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BlackArtBrewing

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Im just waiting on delivery of a synergy brew system from the states, once it arrives ill be straight into brewing, but before it arrives i want to design my own recipe and just get a bit of local knowledge on All Grain brewing.

how do hops interact with one another? i love my beers really hoppy, is there something i need to consider when choosing the types of hops, and the quantity used? say if i choose a basic American IPA recipe and double the hops i put in, will i need to add more of other ingredients? and have you any suggestions for writing my own recipes?

and is there any other tips you guys can give me for AGB.

please nobody suggest that i do an extract brew to begin with because im not interested in it. there's always a common flavour in extract brews and i dont like it. i want complete control and i want to be creative.
 

Lakey

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I think you are jumping the gun a bit by wanting to design your own recipe on your maiden brew. I will give you the advice I got when I started ag and that was to keep it simple, at least for the first few brews untill you get to know your system. Try something like a smash (single malt and single hop) beer which will help you get a taste for the certain hops you like and dont like. With the hop additions you have the early in the boil additions which impart only bitterness, then you have late in the boil additions which impart some more bitterness and flavour, then you have flameout and dry hopping additions which will impart flavour and aroma. Anyway like I said for the first couple of brews keep it simple, it will still taste better than any kit beer you have done.
 

Bribie G

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I've moved to a new town and despite being a 4-year AG brewer, I'm actually doing exactly what Lakey suggests for my first brew here - mainly to get a feel for the local water profile and to check that everything survived the interstate move.

I'm doing a slightly more robust Corona lookalike (lager malt, Galena Hops) as I have a few people here already I need to impress :p . However in your case if you like it hoppy, and like a blonde beer then you could do worse than a single base malt only brew with Cascade (NZ Cascade Flowers are lovely, I reckon they out-Cascade the USA ones :) ) and bitter to about 40 IBU and add plenty of late hops, and ferment with US-05 or a Wyeast American ale yeast.

A good starting point is to download BrewMate which is free, and is the only software I regularly use nowadays.
 

vortex

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please nobody suggest that i do an extract brew to begin with because im not interested in it. there's always a common flavour in extract brews and i dont like it. i want complete control and i want to be creative.
You sound like me. From day one I wanted to do all-grain, as the making of the actual wort was what interested me most. I was learning about all-grain before I even had any equipment to do anything (even simple extract). However, the one thing I did learn before brewing anything was that 'making the wort' was just one part of the entire brewing process - and that it was very VERY important to ensure that your cleaning, sanitation and yeast management was up to scratch. You can make the best, most balanced IPA in the world but if your sanitation and yeast practices aren't right then the beer won't turn out fantastic. Another major factor in good beer is controlling your fermentation temps, though you can get by without it for a while as you're learning.

I did move to all-grain very quickly however (2nd batch), and the beer was fantastic.

So, I'm going to suggest that you do a couple of extract batches first; not all extract has 'the twang', as has been proven many many times in various competitions around the world, and if you start with quality extract, ferment it properly (correct yeast pitching rate, good sanitation practices) it will end up being a good drinkable beer.

My final suggestion is to start with an existing recipe, brew it exactly as the recipe says, and then adjust things one at a time for subsequent brews so you can see what affect the changes have. As you learn what hops and malts do what, you can start to get creative from there.
 

pmastello

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Im just waiting on delivery of a synergy brew system from the states, once it arrives ill be straight into brewing, but before it arrives i want to design my own recipe and just get a bit of local knowledge on All Grain brewing.

how do hops interact with one another? i love my beers really hoppy, is there something i need to consider when choosing the types of hops, and the quantity used? say if i choose a basic American IPA recipe and double the hops i put in, will i need to add more of other ingredients? and have you any suggestions for writing my own recipes?

and is there any other tips you guys can give me for AGB.

please nobody suggest that i do an extract brew to begin with because im not interested in it. there's always a common flavour in extract brews and i dont like it. i want complete control and i want to be creative.
I completely agree with the previous two posters. I was similar to you when I first got into AG, super keen to be creative and make my own recipes. Its a downer to have beer after beer turn out crap, but you have no real idea why its crap, and what you should change next time.
After about 3-4 brews of "Creativity" I gave it up and got Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil and brewed them almost exclusively. After I got to know those recipes really well in addition to knowing my brew system, I was able to identify one aspect to change in the recipe and then see what change it would make.
And there lies the answer to your original question of knowing about what hops go together. Its not something that can be simply explained in a spreadsheet or forum post. There are over 40 different hops out there and more are being bred each year. The only way to really know, is to brew with them and brew beers that you already know that work. Learn from what hops you have used before.
Patience is a virtue in brewing, whether its leaving your beer on the yeast for another week to make sure its don or brewing a simple pale ale before you brew a triple decocted, brett spiked, spiced Belgian quad IPA. Learn to walk before you run.
 

bum

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Going against the grain here but it has pretty much always worked out that I'm never more disappointed in my beers than when I make someone else's recipes (Lucas' smoked chocolate porter being the only exception).

