Top 10 Home Brew Beer Recipes

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    Top 10 Home Brew Beer Recipes
    To home brew a great beer—whether it's all-grain or extract—requires, first and foremost, an understanding of the process and mastery of brewing technique. That's not to say creative, well-balanced recipes with all the right ingredients don't help with the final product. We scoured brewing books, listened to beer podcasts, and talked to brewmasters to find ten of the best homebrew recipes out there, representing a range of beer styles. The recipes we found come from some of the best professional brewers in the country as well as absurdly dedicated homebrewers. Cheers!

    bout the Recipes and Directions

    Batch Size: The amount of beer present by the end of your batch.

    Original Gravity (OG): The amount of sugars present in the wort before the yeast is pitched

    Final Gravity (FG): The amount of residual sugars present in the beer after fermentation

    Bitterness: Measured in International Bittering Units (IBU), the higher the number the more bitterness you can expect

    Color: The Standard Reference Measurement (SRM) reflects degress Lovibond which range from 3.5 for a pilsner shade to over 25 for a nearly opaque stout.

    Hops: Different hop strains provide different flavors and impart varying levels of bitterness. The percentage listed indicates the bitterness level for that strain. The number of minutes listed in the recipe indicates how long each addition should be boiled. Thus a 60 minute hop addition should be added at the beginning of the boil and a 5 minute hop addition should be added 5 minutes before the flame is turned off and cooling has begun. Dry hop additions get added after fermentation has been completed.

    Tips and Tricks

    Learn your boil-off rate: Boil a fixed amount of water as a test to find out how much water your system loses to evaporation during a boil (it can vary from brewer to brewer with variables such as kettle size and burner output). This will tell you how much wort you need in order to reach your targeted batch size. For instance, if you fill your kettle with 4 gallons of water and boil it for a half hour and find that you're left with 3.5 gallons of water then you know that you're boiling away a half gallon every 30 minutes. A typical 5 gallon batch with a 60 minute boil will require you to start with 6 gallons of wort.

    Adjusting the gravity of a beer: If your gravity readings aren't what you're targeting you can add dry malt extract to raise the gravity or add water to lower the gravity. Just make sure that dry malt extract adjustments are added at the beginning of the boil.

    Adjusting the bitterness of a beer: The bitterness levels (Alpha Acids or (%AA) of hops vary from crop to crop, but you can make some quick adjustments to ensure that you're bitterness remains consistent. Just plug the numbers into a brewing software program or free online tool like beer calculus to figure out how much hops to add to a beer to hit a recipe's targeted bitterness level.

    Yeast Quantities: Pitching the proper amount of yeast is hugely important for any recipe. We highly recommend using Mr. Malty's Pitching Rate Calculator to determine how much yeast you'll need for any beer recipe. The calculator is a free online tool and is also available as a paid iPhone app.

    Blood Orange Hefeweizen
    This one comes from the now-famous founder and president of Dogfish Head Craft Ales, Sam Calagione (pictured). Calagione now host the television series, Brewmasters on The Discovery Channel, and is known for an ambitious, experimental and sometimes audacious approach to brewing beer (think, using saliva for starch conversion). This recipe is from Calagione's book, Extreme Brewing.

    Extract Recipe

    Beer Style: Hefeizen with blood orange flavoring
    Batch Size: 5 gallons
    Original Gravity: 1.050
    Final Gravity: 1.012
    Bitterness: 17 IBU
    Boiling Time: 65 minutes
    Color: 12 SRM
    Alcohol: 4.8% ABV

    6.6 lbs. Light Liquid Wheat Malt Extract
    4 medium size blood oranges
    0.5 oz. Hallertau Hop Pellets (4.5% AA) boiled 60 minutes
    1 oz. Saaz Hop Pellet (4.3% AA) boiled 20 minutes
    0.5 oz. Hallertau Hop Pellets (4.5% AA) boiled 10 minutes
    Wyeast 3068 or 3638 or White Labs WLP 300 or 380

    Boil and add hop additions according to the schedule above. Peel the blood oranges and separate sections of fruit. Discard half the peels. Cut the remainder of peels and fruit sections into small pieces. Use a grater as you only want part of the rind. The white will add extreme bitterness. Heat fruit and peels in a half gallon of water to 160F and then turn off heat. Let the fruit steep as it cools. Cool the wort and steeping fruit to 70-75F and add to fermenter.

    Pitch your yeast and fermet for about 10 days at 70-75F.

