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Old 02-01-2011, 07:55 PM   #1
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Default Best way to ask a brewery for recipe insight?

I wonder if anyone on has any insight as to how about asking a brewery about how to clone their beer? I know that Jamil has the recipes for the most part handed to him on CAN YOU BREW IT. I just wonder if a brewery will be a nice just to give you all the info if your just John Q Public.

If you have had luck how did you go about it? email, phone call, in person, letter, carrier pigeon?

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Old 02-01-2011, 07:57 PM   #2
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Just ask, the worst they can do is say no. I've tried before with mixed success. Fullers divulging their 1845 recipe...nope. Smaller brew pubs...sure, why not.

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Old 02-01-2011, 07:58 PM   #3
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Well I happen to know most of the local brewers so I just ask what their grain bill and hop schedule looks like. Work my way towards specific mash temps.

I don't see how it could hurt to fire off an email explaining how you just lover their XYZ ale and as a home brewer you would like to try to make it and do it justice.

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Old 02-01-2011, 08:02 PM   #4
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Just dig up an email addy for the brewery (preferably the brewer) or even a facebook page, and tell them you are a homebrewer and ask them your question or for their recipe. Most brewers/breweries are amiable to us homebrewers, since many of them are homebrewers or ex homebrewers themselves.

I've head of very few breweries NOT being helpful, obviously mostly the macros and maybe some snobbier brewpubs or micros. But it's the exception rather than the rule.

Just be prepared to get their recipes as either in the measurments THEY use and have to scale it down, or more than likely you will get the percentages in the grist like;

48% base malt
12% vienna
20% Crystal 10
10% Crystal 30
5% Corn

Hopped to 18 Ibus with centennial. Og 1.070.

You'll have to then use brewing software to input it in and tweak it.


But email/even facebook is the easiest. I've always gotten responses back from the brewers I've talked to.

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Old 02-01-2011, 08:02 PM   #5
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I agree with Ace Club. A local microbrewery/HBS has given me tips for cloning their beers. I would highly recommend going in and becoming a regular. Then you can start bringing in your home brews, ask for some pointers, and casually ask about their beers. You'll be able to gauge whether it's worth asking more depending on how they respond.

Like I said, I've had success going in person and getting buddy-buddy with the guys there. If they like you, they will want to help you succeed, since they were once doing the same thing (at least at your local breweries).

Good luck!

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Old 02-01-2011, 08:03 PM   #6
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I have done that. I emailed Schlenkerla to ask them about their beer (love a good Rauchbier). Haven't heard back yet but was just wondering how successful people where.

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Old 02-02-2011, 01:25 PM   #7
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Bad news got the word today that they will not give any info on the beer. This is some of the letter I got back.

Please understand however, that we can not give out the detailed recipees
for our Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier - they are old family secrets. A general
description with some information can however be found at
http://www.schlenkerla.de/rauchbier/sorten/sortene.html. Also, there is
nowadays quite some literature for homebrewers with recipees for "smokey"
beer (not the real Schlenkerla recipe, though - especially since our own
made Schlenkerla smoked malt is NOT available commercially).

I hope for your understanding and remain
with best regards from Bamber

Oh well guess I'm going have to do it the hard way..... Its a shame to have to drink all the trials that will happen.

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