Get to know classic styles.
When developing your recipe, we recommend starting with an example of a classic style, and brew it first. understand the style you wish to play with. Once you are comfortable with the style, then you can start to play with the style.
Understand your ingredients
Getting to know your ingredients is imperative. Understanding flavours from your beer starts with understanding flavours from your ingredients. Be sure to taste your wort throughout the brew day after the mash and after the boil. Taste your malt (yes - it's edible!), and smell your hops to get a sense of what flavours they are bringing to the table.
Another great way to increase your knowledge of how ingredients can affect your beer is known as Single Malt and Single Hop (SMaSH) brewing. For example, brewing a recipe with 100% 2-row malt, and only Galaxy hops will help you define the flavours from those ingredients. Brewing the same SMaSH recipe, but changing your single malt, hops, or yeast is an excellent way to thoroughly understand the impact that each one has on your beer.
Keep it simple
Some of the most renowned beers in the world have incredibly simple recipes. The recipe for Sierra Nevada Pale Ale famously uses only two kinds of malt and one hop variety. The phrase "less is more" can be especially true for beer recipes, since too many malts and hop varieties have the potential to lead to muddled flavours. If you plan to use lots of hops, try to use varieties with complimentary flavour profiles. In saying that we are homebrewers so when you understand the ingredients don't hesitate to make that 20-ingredient beer. Because there is no way that a commercial brewery would be allowed to do that.
Make Small Incremental Changes
Being able to produce beer that meets your expectations consistently is one of the keys to being a great homebrewer. So when making changes, try to make the changes minimal between batches. this will allow you to identify the changes to the flavour from the recipe change.