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Old 11-16-2008, 05:40 PM   #1
drux_tx
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Default Anybody have a good Polish Beer / Zywiec Clone?

Even though BeerAdvocate rates Zywiec overall a C+ beer, I'm really fond of the certain mouthfeel of it (and other Polish lagers). I used to drink it fairly often when I lived in Chicago, but down here in Texas, I can't find it and have to bring back trunk-loads when I visit up north.

There *has* to be a way to clone it, or at least get a close proximity.

Googling has come up with nothing.

Is anyone else familiar with this one, and can give me any suggestions on how to go about finding a clone recipe or developing my own? If I was smart, I'd hazard a guess that there'd be Saaz hops involved...

Thanks in advance.

Edit: Found a thread. w00t!
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/polish-lager-19797/

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Old 11-16-2008, 08:06 PM   #2
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The Central Market on Hulen has Zywiec in big bottles for I think $2. Also, if you're ever up in Norman, Oklahoma, the Spirit Shop has Okocim.

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Old 11-16-2008, 08:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by phissionkorps View Post
The Central Market on Hulen has Zywiec in big bottles for I think $2. Also, if you're ever up in Norman, Oklahoma, the Spirit Shop has Okocim.
I didn't see them last time I was there (this past week). I had been in contact with their purchaser in the past to get them to carry it. I stared at their selection for a good 15 minutes as I normally do, but didn't see it. I'll have to ask next time.

As much as I love Okocim, too, I can't think of a good reason to go to Oklahoma.

While I love Central Market for many reasons, I've found that they really gouge you on the large single-serving beers. I have to be *real careful* when I go there.
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:54 PM   #4
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I was there last night and saw some. It's on the top shelf, either in the section with all the Baltikas, or to the left more towards the Asian beers, but definitely on the top shelf. Just scrutinize the top shelf...I wouldn't ask. The main guy there told me they didn't have any sour beers (there are 2 or 3), and then I asked for something not too obscure (can't remember what though) and he tried to tell me it didn't exist. I don't like their prices either, but they have the best selection in town that I've found anyway. If you don't already, get the crown card (for free) from Majestic Liquor and check on their site for what beers are on sale. Sometimes they'll have good 12 pks (Franziskaner, Spaten, Sierra Nevada) for $12.

I might be going to Norman this coming weekend. If I do I might be able to bring back some Okocim. It's a little pricey though at IIRC $8 for a 6.

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Old 11-16-2008, 09:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by phissionkorps View Post
I was there last night and saw some. It's on the top shelf, either in the section with all the Baltikas, or to the left more towards the Asian beers, but definitely on the top shelf. Just scrutinize the top shelf...I wouldn't ask. The main guy there told me they didn't have any sour beers (there are 2 or 3), and then I asked for something not too obscure (can't remember what though) and he tried to tell me it didn't exist. I don't like their prices either, but they have the best selection in town that I've found anyway. If you don't already, get the crown card (for free) from Majestic Liquor and check on their site for what beers are on sale. Sometimes they'll have good 12 pks (Franziskaner, Spaten, Sierra Nevada) for $12.

I might be going to Norman this coming weekend. If I do I might be able to bring back some Okocim. It's a little pricey though at IIRC $8 for a 6.
They must have restocked since I was there on Tuesday -- they didn't have any Baltika in stock. You're absolutely right regarding the help, though. The section manager is good, but my wife had asked a week ago for a barley wine (at my request) and said they didn't have any -- well, I had found one last week over by the lambics. Go figure.

I keep hearing good things about Majestic. I need to pop into the one over on Bryant Irving the next trip out to CostCo. Thanks for the tip.

$8/6pk for Okocim isn't actually half-bad considering the cost of me driving to Chicago and back. Generally in Chicago, I've been able to find Zywiec and Okocim ~around~ the $1/per bottle mark. I love 'em to death, but I won't pay 2.5x that when there are other fine, cheaper local brews.

...which reminds me, I need to write a "strongly worded email" to the folks over at Rahr so they start bottling with pop-tops and not screw-tops. I've gotten weird about trying to only buy commercial with bottles I can use.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:01 AM   #6
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You must have tasted Żywiec long ago, now it is Heineken property and they produce average generic euro-beer.

Anyway, here is a recipe for "old" Żywiec, from one of best Polish hemebrewers, (for ~5 gallons, but with good efficiency):

pils ................................... 3,0 kg
munich .............................. 0,3 kg
carapils ............................. 0,2 kg
acidulated ......................... 0,03 kg

mash:
64 C - 15 min
74 C - 45 min

Hops:
(90 min) marynka ................................ 15 g
(90 min) lublin .................................... 20 g
(60 min) lublin .................................... 10 g
(5 min) lublin ....................................... 5 g

WYEAST Munich Lager or Saflager S-23

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Old 11-17-2008, 02:06 PM   #7
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You must have tasted Żywiec long ago, now it is Heineken property and they produce average generic euro-beer.
Huh, since the acquisition apparently went through in the mid-90's, I guess all I've had is the Heineken-bought stuff. I never said it was the most wonderful beer in the world, but I have a lot of memories of hanging out in near-empty Chicago polish bars that served it.

Anyway, thanks for the recipe!
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