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Louie' Oberclone

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Ok so I had mentioned that I hadn't been feeling well and had a lot of time to read and I also worked on a recipe with a fellow club member (much smarter then me) to put together a recipe for National Home Brew Day. Bob actually contacted Bells and asked them about there Oberon beer which one of Bell's best selling and most popular. Since Bell's has a history firmly planted in homebrewing they were very helpful in providing hints and suggestions to create a Oberon Clone. Below is the email response from Bells

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying the Oberon Ale. There are certain things about our recipes that we keep close to the vest, but I can offer some guidance. The malt bill is relatively straightforward: stick with 2-row base malt and a decent portion of wheat, something in the 40-50% range. Wheat can stick a lauter, so use as much of that range as you can within the limitations of your lauter tun; adding rice hulls can help improve the flow. If you are going the malt extract route, there are manufacturers that offer various wheat/barley malt extract blends that will work just fine. A touch of caramel malt will be all the color you need usually. Aim for a target original gravity of around 1.056 and moderate fermentability. The ABV should be just below 6%.
Oberon uses several hops, but the signature varietals are Hersbrucker & Saaz. Target roughly 30 IBUs. Don’t be lured into using coriander or orange peel: Oberon is spice-free.
You can culture yeast out of one of our bottles if you're comfortable with that; it's certainly the preferred option for a solid flavor match. Otherwise, the local homebrew supply shops around here have found that most people looking to clone one of our recipes lean towards ale strains with a straightforward ester profile & good attenuation.
I hope this answers your questions. Good luck with the brewing!
Gary S. Nicholas
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
8938 Krum Avenue
Galesburg, MI 49053

So with that knowledge Bob and I formulated the following recipe. Keep in mind Bob has been brewing for about 8 years and has won medals at both the State and Local levels so he knows what he's doing and I learned a lot while putting this together.

Brewer: Louie
Batch Size: 5.50 gal Style: American Wheat or Rye Beer ( 6D)
Boil Size: 8.0 gal Style Guide: BJCP 2008
Color: 5.3 SRM Equipment: 10 Gallon Mega Pot
Bitterness: 28.7 IBUs Boil Time: 60 min
Est OG: 1.055 (13.6° P) Mash Profile: BIAB, Single Infusion
Est FG: 1.014 SG (3.5° P) Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage
ABV: 5.5%

9 lbs 2.7 oz Briess Two Row
6 lbs 1.8 oz White Wheat Malt
8 oz Carmel/Crystal Malt - 20L
1.0 oz Hallertauer 60 min boil
1.0 oz Hallertauer 30 min boil
1.0 oz Saaz 10 min boil
0.75 yeast nutrient - Wyeast (10 min boil)
1 pkg BRY - 97 (Danstar) dry yeast

Bring 8 gallons of water to strike temp of 162* and turn off heat and insert grain bag and add all grain to the water.

Mash at 154* for 75 minutes

Remove grains and let drain

Bring wort to a boil and add hops and yeast nutrient at the respective boil times above.

Once all hop boils are done cool work to 65* or lower and pitch dry yeast.

Let ferment for 3 weeks then bottle or keg as desired.

I just brew this Saturday so I will let you know how it turns out. Bob said it won't be an exact clone but it will be a damn good beer!

I hope you all found this helpful and interesting!

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First off...glad your feeling better. The recipe looks good. Pretty cool email back from Bell's . It's an interesting point about the orange peel and coriander. I've never had an Oberon....it's time that I get some to try it. Your recipe looks very straight forward and tasty.

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Did not know that Oberon did not have any spices in it, nor did I know that it was bottle conditioned and could harvest the yeast out of it. If I was to do this recipe, I'd probably buy a sixer of Oberon to save the yeast and make a starter. Recipe looks great, and I'm surprised that there's neither Hersbrucker nor Saaz in it, after reading what Bell's said about their recipe.

Edit: nvm just saw you had saaz in it. hallertauer to substitute the hersbrucker.

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I'm glad you're feeling better Louie, and I'm glad you're back to brewing and back on the Borg.

Good luck with that recipe. It looks like a good one. Betcha you come up with a winner.

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It's nice to know you can ranch the true strain of yeast from Oberon bottles. Makes me want to go Frankenstein with some now.

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That is exactly the same letter Ive seen posted elsewhere. But, that doesnt surprise me as Im sure pretty much every day at least one person asks that question.

I must say though that this years batch of Oberon is much better than last year. I first tried making clones as something not so good happened to it the past several years. It may be perfectly fine to most people, but it was not what I expected when I picked up an Oberon.

Let us know how this turns out, and glad to hear you are on the mend!

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Is there any reason why you're using an American West Coast Ale yeast instead of a wheat yeast?

The Oberon Clone I'm brewing soon is very similar, but adds about 3/4 lb of munich malt, hersbrucker only for bittering and saaz at 30, 15, and 10, and then a wheat yeast (WY1010 - American Wheat).

I think you're going to be missing some of the esters using that yeast, and the beer will probably clear more than Oberon, which is hazy.

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