Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Do you think the professional breweries tell the truth
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:36 PM   #21
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To be clear, I completely agree with you as far as how I like to brew. I tweak things, I play around with things to find out how things work and to make things that are truly mine. I just get annoyed when people try to tell other folks what they should consider important in brewing, which is what it felt like you were doing. Perhaps I was wrong.

It is absolutely none of my business how another brewer goes about his craft. I was just offering my .02 on the subject of "To Clone or Not to Clone" and why I do not do clone recipes. Also I was offering my thoughts on why homebrewers should try and ween themselves off clone recipes but if they want to stick with that because they enjoy it, that is 100% their business and power to em


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Old 02-03-2013, 03:40 PM   #22
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Yeah, I agree that that was a bad way of saying it. It comes off sounding like he's a father figure to homebrewers and he's showing them some tough love. Please.
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."


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Old 02-03-2013, 03:48 PM   #23
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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."
That illuminates an interesting disparity in the brewing community. Most small scale craft brewers I talk to love to talk shop and share recipes and specific ideas on what they do with me. And even some bigger guys have been helpful through email correspondences (Sixpoint and Upland in particular) but usually the bigger the brewery the more tight-lipped and less helpful they are to other brewers.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:56 PM   #24
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That illuminates an interesting disparity in the brewing community. Most small scale craft brewers I talk to love to talk shop and share recipes and specific ideas on what they do with me. And even some bigger guys have been helpful through email correspondences (Sixpoint and Upland in particular) but usually the bigger the brewery the more tight-lipped and less helpful they are to other brewers.
Yes, there is quite an interesting spectrum there. And then with Stone, you even have that spectrum within one brewery, as they have published numerous recipes in books and magazines, they did the whole homebrew version of each vertical epic on their webpage, and I'm told they're generally quite helpful if you ask them for brewing information. EXCEPT if its about arrogant bastard, in which case they will tell you nothing.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:12 PM   #25
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I'm sure you've heard the adage "It's not about the destination. It's about the journey."
nothing wrong with a map or tour guide, not to get you where you're going faster or easier, but maybe to point out the interesting things along the way that you might otherwise miss

recipe is just a map, brewing from it is the journey
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:33 PM   #26
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I know there are a ton of books out there from professional breweries etc. do you all think they tell the truth on recipes etc.? I know there are trade secrets but some of it seems to be too forthcoming.
I know this discussion has moved into why they may or may not want to share recipes & secrets, and I don't want to digress from that because the replies have been enlightening & enjoyable. But ... basically, it's my belief that if pros share their recipes, one may safely assume they are being truthful.

Because think of the alternative: if they provided a fake recipe or lied about ingredients, can you imagine the backlash in the wide-ranging communities of beer aficionados, home brewers, and trade orgs? It's not like we're judgmental and grudge-holdy or anything.

I could maybe see them being tight-lipped about certain parts of the process (like mash or fermentation temps), but not lying outright about the components in the recipe. Unless they want to invite the infinite searing wrath of all the exploding supernovas ever.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:47 PM   #27
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I think the biggest trade secret is hop extracts. The brewing industry depends on them for consistent bitter to bitter character. The famous Pliny the Elder recipe published by Vinnie did not include hop extract in the recipe.

Lagunitas uses copious amounts of hop extract in hop stupid. We'll never know the exact chemical properties of hop extracts used.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:41 AM   #28
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Bittering extracts are pretty straightforward. There are only a handful of different ones: CO2, Ethanol, Rho, Tetra and a couple of oddballs.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:54 PM   #29
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I believe the macro breweries are tight lipped about their recipies because most of them compete to sell light lagers that are nearly identical in taste. By contrast, the smaller breweries rely on beer that sell to folks like us at a premium price and vary widely in taste. Those that ask for recipies do so because they appreciate good beer. Try asking grandma for her recipie for peanut butter fudge. Its one thing to say " this tastes great" its a compliment on a whole higher level to ask for the recipie. Discussion on these forums drive more people to seek discussed beers and provide potential to expended their distribution radius. Word of mouth advertising is less expensive and more effective than superbowl ads. I bought a case of DFH Raison D' Etre to see if I liked it long before i brewed the clone.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:13 PM   #30
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The secret ingredient use to be yeast. Now with White and Wyeast we can get yeast that is pretty close to the commercial guys, the the adventurous can farm the bottle dregs to get closer. Some breweries still hold tight to proprietary yeast strains and yeast strains have a significant contribution to the finished product...the grain bill, hops, mash profile, etc. are just a piece of the puzzle.


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