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Old 07-16-2009, 10:31 PM   #1
gator
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Default To Clone Or Not To Clone???

i'm kinda curious whether or not most people when starting out clone some brews they dig, getting a better feel for the process and then move on to creating recipes that are mostly your own or did you just jump in feet first?

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Old 07-16-2009, 10:34 PM   #2
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I use beers I like as a starting point. Generally, I research a beer that represents the style and feel of the beer I want to make. Then I form a recipe to be like that beer. I brew that and see how it is. The first attempt will not be exact unless you are really good, or get really lucky. Then I go from that starting point to refine my own beer.

Or I am inspired by a random idea and create my own recipe out of no-where.

When I started, I used all other people recipes, mostly from the owner of my lhbs who is a very good brewer and always had good recipes.

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Old 07-16-2009, 10:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gator View Post
i'm kinda curious whether or not most people when starting out clone some brews they dig, getting a better feel for the process and then move on to creating recipes that are mostly your own or did you just jump in feet first?

gator
I'll start by saying the best part of brewing is that you can do whatever you want.

But I think recipes are a great idea. Not necessarily clones, but you had better start with some sort of guidlines or targets. If you just throw **** together it's unlikely you will make great or even good beer, and it will also be hard to determine whether your recipes, or your process, is holding you back.

Clones are good because it gives you something to shoot for.

I personally work a lot from Jamils' Brewing Classic Styles book. As opposed to some recipe books all of his have won awards in their respective categories - so you know that they are good. And many will be very close to commercial examples.

For every beer I make 'to style' I try to make something of my own, blending the techniques from styles that I like.

If you know "the ins and outs" of making almost every style, there is no limit to the beers you could produce.
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:42 PM   #4
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I didn't do many clones ( a Dos Equis once, that was about it). I went for types rather than clones. But I had the advantage of a very knowledgeable LHBS guy to help me in the early days.

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Old 07-16-2009, 11:57 PM   #5
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Out of 20+ brews, I only tried to brew one clone (Mirror Pond). After I brewed it, I figured I drink enough Mirror Pond that I don't need more of it. Then again, being that I don't have a lot of variety of beers to choose from I will probably try cloning some more beers again. I did an Edworts Arrogant Bastard clone yesterday, but I cannot get it anywhere around here. I really liked the beer when I lived in California and am hoping this clone is just the way I remember it.

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Old 07-17-2009, 12:12 AM   #6
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I've bought 4 clone books. I looked through these starting with ales (since up till a week ago I fermented at room temp) and went to my local beer store that sells probably 600+ types of beer and you can buy them individually. So far I have tried probably 150 beers that I have clones for. I even bought ones from styles I don't care for just to try. I rated all that I tried and now have about 25 beers that I gave an 8 or better (score 1-10) for me to clone. Now that I know what styles I really like and have a few examples from each style, when I start making my own recipes I'll have a good base from where to start a formulation. If you can't find a clone in one of those books just Google it and you'll find it.

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Old 07-17-2009, 12:18 AM   #7
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Wow. When I saw the title of this thread, I was expecting that it was in the debate forum and I was about to talk about Dolly!

I use clone beer recipes but not often. Sometimes I'll use a clone recipe to see how close I can get to the beer I am trying to emulate. I understand that a lot of this depends on how good the recipe is but I enjoy comparing a clone recipe to the actual beer to see how close I came.

I find that doing this teaches me a lot about how to distinguish different flavors present in beer. I have learned a lot trying to isolate differences in taste between the actual beer and a homebrewed version.

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Old 07-17-2009, 12:23 AM   #8
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I am sitting here drinking the best oatmeal stout I ever had. I looked at quite a few recipes and came up with my own that was an average of all of em. It came out perfect, probably the best beer I have ever brewed. I had a family reunion last weekend and they drank one corny keg.

I just kegged a boddingtons clone for my girlfriend (and my self). I split one can of boddingtons with my brew partner when we started the batch and kept the rest to compare to mine. I am expecting more of a real ale than what is in the can.

You can do both. I also have a house ale that is simple. I make one change to it sometimes to see what it does to the beer.

Sometimes I think the style police will be after me, but the beer is good.

Good luck.
David

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Old 07-17-2009, 03:29 PM   #9
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Sorry to highjack, but didn't want to start a new thread. Looking to get a clone book, and I've found two.

Brew your own's
Brew Your Own: The How-To Homebrew Beer Magazine - 150 Classic Clone Recipes

and this one from amazon
Clone Brews: Homebrew Recipes for 150 Commercial Beers: Amazon.ca: Mark Szamatulski, Tess Szamatulski: Books

any recomendations for one over the other?

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Old 07-17-2009, 03:45 PM   #10
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I find myself doing a lot of clone recipes because I am still a beginner and want to learn what makes the beer, what changes will effect certain aspects. Once I am confident that I can create my own recipe, I will. Only brewing once a month really slows this down though. I need more friends to drink my beer so I run out faster

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