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Old 05-16-2011, 12:22 AM   #121
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what's the batch size of this recipe?
Batch size is 5 gallons, boiling volume is about 5.75 gallons to allow for some evaporation. And I was mistaken about the IBUs being 23, it is actually closer to 27. According to Bell's, Oberon has 23 IBUs, but I did a slight miscalculation when converting from my extract recipe to all-grain. I didn't cut down the hop additions enough due to the larger boil volume. To keep the IBUs down to 23, you should cut down the 60 min. hops from 1 oz. to about 3/4 oz. Sorry about the mix-up, I have been in the process of updating all my recipes now that I have switched to mostly all-grain brewing.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:48 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by AdamWiz

Batch size is 5 gallons, boiling volume is about 5.75 gallons to allow for some evaporation. And I was mistaken about the IBUs being 23, it is actually closer to 27. According to Bell's, Oberon has 23 IBUs, but I did a slight miscalculation when converting from my extract recipe to all-grain. I didn't cut down the hop additions enough due to the larger boil volume. To keep the IBUs down to 23, you should cut down the 60 min. hops from 1 oz. to about 3/4 oz. Sorry about the mix-up, I have been in the process of updating all my recipes now that I have switched to mostly all-grain brewing.
If it close to the real thing?
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:34 PM   #123
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Is it close to the real thing?
My extract recipe that this is based on was very close to the flavor and aroma of Oberon, the color was a little darker. I recently brewed this AG recipe for the first time, so it won't be ready for a week or two. But the sample I took tasted about the same, and the color was a little closer to Oberon than the extract version was. The real key is the Cascade dry hopping, since the aroma is a big part of Oberon(do at least 1 week, but 2 is better). And it will never be an exact clone unless you culture yeast from Bell's bottles. But I honestly think that I like the version I made with White Labs American hefeweizen better, even though it was not quite as much like Oberon. It is still a really tasty wheat beer with a lot of great citrusy hop aroma. I have a theory that I may have to test soon - I think that you could brew a lot of different basic wheat beer recipes, and as long as you use Hallertau for bittering, Saaz for aroma, and dry hop with Cascade, you will probably end up with a beer with most of the characteristics of Oberon. Maybe I'll try Jamil's American wheat beer recipe from "Brewing Classic Styles" but with the hops from my Oberon recipe.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:59 PM   #124
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...And it will never be an exact clone unless you culture yeast from Bell's bottles. ...
It was my understanding that Bell's uses a neutral strain for bottle conditioning other than the primary fermenting strain. Correct me if I'm wrong...

Therefore, if this is true, culturing yeast from Bell's bottles wouldn't get you any closer to cloning the beer inside.

Anyone?

TB
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:21 PM   #125
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It was my understanding that Bell's uses a neutral strain for bottle conditioning other than the primary fermenting strain. Correct me if I'm wrong...

Therefore, if this is true, culturing yeast from Bell's bottles wouldn't get you any closer to cloning the beer inside.

Anyone?

TB
I was told by a very reliable source that they do use the same yeast as the primary fermentation to bottle condition. This was a couple years ago, though. So it is entirely possible that they changed.
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:43 AM   #126
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I was told by a very reliable source that they do use the same yeast as the primary fermentation to bottle condition. This was a couple years ago, though. So it is entirely possible that they changed. From what I know about Larry, I wouldn't doubt he would switch to a neutral conditioning strain just to keep people from trying to brew his beer. He recently threatened to sue Northern Brewer over their clone kit for two hearted ale, as if allowing someone to sell a homebrewing clone kit somehow paves the way for Anheuser Busch to start producing their own two hearted ale.
I guess until there's proof that they don't use a neutral strain to bottle condition, I wouldn't put forth the effort to culture the yeast from a Bell's bottle. I hope I'm wrong, but I have heard that they did go that route.

I did hear about that threat to sue from Bell's. The kit was called "Three Hearted Ale" and the lawyers at Bell's didn't think too kindly of it. I'm not so sure that they genuinely felt threatened by the recipe, but it was probably along the lines of "your name is too close to ours" or something like that.

I had pretty good success with my Oberon-ish recipes using the Chico strain, American wheat, and the East Coast Ale strains. I'm sure non are the actual strain used by Bell's, but I liked my version much much better. As did the members of the homebrew club I'm a member of. I guess that's what it's all about, right?

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On tap:
1. Dubbel 2. Oatmeal Amber 3. Camp Beer 4. Pale Ale 5.[Nitrogen] Dry Stout
Primary:
1. Porter 2. Porter 3. IPA 4. IPA 5. none 6. none
Secondary:
1. Brett Ale 2. Lambic 3. Lambic 4. Pils 5. Pils
Bottled:
About 36 gallons of beer & 4.2 gallons of mead
Kegged & conditioning:
Bourbon Barrel Imperial Oatmeal Stout
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:00 AM   #127
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I liked my version much much better. As did the members of the homebrew club I'm a member of. I guess that's what it's all about, right?

TB
My thoughts exactly. I don't really try too hard to precisely "clone" beers anymore. I would rather just use a beer I like as inspiration and make something similar. It is fun to try to tweak a clone recipe to make it more to my specific tastes, rather than being obsessed about things like getting the color exactly the same. No beer is perfect - even beers I really like usually have some subtle changes I would want to make when I brew them.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:02 AM   #128
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My thoughts exactly. I don't really try too hard to precisely "clone" beers anymore. I would rather just use a beer I like as inspiration and make something similar. It is fun to try to tweak a clone recipe to make it more to my specific tastes, rather than being obsessed about things like getting the color exactly the same. No beer is perfect - even beers I really like usually have some subtle changes I would want to make when I brew them.
That just about sums it up.

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On tap:
1. Dubbel 2. Oatmeal Amber 3. Camp Beer 4. Pale Ale 5.[Nitrogen] Dry Stout
Primary:
1. Porter 2. Porter 3. IPA 4. IPA 5. none 6. none
Secondary:
1. Brett Ale 2. Lambic 3. Lambic 4. Pils 5. Pils
Bottled:
About 36 gallons of beer & 4.2 gallons of mead
Kegged & conditioning:
Bourbon Barrel Imperial Oatmeal Stout
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:27 AM   #129
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They sent a cease and desist letter, they never threatened to sue, big difference. They basically sent a hard copy version of phone call asking them to change the name.

Having said that, I recently cultured the yeast from their pale ale and made a two hearted clone, it is almost spot on. I have a different IPA fermenting with the strain right now as well. Even if it is a different strain, its good stuff from the one batch I have done with it.

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Old 05-17-2011, 03:33 AM   #130
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Even if it is a different strain, its good stuff from the one batch I have done with it.
Agreed. Whatever yeast it is in the bottles, it works well. And I'm no lawyer, but my understanding is that sending a cease and desist letter is basically saying "knock it off or we will sue you". It certainly is not saying "please do us a favor and stop it, but if you don't that's OK too". If suing has nothing to do with it, then why are such letters sent by attorneys? Not looking to start an argument, though. I know there are 2 very divided camps on this one.
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