Blue Moon Clone

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Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2007
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Hillsborough, NC
I'm trying to figure out a Blue Moon Clone recipe.

Things I know about Blue Moon:
  • Uses 2 Row Malt
  • Uses White Wheat
  • Uses Oats
  • Doesn't use a Belgian yeast, uses a "standard ale yeast"
  • Orange zest and coriander go in the last 3-5 minutes

Things I assume to be true about Blue Moon:
  • Ale Yeast is Cal Ale (Chico) strain
  • More orange than coriander

Things I'm trying to figure out:
  • Ratio of grains
  • Hop type and schedule
  • Yeast strain
  • Amounts of Coriander and Orange

Anyone have any nfo or ideas about this?
Check the AHS Blue Moon clone under my recipe drop down. I've brewed it a few times and it's great. It does call for a belgian wit yeast strain. I've never heard that Blue Moon uses a non-wit strain. Interesting.
Yea, I saw that one.

But it not only uses the Belgian Wit yeast, it also uses Pils when they use Pale malt.

I can't decide if the cascade will work or not. Maybe it's my palate, but it seems they have a more mild hop in there to not get in the way of the spices.
Blue Moon Belgian White was first sold commercially as Belly Slide Belgian White at the SandLot Brewery at Coors Field during the 1995 opening season.

We did do a little fine tuning of the recipe, which was developed by Dr. Keith Villa of Coors R&D. Mostly to do with the ratio of Orange Peel to Corriander.

The amounts of grains we used are roughly:
50% 2 row pale malt. (The first couple of batches were made with Great Western)
40% white wheat malt
10% flaked oats.

Hallertauer Mittelfrueh hops were added for a 90 minute boil. Bittering should be around 17.5 IBU. Only one addition.

Blue Moon has always used pre-ground corriander and Valencia orange peel. Keith did not want the bitterness of Curacao oranges. He preferred the sweetness of the ground Valencia.

Try 1.25 tsp of ground corriander added to the kettle 10 minutes before the end of boil. This is for a 5-6 gallon batch.

Add 0.33tsp of ground Valencia orange peel 5 minutes before the end of boil.

The Chico strain would work well in this recipe. You want a neutral taste from the yeast. Keith has said that the flavors that should come through are the orange peel and corriander, not the yeast.

Be careful when lautering. I have made this recipe and some variations of it in three different pubs, with three different systems. I usually have trouble and end up sticking the mash. Run off very slowly.
Wayne, are/were you a brewer at Coors, or did you help with the recipe before then? I didn't think they like revealing the recipes for commercial brews.
I worked for Coors as the Brewmaster of SandLot Brewery from 1995-1997.

I signed a non-disclosure/non-compete agreement that was good for one year after I left their employment. I asked about this situation when I was hired. I was told that nothing really stays secret in the industry for over a year.

The Blue Moon Recipe is pretty much the same as many other wit beers as far as the percentage of grains. Keith has mentioned the Valencia oranges in interviews. He also talked about using Hallertauer Mittlefrueh hops and ale yeast.

I am not giving away any trade secrets. The only thing really new is the ratio of corriander to orange peel. That is based on my work with the recipe post SandLot. I changed it a bit when I brewed it at the pubs I worked in after I left Coors.

I did not brew for over a year after I parted with Coors. I worked for Five Star as Director of Brewery Services. I did honor my non-disclosure/non-compete agreement.

What the recipe is now, I have no idea. What I posted above is how it was made 13 years ago.

That's awesome Wayne.
That fits right in with what I had already learned and what my mouth was telling me.
I believe they target around 5% ABV.

Sounds like some rice hulls might be in order with it as well.

Do you recall where the saccharification rest fell?

Thanks again....this is great.
I have mostly used single infusion with this recipe.

90 mins at 150-151 F

Try to hit around 1.050-1.055 OG

IBU should run between 16-17.5.

The coriander and orange peel are scaled down from the 10-15 bbl batches I used to make. Use the numbers as guidelines only. Maybe brew up a batch, taste it and adjust according to your taste. The rough ratio of ground, dried orange peel to ground, dried coriander should be about 1 to 3.
Thanks a ton Wayne! This was the batch I planned to brew next. I've adjusted the grain bill to your percentages and will use the 3 to 1 coriander to orange peel ratio.

Are flaked oats the same as regular rolled oats or are they the quick cooking oats?
Flaked oats = rolled oats.

The dried, ground Valencia orange peel should be 1/3 the weight of dried, ground coriander.

Good luck with your brew!
OK, I got you on the coriander and orange peel.

I'll be making an 11.5 gallon batch and will use 1.75 oz crushed coriander for 10 minutes and .5 oz dried valencia orange peel for 5 minutes. Sound good?

Thanks again!
You are pretty darn close.

