Designing Great Beers

For anyone looking to take the “black magic” out of recipe formulation, I highly recommend Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels. I’m about half way through it and I’ve already learned a ton. ... reat+beers

Fantastic book. I used to read that book on a DAILY basis when I was in recipe research mode as it provides so many excellent insights. Most of the recipes I have designed to date (probably close to 100 of them) have some basis from that book but now I just tweak the same recipes to suit my own desires.

my favorite part is when he goes through the two examples of building up a recipe (I think a hefe and an american wheat maybe?). I really got a lot of out that, and always think in terms of gravity points and BU:GU ratio on Brewday.

6.5 gallons preboil at 1.054 gravity? 351 gravity points. If I want 5.5 gallons going into the fermenter, 351/5.5 = 63, my OG post-boil will be 1.064. Easy.

Great stuff.

Agreed, that is a great book and a tremendous resource when formulating recipes. Been a couple of years now since I’ve really pulled it out and taken a look at it but as already mentioned by others I still use the concepts from the book in formulating all my recipes.

I love this book! A while back the gf got it for me as a gift and I instantly took off with recipe development and haven’t looked back. I’m a bit of history nerd so I really like the background of each style that is presented and then section by section it is incredibly easy to understand what grain, mash temps, hops, yeast and water to use. Straight forward, easy to read and to use. I would always recommend this book to someone who wants to write recipes.

A great book, but keep in mind that it’s dated. A lot has changed in terms of ingredient availability since it was written. Many of the recipes in would be changed (and improved) if the ingredients and knowledge we have today were available when it was written. I recommend using it as only one source when designing a recipe. I like to compare several different sources then try to “average” a recipe out of all them.

I’d agree with that assessment. If I’m doing something from scratch I might look at this book first to kind of build an blueprint of where I want to go and then check out other recipes for the style as well as just a list of ingredients from Northern Brewer that might be able to be substituted or included to better the recipe.

Funny… that’s exactly what I used to do. Nowadays I’ll often try to make my own recipe from scratch, then research a little just to see if there’s any key ingredients that I might have missed.

Can you recommend more current books focused on designing recipes?

Can you recommend more current books focused on designing recipes?[/quote]

Probably the biggie these days is Jamil and John’s “Brewing Classic Styles”. Gordon Strong’s book (can’t recall the name) is good on philosophy of recipe design.

Randy Mosher’s “Radical Brewing” is still one of my faves. He will teach you how to think outside the box.