Still a new brewer and have only done kits so far. 3good and one I somehow screwed up. I am thinking about starting to brew some clones from recipes I have found. Just wondering if most brewers have better luck in general with kits or clones? Thanks
Kits could be old and stale and taste like crap.
Clones are a better try if you have fresh ingredients. I’ll try a clone of something from time to time.
I don’t do kits, I make my own recipes and like what i get.
No luck involved…just making good brew.
I assume by “clone” you mean a recipe that someone else has created in an attempt to match a commercially produced product. If that’s the case, it’s really hard to answer your question, because it depends on how well the designer did interpreting the original product, selecting the right ingredients and getting the proportions right.
One of the things I really like about NB kits: they list the ingredients and amount of each on the instruction sheet. So you’re really buying a recipe for which someone else also has assembled all of the ingredients into a convenient package. I’m not aware of any other homebrew vendors who provide the recipe.
If you want to give “recipes” a try instead of using a kit that someone else has put together for you, you can’t go wrong with Brewing Classic Styles
. Tried and true recipes from a legendary award winning homebrewer who really understands the nuances of brewing to recognized style.
Edit: fixed typo
If your making NB kits, I wouldn’t worry about them being stale. Especially this time of year with all the stuff flying off the shelves thanks to the Christmas gift cards. NB also has a few kits that are clones themselves (dead ringer, speckled heifer, caribou slobber, phat tyre, sierra madre pale ale, john q adams marblehead lager to name a few).
Recipes can be good, bad, or in between. What really matters is having a good process. If you screw up a kit, trying to brew a clone recipe from the best book in the world isn’t going to make your beer better. That being said, if there is something out there you want to try and clone, go for it. That’s what’s awesome about being a home brewer. If your process is good you will at least get a drinkable beer, even if it’s not a side by side clone of the original.
For my third batch ever, I brewed an english barley wine that I made the recipe for. Is it an award winning barley wine? Probably not, but I like it just the same. It felt good to make the recipe and carry it out from start to finish, and I learned a lot.
Typically, kits will be more economical than building clones from scratch.
When I was still doing Brewer’s Best kits, I’d modify the heck out of them and add different stuff. I haven’t really done anything to NB kits because I’ve only made a few and they seem nice enough as is. Depends on what your goals are.
Kits and clones are just recipes in the end. If you have a reliable recipe and fresh ingredients, then there is little difference between two. Just make sure you’re following a tried-and-true recipe. Brewing Classic Styles recipes aren’t clones per se, but they are definitely a good starting point.