There are three key points when it comes to building your recipe from scratch. Flavour, aroma, mouthfeel. These three points of course are the most important points when looking at it from a BJCP perspective that aren’t covered by simple numbers… well, except for the flavour of bitterness, but even that can be inaccurate if other bitter ingredients are introduced, like cocoa. Read more
The colour of your beer can answer a number of questions, and as a consequence, has a bunch of information related to it in order to properly measure it. Maybe not perfectly, but you can get a general idea. Many beer styles are defined by colour, so it is a good idea to get a general understanding as to how this can be calculated. Read more
The IBU is an acronym for International Bittering Units. The number one contributor to IBUs is hops, and those can be easily calculated simply because there are tons of formulas out there to help us figure that out. That and the hop growers were nice enough to tell us how much alpha acids, the main bittering agent in hops, there are as a percentage of the weight of the hop. Read more
The gravity of your beer is one of the most critical components of recipe formulation. The gravity of distilled water is 1. The more soluble sugars make their way into solution, the heavier the wort. It then goes to say that the heavier the wort, the more alcohol you will probably get out of your beer when fermentation is complete. Read more
Lately, I’ve decided to begin expanding my horizons in making fine alcoholic beverages. My latest foray has been mead. After using a lot of honey in beers, I figured it was time to actually use honey as the showpiece. It wasn’t simply that, but every time I stop by the Fallen Timber Meadery in Water Valley, I always get treated to great samples of quality meads. I figure since I like their mead so much, might as well grab another bucket of their honey.
This series will cover two main topics as it pertains to building your homebrew recipe from scratch. We will use a BJCP style guideline to illustrate these points.
When I build a recipe looking at these style guidelines, I always look at the vital statistics of the beer first. This is where you get your fancy abbreviations like OG, FG, IBU, SRM and ABV. For the sake of clarity:
OG = Original Gravity, typically used to describe the weight of the wort before fermentation. This will generally indicate total soluble sugars in the wort, but will not tell you the kind of sugars. Read more
This is a recipe that had won me a gold medal in the category for stouts for the Cowtown YeastWranglers Homebrew Roundup. It originally started with a trip to the Fallen Timber Meadery, where I ended up meeting Colin Ryan and some of his employees. We enjoyed a good chat, and bored the heck out of the kids for about an hour, but part of that day involved a good chat by the fermenters, and a sampling of some of their homebrews. Read more
Ok, this one was kind of out there and unique, and I’m certainly not someone to shy away from such challenges. This is what is says in the title. An apple pie wheat beer. The result, as some would say, tastes like apple pie. This beer was designed meticulously to try and replicate as much of an apple pie flavour as I could including the crust, while still tasting like a beer. In the case of this beer, I think I was about 80% successful, and I may make some modifications on my next revision. Read more
The One IPA’d Bandit was a recipe of mine conceived initially primarily by my desire to finally brew an actual IPA. Though meant to be an IPA, it ended up more like an India amber ale. I just don’t know how to stick to a style, and the more you might get to know me, the more you notice I tend to try and fuze things. A great example of this of course was my India black ale recipe, and my Raptured Abby trappist ale, which was said to be a combination of a Belgian dubbel and trippel (or as the boys called it, a dippel). As I continue to brew beer and post recipes, you’ll probably see how following the rules isn’t my style (most of the time)… Read more