after so you can compare
 

Jayjay1976

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I prefer brewers friend, mainly because it doesn't require installing a program or an app to use. YMMV.
 

FatDragon

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I look at established recipes (like the ones you've been brewing) as a baseline for developing a new recipe, using Beersmith or Brewer's Friend to check the numbers like gravity and IBUs. If it's a bit out of the ordinary, I ask other brewers, often here or on some other brewing forum. For me, it's as much about tailoring the recipes to the ingredients I have on hand or available as it is adjusting them to my own tastes.
 

WestMichBrewer

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I also recommend some reading be done to get a feeling for why you might add certain ingredients to your recipes. I mean you can prowl these forums for the same information piece by piece, but reading through a book is nice and might give you insight into ingredients you might not otherwise know about.
Daniels's Designing Great Beers and Mosher's Radical Brewing are good reads.
 

snd1990

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The easiest way to start brewing your own recipes is to keep it simple and study. Read through what various grains, adjuncts, additives, etc are used for and what percentage of the grain bill to keep them at. Then pick a style beer that you like. Use a recipe building app and apply your grains(base grains for fermentables, alchol, flavor and speciality grains for color, flavor, mouthfeel, head retention, etc). That is where studying comes in and knowing what grains are used for what characteristics. Most grain and adjunct descriptions will list what percentage range to use at.
 

catdaddy66

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The easiest way to start brewing your own recipes is to keep it simple and study. Read through what various grains, adjuncts, additives, etc are used for and what percentage of the grain bill to keep them at. Then pick a style beer that you like. Use a recipe building app and apply your grains(base grains for fermentables, alchol, flavor and speciality grains for color, flavor, mouthfeel, head retention, etc). That is where studying comes in and knowing what grains are used for what characteristics. Most grain and adjunct descriptions will list what percentage range to use at.
This is a good suggestion. Learn the different types of ingredients starting with grains and moving through hops and yeast. Once you get an idea of these varieties look in established recipes to see what works well together and in what amounts/ ratios.

I think of the grains as a kind of salad, with base grains being the 'lettuce' and specialty grains or adjuncts being other veggies. My first recipe was an American pale ale and then a California common recipe that I worked on for a couple years before I was happy with flavor and consistency. It's quite satisfying to nail it but it takes experimentation.

Good luck and hope all comes out well
 

Lefou

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I've never brewed with corn before, whazzat for?
Color and flavor, mostly.
You can't really find malted corn (big PITA) for brewing, so you can use boiled coarse corn meal, polenta (without preservatives) or grits in the mash. Corn starch works, too, but you need base malts with enough diastatic power to convert the carbs down.
I usually stick to base malts of barley and wheat, but corn can add some extras for American-style beers if you're not a strict purist.
 

catdaddy66

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Yeah, "free" or cloud-based apps are good but there are some really good pay calculators out there.
I use two freebies, Brewer's Friend on PC and Wort, which is an Android app.
Love Wort! I found it very easy to use and pretty darn accurate in its calculations. I did use an iPhone app called Fermenticus Brewlog that I got used to (took a bit longer) but the free version only allowed 5 recipes. Wort has no limit that I am aware of so that's a plus.
 

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