Cloning advice

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by agsourdough1, Aug 24, 2013.

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  1. agsourdough1

    agsourdough1 Initiate (0) May 5, 2008 Florida

    So there's this local beer by me called "Monk in the trunk", that I really like because its like an easy drinking American version of a Belgium beer. I wouldn't consider a Belgium style though because its too lite, has terrible head retention, and is as clear and shiny as sexy American amber. I love this beer because it drinks like a lager. Any brew my wife likes as much as me is a winner, (makes it easier to justify spending money on my homebrew).
    I'm wondering if anyone has some advice on cloning a beer like this. It's like an easy drinking lite amber with euro hops, and a Belgium yeast. The thing is, the malt bill doesn't seem very high. It's so clear it looks like a lager. I'm having trouble figuring out the hops used too. If I had to describe them, I would say crisp in the finish. It's the oxymoron of beers. It like taking a chimay blue and a beer you'd drink at a ball game and putting them together. I want to make this!!! Please help.
  2. Jtc2811

    Jtc2811 Aspirant (232) Dec 13, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Honestly the first thing I would do is email Jupiter brewing. Tell them you love their beer and want to try making it at home, but you aren't sure where to start. Plenty of small local brewers are flattered by the attention and love to talk shop.
    JrGtr, Eriktheipaman and JackHorzempa like this.
  3. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas


    I emailed Texas Big Beer and asked about their working stiff ale, which is probably the best ESB I've ever had. It took a little time, but I got a detailed recipe stating exactly how to make it, with gobs of parameters that I never even bother with. I also have permission to blog and post the recipe, which I intend to do pretty soon (it will get linked here too).

    I also asked Schlafly's head brewer about a beer they had on tap, and while he didn't give me the exact recipe, he gave me all I would ever need to make a reasonable clone.

    Freetail's head brewer told me in great detail exactly how he used spirulina in their spirulina witbier. This was a St Patty's day green beer, and as we all know, frequently green beer does not equal tasty beer. Well this beer was both green and tasty! And now I know that if I were so inclined, I could produce a reasonable clone of it, and would be able to get the color right.

    As a general rule, breweries seem to be happy to share info with home brewers.
  4. Jtc2811

    Jtc2811 Aspirant (232) Dec 13, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Unless you ask stone for their arrogant bastard recipe :slight_smile:
  5. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    I think that's part of the gimmick of arrogant bastard. But their gimmick worked on me, so I guess they're doing something right on both the gimmick and the brewing aspects for that one. :rolling_eyes:

    In one of their books, Stone says that arrogant bastard was a test batch of their standard pale ale gone wrong. Apparently they had way over-proportioned the ingredients for the batch size they were making. So I suspect arrogant bastard must be something akin to a 1.5x or so batch of stone pale ale.

    I admit that sometimes gimmicks have worked on me. Apocalypse Cow, for instance, is one that I simply HAD to have, just for the name and the label. It's a great name!
  6. Jtc2811

    Jtc2811 Aspirant (232) Dec 13, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    I'm pretty confident AB is not just a stepped pale. I made a passable clone last year that was heavy on Special B, which their pale ale almost certainly doesn't have
  7. clearbrew

    clearbrew Initiate (0) Nov 3, 2009 Louisiana

    Good advice so far. If you can't get info from the brewer I would recommend ether trying some SMaSH batches with possible ingredients or try making some teas with possible hop options if you are not familiar with them.
    How did you get the info that you have already? Are you sure that the beer has European hops and a Belgian yeast strain?
    Also, how much did the beer cost? If this was a very inexpensive beer, that might help narrow down the ingredient choices.
  8. telejunkie

    telejunkie Disciple (320) Sep 14, 2007 Vermont

    sounds like an octoberfest malt & hop bill fermented with a "belgian-y" yeast such as chimay or westmalle yeast strain. although a Biere de Garde strain maybe used as well. Plenty of light belgian beers as well, they just may not be sold in the States is all. As stated, an email to the brewery should help clarify it some.
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