3 Things You Should Know about Creating Beer Recipes
With a decade of experience in the brewing industry, Dan Weber, assistant brewing manager at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, knows a thing or two about crafting unique, quality beer. For Weber, the magic of brewing is in the process of marrying art with science to create a great recipe, and then being able to successfully repeat that formula time and again. These are skills any brewer—hobbyists and professionals, alike—needs to know, and it’s the focus of Weber’s new class with UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education, Beer Recipe Development and Scaling: From Small to Large.
“I appreciate the artistic side of coming up with something truly unique, but what I'm really interested in is how you're going to do it again and again and again.”
“I appreciate the artistic side of coming up with something truly unique,” he said. But what interests him most about the brewing process is being able to create innovative products consistently.
“A lot of people can easily put together a delicious beer one time,” said Weber. “The question then becomes, not only how to do it again consistently with the same color, the same specs, the same body and the same sweetness, but how to make it cost competitive as well.”
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This is exactly what students can expect to learn in Beer Recipe Development and Scaling: From Small to Large. Offered remotely, this hands-on course will walk students through brewing calculations and recipe development to ensure consistent production every time.
According to Weber, developing new beers is not a shot in the dark. Here are three things he shared as essential aspects of recipe development:
1. Consistency is key
The most important thing to take away is the consistency aspect. A lot of people are intimidated by the calculation side of brewing. But it’s not as hard of a process as you may think. If you design the right equations and the right spreadsheets, you can take any ingredient, any recipe and scale that up very easily.
2. Do it by the numbers
You can put a number on almost anything. So, if you’re doing things in percentages, you can easily go from a seven-barrel system to a 200-barrel system, and it should be the same. Trying to scale by flavor or something that isn’t directly mathematically scalable can cause issues.
3. Be open minded
You're not always in control of what people like. What you think might be a big hit might fail, and what you think might fail might be a big hit. So, you always have to be flexible about that and be ready to take on something you didn't expect or maybe something you didn't want in the first place because people like it.
Hear more from Dan Weber about developing beer recipes and his advice on breaking into the brewing industry.