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Looking for advice - First time designing a recipe


Jan 16, 2014
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Hello experienced brewers!!

---Disclaimer!--- I am new to the forums here, so please forgive me if I tend to ramble on. ---/Disclaimer!---

That having been said, I am looking to begin the journey to designing my own recipes (beginning with an IPA).  I purchased Beersmith and have been doing quite a bit of research into recipe design and SMaSH brewing, hop techniques, etc, and have arrived at the attached 5 recipes.  They are smash recipes to test out 5 different hops for aroma and taste, which all use late hopping techniques to really ramp up the aromas and flavors so that I can make a decision on my hops. 

My idea is to use my large mash tun to mash all the grains at once, and then split the wort into 5 different boil kettles (each with different hops) to arrive at five 2-gallon batches in five separate fermenters.  The goal is to ensure that all 5 batches are created with as close to perfectly equal conditions as possible.  Now, if you look at the recipes I've attached, you'll notice the amounts of hops I've chosen were chosen with 2 goals in mind: to keep the IBU's as close to the other recipes as possible, and also to make splitting 1oz bags up as easy as possible.  Please feel free to comment on this if you think that keeping IBU's the same (or close) across the recipes is not the best method to comparing hops side by side.  Also, my hop amount ratios for each addition are open to critique as well! (At first I had all the ratios perfect across the board, and then I adjusted some of the amounts to make splitting 1oz bags up easier.) 

Lastly, just in case it matters, for these recipes I used the 3 gallon equipment profile built into Beersmith and adjusted the size of the mash tun, otherwise it is based off the default 3 gallon set up.  I then set the batch size to 2 gallons.

Basically I'm just looking for any advice anyone might have about the way I've gone about designing these smash recipes and/or designing beer recipes as a whole.



  • SMaSH Recipes (Hops).bsmx
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Scott Ickes

Grandmaster Brewer
Aug 3, 2013
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Vancouver, WA
I think your experiment is almost perfect in what you're trying to accomplish.

I'm wondering if you're going to purchase exactly 22.5 pounds of grain for this experiment.

I think your experiment will quite expensive.  You could do it much more economically by purchasing an entire bag of malt and making each batch 5 gallons with 10 lbs. of malt per batch.  You could also move some of the hops to 60 minutes and reduce the amount of hops used.  You could basically make 25 gallons of beer for the exact same cost as making the 10 gallons total you currently have planned. 

The drawbacks are that you'd need many more bottles or kegs.  You'd also be hard pressed to mash and boil that much in a day.

So, the perfect control of the variables that you have would be lost.  I really don't think though, that performing 5 different mashes and boils over a longer period of time will change what you're looking for.  Since you're looking to learn the hop flavors, aromas, etc., the change to separate mashes for each batch won't have much of an impact on the hops, if any, for your purposes.

All I know is that you're going to be spending a lot of money on hops and a higher price for your grain.  If you're ok with that, then it's your experiment and you can do what you want.

One drawback to my cost savings measures is 25 gallons of American IPA is a lot of one style, even if the hop flavors make them all significantly different from each other.

Just my thoughts.  Good luck with your experiment!