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Tried & True Recipes

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by bifrost17, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. bifrost17

    bifrost17 Initiate (0) Washington Dec 16, 2011

    So I'm pretty new (ish) to homebrewing. I've helped one of my buddies brew about 5 batches, and now I've got 3 solo batches under my belt. So far every beer I've brewed has been a different style, just kind of experimenting as I get into homebrewing. I was just wondering if any of you more experienced homebrewers have some recipes that you brew on a pretty consistent basis, that you just have perfectly dialed in and you know what it's gonna turn out like every time. I'm hoping that once I get a 2 keg kegerator setup that I'll be able to constantly have one beer on tap that is consistently the same, probably something like a hoppy pale ale, or an ESB.
  2. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (425) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    Jamil Z's Kolsch ale with a touch of acid malt to lower your pH. If you're extract brewing you won't have to worry about this. It's beautiful after 3 months. Use the Wyeast.
    His dry stout is fantastic too. One of these is ALWAYS on tap at my house.

    " I'm hoping that once I get a 2 keg kegerator setup that I'll be able to constantly have one beer on tap that is consistently the same, probably something like a hoppy pale ale, or an ESB."

    That won't happen. :)
  3. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Advocate (535) Minnesota May 11, 2007

    102 batches under my belt, and not a single re-brew. But, I brew pretty simple recipes, so the malt bill is often the same or very close to others I have brewed before. I do a lot of pale ales (IPA, APA, ESB) and use much of the same ingredients in them, sometimes the percentages are just a bit different...and the hops are almost always different.
    CASK1 and bifrost17 like this.
  4. bifrost17

    bifrost17 Initiate (0) Washington Dec 16, 2011


    I brew all grain, I'll be sure to check that recipe out. Why won't my idea happen??? Haha are you thinking I'll get bored of having one constant beer? You might be right....
  5. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Advocate (535) Minnesota May 11, 2007

    I have a two tap kegerator, I think this is a big reason I never do the same batch twice. As far as commercial beer I do keep much of the same around, so homebrew seems to give me my variety.
    inchrisin likes this.
  6. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (425) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    You'll need a 9-15 cubic ft keezer before you keep one beer on tap all the time.
  7. bifrost17

    bifrost17 Initiate (0) Washington Dec 16, 2011

    Ahhhh okay, I never thought of it that way. I guess if I want a constant consistent beer around I can just rely on commercial breweries, and use homebrewing as an outlet for creativity and experimentation. Thanks for the wisdom my friend!
  8. bifrost17

    bifrost17 Initiate (0) Washington Dec 16, 2011

    I've got the space for that.
    inchrisin likes this.
  9. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Advocate (535) Minnesota May 11, 2007

    If you have the space, go bigger as you will eventually want to anyway. I would love four taps of homebrew on at all times, but space is an issue.

    Another point, if you're new to homebrewing a tried and true recipe would probably help early on. I had a lot of mis steps in my first couple years because I was fixated on the "next" beer and less on the process. Once I simplified and focused on the process my beer became great.
  10. wspscott

    wspscott Savant (490) Kentucky May 25, 2006

    I agree with this, if you have the space, make a keezer. I have 6 taps on the keezer in the garage with space for an extra 2 cornies. I frequently think that another 2 taps would be nice.

    For a basic recipe, 10lbs Marris Otter and 1/2lb of caramel malt (change this up depending on what you feel like, i.e. C20 or C60 or a little C20 and a little C120 and so on). Try Wyeast 1272, 1450, 1968, 1028 for yeast. Go american or english (or a mix) for hops. I like hoppy PAs, so I aim for .75 -1 BU:GU, with lots of late additions. A good experiment would be same number of IBUs, but Centennial for 1 beer and Goldings for another. Then you can try different mash temps, 148 vs 154 and in between.

