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Old 05-03-2006, 09:23 PM   #1
Indiana Red
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After half dozen batches in the book on my new favorite hobby, I would like to enter some competitions coming up around the country. If I follow a published "clone" recipe of a commercial brew, is it ethical to call it my own, and possibly win with someone elses recipe. What about naming the HB (naming HBs is important to me).
One typically has to reveal the recipe upon submission anyway, so, its not like a secret or anything.
Just never though of this untill now.
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Old 05-03-2006, 09:28 PM   #2
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Of course it is (ethical). Unless the creator of the recipe came and brewed it for you--it is your recipe, IMHO.

Anyone can use the same ingredients. Brewing the beer and your techniques are what is going to make the beer special.

Flame on.
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Old 05-03-2006, 10:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dude
Of course it is (ethical). Unless the creator of the recipe came and brewed it for you--it is your recipe, IMHO.

Anyone can use the same ingredients. Brewing the beer and your techniques are what is going to make the beer special.

Flame on.
I would guess most beer recipes have been done in some form or another. They are all just variations off of certain starting blocks. I think Crusty the Clown had it right when he answered the phone on one episode of the Simpsons with the greeting, "Unless your Steve Allen, you're stealing my bit." I think that thought process can be carried over to many fields, including HB. Don't sweat it. Anyway, I would wager that if you used the exact same ingredients to make the same beer 50 times, it would taste differently every time unless you were in a laboratory-type environment. Even then, there would be minute differences because may have boiled it longer, shorter, had better yeast one time than the other, etc.
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Old 05-03-2006, 10:12 PM   #4
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It is no different then buying Joe Brewstore's Pretty Plain Pale Ale kit, making it up and entering that.

Contests can really be over-rated, particularly if you look at them as a place to receive glory. I think their best role is a forum for feedback to help brewers know what they are doing right and wrong. Just because some guy makes a beer and wins doesn't mean he is batter brewer then the other guy. Unless he wins again and again, then maybe he is doing something.
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Old 05-03-2006, 10:49 PM   #5
Indiana Red
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewpastor
Contests can really be over-rated, particularly if you look at them as a place to receive glory. I think their best role is a forum for feedback to help brewers know what they are doing right and wrong. Just because some guy makes a beer and wins doesn't mean he is batter brewer then the other guy. Unless he wins again and again, then maybe he is doing something.
Granted....Good point
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Old 05-03-2006, 11:02 PM   #6
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As long as you did all the work there's nothing wrong in my book.

We call them "clones" but they are really variations because we are not using the same water chemical compositions. Nothing is exactly as done at the brewery.

Removing the labels from a commercial brew and replacing the cap and calling it your own...now, that's a different story. I'd say that was illegal.
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Old 05-03-2006, 11:16 PM   #7
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Too many of the commercial guys have their beer brewed for them, contracted, and then sell it with campaigns about old family recipes and crap like that. It is all marketing, but that is the stuff that pisses me off. Marketing a product within the micro market and not making it yourself - that should be illegal. Then the Big guys open up "little" breweries, like Blankroad, I mean Plankroad- and try to get a piece of the micro market. Throw them in the dung heap!
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Old 05-04-2006, 03:33 AM   #8
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But think of it this way...

Did you clone their water? Probably not. The water you use can make a HUGE difference on the overall taste of the finished product.

You should throw in a handfull or two of a grain not in the original bill. That way it truely is original.
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Old 05-04-2006, 04:00 AM   #9
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they are recipes not formulas. First of all they are scaled down. Secondly, some breweries dont even go by recipes. Ive seen first hand brewers making 'Anchor Steam' beer, and watched as the brewer took a copper dust pan, stuck it into a huge bag of northern brewer hops, and chucked in a bunch; he didnt weigh it or anything. (he wasnt even really paying attention, he was talking to another guy)
lastly, even if a brewery gave you an exact recipe for a beer, they are not going to tell you the procedures they use. (like for instance, storing hops in a closet for months to oxidize them).

Now if you could get a chemical analysis of a cetain beer, and then reverse engineer it, that might be unethical (but i doubt it)
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