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wfmaguire

I'd love a Stella extract clone but...

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I'd settle for a cousin using Mr B ingredients. Anyone made a recipe like that and said "hmmm kinda tastes like Stella". It's my wife's favorite beer and I thought might make my next mr beer delivery a little easier for her to take.

Thanks!!!

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Can you lager? Do a hop boil?

Closest I think you will get using just Mr. Beer ingredients would be something like this: (this is just a SWAG based on the Stella I had a month or so ago).

2 cans of Pale Export UME
1 bag of booster. Yes really. Don't flame me. I'll explain later.
3/4oz saaz @60
1/4oz saaz @5
Wyeast - Bavarian Lager Liquid Yeast

If you can't lager and you want to stay in Mr. Beers available products, then I'd try Wyeast - German Ale Liquid Yeast. But Wyeast Kolsch would probably get you closer flavor wise if you want to step out of Mr. Beers world... but then again the German Ale will give you a brighter (clearer, sparkley!) beer and if you can ferment it below 60 a pretty clean end result.

Reason I threw in booser is 2 fold. One to get your color lighter. Two because I'm pretty darn sure that Stella is an adjunct beer (rice/corn) these days - Anheuser Busch owns them, and it had the light body and crisp character of one. If it is not an adjunct beer, then it is mashed in a highly fermentable way that the extract isn't going to simulate. In either case, the booster would get you closer to that kind of vibe.

If your wanting to follow Mr. Beer partial volume process, I'd get the booster and about 1/2 can of the pale export into the full boil, with a couple of extra cups of water then normally used (it will boil off), and then add all the rest of the extract at the end of the boil. This will get you the best hop utilization and keep the color as light as possible. I've done this many times in the past before I got my 16Q pot. It works well if that's what you need to do based on your current pot size, stove, etc.

Anyways, that's about as close as I can get you.

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Thanks mashani I'll give it a try. I can't lager yet as I cant keep the temp that steady and low so I'll go with the ale yeast option. I think I can manage a hop boil and if not... well you live and learn.

Cheers!

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One additional note on the process that mashani laid out. It's easy to scorch the UME, so what I would do is add the booster to the cold water, bring it to a boil, remove from heat, add the UME, stir until it's completely dissolved and bring it back to a boil. That's just a clarification or variation on mashani's comment to bring the booster and UME to a full boil.

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Thanks BPGreen, you are absolutly correct, that's just so ingrained in my brewing practices that I didn't think to mention it.

@wfmaguire, to be clear, this won't be perfect, but you should be able to tweak it with more or less hops to your tastes, or use all malt in a future batch if you feel it's too light bodied. But I'm pretty sure that 3 cans of malt extract will be more full bodied then Stella, and that what I posted will get you closer.

One other thing, since this beer is such a simple beer, even the smallest process changes can make a noticable change in flavor. For this beer you want to keep your temps as low as you can get, below 60 even with the ale yeasts if you can pull it off. Both those ale yeasts are perfectly happy at 56-57 degrees. It's not going to make a bad beer if you ferment in the mid 60s, but it won't be as "lager like".

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mashani wrote:

Thanks BPGreen, you are absolutly correct, that's just so ingrained in my brewing practices that I didn't think to mention it.

@wfmaguire, to be clear, this won't be perfect, but you should be able to tweak it with more or less hops to your tastes, or use all malt in a future batch if you feel it's too light bodied. But I'm pretty sure that 3 cans of malt extract will be more full bodied then Stella, and that what I posted will get you closer.

One other thing, since this beer is such a simple beer, even the smallest process changes can make a noticable change in flavor. For this beer you want to keep your temps as low as you can get, below 60 even with the ale yeasts if you can pull it off. Both those ale yeasts are perfectly happy at 56-57 degrees. It's not going to make a bad beer if you ferment in the mid 60s, but it won't be as "lager like".


It's easy to forget that not everything that's obvious to us now want always obvious. Even people who have used DME but not UME for a boil may not realize that you need to remove it from the heat.

I like to call this a "lagale" since it's a hybrid of a lager and an ale.

I've only used dry yeasts, so if I did this, I'd use either US-05 or Nottingham. US-05 is good down to 59. Nottingham is good down to 57, or 54 if you over pitch. If you'll be fermenting below 60, if go with Nottingham. For low 60s, I'd use US-05.

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Yeah, I often use those yeasts for pseudo-lagers or "lagale" as you say, but for this particular beer I think it needs the yeast character that you get from those german yeasts. There is something about how the pils, the saaz, and german yeast strains combine into a flavor that says "german style pils", which is what Stella really is closest to, that you don't get with Nottingham or S-05.

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Thanks everyone I really appreciate it! I'll give it a try in the next couple of weeks and report back! Oh and thanks for the clarification on not boiling the UME with the booster, I would have boiled it no doubt. And I don't expect it to taste exactly like Stella as I said I am just aiming for something close in the style.

Thanks again!

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wfmaguire wrote:

Thanks everyone I really appreciate it! I'll give it a try in the next couple of weeks and report back! Oh and thanks for the clarification on not boiling the UME with the booster, I would have boiled it no doubt. And I don't expect it to taste exactly like Stella as I said I am just aiming for something close in the style.

