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Stauffbier

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What do you do more often? Design your own recipes or use recipes from other sources such as books, kits, or internet?

My last 20 (or so) batches have been;
- one kit
- 3 recipes from HBT
- the rest designed by myself
 

Jayhem

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I always start with a known good recipe and tweak it to suit my taste.
 
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Stauffbier

Stauffbier

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I always start with a known good recipe and tweak it to suit my taste.
I've done this as well, but I usually end up tweaking it so much that it isn't anything like the original recipe.

I will say that designing my own recipes has taught me a lot about making beer. Sure, I've made some bad recipes, but I also learned what made them bad in the process. It's a great way to learn what not to do. I've also made some really good ones, too.

In the end it was all a good learning experience, and I get to drink the fruits of my labor (even if the fruit isn't always at it's best.. haha). These days my process and quality seem to be pretty consistant. I like the beer I make. I don't do too much crazy experimenting anymore...
 

Airborneguy

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Mostly my own at this point. I'll sometimes reference books that I have to get an idea of what I want to brew, but usually end up changing the grain percentages to my taste. I don't do this to be "different" though. I just know what I want from my beers and have a decent handle on how to get it with the various grains available.
 
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Stauffbier

Stauffbier

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I don't do this to be "different" though. I just know what I want from my beers and have a decent handle on how to get it with the various grains available.
This sums it up well for me, too!
 

kh54s10

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I also look at recipes or the ingredients in kits. Then I use Beersmith and my inventory and make substitutions as needed.

One of my best beers was a brown ale that was made from leftovers. I looked at recipes and tweaked until it looked good. It was!
 

Brulosopher

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I haven't brewed anything but my own recipes since my very first batch in 2002, an Irish Red Ale kit from North Corner Brew Supply in Bellingam, WA.
 
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Stauffbier

Stauffbier

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Now that I think of it the one kit I bought was also tweaked. It was an English Porter kit that I added grilled pumpkin and spices to.
 

stpug

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Lately, I start by reading the description of a style on the BJCP, then I start compiling a recipe based on description using ingredients that seem to fit and mostly from the region the style comes from, then I'll use BS to help me dial in a recipe using it's fancy style calculator, then I'll get on HBT do some comparisons of what I've just created to some other creations and make final adjustments, and lastly I'll try to use ingredients I have in inventory if it fits the bill. Sometimes the adjustments are small and sometimes not so small :D

I'll sometimes use someone else's recipe, but I usually end up modifying a little bit for various reasons (inventory mostly). Most recently I used BMs Captain Hooked on Bitters recipe as a model but used all american ingredients so it's an american-style esb (as opposed to an apa), and with a slight tweak to the grainbill. I gotta say it's tasting fantastic for day 13!!

When I started brewing, before the internet, I designed all my own recipes. I've ALWAYS enjoyed the hobby but the outcomes was not as rewarding back then :D
 

Phunhog

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I usually take a proven recipe and tweak it a little to my preference or based on the ingredients I have on hand. I know that I am different than a lot of brewers in that I don't usually build a recipe from the ground up. I take what has worked well for others and use that for a "base" recipe with some subtle tweaks.
 
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Stauffbier

Stauffbier

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Honestly I think I enjoy the design process as much or more than the brewing process.
I enjoy it, too. It's rewarding when something you concoct turns out to be really good.
 

45_70sharps

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I've done both but at this point I mostly do a recipe or a slight variation on one.
I've had good luck with extract recipes I've made but since starting all grain a while ago I've been sticking to proven recipes.
 

tally350z

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I find something that I like as far as a recipe goes, and then adjust one or two things. I am still in the learning process of styles and what grain cominations make up that particular style.
 

Brulosopher

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I'll usually design a beer from scratch using BeerSmith, then check it against other recipes in or around the style I'm shooting for (at BeerSmithRecipes or Hopville). I don't usually change much, maybe adjust mash temp or tweak the time I add some hops, but usually I'm more interested in comparing what I've developed with others. I have a rough idea of how much, in percentages, I like to add of the different types of grains per style, so that is what usually gets me going.

Cheers!
 

BrewinHooligan

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I have only been brewing for a year and started out strictly following recipes. I started to tweak things based on my tastes a few months ago and now that I have brewed enough batches to know what ingredient does what to the beer I am starting to design my own recipes around the 5lb hop supply in my freezer. The recipe I use for a California Common will never be tweaked though becuase it is too good as is to mess with other than doing a FWH for the first hop addition.
 

Xpertskir

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I usually take a proven recipe and tweak it a little to my preference or based on the ingredients I have on hand. I know that I am different than a lot of brewers in that I don't usually build a recipe from the ground up. I take what has worked well for others and use that for a "base" recipe with some subtle tweaks.
Ditto.
 

Calichusetts

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All mine...I did like 6-10 kits to start. I get an idea by looking at some recipes online or in a book but start with my own. General stick to only a few recipies til I get what I want, so by the 5th or 6th time brewing it, its usually pretty different than even my original
 

shutupjojo

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A week or two before I brew I'll sit down and play with the recipe on paper for a few evenings after the kids go to bed then plug it into beersmith and tweak it until I'm happy with it. About 90% of my beers are my own creations but there are a so many hop varieties now that it makes it much more interesting. In the early 90's we didn't have as many hops or grains to choose from. I look forward to creating a recipe as much as I do actually brewing the beer.
 

grathan

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I don't like to make my own recipes. I even get upset with having to substitute an ingredient I can't get. I'm only about 20 batches in.

I do choose recipes that may highlight some ingredient I may wanna try though.
 

Revvy

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Depends. Most of the time I do a lot of research and look at other recipes, then design my own. Unless it's an experimental recipe which usually is from scratch...But sometimes if I see a recipe that looks good, or I know is good, I'll brew that. For example the IPA I brew is the Two hearted ale clone on here from eschatz.
 
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Stauffbier

Stauffbier

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I do a lot of tweaking on other peoples recipes too. A good example... I'm brewing my own version of BM's Cream of Three Crops. I tweaked the grain amounts. I'm using instant grits. I'm using a different bittering hop, and lastly I'm using a different yeast. As mentioned by many in this thead, my tweaking is mainly due to what I have in stock.
 

BeerBDrew

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I almost always design my own. Recent exception, I needed a 2nd beer (jockey box has two faucets) for my 1st child's 1st birthday party (also made 20 lbs pulled pork and about 40 burgers :rockin:) to match my continental style lagerish-ale. Ended up brewing BM's October Fast, which went over quite well (thanks BM!).

But I almost never brew the same recipe twice. I guess I'm more interested in trying something I haven't tried before than in perfecting something I have done. Eventually I think I'll do more re-brews, but so far the only beer I've re-brewed as-is is the aforementioned continental style lagerish-ale.
 
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Stauffbier

Stauffbier

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The only thing I've brewed more than once is my house amber. I've brewed it as per recipe 3 times, and I also use it as the base recipe for my pumpkin amber and my pfeffernusse amber (christmas ale)....
 

Golddiggie

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First two were modified kits from the LHBS. #7 was a clone recipe. The rest have been all mine. :D

I might look at reference material to see what the style normally contains, but then I build my own recipe with what I like to use.
 

emmdubb23

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I only formulate my own recipes, when I use someone else's, it never comes out as good to me, I have a couple of books and the web as a reference.
 

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