I probably don’t build a recipe like normal folk do but different strokes for different folks. The way I like to go about doing it is to look to food pairings before even thinking about what flavors I want in my beer.
We all know that beers can be sweet, sour, bitter, malty and DELICIOUS! So I like to look for a base recipe first that has one of the above qualities then think of what flavor combinations would work well. If I’m thinking strawberries and cream I know I can use the berries themselves as a flavor for my recipe but also what yeast would I use that brings in a fruitier profile? What type of malt is going to give me the creaminess I need for my whipped topping.
There’s lots of ways to approach a recipe but I find this approach being more unique than starting with what somebody else has listed on a blog somewhere. Plus you get a different perspective from chefs who are masters at flavor combinations if you start from a food angle than from the brewer. How’s thinking much more in an engineers mindset than that of a culinary one.
I don’t find many people talking this way because they’re so worried about the only 4 ingredients you’re supposed to include in beer, water, hops, yeast and barley. But you know what? F@#$ that! If something tastes good nobody except the good ol’ boys over at r/homebrewing are going to complain.
Photo: liz west