Tool: Instruction Sheet Builder

If you primarily brew ales and lagers from ingredient kits, your record keeping is usually pretty simple. Take notes on the instruction sheet provided with the kit.

However, you will probably try your hand at brewing from a recipe at some point. For me that was batch #4. I didn't really want to, but I sat down at the computer and created an instruction sheet, like the ones I'd been getting in the ingredient kits. It gave me a script to follow from brew day all the way through bottle conditioning to that first exciting sip!

Now I had an instruction sheet, complete with spaces to fill in times, dates and specific gravities. But it's only good for that one recipe. What I needed was a way to easily generate a new instruction sheet for each recipe.

So I wrote the Instruction Sheet Builder! It's designed to provide solid instructions for ales and lagers, with or without steeping/mashing grains. Since I recently ventured into the exciting world of all grain brewing, it will now work with 5 Gallon extract or BIAB All Grain recipes. Just fill in the form and press the Build Instruction Sheet button. Here is an example of a completed form and the instruction sheet it generated: Budd Light Clone

The instruction sheets are based on the way I brew beer. A lot of how I brew was influenced by the helpful folks at What Ale's Ya. Since my first three batches were from Brewer's Best ingredient kits, my instruction sheets have a similar look to them. I also learned quite a bit from John J. Palmer's book: "How To Brew, Everything you need to know to brew beer right the first time" as well as the other books listed on my About page.

Instruction Sheet Builder:

FieldInput
Beer Style Ale Lager
Process Extract BIAB
Recipe Name
Description
IBUsLow: High:
OGLow: High:
FGLow: High:
SRMLow: High:
ABV %Low: High:
Total Boil Time Min.
Steeping/Mashing
Grains
#1: lb. oz.
#2: lb. oz.
#3: lb. oz.
#4: lb. oz.
#5: lb. oz.
#6: lb. oz.
Steeping/Mashing Time: Min.
Preferred Steeping/Mashing Temp: Degrees Fahrenheit
Extracts#1: lb. oz.
#2: lb. oz.
#3: lb. oz.
#4: lb. oz.
Boil
Ingredients
#1: lb. oz. @ Min.
#2: lb. oz. @ Min.
#3: lb. oz. @ Min.
#4: lb. oz. @ Min.
#5: lb. oz. @ Min.
#6: lb. oz. @ Min.
Rest Time Min.
Yeast
Preferred Fermentation Temp: Degrees Fahrenheit
Secondary (Ales) Days
Finish Bottle Keg

NOTES:

  • IBU = International Bittering Units
  • OG = Original Gravity (Before Fermentation)
  • FG = Final Gravity (After Fermentation)
  • SRM = Standard Research Method Color Scale (0 = Clear, 40+ = Black)
  • ABV = Alcohol By Volume (Percentage)
  • If your recipe doesn't specify a range of numbers for IBU, OG, FG, SRM or ABV, just enter the value in the Low field.
  • Boil ingredient times are minutes until the end of the boil. For a 60 minute boil, the bittering hops would be entered as 60, since they are the first to go into the boil. In other words, what would a kitchen timer read when that ingredient goes into the boil.
  • Your first Boil Ingredient should be your bittering hops and the minutes should be the same as the Total Boil Time.
  • Extracts that are added to the boil after the bittering hops should be entered in the Boil Ingredients section, not in the Extracts section.
  • Leave unused fields blank.
  • When you have an instruction sheet you are happy with, save it to your hard drive so you can print a fresh copy whenever you brew that recipe.
  • Using the Instruction Sheet Builder will not guarantee a good brew. :-) But please let me know if you spot any glaring errors or there's a missing feature you just can't live without. I'll do what I can. Thanks!