Looking for a little homebrew inspiration?
Over my 5+ years of homebrewing, I’ve brewed some 50 batches of beer. There have been a few mishaps, many enjoyable beers, and a few batches that have knocked it out of the park. Below are five of my all-time favorite homebrew recipes.
*Note: I brewed most of these all-grain, but the all-grain homebrew recipes can easily be converted to extract or partial mash. Where no partial mash recipe is provided, simply convert a majority of the base malt using the following ratios: 1 lb. grain = .75 lb. liquid malt extract = .6 lb. dried malt extract. For example, replace 9 lbs. base malt with 6.75 lbs., or about two cans, of LME.
Uinta Dubhe Imperial Black IPA Clone – If you like big, hoppy, aggressive beers, this homebrew recipe’s for you. A massive grain bill delivers a full-bodied brew with deep rich flavors of chocolate and coffee and an alcohol content upwards of 9% ABV. On the hops side of the equation, Chinook, Bravo, Columbus, and Falconer’s Flight combine to deliver a stout bitterness (100+ IBUs), but also copious levels of dank, spicy, piney, and citrusy hop flavor and aroma. My nickname for this beer is “Holy Hop Tar!”
Ithaca Beer Company Flower Power IPA Clone – IPAs taste best fresh, and it’s hard to get fresher when you brew it yourself. This cloning experiment yielded a delightful India Pale Ale at a respectable 7.5-8% ABV. The simplicity of the grain bill provides a sweet, honey-like base to support the juicy, citrusy hops, which are added at five separate points throughout the boil and fermentation. You can review the entire Flower Power brew process through the link above.
Captain Cogsworth Coffee Stout – The desire for a simpler brew day led me to revert back to partial mash brewing for a day. This easy homebrew recipe yielded a tasty American stout with an easy-going, somewhat fruity coffee flavor that helped get me through the winter. I reviewed the finished beer on the E. C. Kraus Homebrewing Blog.
Chipotle Smoked Porter – This recipe goes back to my early days of homebrewing and still stands out as one of the more audacious beers I’ve made. It starts with a smoked porter recipe kit and adds a can of chipotle peppers straight to boil. This one might make you sweat!
Do you have any favorite homebrew recipes from your homebrewing career? Feel free to share them in the comments below!
Munich Dunkel – I’m going to finish with something a little more approachable, a daily drinker, if you will. To me, this traditional German style offers the best of both worlds: the drinkability of a lager with a full flavor of a darker beer. If brewing this one partial mash, I recommend using two cans of Munich LME in place of the Munich malt and the wheat malt. Be sure to ferment cool and lager for several weeks for best results.
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described "craft beer crusader." He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.