According to the reviews I read, people are saying that the extract recipe kit from Austin Homebrew Supply is awful compared to their AG version. They say the AG version of the Hoegaarden clone is spot on, but if I'm using extract, I'd be better off getting the AHS Belgium White, which is a wheat beer, and have something similar without trying to duplicate it and missing the mark.
The obvious solution would be to try the all grain version, but I'm not ready to take that leap yet. Even though I've been brewing for a while, maybe 4 years, I've never graduated beyond using extract kits with steeped grains and hops.. I just don't really have the supplies or space to switch to all grain brewing. And, just the thought of it makes me nervous.
I want to make the Hoegaarden clone for my spouse who doesn't exactly support my hobby, but at least, when he wants a beer and doesn't like what I currently have available, will buy a 6 pack of Hoegaarden instead of what he used to buy before I started, a 12 pack of Bud light. I've turned him into a beer snob, which I guess is a good thing.
Thing is, I've never really met a beer I didn't like, so I'm not the best judge of character, I'll drink and enjoy something slightly sweet and malty, or something bitter and hoppy. Or even kind of sour if a wild strain of yeast gets in there. Just a matter of fermenting it long enough or conditioning it long enough in the bottle. At this point, my spouse is probably more of a beer snob than I am. I want to make this Hoegaarden clone for him, or at least something similar that he'd really like. Any suggestions?