We’re proud to boast a large selection of recipes, built to cater to the diverse tastes of our brewers. Still, customization is a large part of what makes homebrewing so gratifying, so it only makes sense to teach folks how to build recipes of their own.
Our extracts make the recipe design process simple and the brewing process rapid.
First, you’ll decide what kind of beer you’re making. If you just have a style in mind, start with the BJCP guidelines. The BJCP guidelines, or Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines, are used by Beer Judges all over the US. The guidelines will inform you on what ingredients tend to go into your favorite beer, and what aromas, flavors, and appearance characteristics you will be aiming for.
If you have a commercial beer in mind, look up that beer specifically. Sometimes the brewery will list hops and grains, and sometimes other homebrewers will post their own clone recipes.
Your Base Beer
When selecting a Hopped Malt Extract (HME) or can of extract to use as the base, match the IBUs (International Bitterness Units) of your desired beer to those of the can of extract before other characteristics. IBUs are the most challenging characteristic to change about the beer.
Remember, you do not have to use the HME that is intended for the beer style. As in, not every wheat beer has to have the Bavarian Weissbier HME as the base. You can make a light beer darker, but you cannot make a dark beer HME lighter.
When adding hops to an HME, it’s best to go for aroma and flavoring hops instead of bittering hops. HMEs can already have bittering hops in them. Exceptions can be made if you are trying to make an HME even more bitter, but in most cases, you won’t need them if you choose the right HME for the recipe.
You’ll typically only need to add specialty malts, although adding some base malts can be necessary at times. Base malts can add some flavor, color, body, and ABV to the beer, depending on the base malt. They can act like specialty malts depending on which you use and for what purpose.
Attempting a Clone Beer
Bear in mind that most recipes posted online, not those sold by Mr. Beer, are intended for 5 gallons of beer. So, you’ll need to do some math and weighing if you want to do an exact copy of a favorite beer.