Finding Hombrew Recipes

When you first start out in homebrewing (assuming you start out using extract kits), recipes are very easy. The kits you purchase have everything you need. You want to make a stout? Purchase the stout kit. You’d rather a pale ale? Get the can of pale ale mix.

Once you become familiar with the brewing process and have gotten bored of just mixing extracts with water you may want to start trying out custom recipes. But where does one start?

Radical Brewing

Books

I’ve found that the real recipes to pay attention to are the ones available in homebrewing books. Some of the greatest recipes I’ve made have come from ‘Radical Brewing” by Randy Mosher. This book not only tells the story of beer in an interesting way, but provides many fantastic recipes you can try yourself.

Online

There are many fine online resources out there. Just Google ‘Homebrew Recipes’ and you’ll see there many sites dedicated to this. I will however provide you with the ones I’m familiar with:

Brewtoad, formerly Hopville is a modern and clean way to create your recipes and view others. Creating your own recipe or making a variant of another brewer’s is easy and beautiful. It also features several advanced tools for calculating alcohol, color and mash water needs.

Brewprint, also allows you to clone others recipes and make your own tweaks to it. I used to like its interface more than Hopville but have now jumped ship. A feature I really like with Brewprint is that after you’ve created your recipe, you can automatically order the ingredients. Very nice for the lazy such as myself.

Old-schoolers may appreciate the nod towards The Beer Recipator (http://hbd.org/cgi-bin/recipator/recipes) this is a longstanding archive of user submitted recipes. You can choose from almost any style and brewing method (extract, all-grain, extract w/grain).

I used this site a lot when I was starting out. The tough part about it is that all the recipes seem to blend together and it’s not easy to pick one to try. A lot of the brewers use strange and overly complex methods (at least for a noob) and they almost never describe the final TASTE of their recipe. So basically you are picking out recipes based on:

  1. How easy they for you to read and do on your own
  2. The name of the recipe. (I guess ‘Bob’s Awesome Cream Ale’ sounds good)

Overall though this site is a great resource and has a wonderful recipe builder that is especially helpful towards all-grain brewers.

Your Heart

It’s all fine and dandy to copy a recipe, brew it and enjoy it. But I find the real joy of homebrewing is in developing your own recipe. It’s OK to start with someone else’s recipe and then start to tweak it to your hearts content. How do you think Chef Boyardee got so popular? He based the recipe for Spaghetti-O’s off of a popular brand of cat foot in Italy!

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