Best Source for Recipes

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by BierMePlease, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. BierMePlease

    BierMePlease Initiate (128) Dec 16, 2014 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    Lets be honest...BA's recipe forum is a little on the weak side. I'd like to hear preferred methods of finding new recipes to try and tweak. Yes a lot of you experienced home brewers just make it up from scratch but I'm not quite that advanced. I like taking a recipe and then making adjustments to it.
  2. csurowiec

    csurowiec Devotee (429) Mar 7, 2010 Maryland

    My method for brewing is the same as it is for cooking. I find and read 5-6 recipes taking note of the best aspects of each then formulate my own recipe using what think are the best parts. With that said I use this site, Homebrew Talk, American Homebrewers Association, mostly and then other sites google feeds me to find recipes. The basic google search of something like "English brown ale recipe" can give you a bunch of recipes to read but you need to understand the process enough to decipher which recipes work and which are crap.
    Supergenious and crcostel like this.
  3. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Devotee (470) Apr 16, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    When I write a recipe I often start by taking a look at Brewing Better Beer by Gordon Strong. Sometimes I also reference Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainasheff. Next I think of an example of a beer I like, thinking about what I like and I don't. I may even Google if there's a clone. Then I kinda put it all together. Take a basic structure and amend.
    wspscott and Soneast like this.
  4. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Moderator (1,271) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    What exactly are you wanting to make? Keep in mind that BA's recipe forum is still quite young compared to others. Many of us on here also have blogs where we store the bulk (if not all) of our recipes.
  5. Tebuken

    Tebuken Disciple (326) Jun 6, 2009 Argentina

  6. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,189) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Premium Member

    I like to brew clone recipes for beers that I'll probably not have the opportunity to find on a store shelf, so I use the book CloneBrews. Or if I can't find a recipe there, I've always found version(s) of the clone recipes on the internet somewhere. The clone book has ingredients/procedures for all recipes for extract, mini-mash and all-grain brewing. I've used it too to brew beers that I can get in my local store just to taste for comparison which is fun. Most have been close to the real thing, and all have been good.

    FeDUBBELFIST Meyvn (1,085) Oct 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    American Homebrewers Association website has a recipe section for NHC winning entries that is a good place to get ideas.
    jbakajust1 likes this.
  8. Soneast

    Soneast Crusader (756) May 9, 2008 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    Pretty much my process as well. Although to be honest I have brewed several awesome recipes that are posted in BA's recipe forum. As well as a couple that were posted in the forums, but not in the recipe database. Don't discount it.
    InVinoVeritas likes this.
  9. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Devotee (470) Apr 16, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    Must be a Wisconsin thing; the brats, cheese curds, beer and the Go, Pack, Go, has programed us to think alike haha
    Soneast likes this.
  10. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,148) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I usually hit the bjcp style guidelines and Designing Great Beers as well. I don't usually clone beers, or follow recipes for that matter. I typically start with the style, and brew a simple recipe based off of that.
    GormBrewhouse and FeDUBBELFIST like this.
  11. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Disciple (329) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    I don't need no stinking beer style judge!,!, lol.

    And I never have seen the style guide lines. I do ,like @SFACRKnight , start with a style and go from there. Style have been picked up from beer smith, brew monkey and reading a lot of side panels off of recipe kits. Then there is a great forem like this where folks openly discuss recipes, what they like, don't like and some really like to fine tune things like water, timing of hops, use of different bug, bacteria and more.

    Lots of info here and other site, but defiantly don't discount this recipe site. My fav is @JohnSnowNW house pale
    JohnSnowNW, Tebuken and SFACRKnight like this.
  12. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,489) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    Permit me to recommend the book Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels. It is not a book of recipes but it provides very good guidance on how to formulate a beer recipe for given styles of beers.

  13. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,045) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    "Good artists copy; great artists steal."

    Find your favorite examples of the styles you want to brew and then steal their recipes (and processes).
    BierMePlease likes this.
  14. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (740) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    "Best Source for Recipes" ...experience and experiment :rolling_eyes:

    "We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it—and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again—and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore. "

    Mark Twain
  15. BierMePlease

    BierMePlease Initiate (128) Dec 16, 2014 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    lol love the quote, and there is absolute truth to experience and experimenting but man...waiting 4-6 weeks for a failed attempt sure is a waste of time. I hear ya though, cheers.
    GreenKrusty101 likes this.
  16. minderbender

    minderbender Aspirant (218) Jan 18, 2009 New York

    I'll put in a word for the Mad Fermentationist blog. Mike Tonsmeire writes excellent recipe notes and the nice thing is that he typically writes up a review of the beer later so you can see his impressions of how it turned out (check the bottom of a recipe post for a link to the tasting notes). The other cool thing is that he'll often brew several iterations of the same basic recipe, changing a few variables as he refines the recipe. All of his recipes are compiled on one page.
  17. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (740) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    I'm not saying blindfold the cat...proper preparation and anticipation can give the cat a fighting chance. :slight_smile:
  18. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,173) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    what is probably the best resource to go for those still doing extract brewing recipes (beginners)? I've done some steeping grains + LME or DME but that's where my equipment is current at and plan to stay here for a while.
    GormBrewhouse likes this.
  19. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,395) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I'd say probably "Brewing Classic Styles." Or, if you see an all grain recipe you like on the recipe forum (or wherever), convert it. Plenty of people here can help you do that.
  20. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,173) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Beer Trader


    Was thinking of trying a Kolcsh for the first time for a nice summer brew, but I've been kinda blah on the style with exception to Victory's Kuhl Kolsch and Sierra Nevada's Kolsch which were my 2 stand outs. If I can find extract recipes similar to those 2 I'd be good with trying that.
    GormBrewhouse likes this.
  21. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,489) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    Permit me to share my personal opinion here. If you enjoy a prominent Pilsner malt flavor like bready malt flavor than brewing an extract Kolsch will not be for you.

    There are Pilsner malt extracts available but for the most part they are neutral in flavor.

    Needless to say but: your choice.

  22. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,704) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Premium Member

    OK. So you brewed all the recipes on the BA Recipe Subforum and confirmed that they were weak. Now you are asking the forum that contributed those weak recipes where all the good recipes are. :wink: Yes, we're holding out. We only post the weak recipes and hog up all the good ones for ourselves!

    All kidding aside, I do like the approach you suggest of taking a good recipe and making small adjustments to it to learn what they do and maybe to feel a little more ownership, too. Although Brewing Classic Styles is turns 10 years old this year, I think it is a great book for this purpose. It includes extract and all grain versions of recipes that are tried and true. You can brew them as is, or you can tweak them and be pretty confident that your recipe is good.

    Recipe is just the tip of the iceberg, so don't get too hung up on it, but having a good recipe is a helpful step that allows you to then focus on improving beers through better process.
    GormBrewhouse likes this.
  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,489) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    But here is the thing, one persons "failed attempt" is another person's best beer ever.

    The challenge is that only you know what you enjoy and seek in a particular batch of beer. I could provide you the 'best' recipe for beer style A and if you accurately recreated that beer you might state: that recipe was a "waste of time".

    You really are going to have to make the effort to learn multiple things, for example:
    • Which ingredients and brewing process 'defines' a given beer style/batch
    • What your personal preferences are for a given style/batch
    • etc.
    The best aspect of homebrewing is that you get to choose how to brew a given style of beer using your preferred methods.

    Just brewing per homebrewer's X recipe (or commercial brewery's Y alleged recipe) will not entirely get you there.

    As the old Mazda commercial stated: Life's a journey, enjoy the ride!!:slight_smile:

    GormBrewhouse and csurowiec like this.