If you enjoy formulating your own beer recipes our Brewing Calculator is an essential tool to help you.
The most common approach to crafting your own beer recipe when you start out is to use a malt extract beer kit and then add combinations of malt, glucose, corn syrup and perhaps some crystal grains. As you progress towards master brewer status you'll probably enjoy experimenting using malt extract and hops instead of the beer kit as a base.
Aside from colour and flavour, the other two main factors you'll be interested in are alcohol content and "body". Body is the mouth feel, or texture, of the beer.
If you are wanting to make a beer of a specific strength or final Specific Gravity you can experiment with the ingredient weights in the calculator to work out the combination that will produce the beer you want. Note that figures are a guide only - final SG can vary with the use of different yeast strains. Also the use of enzymes in your beer will change your final gravity. DO NOT USE THESE FIGURES TO ESTABLISH END OF FERMENTATION, they are estimates only and may vary.
A GUIDE TO SPECIFIC GRAVITY AND BODY
Stouts and heavy ales are nicer if they have plenty of body. A lot of quality European beers have a medium amount of body and beers that are popular in tropical countries are typically light bodied.The SG of a finished beer is a fairly good indication of the body of the beer. Beers with plenty of body have a high final SG and beers with little body have a low final SG. The table below can be used as a rough guide.
|Body||Final SG||Some Typical Beer Styles|
|Light||1.000 - 1.008||Australian Lagers, Bitters, Draughts|
|Light - Medium||1.008 - 1.012||Australian Premium Beers|
|Medium||1.012 - 1.018||European Lagers and Pilsners, Lighter European, English Ales|
|Full||1.018 - 1.025||Heavy Ales, Lighter Stouts, Porters|
|Very Full||1.025 +||Heavy Stouts|