Using clone homebrew recipes to brew your favorite beers can be a fun and enlightening experience. Every brewer can learn a thing or two by making clone homebrew recipes to replicate the brews of a master. The subtle (or not so subtle) differences between your version and theirs can tell you a lot about your technique, your ingredients, and your equipment. There may be adjustments you need to make between the way they brew it and the way you brew it, since there are some inherent differences between homebrewing and professional brewing.
Are you up for the challenge? Here are five clone homebrew recipes worth trying at home:
- Terrapin Rye Pale Ale Clone – Have you ever brewed with rye? Rye malt or flaked rye can bring an interesting dimension to your beer, a soft rye spice reminiscent of rye whiskey. This partial mash recipe is a clone of Terrapin Brewing Company’s Rye Pale Ale, which earned them a GABF gold medal in their first year at the competition.
- Westmalle Tripel Clone – Regarded as one of the best tripels in the world, Westmalle Tripel is reportedly the first beer to use the name “tripel”. The Belgian monks of Westmalle Abbey know how to craft an excellent beer – do you?
- Pliny the Elder Clone – One of the top 25 beers on BeerAdvocate’s Top 250 list, Pliny the Elder was making hop heads swoon when most other Double IPAs were still a glimmer in their brewer’s eye. This is one of the clone homebrew recipes for the hop-heads. It uses a pound of hops to hit over 100 IBUs! Can you handle it? An all-grain recipe with an extract version is included.
- Anchor Steam Clone – San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Co. has been brewing a California Common beer for over 100 years: Anchor Steam. A moderate yet firm hop bitterness characterizes this pale ale/lager hybrid, making it a great choice for a year round session beer. Challenge your fermentation temperature control by holding this beer at 60-65˚F throughout fermentation.
- Uinta Dubhe Clone – Ever since tasting their beers at a GABF beer and cheese tasting, I’ve been a huge fan of Uinta. This five-gallon clone homebrew recipe of Uinta’s Dubhe is a massive black IPA made with 21+ lbs. of grain, 3/4 pound of hops, and toasted hemp seeds – I’m thinking of calling mine “Hop Sludge”. The recipe is derived from an interview with the brewers, so it should be pretty close to the real thing. Just be warned: at over 9% ABV, it’s definitely a sipper!
Interested in developing some of your own clones? Check out these tips for creating clone homebrew recipes from beer blogger Bryan Roth.
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.