You might want to go up as high as 2.25 oz of coriander and 0.8 oz of orange peel.

For 15 bbls I used 90 oz of coriander and 32 oz of orange peel.
I"m confused.

Isn't there supposed to be 3 times more orange than coriander?

The orig note for 5-6 gal said .33tsp coriander and 1.25 tsp orange peel.

I reckon zesting the oranges and putting the zest in a food dehydrator will be the best way to get good orange peel.

How many oranges did it take to get an ounce of dried peel?

That's what happens when you don't pay attention transcribing brewsheets:(

I had flipped the numbers around when I entered them in BeerSmith. I just went back to the brewsheet of the last batch I did. I have now edited the first post to make the numbers correct.

At the volume I was brewing, I didn't have time to fuss with scraping or drying orange peel. Keith found a local spice purveyor that sold ground, dried Valencia orange peel and dried, ground coriander. I do believe you can find some at places that sell bulk spices.
Thanks Wayne....

I had hoped you guys did buy the peel.
Having to zest that many oranges would be like having to pull KP duty in the military :)

I buy most of my spices from Penzey's in WI.
They have some orange peel, but will have to write them to find out what type of orange they use.

Thanks again Wayne for all this wonderful information and insight.

I owe you a homebrew ;)
Did anyone ever brew a full recipe based on this thread? I am thinking about trying this in the next few months as Blue Moon is my dad's favorite beer lately.
I did and it turned out fantastic!

I brewed 10 gallons. Kegged 5 (didn't last very long), and bottled 5 that I am selectively drinking.

I used Wayne1's percentages and used 1056 yeast instead of a belgian.

50.0% 10.25 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row)
40.2% 8.25 lbs. Wheat Malt
9.8% 2.00 lbs. Flaked Oats

1.25 oz. Hallertauer Whole 19.3 IBU 75 min

2.00 Oz Corriander Seed 10 Min.(boil)
0.75 Oz Bitter Orange Peel 5 Min.(boil)

Acid Rest 20min @ 104
Protien rest 30min @ 122
Saccrification 60min @ 153
Mashout 10 min @ 168

OG: 1.052
FG: 1.012

3 weeks primary at 68 degrees
2 weeks cold crash secondary at 46 degrees
I'll be brewing this again for sure.
why isn't this stickied somewhere? it is an AMAZING thread for Blue Moon clone knowledge...

You know, I had never tried Blue Moon until Saturday. I was getting a big bag of ice to cool my batch of American Ale and picked up a big bottle of it while I was in the store.

Pretty damn tasty brew! Good ABV, too. I'm putting a clone batch on my to-brew list and this thread will be my guide.

As far as the corriander and dried orange peel go, how much do you grind it.....I've got some dried orange peel from the LHBS, should I pulvurize it, or just throw it in as is.....Same for the corriander
I have always used pre-ground dried Valencia orange peel and pre-ground coriander. Search out stores that sell bulk spices. They will have these.
I bet any 'sweet orange' peel will be good for the recipe. Also, you can grind your corriander in an old coffee mill. Afterwards, grind up a piece of white bread to clean the grinder.

And Wayne, did you ever brew Honey Moon? My SWMBO wants a keg of it... I'm thinking about adding 2# of honey malt and upping the orange peel a bit.


Any extract versions?

Blue Moon Ale Clone

5 lbs. Extra Light DME
2½ lbs. Orange Blossom Honey
1 oz. Hallertauer pellet hops (4½% - boil 45 minutes)
½ oz. Hallertauer whole hops (2.4% - steep 10 minutes)
1 oz. Coriander Seed (crushed - ½ boil 10 min, ½ steep 10 minutes)
1 oz. Orange Peel (zested fresh and dried, steep 10 minutes)
500 ml Wyeast #1214 Belgian Abbey yeast starter

Recipe type: Extract
Batch Size: 5 Gallons
SG: 1.059
FG: 1.010
Time in Boil: 45 minutes
Primary Fermentation: 7 days
Secondary Fermentation: 9 days

Not my recipe. Just something I saved in my library.
So I am scrapping the extract idea, allowing my brewing testicles to drop. Having completed two partial grains, I will attempt my first all grain batch(single infusion as indicated by Mr. Wayne) . I don't have any high end software yet, but based on the previously listed grain bill, and a free on line program I found, I have come up with the below. If anyone with better programs (and the smarts) could ensure I am on the correct path, I would appreciate it. Higher math is a weakness (I'm a Marine).
6 gallon yield

6 lb 2 row pale
4.8 wheat malt
1.2 flaked oats

rice hulls

1.25 oz Hallertau Mittelfruh 60 min
1.25 grnd corriander 10 min
.33 tsp 10 Valencia orange peel 5 min

Wyeast 1056

single infusion 90 min @ 150 to 153

OG 1.056
FG 1.017
IBU 17
ABV 5.4

Okay assuming the above is good to go, I have the following questions:

1. How much water for the mash and what temperature (I believe it should be at around 166 to heat the mash tun (cooler) and counter the temperature of the grain)?

