Recipe creation with extract

Does anyone create recipes while using extract?
Is that a thing?
I’m still an extract brewer. I have yet to make the monetary & time commitment to larger all-grain recipes. Whenever I talk to people or read online, it’s always all grain focused.
I won’t move up in brewing until I’ve tapped extract (or until my kids get out of the house), so do you know of any resources for extract brewing & recipe creation?

I want to tinker and play beyond a kit, I just don’t know where to start.

Yes. Yes.

As an update to a previous topic (link), I’ll suggest Randy Mosher’s book Mastering Homebrew - the Kindle ebook version is $3.99.

edit (1/19): revised link to make it more visible ( :persevere: ) in Safari on iOS.

I created a lot of recipes using extract. I left the kits pretty early on in my brewing and went to partial mash using a BIAB setup. That gave me a lot of flexibility without the commitment to all grain. Of course, it also made my brew days longer. You could get away with steeping specialty grains and using extract I suppose, that’s the same as a lot of kits. But if you add some base malt to the steeping grains and steep longer and at the right temperature, you’re doing a partial mash.

I always would look at recipes and ask for help on here, but would build my recipes using free software. I used Brewers Friend to put the recipe together and go from there. It worked well for me my first year of brewing. My second year I really didn’t do much with it because I was busy and couldn’t devote the time to what my brew days had become. This year has changed things, I’ve upgraded all of my equipment and gone all-grain, which has significantly shortened my brew days.

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All of the extract kits are recipes created using extract. Not trying to be a smart ass. :wink:

Starting with light extract, you can create a multitude of recipes by adding specialty grains,
various hops and schedules, and different yeast varieties.

Also, with MO and rye extract now available, you have more options without having to mash.

I’ve created extract, PM, and All-grain recipies. Oddly enough I found the extract recipes hardest to write, mostly because I wanted to stick to whole bottles of LME, and (to a lesser degree) whole pounds of DME. I don’t think I could have had any success without Beer Smith.

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Also, if you build a recipe, you can post it on here and ask for advice on how to tweak it. Or if you want to make something specific (like an Irish Red Ale), post up, I’m sure a lot of people on here would be willing to share what they have or convert their all-grain recipe to extract.

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Ok, this is great. Thanks for the input, everyone.
Very helpful. To start, I’m going to just read a lot more while paying attention to recipes & combinations, etc. I know don’t know what I don’t know, so I’m going to learn more instead of just diving in.

Haha, I dove in with both feet and didn’t look back.

FWIW, look up the BJCP style guidelines, they tell you a lot of details about each different style, not just the gravity and IBU range, but details on mouthfeel, some guides towards grains and hops to use, and commercial examples.

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Or use this (link) to brew something while reading.


I like to use the Brewers Friend recipe builder. The style guidelines are built in. At each step the recipe builder indicates where you are within or outside of the guide lines. Especially good for taking a known recipe and tweaking it a little to suit personal taste.

Oh and did you notice that every NB recipie is available in PDF. Quite the reference library. It’s perfectly valid to springboard off someone else’s recipe.

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This is a great way to start and just get your feet wet. If you’ve brewed a kit and thought it was good, but perhaps could have just a bit more (whatever), you can easily add or substitute one or two items and keep the rest of the recipe the same. That almost guarantees at least a decent beer, while giving you a feel for how to construct recipes to bring out the flavors you want.

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