Hi everyone, I’m relatively new to the brewing world. I’ve done two batches with recipes kits and would like to start trying to create my own. What are some tips/resources you’d recommend? I’m doing primarily extract brewing right now. Thanks!
I would figure out a style you are interested in, and then look at other peoples recipes to get started. I will generally look at 3 to 5 different recipes for a specific style and then go from there. You may also want to consider getting some brewing software to help keep your beer balanced. I’ve been using the mobile version of beersmith and it works well for recipe configuration.
Experience. The more you brew, the more you fine out what you like and might want to change to make it better.
Hi @broke_student I agree with the advice to figure out your style you want. I started as an extract brewer as well and I made some great beers. You have the wonderful chance to really learn what ingredients are like and how much to use because you will be using steeping grains with a base extract.
I recommend you make 2 batches of beer using the same extracts and hops but you steep with radically different grains in the beginning to change the flavor and color.
Here is a quick list of some of my favorite steeping grains. Google them to learn about their flavors and percentages.
Midnight Wheat, Crystal Wheat, Caramel Rye, Cara/Caramel/Crystal in all their different colors, Special B, Chocolate Malt, Coffee Malt, Flaked Oats (flaked anything), Honey Malt.
You can also steep all the base malts as well to tweak out your flavors.
I would say pick a steeping malt for color and/or a malt for flavor and then a malt for sweetness and foam retention and then switch it up. Use the same base extract and amount for a few beers and see how radical the change can be. Be cautious with all the smoked malts (I didn’t list any) they can be overpowering
Lots of great resources and information here on the forum so don’t be afraid to use the search feature and ask questions.
I second what @squeegeethree and @Grantmesteven said.
Think about what you want your beer to be. The style guides can be very helpful to point you at recipes so you can research the ingredients and understand what they can do for your beer. I tend to think of the malts as the backbone and the hops like the icing on the cake. Different yeasts can add or detract from your beer so make sure you read about and understand what your yeast is bringing to the party. Keep things balanced. The BU:GU ratio was a game changer for me. Don’t be afraid to exbeeriment and don’t sweat perceived mistakes. It’ll probably still be beer.
Mistakes I’ve made include: going wild with IBUs, not understanding my malts and their effect on the finished product, winging it, using too many varieties of hops so it’s a muddled mess, and many more.
Good luck and happy brewing!