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Old 02-04-2013, 05:14 PM   #31
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I find that a BS reason. If they don't want to give out their recipes, that's their right, and I'm fine with it. But then just say you don't want to. To claim you're doing homebrewers a service by not giving out your recipes is farcical. [snip] So by all means, withhold your recipe, but just do it on the grounds that you don't want to give it out, not by claiming you're protecting all the poor homebrewers out there by not giving it out.
I agree totally with this. The brewmaster came off kinda high handed and uppity to my mind, lind of like the people who blithly state "it's the journey, not the destination". Well for this guy with two jobs, a wife, and a kid who's busy outside school five days a week I don't have the time for some enlightened "journey". I'd just like to brew "that beer" that I liked so much and learn through that process to a known exemplar, the commercial bottle.

To use a cooking anology, I've found it easier to use a recipe to learn from a known sample how the ingredients mix and marry than to throw stuff together and guess which interactions produced what I'm tasting. For me it pays to start at a list of knowns then tweak one item at a time, learning what they contribute to the mix. Working out the recipe on your own (esp for a nOOb like me) gives me a laundry list of unknowns to sort out before even getting close to the taste I'm looking for.

Take the leffe clone I have in the works. I dont have the experience to get appreciably close on the first try on my own from scratch. I also dont have the time to go through 3-5+ batches tweaking along the way to get what I want, not including making allowances for equipment variables (another boogyman). Yeah each will produce beer, but it aint the beer I want.

As far as the breweries giving accurate information, I think they do. I can't see that they see us as a threat to their bottom line. Homebrewers may seem rather thick on the ground here but "out in the world" I think were more thinly spread. Plus I think it's been said that recipe buzz directs attention to their product to a certain dregree.
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Last edited by moski; 02-07-2013 at 05:18 AM. Reason: more Drunken spelling
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:44 PM   #32
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I completely agree. I have never been interested in cloning any commercial brew. I am very much inspired by commercial beers I have drank but never have I wanted to copy them verbatim. What is the point? Go buy a sixer of it and save some money, seriously. I guess people see it as a challenge but I think trying to piece it out yourself and dial it in is much more the point of a challenge instead of copying a recipe a brewer gives you to duplicate it to the letter.

Just my .02.
For starters, I actually enjoy homebrewing. It's not a chore to brew, it's fun. And so while I'm homebrewing, why not brew a beer that I like, like Bell's Two Hearted IPA? I can use Bell's as a model to judge my process. It's especially useful if I know the basic recipe to start with.

Also, I can brew Two Hearted for about 1/3 the price that I can buy it locally (Price per 6-pack vs cost of 6 bottles of a 5 gallon batch of homebrew), so I'd rather Homebrew and save some money, seriously.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:37 PM   #33
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For starters, I actually enjoy homebrewing. It's not a chore to brew, it's fun. And so while I'm homebrewing, why not brew a beer that I like, like Bell's Two Hearted IPA? I can use Bell's as a model to judge my process. It's especially useful if I know the basic recipe to start with.

Also, I can brew Two Hearted for about 1/3 the price that I can buy it locally (Price per 6-pack vs cost of 6 bottles of a 5 gallon batch of homebrew), so I'd rather Homebrew and save some money, seriously.
I'm of the same mindset here. Enjoy brewing, appreciate the learning process and along the way save some cash for other hobbies/expenses.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:46 PM   #34
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For starters, I actually enjoy homebrewing. It's not a chore to brew, it's fun. And so while I'm homebrewing, why not brew a beer that I like, like Bell's Two Hearted IPA? I can use Bell's as a model to judge my process. It's especially useful if I know the basic recipe to start with.

Also, I can brew Two Hearted for about 1/3 the price that I can buy it locally (Price per 6-pack vs cost of 6 bottles of a 5 gallon batch of homebrew), so I'd rather Homebrew and save some money, seriously.
I'm pretty sure I didn't say anything about homebrewing being a chore or not. I only said that I personally prefer to be inspired by a finished product and figure out along the way what gets me close to those examples instead of just coloring within the lines.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:28 AM   #35
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I'm pretty sure I didn't say anything about homebrewing being a chore or not. I only said that I personally prefer to be inspired by a finished product and figure out along the way what gets me close to those examples instead of just coloring within the lines.
But you did ask what's the point of cloning a recipe, and he was, as I read it, answering that question. "The point" for him is that he enjoys the process, and then gets to enjoy the end result.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:08 AM   #36
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I'm fortunate to live close to several breweries and brew masters who are very forthcoming with advice and details on how they brew their beers. I usually brew to get close to one of their beers I like the most, then after the first one I tailor the next one to make it into something I like even more. Once in a while I bring in my own beer for a comparison and tasting with the brew master. Amazing what these guys can tell from just a sip of beer...

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Old 02-05-2013, 06:07 AM   #37
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I sent a brewery a question about how much pecan they use in their pecan beer, because i was brewing a pecan porter as part of an iron brewer competition. Their response was "I'm sure you understand why we can't share any information about our recipes." I felt like writing back "actually no, I can't understand in the slightest why you think your recipe is so important that you won't even share some ballpark figures on pecan additions."
Because 10 years from now, you're going to open a nano brewery that will springboard into a 300bbl regional powerhouse. Over the next 5 years, you will create an ultimate pecan beer clone, Identical Clone, that you will pump out of your now 900 bbl brewhouse, and release to the market at cost. This will be so cheap that the brewery you got the recipe from wont be able to compete in the pecan flavored beer market. They will fold under your great might . You will then control 96% of the pecan beer industry all because one micro brewery foolishly gave you a ballpark figure of their pecan content 20 years ago.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:41 AM   #38
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Because 10 years from now, you're going to open a nano brewery that will springboard into a 300bbl regional powerhouse. Over the next 5 years, you will create an ultimate pecan beer clone, Identical Clone, that you will pump out of your now 900 bbl brewhouse, and release to the market at cost. This will be so cheap that the brewery you got the recipe from wont be able to compete in the pecan flavored beer market. They will fold under your great might . You will then control 96% of the pecan beer industry all because one micro brewery foolishly gave you a ballpark figure of their pecan content 20 years ago.
Darn you, Ba-KHAAAAAAAN! You figured out my evil pecan-beer-market domination scheme!
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:52 AM   #39
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The reason pro breweries won't release their recipes is simple: there's zero incentive to do so, and the risks of releasing it are unknown.

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Old 02-05-2013, 12:40 PM   #40
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The reason pro breweries won't release their recipes is simple: there's zero incentive to do so, and the risks of releasing it are unknown.
I disagree that the incentive is zero. Building goodwill and positive brand image with home brewers has value. How much value? I sure don't know, but giving some of the most passionate beer drinkers around an additional reason to like your brewery has value.
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