Just curious, how often does everyone try to brew a clone beer? The only time I've done a clone was the African Amber, and I've never had the original. I was looking through Austin Homebrew's website at their clone kits, and man they have a lot of them. Saw a couple I wouldn't mind brewing at some point. After my braggot, I'm going to make a Rolling Rock clone, so I can do a side by side comparison and see how close I come to the original.
I tried brewing a 1554 clone, didn't come out at all like the New Belgium beer. Other than that I brewed the Lakefront Brewery Fixed Sprocket kit from Northern Brewer. Not a clone, but developed by the brewers at Lakefront. My daughter said they did a side by side comparison with the actual beer from Lakefront and they couldn't tell which was which, so I must have done a pretty good job on it.
AHS gets some pretty good reviews on their kits so I think they do a pretty good job, but I am sure some are closer to teh real thing than others.
I have attempted a clone of Great Lakes' Lake Erie Monster twice now. I tried making the recipe from my own brain and some other help from people online. I don't recommend you going about it that way. I can see how you could become a little obsessed by honing in that recipe, and really for no reason, after all you can't call it your own. The two DIPAs I did were good beers but not exactly like the original. GL lists all the ingredients they use on there site so that was an ok starting point.
If you're cloning from kits and you're not worried about making it more exact then I think it's a fun idea. I subscribe to BYO magazine and they put great clone recipes in there. Most are directly from the breweries who make the original.
the rolling rock I want to see how close it tastes to the real thing, just to see if I can get anything near it. I don't expect it to be spot on, but it still should be enjoyable.
they also have a Coopers Sparkling Ale clone. Some people would probably say that beer is not hoppy enough, but I thought it was a nice refreshing brew. I will probably brew that one for the summer. There's only one store that that I know of that carries that beer, and it's a drive for me, so making it myself would be nice..
Another clone they have at AHS is Mac and Jack African Amber. Wonder if it's as good as the recipe posted on this board?
I guess it would be interesting to do a side by side with the AHS AA and Bruguru's version, but lets face it. We know Bruguru's version is a damn fine beer. So to me it is kind of a bird in the hand vs two in the bush.
Although I did take a stab at doing a clone of Bruguru's version. I used Briess Sparkling Amber DME to get an OG of 1.060, followed the hop schedule for AA and the orange peel. I dry hopped with a half ounce each of Cascade and Centennial, and it turning out to be a pretty good beer. It is does not have the malty complexity as Bruguru's and it is not as citrusy, I should have used a whole ounce of Cascade in the dry hop. But I had the hops left over from another brew and wanted to use them up. I did it on the stove top using my heatstick. It is quick and easy and makes a pretty decent beer, and no shivering in the garage.
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