Designing Beer with Randy Mosher – BeerSmith Podcast 30

by Brad Smith on January 11, 2012 · 5 comments

This week, we discuss designing beer with brewing author Randy Mosher. Randy shares with us the process he uses for designing beer and also gives us a sneak peek into the new book he’s working on.

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This Episode Sponsored by MoreBeer!

MoreBeer is the sponsor of this week’s episode. You can show your appreciation to them on your next order by using the special order links here at – a portion of each order will go to support the BeerSmith sites, podcast, and newsletters.

Topics in This Week’s Episode (45:20)

  • Randy Mosher is a graphical designer and beer brewing author who has a web site at and has written the books Radical Brewing and Tasting Beer (Amazon Aff Links). He is working on a new book for publication in the Fall of 2012 titled “The Handy Book of Homebrewing”.
  • We start with the inspiration or “Big Idea” which Randy uses to drive his recipe design
  • Randy walks through the basic process he uses to take his idea from concept to a completed recipe
  • We talk about base malts and his preference of using base malts for color and flavor
  •  Randy explains how many specialty malt flavors are tied closely to the caramel, toast, roast and other flavors we perceive in the finished beer
  • We talk about the role of hops and how Randy groups hops to help determine which ones are best for a given recipe
  • Randy discusses his simple approach to finishing and dry hops
  • We talk about yeast strain selection and how it affects things
  • In “Radical Brewing”, Randy explores a wide variety of unusual ingredients and he talks a bit about when to bring these flavors into the beer
  • We talk about keeping mash schedules simple, where possible, to create good beer
  • Randy talks for a minute about other techniques that might come into play for recipe design
  • Tasting beer is also important – and most award winning brewers also are beer judges or experts in tasting beer
  • Randy spends a minute talking about his new book which will be out in the fall of 2012 called “The Handy Book of Homebrewing”

Thanks to Randy Mosher for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason January 14, 2012 at 7:40 pm

I’m curious in more details on the overnight mashing Randy spoke of. He mentioned to “just split the thing”. What is he splitting? Could the procedure be described with a little more detail? What temperature does he start at? Could this be done with a typical plastic cooler mash tun (I’m actually using a Minibrew mash lauter tun) or does it need to be a mash tun that can be heated by burner? What is the risk of infection or a sour beer mash? What, if any, changes would I make to BeerSmith to account for this technique?
I am interested in this idea to help in my scheduling of brew day(s).

Upton February 6, 2012 at 6:35 am

I’m pretty sure he meant split it as in, splitting the mashing and boiling steps over the 2 days/overnight break in between.

There won’t be any risk of an infected beer, but some bacteria will start to grow once the mash drops down into their preferred temperature range. Whether this is noticeable or not of course depends on how long you leave it and how long it is in that ‘Goldilocks zone’ that the bugs prefer.

I would say that your mash tun needs to be capable of doing a mashout step, as you really want to denature the majority of the enzymes and get that increase in temperature before you wrap it up well and leave it overnight.

Markus Bånnsgård October 21, 2014 at 7:39 am


I love your software and the podcast. I was looking for the book Mosher is mentioning (“The Handy Book of Homebrewing”.) but I can’t find it. Was it not released? Could the coming book “Mastering Homebrew” be the real thing? I am particularly interested in recipe design.


Brad Smith October 21, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Mastering Homebrew is the book we talk about extensively – it is an excellent book and should be available early next year. I’m not familiar with the other book you mention.

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