The other day I was on a “home brew community” page on Facebook. There was one person who asked in a post if anyone had a good recipe for a Belgian Tripel, and as one may expect there were tons of replies. It got me thinking, “what if I needed a recipe for a Tripel or any recipe for that matter and where would I go to find it?” I’m not saying that the people posting on the page are not good brewers, and I’m not saying that the recipes were bad, but how would I know? Am I going to rely on some random person to give me an award-winning recipe? I know that I am not. If I had to start I would walk over to my bookshelf and pick up my copy of Brewing Classic Styles in which I would find an award-winning recipe for whatever style I am looking for.
Then I think, “But Zak, what if I just don’t like the way that recipe is looking at me from the book?” Then I might find an award-winning recipe in Zymurgy (which everybody has because everyone is a member of the AHA and Zymurgy is a part of that membership right?) where every year you can find a list of all the winning styles from last years National Homebrew Competition on parade.
“But Zak, those recipes gave me the stink eye as well so where do I go now smart guy?” Well you could ask one of the members in your local Homebrew club which you belong to and if no member had one well they might point you to Brew Your Own magazine where you could look back in the issues and find multiple recipes for your style.
“But Zak” STOP! This is all the further I am willing to go with this, at this point you can ask all the wonderful experts on any forum you can find in which you will find vast amounts of wisdom and stupidity alike. All the references I listed above, except for the forums is where I would point you to go find a recipe. Brew it and have it judged by either BJCP judges or by your friends and mostly by yourself after which you can adjust the recipe and find out if you like the changes you made.