Can I Brew a Beer Like That?
July 26, 2014 by
Emulate your favorite commercial beers by brewing clones
Every novice home brewer enjoys the
process of gathering and carefully cooking up a batch of
beer, whether a simple
American Ale or a complex
Tripel. As skills improve, the exciting transition
to all-grain brewing quickly follows. Pretty soon, the
home brewer is discovering and understanding the results
from the varying types of malts, hops, and yeast. It
is usually at this time when the question of brewing a beer
similar to a commercial favorite is possible. In other
words, "can I brew a beer like that Oranjeboom I had in
Certainly! Well, that's the short
answer. The long one being, certainly... if you can
get your water PH and quality comparable to the location of
origin in which the beer derives, and if you can obtain a
quality and similar yeast as the one used, and if you can
land your hands on hops of type, and if you can achieve the
goal of mimicking the brewing process (times, temperatures,
hop schedule, etc.), and if you can bring all the correct
ingredients together in the proper ratios required... well,
yes... you can brew a beer like that!
Naturally, there are some who have
achieved the level of home brewing that permits them to brew
decent "clones" of just about any beer in the world.
These folks are so good at
beer at home they typically move on to starting their
own craft brewery or brew pub.
The average home brewer, however just
doesn't have the skills to brew any beer they want.
Even if that brewer did, he or she wouldn't be able to
maintain consistency in the product. And, consistency
is something breweries spend dearly upon.
Having said that, it's good to know that
there are plenty of "clone kits" available for your home
brewing enjoyment. Some of them provide close copies
of the original. But most are more or less regional
versions of a
You see, the problem is not obtaining the
ingredients for brewing a commercial beer clone.
Courtesy their local home
brew supplies store, or the internet, the typical home
brewer can purchase the same malts, hops, and yeast the
large brewers use. And, brewing water can be altered
with certain chemicals that make it very similar in minerals
and composition as the host location's water.
Unfortunately for the home brewer it's an accurate "recipe"
that is required. How much malt? When exactly do
I add the hops? How long is the boil?
And, that's where the trouble starts when
trying to brew a batch of your favorite commercial beer.
But, don't let that stop you from trying! You see, you
can do whatever you want. In the process, you just may
end up with a new taste of beer... one that you will brew
again and again. Of course, you could end up with 5
gallons of yuk! Either way, you are
brewing your own
beer. That's what matters most. Moreover, you're
learning new techniques and brewing features.
So, the next time you drink a commercial
beer and want to try making a clone, don't let anyone tell
you it's impossible. Just do your homework before
purchasing what you think are the necessary ingredients.
Then, pull out the home brew kettle and get busy...