    hope this helps
  11. bifrost17

    bifrost17 Initiate (0) Washington Dec 16, 2011

    Thank you all for the tips and advice!
  12. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (425) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    This is exactly what he DIDN'T want :p Tried and True not Throw some Darts. While your advice is good for a novice homebrewer, it's also great that he wants to get a few brews under his belt, learn his process and drink some confidence-building beers in the process. Pony up, bud!
  13. scurvy311

    scurvy311 Savant (355) Louisiana Dec 3, 2005

    I would also add, pick up a copy of Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Z. and John P. These are all award winning brews from every style in extract and all grain for each.
    jsullivan02130 likes this.
  14. uptomonto

    uptomonto Disciple (60) Indiana Dec 15, 2012

    I'll second the rec for getting a copy of "Brewing Classic Styles". The recipes are proven, and provide a great basis from which to either copy exactly or to experiment and develop your own take on a classic style. Myself, I'm trying to dial in on a great Pale Ale, based on Jamil's, which I hope to make my constant. BUT, I keep adjusting the recipe a little each time I brew it (every 2-3 batches) and hope soon to nail it down. But then again do we ever reach a point where we stop experimenting?
  15. TIMMYJ21

    TIMMYJ21 Aficionado (210) Minnesota Apr 29, 2010

    Honestly that jamil book is good ,but those are old school award winning recipes 5 to 6 years ago., the stuff that's brought to competitions now is a bit different now a days, great for getting a base idea and going from there. Homebrew talk.com is a great resourse, lots of recipes and new winning recipes with in depth process
  16. scurvy311

    scurvy311 Savant (355) Louisiana Dec 3, 2005

    I don't disagree that it may be a little "old school" to use your language, but a homebrewer that is just starting out would take years to get where that book will get you for a few dollars and a few batches. I'll never recommend that book to go to GABF, but if you need proven recipes so that you can take your system and homebrew quicker to where you want it to be without brewing the same batch 20 times, Brewing Classic Styles is a great start. The title says it all..."classic" styles...not guaranteed winners. It was never inferred or implied that the OP or myself were going for competition beers. He wanted recipes that, to paraphrase, "would turn out good every time". How many times do we see discussions from every new brewer, to there credit, wanting to come up with there own recipe and they want to use 3# of "crystal something" for a recipe. It would take many batches to dial that back to a level that was satisfactory...or he or she could just start from a point supplied by Brewing Classic Styles.

    I do agree with you when you said
    which is really all the OP asked and the only thing I implied.
  17. the recipes in jamils book are solid recipes but they are no where near impressive. they are good but wont blow you out of the water. look for the 5star recipes with tons of comments in the homebrewtalk recipe database
  18. Picking a really solid recipe and rebrewing it a lot is one of the best ways, if not the best way, to nail down your process. You know what the recipe should taste like each time and you'll be able to trace variance and errors in your process to a taste. You'll also be able to pinpoint the errors and correct them.

    That said, I don't do this because I don't drink enough/have people come over to drink enough to go through that much beer and I want to experiment almost as much as I want to make good beer. I have rebrewed a very small number of beers over the past three, almost four years. I make a recipe, brew it, figure out what I want to change, note it and then never end up coming back to rebrew it. There are a handful of exceptions but I have at least a couple years worth of recipes I would like to brew before I come back around to some of my older recipes.
  19. yinzer

    yinzer Savant (385) Pennsylvania Nov 24, 2006

    There is nothing wrong with BCS. Just like a Pro-brewer has no qualms over sharing his recipes, partly because anyone who could actually clone it wouldn't take advantage - I think that it might be an advantage if the recipes are a bit pedestrian. Which they aren't. Sometimes the KISS approach is the best.
  20. My German Pilsner. Simple ingredients, fairly involved process = a great beer.

    Process is part of any recipe.
  21. I make a pale wheat ale where I use the same grain bill and mix up the hops each time. I think about 4 batches ago I hit the perfect combo for this beer and will rebrew it at some point but as for right now I keep mixing it up to find a couple more good combos.
  22. Biermuncher's 'Centennial Blonde' is one I've made a few times. Everyone loves it, kegs don't last long. I have made variations of this substituting in different hops (amarillo, citra, sterling) all with nice results too.