    Cascade Orange/Coriander Pale Ale
    This recipe is from Mat Kirth and was first shared on Mat Kirth added a tropical twist to Ed Wort's Haus Pale Ale by adding orange zest late in the boil and aggressively dry hopping the beer to add a great hop nose.

    All Grain Recipe

    Beer Style: American Pale Ale with light Orange and Coriander notes
    Batch Size: 5.5 gallons
    Original Gravity: 1.054
    Final Gravity: 1.013
    Bitterness: 34 IBU
    Boiling Time: 60 minutes
    Color: 6L
    Alcohol: 5.27% (4.5% - 6.0%)


    9 lbs. Maris Otter Malt
    1 lbs. Vienna Malt
    1 lbs. Crystal Malt 10°L
    1 oz. Cascade (5.5%) - added first wort, boiled 60 min
    1 oz. Cascade (5.5%) - boiled 10 min
    1 oz. Cascade (5.5%) - boiled 5 min
    1 oz. Cascade (5.5%) - boiled 1 min
    2 oz. Cascade (5.5%) - added as a dry hop addition
    2 oz. Orange zest - added during boil, boiled 10.0 min
    1 oz Coriander crushed - added during boil, boiled 10 min
    Whirlfloc - added during boil, boiled 15 min
    Fermentis Safale (S-04) Yeast


    Mash all grains at 155F for 60 minutes. Drain the runnings into the boil kettle, recirculating the first quart or so back into the mash and sparge the grain with enough 175F water to reach a pre-boil wort volume of approximately 6.5 gallons (assuming that 1 gallon will boil off in the next step). Boil for 60 minutes and add hops according the schedule above.

    Fermentation Cool to 60 F and pitch yeast. Maintain approximately 60F throughout fermentation. After about 10 days of primary fermentation add the dry hop addition and let the hops steep for 14 days.

    Gruagach 80/-
    Recipe from Chad Walker from Cary, NC, first shared on Scottish Ales are known for their clean malty flavors, that often feature a hint of smokiness. Chad's popular ale achieves this smokiness with a dash of peat smoked malt.

    All Grain Version

    Beer Style: Scottish Export Ale
    Batch Size: 5.5 gallons
    Original Gravity: 1.054
    Final Gravity: 1.014
    Bitterness: 30 IBU
    Boiling time: 90 minutes
    Color: 17 SRM
    Alcohol: 5.3%


    9.00 lbs. 2-Row Malt
    1.00 lb. Crystal Malt (80L)
    8.00 oz. Melanoidin Malt
    5.00 oz. Aromatic Malt
    4.00 oz. Peated Malt
    2.00 oz. Black Patent
    1.50 oz. East Kent Goldings, boil for 60 minutes
    Wyeast 1728 - Scottish Ale Yeast


    Mash all grains at 156F for 1 hour and draw first runnings to kettle. Some amount of caramelization is desired in this beer. To achieve this, take a two pints of the first mash runnings and simmer in a saucepan to reduce to a syrup, taking care to not burn it. Do this while the rest of the wort is boiling. Sparge grains with 175F water to collect the full volume of wort. Boil wort for 90 minutes, begin adding hops with 60 minutes left to go according to the schedule above and add the wort reduction back to the kettle with about 5 minutes left to go in the boil. Chill to 58F and pitch yeast


    Ferment on the cooler side of the yeast's optimal range, roughly 58F. The beer takes a while to mature, so give it close to 6 weeks of time in the fermenter before kegging or bottling.

    Extract Version

    Replace the 9lbs of 2-row with 5.5 pounds of light colored dry malt extract. Steep the other grains for 45 minutes in 155F water, then rinse into kettle before bringing to a boil and adding DME. Reduce a portion of the wort in a saucepan while the main boil is conducted and add back to the kettle with 5 minutes left in the boil.

    Centennial Blonde
    Recipe provided by Kevin Mattie, also known as BierMuncher, first shared at Kevin Mattie describes his hugely popular Centennial Blonde as, "what a local craft brewery might come out of the gates with to win over a new market. Very drinkable with wide appeal. I've yet to have anyone, even Bud/Miller/Coors drinkers not say it's one of the best beers they've tasted…period."

