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Old 01-19-2010, 12:05 PM   #1
Jan 2010
Posts: 7

I recently picked up a copy of Clone Brews. I've only brewed one batch so far using a TrueBrew kit so it seemed very simple to complete. After reading some things and watching videos on home brewing, I had a couple of questions about the recipes in Clone Brew.

1. The recipes say crush and steep 1/2 gallon 150F water for 20 minutes then strain and sparge.

What exactly does it mean crush? Also, what I've been reading is that most people steep longer than 20 minutes and I thought at about 170F. I'm curious because every recipe in this book calls for this first step for the same time at the same temperature. I'm new so I don't really yet understand what the temperature and length of time for steeping does to the beer.

2. The recipes call for a final boil and then remove the pot from the stove and let cool for 15 minutes. Then strain the wort into the primary and add cold water, wait until it is under 80F to pitch your yeast.

Again every recipe in the book pretty much has the same final boil steps. I'm a little confused because other videos and readings seem to say that you have to cool the wort down as quickly as possible but this seems like you just let it sit and cool down. Again since I'm new I don't really understand what cooling the wort quickly or not does to the beer. Also, do most people strain the wort into the primary?

I've been told that the recipes are guidelines and the beauty behind home brewing is that you get to control everything. I was hoping to follow these as much as possible, do a few batches of the beers I'm familiar with the taste of and then start to experiment to get them to taste just the way I like.

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Old 01-19-2010, 01:12 PM   #2
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 70,007
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For the reasons you mentioned (as well as some questionable recipes, in my opinion), I'm not a fan of that book.

1. You can steep for 20 minutes or so. Sometimes, some recipes are actually "mashing" even though steeping and mashing look similar in technique, mashing is using base malts that have to convert to sugars. In steeping grains, the sugars have already been made available through the processing of them, so you can get color and flavor by steeping them.

Grain must be milled- crushed- to use. It's not milled like flour, but the husks are broken open so that the grain is crushed/cracked.

2. Cool first, and then pour into fermenter and add the top off water. Chilling with a water bath helps reduce the chance of infection, by getting it below the "danger" temperature quickly, and helps to make a clearer beer by giving you a "cold break"- coagulating proteins that will fall to the bottom.
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:10 PM   #3
Nov 2009
Posts: 176
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I too have a clone brew book and have had similar questions. For instance, why do you boil your wort and then top off with cool water? Can't you do a full boil with those recipes instead of a partial boil with a cool water top off? Would the recipes be different for a full boil that didn't require a top off? Will the full boil effect the taste?

I guess I am just more comfortable with the full boils and would rather stick to that knowing a chance of infected beer is less since it is all boiled.

I am sure I am over thinking this, but maybe someone can set me straght.

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Old 01-20-2010, 09:18 PM   #4
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Jul 2008
Hamilton, Ontario
Posts: 1,039
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I've brewed few recipes from clone brews and not one has been even close. Use the tried and true recipes here and you won't go wrong, unless your looking for mediocre beer that doesn't match the beer it claims to clone.

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Old 01-20-2010, 10:34 PM   #5
Jan 2010
Medford, MA
Posts: 4,126
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swan: On top of what Yooper said, definitely don't steep at 170F, you risk extracting tannins. 150F is around where you should be.

tcory: The recipe would only be different in that you would get more hop utilization for a full boil vs partial boil. The benefit of a partial is pretty much to reach boil quicker and be able to cool quicker (thanks to the top off).

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