Thanks again!

Well you DO want to boil some of hte UME with the booster. About 1/2 a can of it. But what you don't want to do is pour it in with full flame going under the pot. IE bring the booster to a boil, turn off the heat, stir in the UME, and then bring it back to a boil.

Then you add your bittering hops and boil for 55 minutes, then what I would do is turn off the heat, add the rest of your extract, stir it in, bring it back to a boil, and then add your late hops and finish the boil. This will assure that any buggers that got into the half opened can of extract won't infect your beer, and the little bit of extra time isn't going to make any difference with those bittering hops at that point.

Hopefully that was clearer then mud?

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I'm subscribing to this thread! I'm a big fan of Stella Artois as well! It makes for a pretty good beer to drink all year round and I would love to be able to produce something similar to it!

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One other thing that may be worth adding to what Mashani and BP said -- when it does come time for bottling...you may want to err on the high side of carbonation. So, if a 1 L bottle normally calls for 2 1/2 tsp of sugar...you may still be able to add a little pinch more.

The higher carbonation will fit the type of fizzy you get from more commercail beers at stores.

====

Not sure...but I'd also suggest something that dries out the beer too. Not sure what that is...but I tend to think you need that. The difference between a 1.015 FG and a 1.008 FG is enormous in terms of the crispness of the taste. I'm not sure if it holds true for Stella...but a lot of the more commercial stuff is very much close to the 1.008 end point than the 1.015 endpoint...and it plays out in the taste.

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I just looked up a Stella Clone -- here's one that would work:

5 gallon batch:

9 Lb 8 oz. German Pilsner
1.5 oz. Saaz @ 60 minutes boil
0.5 oz. Saaz @ 5 minutes boil
Irish Moss
WLP830

=======

For a 2.3 Gallon Mr. Beer LBK...you're actually going to be looking at closer to 2 1/2 - 2 3/4 Cans of Pale Export. Actually...3 full cans = 3 Lb 9 oz. In order to hit the same ABV (roughy 5%) you're going to need 3 Lb 5 oz. of the Pale Export.

Whether use use Clarity-Ferm or Irish Moss or Whirfloc Tablets...you will want a clairfying agent.

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@Christ872, that's more or less the same as what I posted, with the booster making up some of the difference in abv, instead of more pale export. The white labs yeast you referenced is the same as the wyeast german lager.

The booster should serve the purpose of drying it out a bit. If you REALLY want to dry it out then you would want to add some dextrose. I don't think it's needed, but if you want to bump the abv a bit more, and keep it dry, that's how you do it. (unless you are mashing the pils and can mash at a very low temp or do an authentic step mash).

The booster will keep the color lighter as the pale export is too dark to use all on its own.

And if Stella is all pils (which it probably used to be, but I doubt it is these days, I think it is an ajunct beer), then it's was mashed in a way to make it more fermentable, and you are not going to get that effect from all pale export.

So that is the reason I posted the recipie the way I did. (EDIT: and also because he said he wanted to use Mr. Beer ingredients, so I gave him only things he could get from Mr. Beer).

Stella, even though I say adjunct beer, does have a nice malt nose, because they use good belgian pilsner. Some people try to make up for this when using briess extract by adding small amounts of vienna or munich or aromatic malt. I don't think it is necessary when using pale export, it's already got a touch of vienna in it.

I've made blondes using just Briess Pils and dextrose and others using just Pale Export and dextrose and side by side, the Pale Export although darker, has more character, and I'd actually say in general I liked the Pale Export beers flavor better.

So, I would suggest sticking to what I posted, vs trying to do it with all pale export. I think it will actually be closer.

Not that 3 cans of pale export would be bad... it would not be... it would be a nice beer. But I think it will be too full bodied, and too dark, more like a fuller bodied german pils - not as light and quaffable as stella.

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I was pretty darn sure I was right about it being an ajunct beer after tasting it so I did some poking around.

So here...

http://web.archive.org/web/20020613174836/http://www.stellaartois.com/enjoy/ingredients.html

and go to the bottom of the page. This is directly from Stellas web site back in 2002.

Direct quote:

"Non-malted grains

Incredibly, in the brewing of low temperature beers, there are some non-malted grains like rice and corn. These are pure sources of starch. They give the beer a luminescent blondness and lightness, and help it go down easy."

So when I say use booster... use it, unless you are mashing it and using rice solids or corn.

Any clone recipe that is 100% malt is not a clone.

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Also, what they are currently selling as Stella, is no where near a 5%ABV.

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@mashani

In your research, were you able to determine what their highly secret proprietary yeast strain is?

:)

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BigPapaG wrote:

@mashani

In your research, were you able to determine what their highly secret proprietary yeast strain is?

:)

Good luck with that, but it tasted like "german pils", so I think any of the above mentioned yeasts will work just fine.

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My brother worked in the Stella brewery in Leuven for 5 weeks as part of his engineering degree, I'll ask him if he managed to get any inside information, they brew all the Leffe range too.

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