Read other people's recipes to get an idea of how to build a beer in a certain style then do it how you want to. That's the whole friggin point of brewing your own anyway.
 

yum beer

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I agree with Bum, I have never brewed straight from a recipe.

as long as you have a reasonable idea of what different ingredients will bring to the mix then you should be right.

Not a bad idea to look at some of the popular and well rated recipes in the database to get an idea of what sort of combinations work for people, but
the beauty of beer is everybody is different, what works for one doesnt work for another.
Do some reading and play around. As said you will make great beer as long as your processes are right.

If your concerned go for something proven.
 

jaypes

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@BlackArt

I am the same, new brewer looking at AG and learning heaps. It seems pretty straight forward but get a feel for it before you attempt anything complex.

I just put down a mex cerveza from a kit and was going to change it by adding hops and using a different yeast but how would i know if it was that different from the original yeast and no hops?

Will see how it turns out then will experiment.

What I have learnt so far:
  1. Patience
  2. Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize
  3. Rinse
  4. Repeat
  5. Have fun
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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Have to disagree with the first two comments, profusely (and find myself strangely in agreeance with bum for one).

I designed my first recipe that I brewed all grain - in fact I've only ever copied one recipe.

I'd hazard a guess that I probably fluked the first one - but I reckon the biggest mistake a newbie-recipe can have is trying to be too many things at once. If you like an APA - look up the BJCP guidelines, have a look at other people's recipes, read the bottle of any APA from a brewer who is kind enough to put a decent blurb on it. Between all of it, you'll get enough information to get a feel for the basics of a recipe.

If I hadn't done this, I wouldn't have an "automatic" recipe for APA that adjusts to what I have in stock, but still keeps the core recipe going. Some are better than others (and these are usually the one's I try to "over-refine", rather than keeping it simple), but it's a no-brainer now. If I'd spent all my time worrying about stuffing up, I'd have slowed my progression as a recipe-creater.

And no to extract. I did extract brewing for years. If I'd known about AG when I started, I'd have jumped straight in. Realistically, you have to understand the same things hop-wise (which appears to be Op's issue). Mashing, lautering and sparging are necessary jargon terms (same as spreadsheet, Copy+Paste and "safely remove hardware" are for 80 year olds first sitting down at a computer)- once you learn by doing - they aren't as scary as you think.

Make sure yeast treatment is impeccable (and this applies either way) and sanitsing is as good as you can get (again, applies either way), and you as a brewer have done the most good to your beer. Heck - people 500 years ago understood neither and still made beer - without extract.

Read up, get in, have a go, enjoy your hobby and if good beer comes from it the first time you do it - you are doing well. If not - no-one learns to surf or ride a motorbike without the odd bail, or clutch-stall.

Goomba
 

Rowy

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I agree with Goomba. Never brewed from a recipe. I used the BCJP guidelines along with the malt and hop specs from the Craftbrewer site and have never gone wrong.................at least in my opinion. Made one or two that I wasn't happy with flavour wise but still they were drinkable. My biggest tip is that BREWMATE is your friend. Download it and use it often.

The freedon to do what YOU want in the way YOU want is what makes this a great hobby.


Rowy
 

brewtas

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There's a bunch of things that anyone getting into brewing, AG or otherwise, will need to get on top of:

-Understanding the brewing process
-Getting familiar with your equipment and how it operates
-Getting a feel for what different malts, hops and yeast contribute

You can probably learn that stuff most quickly by starting with a tried and true recipe and brewing it several times over with minor variations but it doesn't matter too much. As far as recipe design goes, it's worth looking at recipes that others rate but also have fun with it. I know designing recipes is one of my favourite parts of the whole process and I think it's helped me learn much more than I would have if I was regularly brewing other's recipes.

One of the best things I did for my brewing was begin to keep detailed records of each brew. That way you can identify problems and fine tune and keep track of stuff you otherwise wouldn't notice.

As for hops, there's such a range of flavours and aromas. I like to brew a pretty basic American Pale Ale with each new variety I try and then work out which ones I like and how to match them after that.

Have fun with it. It's a great hobby. :D
 

Spiesy

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say if i choose a basic American IPA recipe and double the hops i put in, will i need to add more of other ingredients?
I don't think anyone has answered this question yet.

I like to think of hops, malt and alcohol content like the "triangle of beer brewing". A little like the triangle of shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings used in photography. I.e. changing one component will have a bearing on how the other two components are perceived.

If you're going to double the hops in an IPA, you might want to look at doubling the malt quantity as well - to balance the beer. Then again, you might not.

PS: there is also another relationship between malt and alcohol content, with more fermentables usually resulting in a higher alcohol beer - but my "malt" in the beer triangle is more in reference to malt profile... if that makes sense?
 

BlackArtBrewing

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cheers everyone for the replies, everyone was so helpful, and allot of good information in there, and some great links to check out too.
especially Nick JD, so detailed and helpful...

im really looking forward to brewing some decent beers.

i will let you all know when the brew system arrives and how the 1st brew goes.

cheers again for the info and tips.
 

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