Homebrew Clone Recipes
History of Homebrewing
During the prohibition of the 1920s, many Americans started the hobby of homebrewing in order to provide a continued supply of brews that they previously enjoyed. What once was taken for granted by going down to the local pub or establishment, the government had created a panic to beer enthusiasts thus putting an end to what many people had become accustomed to – drinking beer. Or so they thought!
Enter the homebrewer. By studying the brewing processes and mingling with the now out-of-work local brewers, many people were determined to keep their beer drinking experiences alive by learning how to homebrew. Since many breweries were determined to keep their secret recipes under wraps from the public, a select few began experimenting and testing different ingredients to replicate the same flavors that they had come to love and create homebrew clone recipes.
As time passed and prohibition was lifted, homebrewing continued to flourish but was still kept secretive, to avoid any governmental penalties. In 1978, American President Jimmy Carter signed the bill H.R. 1337 allowing those to homebrew for personal consumption purposes. To date, according to the AHA (American Homebrewers Association) there are about 1 million homebrewers who make beer or wine at least once per year.
Homebrew Clone Recipes
With the various different types of brews now available, homebrew clone recipes and clone kits are becoming very widespread. Simply type in “homebrew clone recipes” into Google and you are likely to find someone who has successfully replicated your favorite craft brew. There are an abundance of books with homebrew clone recipes available and many homebrew companies such as Midwest Supplies give courses as well as the option to purchase clone recipe kits.
Before starting your own attempt at cloning your favorite brew, you must understand that the 3 main ingredients of beer excluding water (hops, malt or barley, and yeast) will affect the finished product. Perhaps the most important ingredient that will affect your outcome will be yeast.
You can narrow down your yeast strain search by visiting a beer style guide website based on your beer of choice or speak to a brewing yeast supplier and ask for their best recommendation. For example if you are cloning a pale ale, ask which yeast strains are best for your homebrew clone recipe. The yeast will also play an important role in determining the alcohol content. Do not underestimate the importance in this and use discretion when trying to increase the alcohol content. You can change the flavor profile immensely by changing the alcohol content of the homebrew.
For determining the body and color of your homebrew, you will need to determine the malt. Often times, breweries are notorious for using certain malt brands and varieties. If you are able to obtain this information, you are well on your way to making your homebrew clone recipes. Here is an even better tip: if you are cloning a beer made locally, go on their brewery tour and take note of the ingredients!
The third ingredient you will need to choose carefully is hops. The hops play an important role in determining the aroma of the beer, and after all, our noses are integral in determining the taste!
Water is somewhat important too. The reason Frederick Miller settled in Milwaukee was due to the region having great water for brewing purposes. Do not worry too much about this though, because unless you plan on relocating to craft the ultimate homebrew clone recipes, you are pretty much limited to your local water supply.
These tips will give you a great start on fine tuning your homebrew clone recipes. If all else fails, head on over to your local or online brewing supply like Midwestern Supplies and peruse their homebrew clone recipes kit selection.