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10/01/09 08:35 AM  
Oerbier Reserva Clone

After years of (quite) successful homemade beers, I would like to give a try to a clone of one of my favourite beers... Oerbier Reserva!

I have some ideas... that I would like to share and discuss with you.

The base: a very high initial gravity worth. How to obtain it? All grain, extract + special grains, or a mix? I'm generally in favour of All Grain, but in this case is hard to obtain a high OG, it takes long boiling time... so probably a lot of candy sugar or extract is needed. So, what if a base of extract + mini-mash and specialty grains are used? And which kind of grains? Spices?

Yeast(s): the idea is to use a strong initial yeast, for the first fermentation, in order to get rid of most sugars... which one do you suggest?

Then for the acetic/lactic flavour, inoculate a colture of Oerbier Reserva grown yeast... and let it maturate for an initial period in a plastic fermenter, then add oak chips or transfer it in a cask...

About Oer yeast, my idea is to make a vertical tasting of last years, take the bests, get the last few drops into the bottles, add malt extract and let it grow...

Oak/cask: this is the question... cask is very expensive (>200€ for 10 liters), oak are not "romantic"... what do you think?

Bottling: without any additional sugar... my experience is that with such heavy beers, like BW, christmas, ... the long-term activity of remaining yeasts and the complex destrines, are usually enough to carbonate beer...

Any suggestion and comment is welcome!


10/01/09 11:01 AM  
Re: Oerbier Reserva Clone
Like you I've been inspired by those special beers from Esen and brewed a few, well not clones, but similar beers. So here are my thoughts based on experience.

Fermentables: All grain would be preferable but if you need to add some extract for a gravity boost thats fine. I would stay away from sugar for this beer. I've started a solera to age my oerbier inspired beer and used the first runnings of a parti-gyle to refill. The seconds runnings became a low gravity overly sour beer for blending.

I suggest your preferred base malt with a healthy portion of Munich ( at least 20% of fermentables) with some special B, B. Aromatic and Dark Crystal. Some wheat malt if you feel compelled. No spices, they would just get in the way.

Yeast: I've been very pleased with making a starter from Oerbier and other De Dolle beers and IMO is essential to the character of this beer. I think Wyeast or WL sells a pure culture of it.

I am under the impression that oerbier reserva is aged in used red wine barrels. So you can soak some oak chips or spiral (my preference) in some wine before use. Careful using new oak.

For my recent bottling I added wine yeast and sugar to ensure carbonation.

Good Luck!

10/02/09 12:56 PM  
Re: Oerbier Reserva Clone
I've made a starter form Oerbier Reserva dregs, worked out great for me. I second the wine soaking.
Rob B
10/05/09 01:35 PM  
Re: Oerbier Reserva Clone
I am not sure they use wine barrels...

According to their website...

"After a couple of years Oerbier tastes like it has been blended with wine…"

10/05/09 07:00 PM  
Re: Oerbier Reserva Clone
Rob, we are talk about Oerbier RESERVA, not the normal one...

Thanks to Tim and Eugene for their suggestions!

Rob B
10/05/09 08:43 PM  
Re: Oerbier Reserva Clone
yeah, sorry, realized that after I posted.
08/15/10 11:45 AM  
Re: Oerbier Reserva Clone
resurrecting this thread...any updates on the attempt to clone Oerbier Reserva? anyone have a recipe and techcnique they think comes close? I LOVE this beer, and would be very interested in attempting to clone, but my attempt at a recipe would be a complete shot in the dark.
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