Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Speaking of clones

Do most of you brewers try to clone beers or just make your own style?

Cloning beer and making your own style are different thing IMO. Example I have several IPA recipes that are my own " not cloning a beer" but I did not create the style. I do like to look at clone recipes of beers I like to get an idea of what to use or how to use it, instead of making a clone.

I guess I didn’t mean style in the style of beer sense. But like your talking about designing to your personal taste. I don’t have a lot of experience and so every beer I have tried to make I have missed this or that but the beers have came out quite good even if not exactly the way they were supposed to.I was just wondering. I too look at clone recipes to see what hops they are using and bitterness levels and stuff like that.

I do both, cloning and not cloning. There is much to be learned both ways. Limit your brewing to one technique or another, and you will not learn as much.

This is true, but I find I rarely try to brew clone recipes. I will try to replicate elements of some beers, which is related sort of. I think the experience comment is key; it took me years to get a good feel for how the changes would impact different aspects of the beer.

As an aside, I have to say that when I was occasionally attempting to use clone recipes, I brewed some of the most disappointing beers. Many of the recipes you will find out there really aren’t that good.

I brew in a similar way. Usually, I just want to brew a particular style, and I come up with a recipe for that style. That is usually going to seem like my recipe from the ground up, but I’ll take influence from beers I’ve had in that style and what I thought I tasted in them, what the brewers have said they use, and recipes I’ve read in that style. The idea being to learn from what has gone before, but make what I like and make it my own. Even when I know what is in a beer that I really like, I can’t help but try tweaking it to make it something I think I’ll like even more.

I rarely try to brew an actual clone, and haven’t tried a new one in years, but I do brew the Uerige Alt clone that Denny posts now and then. However, I’ve also used it as a starting point for a half dozen variations when I wanted something hoppier, maltier, lighter or more roasty.

What got me started thinking about this is that in another post people were saying recipes in this or that book are not very good. That made me wonder about all these recipes you come across on line. I have been getting recipes from NB’s site and just changing them a little and they seem to come out good. I think I will keep doing that until I get more experienced. One thing I noticed when you search for a recipe you’ll get half a dozen and they are all very different.

I brew in a similar way. Usually, I just want to brew a particular style, and I come up with a recipe for that style. That is usually going to seem like my recipe from the ground up, but I’ll take influence from beers I’ve had in that style and what I thought I tasted in them, what the brewers have said they use, and recipes I’ve read in that style. The idea being to learn from what has gone before, but make what I like and make it my own. Even when I know what is in a beer that I really like, I can’t help but try tweaking it to make it something I think I’ll like even more.

I rarely try to brew an actual clone, and haven’t tried a new one in years, but I do brew the Uerige Alt clone that Denny posts now and then. However, I’ve also used it as a starting point for a half dozen variations when I wanted something hoppier, maltier, lighter or more roasty.[/quote]
I just looked it up, and I’ve brewed a total of three “clone” recipes in the past two years, and two of those were repeat brews that I found to be particularly good.

I think that once brewers get more experienced, they tend to brew less clones and more just what they feel would be a good beer. That may have something to do with why so many of those clone recipes are not so good; the people who put them together weren’t necessarily very experienced. Of the three clone brews I’ve done in the past couple years, I got two of them from very experienced brewers: a Rocheford 8 clone that Denny posted (though I know it was not originally his recipe), and a Pilsner Urquel clone that Mashweasel posted. The third was just something that I brewed by request, found from a random posting, and regretted.

I sometimes like to replicate a style[ studying BJCP guidelines ] and put my twist on them with different hops, yeast or spec. malt combos, or sometimes I do my own recipes that I’ve come up with.
There are a few cases that I’ve tried to replicate another brewers recipe, like Denny’s Waldo, just because I like that particular style. I like to say to try to “dial in” what fits YOUR taste buds. Personaly
I know what I’m looking for in something, so I refer to my notes and brewday work sheets to see just how I’m going to tweek something. That’s a lot of fun for me. Isn’t it too bad we all live so far from one anther, that we could get together regularly for tastings and kick back for an afternoon of conversation. I think we would learn much from one another…B.C.

If I am trying a style of beer that I have not made previously, allot of times I will first try to clone a beer that I feel is an excellent representation of that style.

I would argue that every beer is a “clone” it’s been done before. Copy “what tastes good” try something new to improve on “what tastes good”

I just came from the brew store and I had my grain and hops bill filled. Now the proprietress asked me what I was making and i mistakingly mentioned a beer that I was using as an idea. Now I never used the word clone but she said you have to use this or that to make that beer. The next thing I know their handing me a kit of their clone recipe which I told them I didn’t want. After more discussion I finally got my order whith a few changes from my original recipe which now I’m regretting after I got home. I don’t have a lot of experience so I let them talk me into the changes. I’m sure the beer will be good but now I still have to brew it from my original recipe to see the difference. The next time when they ask me what I’m brewing ill have my answer ready " beer"

It’s too bad they have to be pushy about their stuff, also if you ask them questions, be ready to bounce their answers off other experienced brewers just to be sure they know what they are talking about, and you have the right answer, BEER!

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com