What I Include On My Home Brewing Record Sheets

Since I started making my own beer I’ve generally cobbled together brewing records after each batch. These have become more and more unwieldy so I’ve decided to get things in order.

I’ve put together a printable record sheet for remembering key information.

home brew record sheets (hand written)

Brewing records are important if you intend to improve as a brewer.

It’s useful to be able to repeat a successful brew, or understand and change something that might not have worked out so well.

There are many approaches to brewing records ranging from simple to everything but the kitchen sink. A quick search online will return many printable brewing sheets which are perfectly serviceable.

Eventually you should develop your own based on your priorities and interests as a brewer.

A good record sheet includes everything that affects the outcome of the brew. Obviously the beer recipe is important, but there are also environmental factors such as fermentation and bottling temperatures to consider.

Processes that are subject to change, such as the time taken to boil, or cool, are also worthwhile remembering.

You can go into as much or as little detail as you want of course. You could avoid records altogether and make each new brew an adventure, but I prefer to have a way of (atempting to) recreate and improve successes.

To develop my record sheet, I analysed my brew process noting down each variable subject to change. I also reviewed some example record sheets, including those at Radical Brewing and How to Brew.

What’s On A Typical Record Sheet?

Most home brewing record sheets include a selection of the same rudimentary information:

Beer Information

  • name
  • style (if not in name)

Malt and Other Sugars

  • type
  • weight
  • when added

Hops

  • variety
  • form (pellet, leaf, etc.)
  • weight
  • % alpha acid
  • when added

Yeast

  • type
  • preparation

Other

  • clarifiers
  • nutrients
  • spices
  • fruit

Priming Sugar

  • type
  • preparation

Key Dates

  • brewing
  • (racked to secondary)
  • bottling

Gravity Readings

  • original gravity
  • final gravity
  • pre-boil gravity
  • intermittent readings on key dates

Temperature Information

  • Mash temperature
  • Fermentation temperature
  • Bottling Tempertaure

Other Information

  • Length of boil
  • Length of fermentation
  • PH
  • water analysis or treatment

Verdict

  • aroma
  • appearance
  • flavour
  • mouthfeel
  • overall impression

(These tasting categories relate to the BJCP beer judging score sheet)

Other Comments

  • what to change
  • was it a success

I don’t want to record all this, but they’re all things that influence the beer.

The Home Brew Manual Brewing Record Sheet

I want my record sheet to remind me of three things:

  • If it’s worth making a particular beer again
  • If there’s something that wasn’t quite right and that could be improved
  • How I made the beer in the first place

Some of the items in the long list above just don’t concern me now. I may add them later to enhance my recording keeping but for now I just want things I know I will refer to again.

This has led me to this record sheet:

Home brewing record sheets from the Home Brew Manual

If you prefer to download a pdf of the record sheet click here : Home Brewing Record Sheets

Digital Home Brew Record Keeping

Your brew record sheet could also be turned into a digital file in Word or Excel. The benefit of this is that it’s easily editable and can quickly be searched if you’re looking for beers with a particular ingredient.

Another option used by many brewers is to use recipe software. Programmes such as Hopville enable you to record tasting notes and other measured data to your original beer recipes.

I’ve experimented with digital record keeping but for now I’m sticking with the printed sheet.

Record keeping is an important part of home brewing.

Get the habit!

Update:

Since writing this post I’ve started using a more detailed home brewing log sheet.

Although the one above is fine and covers most things, I eventually found  I wanted to record more information for each brew than would fit on one side of A4.

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