I'm working on cloning Ephemere too. I started brewing about 6 years ago and have tried anything and everything that sounded good. I've come to especially like Belgian brews because of the "anything goes" attitude. When I discovered Ephemere I knew I had to clone it. I agree that it is basically a Belgian White with apples. With a little advice from Scott at Austin Homebrew I came up with the following recipe as a starting point:
1.25 lbs Belgian Pilsner, 1 lb White Wheat Malt, 0.5 lb Flaked Wheat
5 lbs Liquid Wheat Extract
1.5 oz Strissel Spalt Hops
0.5 oz crushed Coriander
0.5 oz Bitter Orange Peel
4.5 lbs Granny Smith Apples
White Labs Belgian Wit Ale yeast (WLP400)
The mini-mash steeping time is 45 minutes at about 155 F. Drain bag and sparge. Bring wort to boiling and add malt extract. Bring back to boil and add 1 oz Strissel Spalt hops. (Note: Boil is only 30 minutes.) At 15 minutes add Coriander and bitter orange peel. At 5 minutes remaining add 0.5 oz Strissel Spalt hops. Cool down, add water for 5.5 gal, pitch yeast, and seal it up.
I added the apples on Day 3 of primary fermentation. I peeled, cored, and diced the apples before putting them in a sturdy zip lock bag and partially freezing them. The partial freezing makes the next step easier. Crush the apple chunks, let them thaw completely, and add to the wort.
After primary and secondary time I kegged and force carbonated the beer. I ran out of the Scottish Ale that was occupying one half of my kegerator about a week later and the Ephemere clone took its place. In other words, I didn't give it a lot of ageing time!
Yesterday I filled a growler with the homebrew and bought a couple bottles of the real thing before heading off to the homebrew shop for a little comparison test. The consensus was that the real thing had more apple aroma and taste but my clone had more mouthfeel. All agreed that it was darned good beer. My wife said she likes my version better but then she is prejudiced.
I'm doing another batch today. All will be done the same until it comes to adding the apples. This time I will skip the freezing and crushing in favor of just making a puree in the food processor. I will also wait until I rack the beer over into the secondary before addig the apples. Wish me luck.