Friday, July 31, 2009

Fermentation Friday - Homebrew Clones

For this months installment of Fermentation Friday, Rob over at PFIFF! asks:
"What beers have you attempted to duplicate in your own homes, or which ones have you always wanted to reproduce, but have been wary of attempting?"
This is the perfect topic for me this month, since just last Sunday I brewed a clone recipe of Allagash Tripel that I got from Brew Your Own magazine.  This is my first real "Clone" brew having used the recipe that was calibrated by Rob Todd for us 5 gallon weekend warriors!  So far, so good.  The beer had a massive fermentation in the first few days.  I had foam in the blow off tube as well as the blow off  bucket within 12 hours!!!  I also did a first for this brew, I made a yeast starter which I think contributed greatly to this vigorous and healthy start to primary fermentation.
I have really high hopes for this beer.  In the past I was never a huge fan of big Belgian beers but recently I have been drinking more and more of them and really developing a love for these expertly crafted brews.  The big alcohol and wonderful esters that come from these pushed me to try my hand at my own, and there is no better way to start than with a clone recipe that is proven!  Now, I definitely don't expect this beer to be as good as the real Allagash Tripel, but I think it will be very good and very drinkable.  And with homebrewing.....that's all you can ask for.
While the Allagash is the only beer I've "properly" cloned, I have tried to clone another beer.  That beer is Sixpoint's Sweet Action.  I didn't have any recipes from magazines, just a few glasses of this amazing beer and my imagination.  I did try to get the recipe from Shane, the owner/brewer but was only able to get the hop varieties that were used.  So, I did my best, from memory, to try and clone it.  While the beer did not come out like a clone of Sweet Action, it took on a life of it's own and became a great beer that I served at my friends wedding with great reviews.  I am definitely going to go back to the drawing board and take another stab at Sweet Action, but for now I'm going to focus on some new beers this summer.

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