Build your own recipe vs. buy a kit
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,449
    I generally build my own recipes either from scratch or based off of a commercial brew. Sometimes I get lazy and don't feel like putting the effort it.

    Tell me. What's YOUR preference? Build or Buy?

    Oh and FWIW I'm looking at a Oktoberfest kit from AHS. One is a clone of Paulaner and another is a high gravity Oktoberfest. Mainly cause I still think I missed the mark on my home grown marzen.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 51,314
    I formulate my own ... but I have purchased kits ... I think the last time was in 1990....
    I think a kit could be a good way to break into a new style IF... you know what is in it
    Never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 47,345
    i started on the Mr. Beer, pre-hopped all lme 'kits'. don't do that.

    i've never had a decent kit, so i don't know how they are.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    i started on kits, some were very good. "hop scare IPA" from midwest was m favorite. haven't used one in a few years now though because there isn't much to brewing ipa's, black ipa's and robust porters and its very easy to make the recipe up
  • jeepinjeepinjeepinjeepin
    Posts: 18,084
    I go with recipes from a book. I keep base grains and some specialty grains on hand. I can get close enough or pick a different recipe. I just have to go get yeast most of the time. And now that spring has sprung its time I get back to it.
    Sign here______________________________
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 109,102
    i started out buying kits, but after on kit#2 i started "tweaking things" just to see what more of this or that would do. after a few of those i just started formulating based on recipes in books, the internet or magazines. i'll still look at other recipes to get ideas, but mostly i just MSU based on style guides, beers tasted, intuition and a book called Designing Great Beers. It's a fantastic book, like a little encyclopedia of grist ratios, hop profiles and histories on various styles.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 80,505
    I recently build my own. I was looking at that same AHS kit. I did their anniversary Ofest last year. It was good. I find kits to be slightly more expensive, that's why I've moved to building my own.
    I did really like the ease of a well made kit though.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    I used kits for a year and some with recipes mixed in. Kits are great for learning the brewing process. If you assume the kit is a good one (fresh ingredients, good recipe, etc) then the only variant is your process. I suggest brew the same recipe or same kit for that matter a few times and see how you are doing when you first start out. I feel I had a few setbacks and dealt with frustration because I brewed a few recipes in hindsight were probably bad recipes, I'll take credit for some crappy brewing, but half was on the recipe, worst part, I didn't learn anything. Kits vs. recipe in my opinion, all the same but consider the source; crappy ones of both out there.

    Thym
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 109,102
    Benvarine said:

    I used kits for a year and some with recipes mixed in. Kits are great for learning the brewing process. If you assume the kit is a good one (fresh ingredients, good recipe, etc) then the only variant is your process. I suggest brew the same recipe or same kit for that matter a few times and see how you are doing when you first start out. I feel I had a few setbacks and dealt with frustration because I brewed a few recipes in hindsight were probably bad recipes, I'll take credit for some crappy brewing, but half was on the recipe, worst part, I didn't learn anything. Kits vs. recipe in my opinion, all the same but consider the source; crappy ones of both out there.



    solid advice. but i think you learned something from the bad experiences too.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    I tried a couple kits to start (like most).
    Now I will generally build my own, then check on here or other online resources to see what others have tried for a similar style. I often tweak my recipe, and the final recipe looks nothing like it did when I first wrote it down. I generally base my recipe on what I think will taste good, but I really want to start researching the specifics behind formulating recipes.
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 109,102
    Evan_B said:

    I tried a couple kits to start (like most).
    Now I will generally build my own, then check on here or other online resources to see what others have tried for a similar style. I often tweak my recipe, and the final recipe looks nothing like it did when I first wrote it down. I generally base my recipe on what I think will taste good, but I really want to start researching the specifics behind formulating recipes.



    as i mentioned earlier, designing great brews is my go to resource
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    I'm reading it now. It is a heavy read, brings back memories of college text books a little.
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    Benvarine said:

    I used kits for a year and some with recipes mixed in. Kits are great for learning the brewing process. If you assume the kit is a good one (fresh ingredients, good recipe, etc) then the only variant is your process. I suggest brew the same recipe or same kit for that matter a few times and see how you are doing when you first start out. I feel I had a few setbacks and dealt with frustration because I brewed a few recipes in hindsight were probably bad recipes, I'll take credit for some crappy brewing, but half was on the recipe, worst part, I didn't learn anything. Kits vs. recipe in my opinion, all the same but consider the source; crappy ones of both out there.



    well quit looking at my recipes if they suck so much! :-S
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    Lakewood said:

    Evan_B said:

    I tried a couple kits to start (like most).
    Now I will generally build my own, then check on here or other online resources to see what others have tried for a similar style. I often tweak my recipe, and the final recipe looks nothing like it did when I first wrote it down. I generally base my recipe on what I think will taste good, but I really want to start researching the specifics behind formulating recipes.



    as i mentioned earlier, designing great brews is my go to resource


    I've had my eye on this for a while.
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606

    Benvarine said:

    I used kits for a year and some with recipes mixed in. Kits are great for learning the brewing process. If you assume the kit is a good one (fresh ingredients, good recipe, etc) then the only variant is your process. I suggest brew the same recipe or same kit for that matter a few times and see how you are doing when you first start out. I feel I had a few setbacks and dealt with frustration because I brewed a few recipes in hindsight were probably bad recipes, I'll take credit for some crappy brewing, but half was on the recipe, worst part, I didn't learn anything. Kits vs. recipe in my opinion, all the same but consider the source; crappy ones of both out there.



    well quit looking at my recipes if they suck so much! :-S


    Very true. I have been burned a few times on Hopville. You get what you pay for.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 109,102
    Benvarine said:

    I'm reading it now. It is a heavy read, brings back memories of college text books a little.



    yeah. it's a solid, factually based text. that's why i like it. im weird.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,449
    Lakewood said:

    Benvarine said:

    I'm reading it now. It is a heavy read, brings back memories of college text books a little.



    yeah. it's a solid, factually based text. that's why i like it. im weird.

    here I always thought you were more into the loosely based on conjecture type of books.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 109,102
    jlw said:

    Lakewood said:

    Benvarine said:

    I'm reading it now. It is a heavy read, brings back memories of college text books a little.



    yeah. it's a solid, factually based text. that's why i like it. im weird.

    here I always thought you were more into the loosely based on conjecture type of books.


    easy mistake to make, since that's usually the information i provide.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 80,505
    Benvarine said:

    Benvarine said:

    I used kits for a year and some with recipes mixed in. Kits are great for learning the brewing process. If you assume the kit is a good one (fresh ingredients, good recipe, etc) then the only variant is your process. I suggest brew the same recipe or same kit for that matter a few times and see how you are doing when you first start out. I feel I had a few setbacks and dealt with frustration because I brewed a few recipes in hindsight were probably bad recipes, I'll take credit for some crappy brewing, but half was on the recipe, worst part, I didn't learn anything. Kits vs. recipe in my opinion, all the same but consider the source; crappy ones of both out there.



    well quit looking at my recipes if they suck so much! :-S


    Very true. I have been burned a few times on Hopville. You get what you pay for.

    This is why I always copy and past the Hopville recipe to a build thread here. These guys have made some nice catches that could have really changed the final product. Stick around long enough and you figure out who's tastes yours matches up with. For example, I don't listen to anything fry says unless I'm making something with a BU:GU of at least 20:1.

    Thym
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • scoobscoob
    Posts: 16,617
    I am sorta the odd one on this, I have never bought a kit, instead I would find a beer that sounded tasty and got good reviews, copy the recipe list and head to the LHBS.

    I would read a recipe thread and someone would comment on the colour or that it needs more or less of something... I would think to myself how the hell can they tell that from a list of grains? And what are they going on about temps that are just a few degrees apart?

    Now I understand how they came to those conclusions and use that knowledge to craft my own recipes.

    Jesus didn't wear pants