3 Famous Craft Beers You can Clone

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One of many advantages of being a homebrewer is the ability to reproduce (or attempt to anyway) a commercially available beer. This is even more attractive for a beer that is difficult to find or in high demand.

Enter craft beer clones.

With enough digging, even some of the most popular and rare beers have recipes available, you just have to find them. The recipes may have been released by the brewery themselves, or a few homebrewers who took it upon themselves to replicate the the beer through a few healthy rounds of trial and error. Here are three popular craft beer clone recipes.

New Belgium Fat Tire Clone

There are a lot of varying clones around the internet for this well balanced and highly praised amber ale from New Belgium Brewing Company. However, the best place to start piecing together the correct clone recipe is often the breweries website. Some breweries are more generous with ingredients than others, but it's always a good place to start. Their website lists Fat Tire at 22 IBUs and 5.2%. They also list the malts and hops used, but not their amounts or timings.

For grains, Fat Tire needs Pale Malt, Crystal 80, Victory, and Munich. The hops used are all mild, so no Citra this time folks! Fat Tire's hops are Willamette, Goldings, and Nugget. With this information and other sources around the web, we can use this recipe to get pretty close to the original Fat Tire. For example the owner has said that 30% of the grain bill is comprised of specialty, crystal, and munich malts. That leaves the remaining 70% to be Pale Malt.

This recipe assumes 70% Efficiency and is for 5 gallons

7.25 Pounds Pale Malt
1.75 Pounds Munich Malt
0.75 Pounds Victory Malt
0.5 Pounds of Crystal 80

1.25 Ounces of Goldings @60 Minutes (goal of 22 IBUs)
0.5 Ounces of Willamette @ Flameout
1 Ounce of Fuggles @ Flameout

Wyeast American Ale II

By the Numbers:
1.052 , FG: 1.013, ABV: 5.2, IBU: 22

If building this Fat Tire clone's grain bill isn't your cup of tea, we have a clone kit available in the recipe kits section.

Westy 12 Clone

westy 12 craft beer clone

Westy 12, or Westvleteran XII, is known to be one of the best beers in the World. It's also one of the oldest beers ever made. This beer in particular is close to impossible to get in the states unless you "know a guy". This makes an accurate clone recipe the next best thing for most brewers.

Thankfully, Candi Syrup has released a clone recipe for the renowned Quad. Be sure to pitch a healthy amount of yeast for full attenuation. A starter is definitely required.

This recipe assumes 75% Efficiency and is for 5 gallons

10 Pounds Belgian Pilsner Malt
5.5 Pounds Belgian Pale Malt
2.5 Pounds D-180 Candi Syrup

1 Ounce of Brewers Gold @ 60 Minutes
1 Ounces of Hallertau @ 30  Minutes
1 Ounce of Styrian Goldings @ 15 Minutes

Wyeast Trappist High Gravity

By the Numbers:
1.091, FG: 1.012, ABV: 10.3, IBU: 36

Heady Topper Clone

Heady Topper Craft Beer Clone

The "best" IIPA East of the Rockies, or at least the one of the best, and one of the most well known east of the Rockies. Of course Pliny holds the title for west of the Rockies, but that's another story. Cans of Heady Topper are highly traded due to it's limited distribution (Vermont only). It's a good beer. In fact it's a really good beer. Is is the best beer ever? That's more of a personal question in my opinion, so let's leave it at a really good beer. Luckily, the fine folks at Homebrew Talk are brewing their butts off to get close as possible to a true Heady Topper clone, so thank you very much.

This recipe assumes 73% Efficiency and is for 5 gallons

11.25 Pounds Pearl Malt
0.75 Pounds Caramalt
0.75 Pounds White Wheat
0.5 Pound Turbinado Sugar (Flameout)

Mash at 150 degrees for 60 minutes.

10.00 ml Hopshot @ 90 min
1.00 oz Simcoe @5 min
0.50 oz Apollo @ 5 min

1.00 oz Columbus @ 0 min
2.00 oz Simcoe @ 0 min

1.00 oz Columbus Hop Stand 30 Min
1.00 oz SimcoeHop Stand 30 Min
1.00oz Amarillo Gold Hop Stand 30 Min
0.50 oz Centennial Hop Stand 30 Min
0.50 oz Apollo Hop Stand 30 Min

1.00 oz Columbus Dry Hop 8 Days
2.00 oz Simcoe Dry Hop 8 Days
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold Dry Hop 8 Days
1.00 oz Centennial Dry Hop 8 Days
0.50 oz Apollo Dry Hop 8 Days

Conan Yeast - Cultures Available from East Coast Yeast and Giga Yeast

By the Numbers:
1.074, FG: 1.014, ABV: 8, IBU: 120

If building this grain and hop bill isn't your cup of tea, check out the heady topper clone in the recipe kits section.

These three beers are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to craft beers you can copy. What are some of your favorite beers to clone and why? Also, don't forget to check out all the craft beer clone recipes available as kits right here at Homebrew Supply.

by David Doucette
David is a full blown fermentation enthusiast who has dedicated much of his free time to learning and sharing the art of homebrewing. He's spent several years documenting and writing homebrewing information on his blog Hive Mind Mead. He's written over 60 articles between Homebrew Talk and Homebrew Supply.


Westy 12 Recipe
Fat Tire Image
Heady Topper Image
Westy 12 Image

written by David Doucette

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