If you wish to formulate a recipe the following are some guidelines to help you. Detailed calculations are available on our on-line or tutored courses.

Recipe Formulation – Initial Decisions

Firstly Decide

  • Name
  • Target ABV (alcohol by volume)
  • Style of beer
  • Volume to make
  • Yeast strain to use

Recipe Formulation – Calculation of OG

Then Calculate

  • Gravity needed for the required ABV using the F Factor table
  • Determine the Original Gravity (OG) for a yeast strain and/or mashing in temperature.
  • The difference between 2 b. and 2 a. will give you an idea of the Final Gravity (FG) of the beer.
  • Note that altering the mash temperature can increase or decrease the FG

Recipe Formulation – Calculation of LDK needed

When you have the OG you can then calculate the

  • LDK (litre degrees per kilogram) at 100% efficiency
  • Using the mash efficiency, you can then calculate the total LDK needed.

Recipe Formulation – Calculation of the weights needed of each malt

Once you know the total LDK needed you can

  • Calculate the weights of each ingredient using the extract potential of each malt/adjunct/sugar
  • The extract potential can be found on the malt data sheets

Recipe Formulation – Calculation of the liquor needed to hydrate the mash and the sparge liquor volume

Add up all the weights of the dry ingredients to calculate the

  • Mash liquor required to hydrate the dry ingredients
  • The sparge liquor required to extract the sugars

Recipe Formulation – Calculation of water (liquor) treatment

  • The next stage is to calculate the water treatment needed for a beer style
  • Decide if you need to increase or decrease the alkalinity
  • From this calculate the amount of acid or bicarbonate to add to the liquor tank
  • Note the liquor tank volume is different from the brew volume
  • Next calculate the amount of Calcium Sulphate you need to add for the beer style you are making
  • Then calculate the amount of Calcium Chloride for the beer style
  • The next stage is to determine if you have enough calcium
    • Calculate the Calcium required for the beer style
    • Calculate calcium from the liquor sullied and from the Calcium Sulphate and Calcium Chloride
    • If there is a surplus Calcium that is acceptable
    • If there is a shortage of Calcium you may have to review the water treatment you are using for alkalinity reduction.

Recipe Formulation – Colour calculations

Then calculate the colour of the beer

  • To do this you will need the weight from each malt/adjunct/sugar
  • The colour potential from each malt/adjunct/sugar.
  • The colour potential can be found on their product data sheets.

Recipe Formulation – Hop calculations

Final part of the recipe formulation is to look at the hops you need and determine the bitterness

  • First Decide what EBU you are aiming for
  • Decide what the final bitterness you require in the beer
  • Decide what hops you are going to use for both first addition and late additions
  • Obtain the % alpha acid for each hop
  • Decide the weight of each hop you are going to use as a late hop and at what stage of the boil you are going to add these.
  • Calculate the EBU produced from each late hop addition and add these together
  • From f. you can then calculate the EBU needed from the first hop addition by subtracting (a.-f.)
  • Once you know the EBU needed from g. calculate the weight of each hop to use as the first hop.

Written by Brian Yorston, Course Manager at Brewlab.

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