Formulating your beer recipe

Once you’ve decided what beer you’d like to make, it’s time to get the recipe in order. Many beer styles will have multiple variations of recipes all over the web for you to research, scrutinize, and use to fine tune your own!

I’ve uploaded this template for beginners that will allow to project some simple calculations with. It will calculate the OG using malts and sugars (your original gravity or sugar content) before you add yeast to your beer (inoculate), and the IBU (International Bittering Units) for you. Of course, Beer Smith is the standard for homebrewers… cheap, too! I recently found this program that’s open source and free: Brewtarget

When trying to get the best idea of what your beer is going to taste like, it’s critical to try to hit targets for how much alcohol is produced and how much sugar is left over. You can determine this by factoring OG (starting sugar concentration) example: a 1.060 reading using a hydrometer means 6% total sugar. It’s important to remember that not all sugar in beer is fermentable. The higher your mash temp is, the more ‘unfermentable’ sugars are created, giving the beer a permanent sweetness. Great primer on this subject here. Don’t forget the water quality! It’s a critical element of how your beer is going to turn out, and there is a great resource on the subject here.

Here is another great visual resource for determining the gravity ranges for the beer you’ve decided to brew!

To determine how much alcohol is produced, read the manufacturer’s details for whichever yeast you decide on. This is a fantastic guide for yeast use.

Last, but definitely not least, your water profile is essential to know for predicting how the flavor is going to turn out. Brewer’s Friend lists this by city, and here is a fantastic primer in terms of water additions for certain styles.


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