Welcome to the July Fermentation Friday. I would like to start off by thanking Rob over at pfiff! for hosting July's copycat stole a rat put it in her Sunday hat Fermentation Friday. Once I got through the title and article from my favorite wordsmith I think it came down to cloning your favorite commercial beer. Did I get that right Rob? Well if its not that is what I am writing about anyway.
This months topic on brewing clones isn't one that I am that familiar with. I personally just brew what I like and don't really try to brew what I can get commercially. I actually always find it a little strange that a homebrewer would waste their time brewing what is already available. Homebrewing to me is a creative hobby and outlet and I feel cloning recipes takes that away. I do admit I am still learning so I have brewed mostly kits (which is someone elses recipe but since I don't know what that beer was supposed to taste like I can't try and clone it) but I have started to formulate my own recipies. When I formulate recipes I start with a style and build from there using some ideas from commercial brews that I have tried but I don't try to clone them. For example the local brewpub makes a Raspberry Wheat. My Mother-in-Law really enjoyed it so I tried brewing a version of it. I started with a really good hefeweizen recipe and then added some raspberry extract and it turned out amazing. It was similar to the local brewpub but it wasn't a clone and I actually prefered it becasue I was going for more fruit flavor then the local version and thats what I got.
I know some homebrewers use clones as a way to test their skill but I feel you can do that with your own recipe. If you brew a recipe and take good notes then you should be able to make that same recipe again and have it come out exactly the same. That's where the skill comes in. In my opinion. Getting the the same thing over and over again is what the commercial brewers strive for and that is what homebrewers should strive for if they find that perfect recipe.
The only thing I may try to clone someday is techniques. I love the 120 minute IPA from Dogfish Head. It would be awesome to continuously hop a beer for 120 minutes and then dry hop to finish it. I haven't looked on the net but I would probably try and use the process using the hops I can get the best deal on. It won't be a clone but it will be the GISBREWMASTER 120 min IPA.
I have no problem if someone wants to clone because part of homebrewing is doing what you want. I feel that there are so many beers and beer styles out there that I don't feel I need to make a beer that someone already has. I will keep trying as many commercial beers that I can and then take some parts for each. I may possibly make a Frankenstein beer. Maybe my clone will be the "120 min Rasputin Berliner Weisse Lambic Stout". Sounds good doesn't it?
Thanks again to Rob for hosting this month. I am looking forward to reading everyone elses opinion on this. Also as alwasys thanks to Adam at Beer Bits 2 for starting this fun event!!