Home brewing in Connecticut Discussions - CT Beer Trail

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Beersmith downloaded, now what?

OK, I've been talking about downloading a recipe making program for some time now, and tonight I finally did it. I downloaded the trial version of beersmith in the hopes of using it to brew something soon, so it will be done in time for a family reunion of sorts on the 4th of July weekend...

My goal is to brew an extract recipe (with some grains for steeping) that would have wide appeal for the holiday BBQ set. And I need to get going soon if I want it to be ready in time. I'm thinking a wheat beer of sorts...

Here's the problem, I have no idea where to start. Sure the software is pretty straight forward... Pick a style, click on the ingredients and keep it within the style parameters, etc... But I'm looking for a kick start here... Does anyone have a good Witbier or Hefeweizen recipe they'd recommend? Something I can plug into BeerSmith and perhaps tweak a bit? And if so, what are my chances of brewing this upcoming weekend, and having it ready by the 4th?

Anyone??? A little help???


  1. You can click on new recipe up there on the toolbar. Then plug in all the ingredients. I noticed that the alpha acids are off a little and the prices as well, naturally. There are some good books out there. "Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew" from Jamil has been recommended to me. Amazon has it right now.

  2. There are several good "gateway" homebrew styles to pick from. I recommend that you stay away from anything dark, as BMC-drinkers will automatically turn up their noses at them. Lots of quick styles to choose from -- Blonde Ale, Kolsch, Cream Ale, Belgian Wit, American Wheat. A sure-fire winner with both sexes would be an Apricot Wheat, which is basically an American Wheat with apricot puree. I have a recipe if you're interested.

  3. Also, if you're ever at a loss for recipes, Northern Brewer lists the inventory for all of their extract kits http://www.northernbrewer.com/extract-kits.html

  4. Hunington,

    I would love to try your recipe... Keep in mind, I'm still only at the extract and some steeping stage in my brewing hobby...

    Could you post a link to your recipe? Thanks!!!

    Also, I took a quick look at some of your blogs. You are a very interesting guy... It's good to see a fellow Christian/Homebrewer out there... Skimmed your Church's website, looks like a very interesting church... I like your pastor's perspective.

    Take care!!!

  5. Gile, I hear you... My issue is, I'm such a noobie that I'm not really sure what makes the most sense when it comes to ingredient selections... Indeed, I do need to start reading more...

    I guess, for the most part, my beers have been the equivalent of making Betty Crocker brownies... Just a "blind guy" following a recipe...

  6. Bryon,

    The beers I've had the most success with are beers that contain wheat. So liquid wheat extract is a good start. I don't have my recipes handy right now, but, I've used English Ale Yeasts and Kolsch yeasts with success in my "gateway" beers. Hops wise I'd say just keep the bittering down and small amounts for flavor and aroma. You aren't looking to assault somebody's palatte. Shoot for low IBU, wheat, with the English Ale yeast from white labs and you can turn it around pretty quick. 10 days with a keg. Add two weeks for bottles.

    As far as BeerSmith goes. I usually just do this...

    new recipe
    add LME x lbs
    add steeping grains (.5 lb to start)
    add yeast
    add bittering hops 60 min boil
    add flavoring hops 15-30 min boil
    add aroma hops 0-5 min boil

    At that point you can look at the estimates at the bottom.

    estmated abv

    Just add more LME to increase abv and add more hops to 60 min boil for IBUs. Compare your IBUs to other similar recipes on byo's recipator.

    Brad Smith the developer is a nice guy too. He might just give you some tips if you email him :-)

    If I remember I could send you my recipe for a wheat beer that BMC drinkers suck down every Thanksgiving :-)

  7. Hi,

    There are tons of wheat recipes on the net and even a few that come with beersmith. A wheat would be perfect for the summer. I was just asking the question yesterday on the midwest sunday beer chat. What beer would give me th fastest turn around time and wheat was the answer. You can go from start to finish in 2.5 weeks if kegging or about 4 if bottling.


  8. Adam,

    Great comment, as simple as it may seem to those that have already traveled this path, your comment gave me the sort of direction I was looking for... I suppose I should check with my local homebrew supply shop for what sort of wheat LME they have on hand at the moment, and plug that in for starters...

    If you get time to dig that recipe up, I'd love to see it.

    GisBrewMaster, that's why I was thinking wheat, good for the warm weather, and I've read it best if consumed sooner than later... :-)

  9. Anytime. Good luck. I'll see what I can do to get you that recipe.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Apricot Wheat (extract)
    I recommend that you start this right away to allow for the extra fermentation time required for the secondary fermentation of the fruit. The longer the better to avoid bottle bombs.

    -Wheat Liquid Malt Extract – 8.3 lbs
    -Crystal malt (15 degrees Lovibond) – ½ lb.
    -Apricot Puree – 3.0 lbs. (highly recommend the Oregon Fruit Products version available from your local homebrew shop). Peach would work too, but if you really want a peach flavor, apricot gives a better illusion of peach than peach does (go figure?). Don’t use the fake fruit extract – too artificial tasting.
    -Willamette 5% Alpha Acid – 0.85 oz.
    -Yeast – White Labs WLP320 American Hefeweizen or Wyeast 1010 American Wheat (don’t use the German Hefe strains as they are too pronounced for casual drinkers)


    -Two days before brew day: Make a yeast starter using 8 oz. dry malt extract (light or wheat, makes no difference) added to 2 liters sterilized water, pinch of yeast nutrient – you can boil all of these together to sterilize, but watch for boil-overs. Cool the mixture to 70 degrees and pitch the yeast into the starter mixture. Shake it to aerate or put on a stir plate for mixing. Two days is long enough to grow the culture.

    -On brew day:
    -Steep the Crystal malt in 154 degree water for 45 minutes in a grain bag, sparge, remove the bag of grain, then put the wort into your brew kettle.
    -Heat 5 gallons of water and the preceding wort to boiling. When it starts to boil, turn off the heat and add the Wheat LME and the hops and stir. Turn the heat back on and watch for boil-overs. Boil for 60 minutes.
    -In the last 10 minutes of the boil, add 1 tsp. Irish Moss (helps in clarification)
    -Cool to 65 degrees, rack to your carboy, and pitch the yeast starter into the carboy. Top off the carboy to 5 gallons with additional sterilized cold water (if needed).
    -Aerate well by shaking, aquarium pump or oxygen canister.
    -Insert your blowoff tube and ferment at 65 degrees until almost finished. Look at my blog if you need to see what a blowoff setup looks like.

    -When fermentation begins to slow, add the Apricot Puree to a secondary carboy and carefully rack the beer onto the fruit. Fermentation should pick up again as the yeast consumes the fructose in the Apricot Puree.
    -Once fermentation stops completely, bottle with 5 oz. corn sugar. Allow two-three weeks for carbonation in the bottle.

  12. Hi buddy, I've done a little research a for you about Hefeweizen recipe and I found this one, I hope it can help you a lot. :-) a blog of makinghomemadewineandbeer.

    Good luck in Brewing for July. Cheers!

  13. FYI, I stink... ran out of time... See next post...

  14. I have used this program and it works very well. IMO this is the best software that you can use to Make Your Own Beer!


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