2. How much water for the sparge and at what temperature?

3. Is my boiling time (60) alright? I saw another gentlemen went 90 min.

4. If my mash drops below 150, should I add hot water to bring it back up?

5. How much rice hulls?

6. Wasn't sure what the "Chico Strain Yeast" Mr. Wayne referred to is. Is the 1056 a good alternative as used by Cookiebaggs good to go?

7. Yeast starter (never used yet either)?

Thanks for any input.

Semper Fi,

I feel you are aiming for too high a gravity, but it is your beer.

What do you plan to mash in? A cooler with a false bottom?

If you use a cooler you should transfer the 166 water into the cooler for 10 mins. Bring it back to the hot liquor tank (kettle) and heat it back up to 166 again again before you send in in the mash tun with the grain.

Running the numbers in BeerSmith:

Use about 0.5 lb Rice Hulls

Mash in with 4 gallons of water at 166 F. You should hit 154 for mashing. Hold that for 60-90 min. With a cooler you should only drop 1-2 degrees F.

After that time is done add 2.2 gallons of 196 degree water to the mash to raise temps to 168 F. Hold that for 10 min.

Use 4.6 gallons of 168 F water to sparge.

Aim for 8.4 gallons in the kettle. Boil for 90 min. You should end up with 6-6.5 gallons left in the kettle. Cool to 70 F as quick as possible and transfer to fermenter.

Try for 5.5-5.75 gallons in the fermenter.

Any of the 1056/S-05/California Ale versions will work. SafeAle S-05 will be the easiest. Just rehydrate the dry yeast in 80 F water around the same time you start to boil. It will be ready to pitch when the wort is done boiling.

Good luck. Feel free to ask more questions here or PM.

My Father-in-Law served in Korea with the Marines right about the time my wife was being born.

My Dad was 5th Army, 84th Chemical Mortar Btln. during WW2.

Thanks for your service.

I am shooting for your original numbers. I would appreciate you getting me on track as it relates to what you originally posted. I shot you a PM. Thank you!!!

Blue moon is pretty good. I've done about 8 batches so far, slowing trying to adapt the recipe into more of a hoegaarden. If anyone figures out hoegaarden, you can have my first born.
Sorry about bringing up an old thread, but has anybody brewed this lately. I'm interested in a Wheat beer grain bill with just a standard ale yeast. 1056 or something. I really enjoy commercial versions of different wit's and hefe's. But every time I brew one up using a Belgian wit or wheat yeast, or hefe yeast, my beer has off flavors that I do not like. And since the grain bills are all very similar when I brew them, I'm assuming its the yeast that I am using. I've tried fermenting warmer and cooler, and still have undesirable flavors.......

So maybe a wheat grain bill and a standard ale yeast will do the trick.....

I have not yet brewed using American Wheat yeast 1010, maybe that will help.....
Sorry about bringing up an old thread, but has anybody brewed this lately. I'm interested in a Wheat beer grain bill with just a standard ale yeast. 1056 or something. I really enjoy commercial versions of different wit's and hefe's. But every time I brew one up using a Belgian wit or wheat yeast, or hefe yeast, my beer has off flavors that I do not like. And since the grain bills are all very similar when I brew them, I'm assuming its the yeast that I am using. I've tried fermenting warmer and cooler, and still have undesirable flavors.......

So maybe a wheat grain bill and a standard ale yeast will do the trick.....

I have not yet brewed using American Wheat yeast 1010, maybe that will help.....

I believe you are tasting the "off flavors" that the different yeasts are producing. Personally, I don't care for those flavors, either. That is why I was so enthused to taste the beer that became Blue Moon. It was clean, light and refreshing with no "funk"

Try your recipes again, but use Safale S-05 or Nottingham. Beer you brew for yourself and friends does not have to be stylistically correct. It has to taste good to you and be enjoyed.

Once a year I brew an American Wheat that is simply 2/3 pale malt and 1/3 white wheat. Low IBU, only one addition at 45 minutes. Safale S-05. This brew is very much enjoyed among my neighbors and friends throughout late July and August.
Thanks for the input. I think i'm gonna try your suggested grain bill for Blue Moon. We'll see what changing up the yeast does for the final product. Blue Moon is definetely a good comercial beer, but I have also noticed that depending on where I order one, (Draft), sometimes they come out tasting a lot better then other places. I wonder if its a age thing with the current keg that the bar is pouring from. I've had some that were excellent, and some that I wanted to send back.....But didn't....
I'll let you know the final product turns out...