As a follow up to last week’s almost perfect Brown Ale post, Mike took time to make a video where he recreated the process of formulating the Brown ale recipe in BeerSmith. This video includes a screencast so that you can follow along with Mike’s cursor as he shows you what he does to make a recipe on that piece of software. Watch and learn how this Brew Dude does it.

Recipe Formulations in BeerSmith

Because we have been asked to show of how we use BeerSmith to create a recipe, Mike took his most recent Brown Ale recipe and showed how he created it from the start.

You can see that for the purposes of this video, he created a recipe named “Brown Demo”. You’ll be able to see that the “Brown Ale #3” is in his specific file folder and that was the recipe he followed to brew the beer we tasted last week.

He starts our with selecting his malts. He doesn’t set the amounts or weights just yet. He takes the time to pick out the grains that we wants for the beer he wants to brew. As you will see, he sets the amounts later on in the process where he can take a more holistic view of the recipe.

As he picks his grains, he does make changes to the colors based on what he bought from the local home brew shop. BeerSmith gives you this ability so he takes advantage of it to make the calculations more precise.

Then, he selects his hops. Even though the software has set alpha acid measurements for each variety, he does alter the AA% based on what the label of the hops he purchases claims the AA% are.

He selects his yeast with no adjustments. He feels like he doesn’t have to make changes here.

Once these three items are chosen, that’s when the fun begins.

Mike builds the amount of grains based on what he is trying to brew. He looks at the ABV first when he is increasing the amount of his base malt. He knows how strong a beer he wants to brew and just added to the base malts amounts to get to the ABV that he wants. From there, he makes adjustments to his specialty grains based on how he wants to shape the beer. He adds oats for mouthfeel and pale chocolate and crystal grains for the color and the taste.

He plays a little bit with the hops but not too much. He probably would adjust the hops more for a hops-focused style.

Overall Thoughts

As you can see in the video, Mike creates recipes with ease with BeerSmith. He supports his decisions with his experience – he does have 20 years of home brewing beer under his belt – but the software helps with the calculations.

Mike creates the recipe based on the beer that he wants and not to the style as it described by the software. He always checks the style parameters after he creates the recipe but never before. He doesn’t want to be locked into style guidelines when he is creating a recipe. For the most part, he uses BeerSmith for the print out of the recipe details.

Hope you learned something from this video. We welcome your comments about your use of BeerSmith below.


Oh, by the by, my buddy wanted me to link to his site. He has been rocking ImBringingBloggingBack for many years. Tremendous talent. Check it out.