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Old 08-21-2007, 09:02 PM   #1
teu1003
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Default Clone Brews

When I read the posts on here, I notice that many brewers tell what they have on tap or are in the process of brewing. Many are so called "clone brews" and I'm curious. Do you clone commercially available beer because (a) its not available in your area? (b) its cheaper? (c) just to see if you can do it?

I must admit that it has never dawned on me to try to brew something I can buy anytime I want. I don't mean that I don't brew, say, an APA -- only that I wouldn't go out of my way to hunt up a clone recipe of Sierra Neveda Pale Ale or Victory Hop Devil. They are plentiful, fresh and cheap 12 months a year around here.

I like Vienna Lager but I definitely DON'T want a Dos Equis clone.

I brew pretty normal stuff, from session beers to barley wines and have also done meads, ciders and wines from blackberries my wife and I picked. Some are good and some not so good, but much of the fun comes from knowing that, for the most part, I thunk 'em up my own self.

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Old 08-21-2007, 09:04 PM   #2
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I started with clone kits because it's a good way to see if your end product came out right since you know what the beer is supposed to taste like

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Old 08-21-2007, 09:04 PM   #3
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For me, the commercial beers represent a target that I want to get close to. I have never tried to brew a beer simply because I want to replicate some commercial brew. Rather, I want to get a recipe close to the tastes I like in the commercial example, and then tweak it from there. Sure beats starting from scratch (although I do that too, for fun).

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Old 08-21-2007, 09:06 PM   #4
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I think you will find that very few people follow clone recipes to the letter. Most folks modify them a little to further suit their tastes. I mean, if you love a beer, starting with a clone of it is a good way of increasing the odds you'll get something you enjoy.

And yes, I think it is fun to figure out how certain beers are made and try to copy, or improve them. Afterall, it's no small feat to replicate something on a small scale that's sold by a company with millions of dollars in fancy equipment...

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Old 08-21-2007, 09:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teu1003
...I wouldn't go out of my way to hunt up a clone recipe of Sierra Neveda Pale Ale or Victory Hop Devil. They are plentiful, fresh and cheap 12 months a year around here.
Two things:

1) I can brew 10 gallons of my Nierra Sevada -aka SNPA (which I've been told by two folks here who have brewed it that it's spot on)...for about 30 cents a bottle. I can also have it on tap.

B) I can tweak the recipe to correct for universally accepted downfalls. Like My Newcastle Brown. A common complaint about the commercial version is that there is very little to no head and absolutely no lacing. My NewCastle not only tastes very close, it has a nice luscious head and lacing on the glass that lasts until the end.

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Old 08-21-2007, 09:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher
Two things:

1) I can brew 10 gallons of my Nierra Sevada -aka SNPA (which I've been told by two folks here who have brewed it that it's spot on)...for about 30 cents a bottle. I can also have it on tap.

B) I can tweak the recipe to correct for universally accepted downfalls. Like My Newcastle Brown. A common complaint is that there is very little to no head and absolutely no lacing. My NewCastle not only tastes very close, it ahs a nice luscious head and lacing on the glass that lasts until the end.
I feel another beer swap coming on.....
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:17 PM   #7
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I started brewing clones to judge how my brews were turning out. Then I started tweaking them to my preferences. Now I brew clones for beers I cannot regularly obtain.

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Old 08-21-2007, 10:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJadedDog
I started brewing clones to judge how my brews were turning out. Then I started tweaking them to my preferences. Now I brew clones for beers I cannot regularly obtain.
Exactly. You gotta start with a base preference. If you like Pales, then brewing a stout doesn't make sense. If you're gonna brew a Pale, find a commercial you like and follow their lead. THen, improve on it to meet your preferences.
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:12 PM   #9
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I've just finished brewing my first Clone (Honker's Ale) and have just ordered my second Clone (Stone IPA). I did the first and I want to see if I can come close to the original. It lets me know I'm doing something right The second is because I've heard such good things about this beer and I can't find it ANYWHERE around me.

Eric

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Old 08-21-2007, 11:32 PM   #10
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i started doing clone brews to get a better feeling of what styles use what ingredients and how the different mixtures influence the final flavor. none of the clone brews i've made have turned out exactly like the commercial versions, but they've all been great beers.

my gulden draak clone has been over six months in the making. almost ready to bottle. i think i'm going to call it "silver dragon" or something silly

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