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Old 06-15-2012, 01:12 PM   #1
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Default Why do you Clone?

I was just interested in the different motivations people had for cloning commercial beers. As home brewers we can be as creative as we want, so why mimic something that already exists?

In the past I've cloned b/c I thought I could make cheaper than buying it at the store. This was certainly the case if you just account for ingredients, but if you factor in the cost of equipment I think the break even point for me was around 50-60 gallons, and even then the savings were slight. Ultimately, I used those savings to justify more equipment, so I may have never actually broke even.

Currently, If I do a clone it's to get my bearings before crafting my own recipe. I make the clone b/c I know it will get me close to where I want to be and in brewing it I learn where I can make tweaks and improvements to make it my own.

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Old 06-15-2012, 01:45 PM   #2
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For me it's usually because it's a beer I can't get locally so it's either one I tried somewhere that I really liked, or one that I've heard really good things about. Also it's kind of cool to test your skills as a brewer to see how close to the original you can get.

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Old 06-15-2012, 01:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by microbusbrewery
For me it's usually because it's a beer I can't get locally so it's either one I tried somewhere that I really liked, or one that I've heard really good things about. Also it's kind of cool to test your skills as a brewer to see how close to the original you can get.
This is the main reason that I will clone. I will brew it up and the. Do a side by side with the original to see how I did.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:34 PM   #4
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I do it to see if I can as well as to enjoy beers as close to the original as possible but paying lots less for it. I rarely hit it very close and always come out with an enjoyable beer.
I only make clones about 1/3 the time.

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Old 06-15-2012, 03:39 PM   #5
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I clone less and less but when I started brewing, I did it to learn with good known recipes.
I still clone when I think that some beers have been outstanding and very close if not identical to the original. I live in Ireland and although we can find a decent selection of beer, there is always that one that you want and can't find then cloning is the only option.

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Old 06-15-2012, 03:40 PM   #6
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For me it's usually because it's a beer I can't get locally so it's either one I tried somewhere that I really liked, or one that I've heard really good things about. Also it's kind of cool to test your skills as a brewer to see how close to the original you can get.
That's my main reason right there. The main beer I brew a clone of is Pliny, since there's no Pliny in MN unless you order it online.
Another reason is to test my brewing skills. I like to take a known clone of a beer I know well, and brew it. Usually it takes a few brews to get it tweaked to my system and have it come out like the original. I get a lot of satisfaction from being able to do that.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:41 PM   #7
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I like the challenge of trying to brew something that is a known good product. I also find that it helps me locate areas in my process that need refinement or a complete redo. From there, I can take a clone and turn it into something unique. English grain/yeast on an APA, etc. Roughly 30% of my brews are clones.

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Old 06-15-2012, 03:50 PM   #8
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Most of the beers I clone are seasonals that I don't want to wait to be released. Most of the time I just want to drink it for less $$. It's also a great way to test your brewing skills.

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Old 06-15-2012, 03:56 PM   #9
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I'm about to brew my first all grain batch and am doing a Pliny clone. My first batch ever was a clone of Red Chair NWPA by Deschutes. I think it is good to have something that works to be able to take some of the pressure off your first time doing something new. Probably won't clone anything again though after that. I enjoy my own concoctions.

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Old 06-15-2012, 03:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by microbusbrewery View Post
For me it's usually because it's a beer I can't get locally so it's either one I tried somewhere that I really liked, or one that I've heard really good things about. Also it's kind of cool to test your skills as a brewer to see how close to the original you can get.
Yep, this is a great explanation. I plan to give Chimay Grande reserve a shot before too long. I'm hoping I can brew something close enough to be good.
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