Why do people make clone beer?

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solbergg

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I'm having a hard time understanding why people want to reproduce what can be readily bought at your local retailer. I'm not trying to shun clone brewers, I'm honestly curious what the purpose is. Please enlighten.
 

Bobby_M

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Cost is one reason. Once you get going on all grain and already have the sunk cost of all the equipment, you can bang out DFH90 clones for at least half of what you'd pay for the real deal.
 

david_42

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I make clones that I CAN'T get locally (ok, Rogue Mocha Porter is an exception to that rule). I know my processes are good enough that if I buy a kit or follow a clone recipe, I'll have a beer that accurately reflects some remote brewer's inspiration.
 

Brewtopia

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There are also certain beers that may not be available in your area. For instance, I currently can't get Pliny the Elder from Russian River, so I have to brew it myself.

EDIT: david_42 beat me to the punch. :)
 

Revvy

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One reason, though not necessarily the main reason, is that often, you can make 2 cases of it for the cost of 1 or 2 six packs of it storebought.

Another reason is regional availability- Let's say you tried Fat Tyre when you were on vacation and loved it, BUT it's not available in your city/state....SO you clone it.

Another reason is that it's a good way to look into just what goes into designing a great beer...How the big dogs balance the right ingredients.

And then there's the idea that once you make a good clone of something, then you can work on making it even better....Or tailor it for your tastebuds...."Fat tire Blueberry, anyone?":D
 
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solbergg

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Ah, those are all good reasons. One other possibility I considered was that people did it to test their brewing capability and seeing how closely it matched the real thing.
 

ohiobrewtus

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Sometimes I do it just to prove to myself that homebrewed beer can be just at good as commercial beer.
 
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solbergg

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Has anyone found that by homebrewing a clone it actually tasted better than it's commercial equivalent?
 

Noldar

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I find enjoyment in trying to take apart beers and recreate them. Usually round two I try to tweak the recipe for my own taste. *shrug* Hopefully I am not alone in this.
 

Chello

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solbergg said:
Has anyone found that by homebrewing a clone it actually tasted better than it's commercial equivalent?
I find that is usually the case. Most clones i'v done have not come out like a spitting image of the real deal, but very very close. So that minute difference is a new twist in a beer you already enjoy...

Also, you made it yourself...
 

Brewtopia

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Originally posted by solbergg
Has anyone found that by homebrewing a clone it actually tasted better than it's commercial equivalent?
I had YooperBrew's Rogue Dead Guy Clone and thought it was much better than the original in a side by side tasting. Yooper's was a bit drier than the commercial version which I prefer.

It's all a matter of personal taste.
 

wildwest450

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lembeck2001 said:
Because I don't have the equipment to clone sheep.
Nice!:D And if your a sheep living in the south, cloning is the least of your worries.:cross:
 

Yooper

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OB, that thread will never get old to you, now will it??????? :D

Well, it was nice of Brewtopia to say he prefers my clone over the "real" Rogue, however, so do I! My DFH 60 minute clone is better, too!

First of all, those brews (as well as Stone) aren't available in my area. But I like them better for other reasons, too. I like the slightly drier finish I give some of them. I absolutely like the fresh in your face hops of my DFH clone better. I like my Fat Tire clone better because I made it "biscuity-er" to my taste.

Sometimes I make a clone for the first time, and think, "Well, I want more malt backbone, or a different hops note" and change it for the next time. It's all about brewing what you like. Also, it gives me a place to start. It's hard to think of an IPA recipe without knowing what you're hoping to acheive. If I know that I like Stone's IPA, but want it a little more bitter, I can image that and create it.
 

Sir Humpsalot

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solbergg said:
Has anyone found that by homebrewing a clone it actually tasted better than it's commercial equivalent?
Of course! Just like fresh steak tastes better than steak that's been in a freezer for 6 months... or fresh vegetables taste better than the ones stored in a can for a few years...

Beer is no different. Of course it's better when it's fresh (or properly aged). And let's not forget the issue of storage. The way some distributors store their beer would break your heart!

And did I mention the issue of additives and other weird things (besides adjuncts). For god's sake! They filter their beer, man!!! They strip away flavor!!!!

Of COURSE the homebrewed version is better!!!!
 

abracadabra

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Yes they taste better for several reasons. We can drink it at it's peak time flavor wise. We are not at the mercy of Dist. that don't know or care to store their beer properly. It's rarely so old it's past it's flavor peak. (Many homebrewer have trouble waiting until it reaches it's flavor peak.) It's rarely skunked because most of us know to keep the beer away from strong light.

Another reason IMHO is that we don't pasturize (ie. nuke) our beer.

Ever had a draught beer from a bar and thought to yourself: Man! that tastes a lot better than the same beer in bottles?

Like others have said you can also tweek a clone to make it even more to your liking.


But some beers such as Bud are IMO just not worth the effort to clone.
 

Big10Seaner

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Does anyone have a Bell's Oberon clone (extract)? I used to be able to buy it around here but now it's not available :( I'd like to give it a shot
 

CBBaron

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solbergg said:
I'm having a hard time understanding why people want to reproduce what can be readily bought at your local retailer. I'm not trying to shun clone brewers, I'm honestly curious what the purpose is. Please enlighten.
Lots of reasons:
Cheaper to brew you own (with the exception of BMC styles)
Clone styles not readily available in your area
If you can produce a good clone then you have a pretty good handle on your brewing process. This can help you understand recipe development and weaknesses in your brewing process.
The challenge of creating the perfect clone. Guinness and BMC beers seem to be particularly difficult to clone.

I have not tried to clone any particular beer by I am strongly influenced by good beers I have tried but can't afford to buy every day. In particular English and Belgian imports tend to be expensive but fairly easy to recreate.
Craig
 

zoebisch01

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The only thing I have thought of cloning is Orval, primarily because it runs around 90 clams a case so I won't probably ever pay that. Although I love Orval, just don't think it's work 90 clams....I don't think there is really any brew I'd pay that much for.

But, I have so many recipes that I haven't even tried yet, and a few I want to tweak and others I want to repeat. *sigh* so I really don't have the time to clone....maybe in years to come...

So yeah, clones for all the reasons in this thread :D
 

Kevin Dean

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The only appeal clone brews have for me is to hone my skill. I have a baseline to compare a clone to... This Mocha Porter is too hoppy, to watery... whatever.

Knowing this helps me identify areas in my process that need attention.
 

reshp1

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I like clones as a way of establishing a baseline for my methods and process. If I brew a recipe most people consider accurate, and mine comes out way off, I can troubleshoot and work backwards to fix my process and improve all my beers. I also like to brew a clone when I'm doing a style I'm not very familiar with, again just to get a baseline for what it's suppose to taste like versus what my version tastes like.
 
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