    All Grain Version

    Beer Style: Blonde Ale
    Batch Size: 5.5 gallons
    Original Gravity: 1.040
    Final Gravity: 1.008
    Bitterness: 21.5 IBU
    Boiling Time: 60 Minutes
    Color: 3.9 SRM
    Alcohol: 4.2% ABV

    7.00 lbs. Pale Malt (2 Row) US
    0.75 lb. Cara-Pils/Dextrine
    0.50 lb. Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L
    0.50 lb. Vienna Malt
    0.25 oz. Centennial (9.50%) boil for 55 min
    0.25 oz. Centennial (9.50%) boil for 35 min
    0.25 oz. Cascade (7.80%) boil for 20 min
    0.25 oz. Cascade (7.80%) boil for 5 min
    Danstar Nottingham Ale Yeast

    Mash at 150 degrees for 60 minutes. Sparge with 175F water to create enough wort to reach 5.5 gallons after the boil. Boil and add hops according to the schedule above. Chill to 68 degrees and pitch the yeast.

    Ferment at 68 Degrees for 10 days before bottling.

    Extract Version

    Steep 1 lb. Cara-Pils/Dextrine at 155F. Replace pale malt, vienna malt and crystal malt with 5 lbs. Extra Light Dry Malt Extract and boil according to directions above.

    Mild Mannered Ale
    This recipe is from Orfy, at Orfy hails from England and he has attracted a big following around the world for the recipe for this highly drinkable session beer that he describes as "a classic northern dark mild like my Granddad used to drink."

    All Grain Version

    Beer Style: Northern English Mild
    Batch Size: 6.5 gallons
    Original Gravity: 1.037
    Final Gravity: 1.009
    Bitterness: 23 IBU
    Boiling Time: 60 min
    Color: 21 SRM
    Alcohol: 3.65% ABV

    5 lbs 7.0 oz Maris Otter Pale Ale Malt
    1 lbs 6 oz Crystal Malt - 60L (Thomas Fawcett)
    4.4 oz Chocolate Malt (Thomas Fawcett)
    0.87 oz Fuggles (4.50%) boil for 45 minutes
    0.87 oz Fuggles (4.50%) boil for 15 minutes
    Danstar Nottingham Ale Yeast

    Mash at 158F conversion is complete and sparge with 175F water until you have enough wort for the boil. Boil for 60 minutes and add hops according to the schedule above. Chill to 65F and pitch the yeast.

    Ferment at 65F for 10 days before bottling.

    Hoppiness Is An IPA
    This recipe was created by Jamil Zainasheff and excerpted from Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer. Jamil Zainashef and John Palmer also co-host live internet radio shows and podcasts about brewing topics on The Brewing Network.

    All-Grain Version

    Style: American IPA
    Original Gravity: 1.065
    Final Gravity: 1.012
    IBU: 64
    Color: 7 SRM
    Alcohol: 7% ABV
    Boil: 60 minutes

    12.75 lbs. American 2-Row Malt
    .75 lb. Munich Malt
    1 lb. Crystal Malt (15L)
    0.25 lb. Crystal Malt (40L)
    1 oz. Horizon Hops (13% AA) boiled 60 minutes
    1 oz. Centennial Hops (9% AA) boiled 10 minutes
    1 oz. Simcoe Hops (12% AA) boiled 5 minutes
    1 oz. Amarillo Hops (9% AA)boiled 0 minutes
    White Labs WLP001 California Ale Yeast, Wyeast 1056 American Ale Yeast, or Fermentis Safale US-05

    Mash all grains at 149F until fermentation is complete. This may take 90 minutes due to the low mash temperature. Once conversion is complete sparge with 170F until pre-boil volume is reached. Boil for 60 minutes adding hops according to the schedule above. Cool to 67F, pitch yeast and ferment at 67F until final gravity is reached.

    Extract Version

    Replace the American 2 row malt with 9.75 lbs. of light liquid malt extract. Replace the Munich Malt with 0.5 lb. of Munich liquid malt extract. Steep all other grains at 155F.

    Captain Lawrence Smoked Porter
    This recipe is from Captain Lawrence Brewing Company's Owner and Head Brewer, Scott Vaccaro, as told on The Brewing Network radio show, Can You Brew It.

    Style: Smoked Porter
    Batch Size: 6 gallons
    Original Gravity: 1.068
    Final Gravity: 1.018
    IBU: 35
    Color: 35.9 SRM
    Alcohol: 6.6% ABV
    Boil: 70 minutes
    Pre-Boil Volume: 7.4 gallons

    9.5 lbs. U.S. 2-Row Malt (Canadian from Scott)
    3.2 lbs. Weyerman Smoked Malt
    1.5 lbs. Dark Munich Malt
    1.5 lbs. Crystal Malt (80L)
    10.6 ozs. Weyermann® Dehusked Carafa® III
    2 ozs. UK Chocolate Malt (475L)
    0.44 oz. Summit Hops (18.5% AA) first wort hop, boiled for 70 minutes
    1.55 ozs. Crystal Hops (3.25% AA) boiled for 20 minutes
    White Labs WLP001 American Ale Yeast

    Mash at 154 until conversion is complete (approximately 60 minutes). Add first wort hops to the boil kettle and sparge with 170F water until pre-boil volume is reached. Boil for 70 minutes adding hops at the schedule listed above. Cool to 69F and pitch yeast. Continue the fermentation at 69F.

