Where do I get recipes for homebrewing?

So you’ve got your equipment all ready and you’re keen to get started on your first batch. What should you make?

It is generally recommended that you start with an ale. Brewing a lager comes with more complexities that you probably don’t need right now. Its not necessarily harder, but why add further steps at this early stage?

You need to be very careful where you get your recipes from. At this early stage, if you make a bad recipe perfectly, you really won’t know whether it was your brewing practice or just a terrible recipe.

The ‘holy grail’ of recipe books is ‘Brewing Classic Styles’ by Jamil Zainasheff. Jamil is a very well known home brewer who in the last couple of years has taken the jump into starting his own brewery, Heretic Brewing Company. Brewing Classic Styles is a list of his gold medal winning recipes of which he obtained in every category of beer (at the time). You really can’t go wrong with these recipes and they make great starting points once you are ready to tweak.

Speaking of Jamil, he is involved in a brewing podcast series called the Brewing Network which I would highly recommend for recipes as well.

Another great resource is the americanhomebrewersassociation.org website. Here you will find more gold medal winning recipes along with others produced by the AHA.

You can also get great recipes on the Northern Brewer website which is a store in the US.

Forums can be a great resource for recipes but I would recommend sticking to published sources, at least at the start. Some brewers in forums are very knowledgable and could give you an amazing recipe. Unfortunately some aren’t and its hard to tell at this early stage who is faking it and who isn’t.

The great thing about home brewing is you can experiment with a number of recipes and never be out of pocket too much if the beer isn’t exactly what you want. After all, you still have beer! Now how could that be a bad thing?



  1. writefirster · January 5, 2016

    You’ve mentioned a few great resources so I thought I might add another one. A local homebrew store near boston, Homebrew Emporium, has some great recipes online here: https://beerbrew.com/recipes/ Very good recipes for all kinds of styles and easily adapted or changed if you want to make something your own.


    • benbrett · January 5, 2016

      Thanks mate! Always good to have tried and true recipes


  2. Sean · January 9, 2016

    BYO magazine would be a trusted source. http://byo.com/stories/recipeindex

    As well as recipes from Jamil’s Can You Brew It series. (Some upstanding gentleman has posted them on this forum: https://www.google.com.au/search?q=site:www.homebrewtalk.com+cybi ) — Although most of the beers they attempt to clone are American and often unfamiliar, it can be a good source of inspiration.

    For me, a large part of the joy of homebrewing is formulating my own recipes! Maybe somebody could give some tips on how to approach that …


    • benbrett · January 9, 2016

      Definitely agree Sean. I have a subscription to BYO and Zymurgy and love the recipes. I’ve also had a few brews from the CYBI series and thoroughly enjoyed them.


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