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Old 06-15-2012, 02:51 AM   #1
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Default Clone brews not for AG??

Alright, I need to get this out and see of anyone else has experienced this too...

I've now brewed about ten batches of AG recipes so I'm by now means a pro, but do have a little experience.

I have brewed several all grain recipes from people here and hit everything on target (temps, volumes, og, fg, all of it,) as well as created my own on beersmith and hit all of my volumes and gravities etc all on point.

However, tonight I brewed my third batch of an AG recipe from the clone brews book and for the third time my og was extremely low. I mean off by at least 20 points. I always end up adding any extra Dme I have left over from making starters. It's almost as if I should have mashed with my total water and used only the first runnings to use as the wort (tonight's og was supposed to be 1.083 including an 8oz maple syrup addition at 90 minute of the boil, my first runnings were 1.068 which would have put me close with adding the syrup. After the spare water my gravity was 1.045.... Way too low)


Just want to see if anyone else has the clone brew woes or if it's just me... I'll likely avoid recipes from this book in the future...seems great for extracts, not so for those all grain brewer types

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Old 06-15-2012, 12:16 PM   #2
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So no one else has ever brewed an all grain recipe out of clone brews?

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Old 06-15-2012, 12:19 PM   #3
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Well, their recipes suck actually. I've done a couple in the past, but never been happy so I put the book somewhere on the shelf and ignore it.

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Old 06-15-2012, 12:22 PM   #4
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I've done their gulden draak which is still conditioning, their unearthly which actually turnd out pretty good, and last nights was their niagara maple wheat..

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Old 06-15-2012, 12:26 PM   #5
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I've used clonebrews and the second book for a number of recipes. I'd disagree with yooper; the beers I get out are generally quite good, although the clone-ness of them is questionable (you'll be in the ball-park, but it'll not pass a side-by-side).

I'm in Canada and we tend to brew bigger beers here (our gallons are bigger), so I'm always using promash or beersmith to scale-up. But that said, the scaling is usually quite close to what you'd get if you simly multiplied by the fractional increase in volume (meaning the gravities I get are usually close to what the book calls for, with the grain bill they outline).

Do you know what your efficiency is? I think they assume 75% efficiency; if you're below that you'll consistently get a low OG.

Bryan

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Old 06-15-2012, 12:28 PM   #6
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EDIT: I just noticed your OG expectations. You're brewing a big beer there! How big is your pot & how much run-off are you collecting? High gravity batches like that usually need a lot of sparge water to collect the sugars, and a long boil (plus, big pot) to being the volume down and OG up to where you want to be.

Have you tried a lower-OG recipe from the book?

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Old 06-15-2012, 12:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warthaug
although the clone-ness of them is questionable (you'll be in the ball-park, but it'll not pass a side-by-side).

Bryan
maybe this is what she means by them sucking ... If they say it is a clone of something it should be damn near impossible to tell the two appart!
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warthaug View Post
EDIT: I just noticed your OG expectations. You're brewing a big beer there! How big is your pot & how much run-off are you collecting? High gravity batches like that usually need a lot of sparge water to collect the sugars, and a long boil (plus, big pot) to being the volume down and OG up to where you want to be.

Have you tried a lower-OG recipe from the book?

Bryan
Using a ten gallon cooler mash tun and a 1/2 barrel keggle. The boil called for a 90 minute boil and when I calculated out my mash and sparge waters I was given a mash of 5 and a sparge of 5.1 to get a preboil volume of 7.5 gallons, ending up with about 5.5 at the end of the boil
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcticBear View Post
Using a ten gallon cooler mash tun and a 1/2 barrel keggle. The boil called for a 90 minute boil and when I calculated out my mash and sparge waters I was given a mash of 5 and a sparge of 5.1 to get a preboil volume of 7.5 gallons, ending up with about 5.5 at the end of the boil
Sounds like you did it right - I've not done a big beer in a very long time, but in the past I've always needed 90min to reduce, and collected about 1/3 more than the final volume.

Re-reading your first post, it looks like you're sparge isn't picking up sugars very well. Are you batch or fly-sparging? And have you checked the mill on your grain? Maybe an issue in either the sparge or the grind is causing the low OG?

If you do try it again, keep track of your gravity as you sparge (i.e. if fly sparging check it a few times during the sparge; if batch sparging measure it mid-way through each draining of the MLT). This might give a bit of insight into what is going wrong.

Also, have you compared the clonebrews grain-bill to the grain-bill of a similar style posted here on the forums? If there is a big difference, and both recipes call for a similar OG, you may have uncovered a legitimate flaw in the book.

Bryan
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:01 PM   #10
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maybe this is what she means by them sucking ... If they say it is a clone of something it should be damn near impossible to tell the two appart!
I always assumed the lack of clone-ness was due to my errors, rather than the book. Our small batches are subject to a lot more environmental influences that the big-batches brewed by large breweries, using their state-of-the-art environmental controls...I think the chances of perfectly replicating any commercial brew (consistently) is pretty low.

I like clonebrews as I know ahead of time roughly what I'll make. Its often a good basis for developing the recipe into something I like even better.

Bryan
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