    Black Scapular Dubbel
    This is another recipe from the award-winning brewer, Jamil Zainasheff, excerpted from Brewing Classic Styles.

    All Grain Version

    Beer Style: Belgian Dubbel
    Batch Size: 6 gallons
    Original Gravity: 1.064
    Final Gravity: 1.012
    Bitterness: 23 IBU
    Boiling Time: 90 minutes for all grain, 60 for extract
    Color: 15 SRM
    Alcohol: 6.9% ABV

    10.6 lbs. Continental Pilsner Malt
    1 lb Munich Malt
    0.5. lb. Aromatic Malt (20L)
    0.5 lb. CaraMunich (60L)
    0.5 lb. Special "B" Malt (120L)
    0.75 lb.Belgian Dark Candi Syrup (60L)
    0.5 lb.Cane (Table) Sugar
    1.5 oz. Tettnang Hop (4% AA) boiled for 60 minutes
    White Labs WLP530 Abbey Ale Yeast or Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity Ale Yeast

    Mash grains at 149F until conversion is complete, at this low a temperature it might take 90 minutes. Sparge grain with 175F water until you reach enough wort in the boil kettle to reach 6 gallons after a 90 minute boil (you'll only need enough wort for a 60 minute boil for the extract version). Add hops according to the schedule above. When the boil is finished chill to fermentation temperature and pitch yeast.

    Pitch yeast at 64F and let the temperature slowly rise to 70 over the course of a week. When finished package in bottles or a keg and carbonate. Lager the beer for a month at 40F to 45F.

    Extract Version

    Replace the Continental Pilsner Malt with 7.8 lbs. of Pilsner Liquid Malt Extract and replace the Munich Malt with .8 lbs of Munich Liquid Malt Extract. Follow extract boil schedule above.

    Recipe Provided by Kai Troester of An engineer by trade, Kai is a unique figure in the homebrew world. His website focuses on brewing science and topics that are mostly related to brewing German beers. This recipe is for a classic German Doppelbock. Kai notes that "it is of a dark mahagony color without roasted notes in aroma or taste. Though intended to be complex in flavor it is also very drinkable."

    All Grain Recipe

    Beer Style: Dopplebock
    Batch Size: 5.5 gallons
    Original Gravity: 1.074
    Final Gravity: 1.019
    Bitterness: 22 IBU
    Boiling Time: 60 minutes
    Color: 18 SRM
    Alcohol: 7.5% ABV

    12 lbs. 2 oz. Weyermann Munich Type II Malt (Dark Munich)
    2 lbs. 5 oz. Weyermann Boheminan Pilsner Malt
    6 oz. Weyermann CaraAroma
    7 oz. Weyermann CaraMunich Type II
    6 oz. Weyermann CaraMunich Type III
    3.5 oz. Hallertau Hops (4.5% AA)

    Various mash options exist for this beer, but Kai recommends an enhanced double decoction. Here's how you do that:
    Dough in at 104F and rest for 20-30 min. The mash thickness should be 1.25 - 1.5 qt/lb. If your mash tun size allows, use the thinner mash.
    Draw 60 percent of thick mash as decoction and heat it up to 158 - 164 F. Rest it there until converted (negative iodine reaction). This should take only 15-20 min.
    Continue heating and boil for 30 - 40 min. Add some water to compensate for the boil-off
    Return to the mash tun to reach a saccarification rest temp of 153F and rest there for 45 min. Note that the protein rest has actually been skipped.
    Use a mash-out decoction to reach mash out at 167 F
    Lauter the wort

    Fermentation & Lagering
    Cool the wort to 41-46F and pitch the yeast after oxygenating the wort. You may give the beer another shot of oxygen after 10 to 12 hours if no activity is visible yet. Ferment at 56 to 48F for 4 weeks. Once the primary fermentation and maturation is complete, rack the beer to a lagering vessel (other carboy or soda keg) and lager at 32F to 36F for 2-3 months. The lagering process will clear the beer and start mellowing out some of the harsh flavors. You may see another drop of the extract as there will be some yeast still active, but it should not be significant. After lagering, rack the beer to a serving keg or bottle and age at cellar temperatures (50 F) for another 2-3 months before serving.


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