    Batch Size: 5.50 gal
    Boil Size: 6.57 gal
    Estimated OG: 1.040 SG
    Estimated Color: 3.9 SRM
    Estimated IBU: 21.5 IBU
    Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.0 %
    Boil Time: 60 Minutes

    Ingredients:
    ------------
    Amount
    7.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)
    0.75 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM)
    0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM)
    0.50 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)
    0.25 oz Centennial [9.50%] (55 min)
    0.25 oz Centennial [9.50%] (35 min)
    0.25 oz Cascade [7.80%] (20 min)
    0.25 oz Cascade [7.80%] (5 min)
    1 Pkgs Nottingham (Danstar #-) (Hydrated)
    Mash at 150 degrees for 60 minutes.

    Original post: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f66/centennial-blonde-simple-4-all-grain-5-10-gall-42841/
  23. Here's the thing . . . having beers that come out consistently & tried & true every time has very little to do with the recipe. There are hundreds of thousands of great recipes out there, many are as simple as one grain and one hop, like a Munich Helles. If you want consistent, dialed in beer, brew & brew lots . . . It is all about your brewing & fermentation process. Those matter many, many times more than your recipe. Great, well-practiced brewers can take an all pilsner malt & 1 bittering addition of hops & make something transcendent. Brewers with poor process will make something undrinkable.

    You should especially pay attention to you fermentation temperature & the amount of yeast you're pitching. Those will do more to make every beer you brew really good than anything else.
    bifrost17 and hopfenunmaltz like this.
  24. You could make kits of ingredients, have 10 people brew the same beer "recipe" on their system with their procedures and identical ingredients, and have the result of beers that would have a spread of 20 points if judged. Essentially you would have 20 similar but different beers.

    Pros like Vinnie Cilurzo will give out his Pliny recipe, and say that you will make something similar, but not the same. If you listen to the Can You Brew It on the Brewing Network, they often have to work on process as the brewer will give them a good ingredients list. Edit - and Tasty and Jamil are top notch brewers.
  25. Am I missing something? Why do you can't you use a kegorator?
  26. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Advocate (535) Minnesota May 11, 2007

    Huh?
  27. If you have a kegorator with two taps, why can't one of the kegs be filled with a specific type of beer? What am I missing here?
  28. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Advocate (535) Minnesota May 11, 2007

    Yeah, no problem with that if you like keeping one beer on at all times. I have a hard time not continually mixing it up with my two tapper. But, I assume if I had four taps I may have a "house beer" on at all times, since there is plenty of room for variety on the other three taps. There are a couple guys in my club that brew the same recipe very often, but the majority is always brewing something different.
  29. Yeah sorry, I just misread it. When inchrisin said he would need a 9 - 15 cuft freezer, my brain processed it as there is some kind of space issue with two kegs, so he couldn't keep on filled and tapped all the time.
    I agree completely with "It won't happen."
    I just misread it as "It can't happen."
    mnstorm99 likes this.
  30. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (780) Texas May 21, 2010

    I've been keeping it simple too, and my results are getting better (although everything's been at least drinkable, lol). Most of my target gravities are with 2-3 points (OG) and 1-2 points (FG). Also, I've been keeping it simple (moderate ABV) so that freezer spaces opens on a regular basis. Right now I can only have 2 batches going at a time, so making space counts for something.

    My SMaSH petite saison was only 2 gravity points out, and the temp was within 1 degree on adding strike water. I'm still focused on process.

    I'd echo that you can brew the same basic recipe but vary yeast and hops for billyuns of combos, enough to never get bored.
  31. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (780) Texas May 21, 2010

    I'm on batch III of a blonde ale, soon to be batch IV. Kinda a "house beer" because people have been really digging it. Slowly working on perfecting it. Last time used a whole pound of corn, looked great when bottling yesterday and gravity got all the way down to 1.006 (not completely sure that was the corn, lol, yeast was s-04).
  32. wspscott

    wspscott Savant (490) Kentucky May 25, 2006

    I disagree that this is the opposite of what he asked for. Within reason, every possible combination of what I suggested will make a hoppy pale ale AND would allow for some variety AND let help someone learn the ingredients.

    OK, is this better? :)

    10lbs Marris Otter and 1/2lb C40, 1oz of Centennial FWH and 2oz at 10min and 0 min, mash at 152, Wyeast 1272, watch the fermentation temps.
    inchrisin likes this.

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