Fundamentals in making your own recipe

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Stimmi, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. Stimmi

    Stimmi New Member

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    I started brewing a few months ago .Im already addicted and finally got to making some nice beers both by borrowing recipe and making my own with some fundamentals in mind with the help of the awesome recipe calculator.

    One thing i love is thinking about different ways i could make the recipes so Im trying to get a better feel for it. I am aware that its going to take a while before i have the different grains, hops and yeast strains in my head but im wondering if there resources for the fundamentals in recipe creation other than just matching a style as you can?

    Maybe something like
    -how different water-profiles affect your different types of beers
    -If there are any certain malts or hops that usually mix and perhaps some that will give bad flavors
    -How you can approximate the fermentation times in advance

    But these are just examples of the top of my head.
    Any resources are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    http://howtobrew.com/book/section-4/experiment/developing-your-own-recipes

    Really, that whole section can give you some good ideas.
    I also usually start with a good idea of what I want the end beer to be like, and work backwards from there.
    A good piece of advice is to keep things simple, just a few different malts and hops in a recipe. Too many different things and the taste just gets muddied and "brown"
     
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  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I would advise starting with something simple. The "How to Brew" reference JC talks about is a very good one. Start with something like a blonde ale and see what changes to the recipe do to the beer. More hops, a bit stronger, you have a pale ale. Add a bit of toasted malt and you have an amber. Add some color malt and you have a dark.... I personally like starting with a beer, a recipe, then tweaking it to make it my own. Other side, I was inspired by a Mexican dark draft to invent Mamacita's Mexican Dunkel, my roots in Kentucky led me to formulate an award-winning Kentucky common.... Once your process is absolutely solid, I mean no sanitation errors, clean water profiles, good fermentation control, then you know your recipe tweaks are working and once you know the ingredients, you can formulate just about everything from some targeted tasting.
     
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  4. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I third keep it simple stupid my go to Kiss method.
    Most beers ive brewed ive made myself but in colaboration with the combined wisdom from the fellow expierienced hombrewers here on this site. Over time ive begun to branch out on my own a bit but still flick the recipie up for the forums perusal incase i may have overlooked something. But the recipie is just 25% of the work the other 75% is brewing it fermenting it conditioning it and drinking it:).
     
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  5. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    All good advice. I also suggest looking into brewing some small batch SMaSH beers so you can get a feel for individual ingredients
     
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  6. Stimmi

    Stimmi New Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone! Good to get some feedback on this.
     
  7. Stimmi

    Stimmi New Member

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    In regards to the water profiles. How do you manage it? Do you just add salts or use filtered water to modify it? The whole water profile thing is still a mystery to me other than that it varies by location. And what do you mean by fermentation control? Is it mostly temperature, time and yeast strain?
     
  8. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I'm still trying to wrap my head around water adjustments, but I don't worry about it too much. As long as your water is good enough to drink, it should make good beer. But, the perfect water profile and a great recipe can still turn out bad due to sanitation or other process errors.
    Fermentation control, to me, is keeping a constant temperature that makes your yeast happy and do what you want to do. For instance, there are some yeasts that throw out esters and other flavors at the high or low end of their temp range. If you want those flavors, you adjust the temp accordingly
     
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  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Start by making sure you have no chlorine or chloramine getting into your beer. If you're in a place where they don't use chlorine to disinfect the water, great! Brew on (for now - we'll discuss water treatment at a much later date). You can dechlorinate municipal water with sodium metabisulfite, sold as Campden tablets. A half-tablet is good for most water supplies, assuming you're using about 10 gallons of water in your process. I use a whole tablet just because they're so small, it doesn't take a lot to dechlorinate water. Grind the tablet up and stir it in. Make sure you have some calcium, you can either use a teaspoon of gypsum (calcium sulfate) for hoppy beers or calcium chloride for malty beers to make sure you have enough calcium for the yeast to do their job.
     
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  10. Stimmi

    Stimmi New Member

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    Why the sulfate for hoppy beers and chloride for malty ones?
     
  11. thehaze

    thehaze Active Member

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    CaCl2 rounds up the flavours in the beer, giving it a smoother/fuller mouthfeel. Sulfate enhances the dryness of the beer, creating the apparent illusion/taste that it is more bitter than it actually is. When used properly, sulfate, along with other ( many ) equally important factors, will make a beer more drinkable, due to its apparent dryness.

    Sulfate is a great addition to " dry " and hoppier beer styles ( there are styles that are bitter by style, but not overly hoppy, like english bitters/ESBs ), due to the higher IBUs and the greater amounts of hops used.

    Higher levels of Chloride are desired in beer styles, where the accent is shifted towards the malts, although not neccessarily.

    NEIPAs are a style brewed with high amounts of Chloride, in order to soften the beer and round up the flavours, giving them a fuller/softer mouthfeel which balances out the very agressive hop schedule and insane amounts og hops used.

    I have tinkered with different water profiles and water additions and still do. All I can say, is you need to try as much as you can, in order to find out what you like. General knowledge and guidelines will help most brewers brew good and very good beers, but that does not mean you cannot try to do it in some other way. You are the brewer of your brewery. Experimenting should be one of the things you should employ when brewing. ;)
     
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  12. Stimmi

    Stimmi New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Great answer and thanks :)
     
  13. Medarius

    Medarius Active Member

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  14. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I've been doing it for a little over a year now and I still try to stick with simple beers. Fewer things to screw up.
     
  15. thehaze

    thehaze Active Member

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    I recommend reading through this: https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

    Martin also has a free water spreadsheet, which I personally use. I know many brewers rely on this spreadsheet and generally, they got extremely good results. Martin is also a regular on most major brewing forums and he will reply to threads related to brewing water. Most times, at least...
     

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