Clone Recipes

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Clone Recipes

Postby JeremyDanner » January 4th, 2013, 8:35 am

Do any of you guys do clones of commercial beers? If so, how specific of information do you like to see on brewery websites or receive from brewery folk?
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Re: Clone Recipes

Postby johnf » January 4th, 2013, 9:41 am

JeremyDanner wrote:Do any of you guys do clones of commercial beers? If so, how specific of information do you like to see on brewery websites or receive from brewery folk?


The guy that brewed at Stone before Mitch used to put the VE recipes online including what music to listen to while you were brewing.
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Re: Clone Recipes

Postby beer4bill » January 4th, 2013, 10:27 am

JeremyDanner wrote:Do any of you guys do clones of commercial beers? If so, how specific of information do you like to see on brewery websites or receive from brewery folk?


Early into my home brewing, I wanted to make pale ale similar Dale's Pale Ale. Hence I started with a clone recipe and enhanced it with the hopping schedule Bell's provided for their Hop Slam. As a new home brewer, I wanted and needed the details i.e. mashing temps, grain types, grist rations, yeast recommendations, hop types, hopping schedule and IBUs. At this time the more details the better.

Today, I am looking for guidance for brewing something similar, grains, hops, hopping schedules, OG, recommended yeast.

Cheers,
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Re: Clone Recipes

Postby flip » January 4th, 2013, 11:42 am

I do pretty regularly. I like to attempt clone recipes of some of my favorite beers simply to learn. If a commercial brewery is able to achieve something I love with the malt or hops, replicating it myself really helps me learn so later on I can toy with those procedures in my own recipes.

I like as much detail as possible. Grain/hop percentages, expected IBU/gravities, mash/ferm temps, the whole thing. If any of those details are missing, it may not be a clone you end up with. If you're wanting to learn how to achieve a particular malt characteristic, you may not get that with the wrong mash temp.

If you think cloning commercial beers is lame then that's a different story, but I think it has helped me learn a lot about how some of my favorite beers are made.
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Re: Clone Recipes

Postby JeremyDanner » January 4th, 2013, 11:54 am

I don't think it's lame. I think it's definitely a great way to learn the process and also to figure out where you stand as far as brewing skill goes. I'm just looking for some opinions as far as what sort of information people expect/would like to receive when they contact a commercial brewery looking for recipe information.
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Re: Clone Recipes

Postby flip » January 4th, 2013, 1:05 pm

Yeah, sorry, didn't mean it to sound like you thought it was lame. There are some who do, so was speaking more generally.

Whenever I ask a commercial brewer for a recipe, I want as much detailed info as they're willing to give me. But if I'm only given a few clues, I'll go with what I have.
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Re: Clone Recipes

Postby bythepint » January 4th, 2013, 1:18 pm

I have no interest in brewing clone beers but sometimes I'd like to know how to get a certain characteristic from a commercial beer into my own beer. I think it's cool when breweries will list the hops and grain varieties they used. Percentage of grist is something I like to see on wheat beers and rye beers as a fun side note, but I'd never expect a brewery to share that information with me for their flagship moneymaker beers.
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Re: Clone Recipes

Postby craftsuds » January 14th, 2013, 9:39 am

I brewed a clone of Pliny the Elder once, which turned out nothing like Pliny the Elder. Other than that, I've never been interested in brewing a clone, especially if I can buy it at a store on a regular basis.

When I'm looking to make a new recipe, I think of a couple of commercial examples that I like and then visit the brewery's websites to get an idea of what grains, hops and yeasts are used. Similar to what bythepint said, I don't expect breweries to list percentages of the grain bill or the hop schedule, but sometimes it is nice when that is listed, especially for a new homebrewer. It's also nice if they list some information about the mash ("we mash at this temperature because..."), but I think that's more of a nice-to-have.

If specific amounts of grain/hops/spices are listed, then it's nice when they're converted down to a smaller batch. Most brewing software will do the conversion for you, but it's nice not to have to convert a 60bbl batch down to 5 gallons.
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Re: Clone Recipes

Postby FatCatKC » January 14th, 2013, 12:23 pm

I think in order for a clone recipe to be helpful you have to provide the grain percentages, the mash temp, the kind of yeast or the most likely substitute, and the percentages of the hop additions in some fashion. The hop addition info is what I see the most variation on. Some just list a certain hop at x% Alpha Acid for y time in the boil. Others give AAU amounts of each addition so you don't have to guess as much when your hops' alpha acids are different from the original recipe. Any less information and its not really a "clone" it's just a somewhat close relative.
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Re: Clone Recipes

Postby landon » January 14th, 2013, 2:16 pm

Ideally they would include target OG, FG, grain percentages, most homebrewers probably want a single infusion mash temp when possible, hop schedule/varieties and IBUs expected from hop additions, ferment temp and a yeast from Wyeast or White Labs that will be similar to the yeast used commercially.
I like cloning recipes just to learn recipe development. So its nice when there are some "whys" like when Brynildson gave the Union Jack recipe he explained that the percentage of domestic 2 row and Munich was to mimic English base malt. Or when Jeremy from Lagunitas was talking dry hops he said as a general rule they use a floral backround noise hop like cascade and no more than 2 rockstar hop varieties so they don't clash.
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